Robert Fludd, or, as he called himself in his Latin writings, Robertus de Fluctibus, was in the seventeenth century a prominent member of the Rosicrucian Fraternity. He was born in England in 1574, and having taken the degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts at Saint John's College, Oxford, he commenced the study of physic, and in due time took the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He died in 1637. In 1616, he commenced the publication of his works and became a voluminous writer, whose subject and style were equally dark and mysterious.
The most important of his publications are: Apologia Compendaria, Fraternitatem de Rosea Cruce. suspicionis et infamioe maculis aspersum abluerus, published at Leyden, 1616. The Latin title means:
A Brief apology, clearing the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross from tile stigma of suspicion and infamy with which they have been aspersed, and Tractatus Apoloqeticus integritatem Societatis de Rosea Cruce defendens contra Libanium et alios, Leyden, l617,and meaning in English An Apologetic Tract defending the purity of the Society of the Rosy Cross from the attacks of Libanius and others. And last. and wildest of all was his extravagant work on magic, the cabala, alchemy, and Rosicrucianism, entitled Summum bonum, quod est verum magioe, cabaoel, alchymioe, fratrum Rosoe Crucis verorum veroe subjectum.
Rosicrucianism was perhaps indebted more to Fludd than to any other person for its introduction from Germany into England, and it may have had its influence in molding the form of Speculative Freemasonry; but we are not prepared to go as far as a distinguished writer in the London Freemasons Magazine (April, 1858, page 677), who says that "Fludd must be considered as the immediate father of Freemasonry as Andrea was its remote father." Nicolai more rationally remarks that Fludd, like Andrea, exerted a considerable and beneficial influence on the manners of his age. His explanation of the Rose Croix is worth quoting. He says that it symbolically signifies the cross dyed with the blood of the Savior; a Christian idea which was in advance of the original Rosicrucians.
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