A scholastic philosopher of the Middle Ages, of great learning, but who had among the vulgar the reputation of being a magician.
He was born at Lauingen, Swabia, in 1205, of an illustrious family, his subtitle being that of Count of Bollstadt. He studied at Padua, and in 1223 entered the Order of the Dominicans. In 1249 he became head-master of the school at Cologne. In 1260 Pope Alexander VI conferred upon him the bishopric of Ratisbon. In 1262 he resigned the episcopate and returned to Cologne, and, devoting himself to philosophic pursuits for the remainder of his life, died there in 1280. His writings were very voluminous, the edition published at Lyons, in 1651, amounting to twenty-one large folio volumes.
Albertus Magnus has been connected with the Operative Freemasonry of the Middle Ages because he has been supposed by many to have been the real inventor of the German Gothic style of architecture.
Heideloff, in his Bauhhutte des Mittelalters, says that "he recalled into life the symbolic language of the ancients, which had so long lain dormant, and adapted it to suit architectural forms. " The Freemasons were said to have accepted his instructions, with a system of symbols which was secretly communicated only to the members of their own body, and served even as a medium of intercommunication. He is asserted to have designed the pian for the construction of the cathedral of cologne, and to have altered the Constitution of the Freemasons, and to have given to them a new set of laws.
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