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Da Costa, Hippolyto Joseph

A native of Colonia-do-Sacramento, on the river La Plata. He was made a Freemason in Philadelphia in the United States and afterward settled in Lisbon. He was subsequently persecuted by the Inquisition, and was rescued only in time to save his life by the aid of English Brethren who got him under the protection of the British flag. He then passed over into England, where he lived for several years, becoming a zealous Freemason and devoting himself to Masonic literature. In 1811, he published in London a Narrative of his persecution in Lisbon, by the Inquisition, for the pretended crime of Freemasonry, in two volumes. He wrote also a History of the Dionysian Artificers, in which he attempts to connect Freemasonry with the Dionysian and other mysteries of the ancients. He begins with the Eleusinian mysteries, assuming that Dionysus, Bacchus, Adonis, Thammuz, and Apollo were ail various names for the Sun, Whose apparent movements are represented by the death and resurrection referred to in the ceremonies. But as the sun is typified as being dead or hidden for three months under the horizon, he thinks that the mysteries must have originated in a cold climate as far north as latitude 66 , or among a people living near the polar circle. He therefore attributes the invention of these mysteries to the ancient Scythians or Massagetae, of whom he confesses that we know nothing. He afterward gives the history of the Dionysiac or Orphic mysteries of El eusis, and draws a successful parallel between the initiation into these and the Masonic initiation. His disquisition's are marked by much learning, although his reasoning may not always carry conviction.

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