African Architects, Order of
Eighteenth-century Masonic order founded in Prussia in
1767 by Brother Von Kopper and C. F. Koffen, under the auspices
of Frederick II. The order was concerned largely with historical
research into freemasonry, Christianity, alchemy, and
chivalry and attracted many distinguished European literary
figures of the period. A vast building was erected as Grand
Chapter, containing an extensive library, museum of natural
history, and a chemical laboratory. The Architects published
many works of freemasonry and awarded an annual gold medal
to the author of the best historical memoir on the subject.
Branches of the order were established at Worms, Cologne,
and Paris, and it was said to be affiliated with the Society of Alethophilas,
or Lovers of Truth, after which it named one of its
grades.
There were two temples, comprising the following degrees:
(1) Apprentice of Egyptian Secrets, (2) Initiate into Egyptian
Secrets, (3) Cosmopolitan, (4) Christian Philosopher, and (5)
Alethophilos. Higher Grades: (1) Esquire, (2) Soldier, and (3)
Knight, thus supplying Egyptian, Christian, and Templar mysteries
to the initiate. In 1806 a pamphlet was published at Berlin
entitled A Discovery Concerning the System of the Order of African
Architects

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