Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(4,198 words)

1. Origins and genesis

The origin of the term “freemason” (German Freimaurer, French franc-maçon; also simply “mason”, German Maurer, French maçon) is not established with certainty. It may derive from the term for the skilled laborer, the “free mason,” who worked the harder “free stone” for ornament, as opposed to the “roughstone mason.” Equally, however, …

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Hardtwig, Wolfgang and Unseld, Melanie, “Freemasonry”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 21 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_019443>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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