The lesson of the future can be imagined from the past.

This is a story about a device found in the Mediterranean, off of the Greek island of Antikythera. The device has been dated to 200-150 B.C.E. and was used, it is believed, to be a time keeping device that is also believed that the calculator could add, multiply, divide and subtract. It was also able to align the number of lunar months with years and display where the sun and the moon were in the zodiac. The news story went on to say that “newly deciphered inscriptions that relate to the planetary movements make it plausible that the mechanism originally also had gearings to predict the motion of the planets”.

What does this have to do with Freemasonry?

Absolutely nothing. What it does represent is the understanding of technology and complex computations necessary to conceive and create such a device in the first place. The CNN article quotes an astrophysicist as saying

“What was not quite so apparent before was quite how beautifully designed this was,” he said. “That beauty of design in this mechanical thing forces you to say ‘Well gosh, if they can do that what else could they do?”

And so to the larger question, what was ancient man capable of doing? This has nothing to do with Freemasonry, but the question to a Freemason widens his mind to imagine the complex knowledge attributed to the builders of antiquity, our ancient precursors, including the temple of Solomon and the Pyramids of Egypt. The “magic” here being the knowledge of math and geometry and its operations far before an era of man was even imagined of having the capabilities to compute such things. Mind you, this device is dated only 100 years short of Euclid and 300 years from Pythagoras. So this device isn’t so far fetched to be imagined, on the contrary it represents a progression of knowledge and intelligence that would be presumed. Where did this intelligence go, what happened to this intellect? My guess is that much of it was lost over time, censure, or the gradual break down in society that led to the break up of the roman Empire. The knowledge that was left moved into various secretive, mysterious places, but for the most part fell away from the face of the world.

Personally, I am very excited to hear more about the Antikythera Mechanism. I think it has volumes to tell us once we, in this modern age, can remember it history.

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~ by Greg on December 1, 2006.

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