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Illuminés d'Avignon

(2,532 words)

Author(s): Snoek, Jan A.M.
This group of esotericists has its origins not in Avignon but in Berlin, probably in 1778. Its first members were Prince Henry of Prussia (the brother of king Frederick the Great), Jacques Pernety (older brother of → Dom Antoine-Joseph Pernety), and Claude Etienne le Baud de Nans (an actor). Possibly, they met at Prince Henry's small court of Rheinsberg near Berlin, where Jacques Pernety was a tax inspector, and which was also frequented by Le Baud de Nans. They were soon joined by three more pe…

Pernety, Antoine-Joseph

(1,945 words)

Author(s): Snoek, Jan A.M.
Pernety, Dom Antoine-Joseph, * 13 Feb 1716 (Roanne), † 16 Jan 1796 (Paris) Little is known about Pernety's early life. In 1732 he entered the Benedictine Order, and from 1746 onwards he lived in the monastery of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris. His first publication, a translation of a German book on mathematics, appeared in 1743. It was followed shortly after by some pious treatises, including a Manuel bénédictin (1755, containing a.o. a commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict), and a Dictionnaire portatif de peinture, de sculpture et de gravure (Portable Dictionary of Painting, Sc…

Essenes, Esoteric legends about

(2,214 words)

Author(s): Hammer, Olav | Snoek, Jan A.M.
The Essenes were a distinct group of Jews which, until the 20th century, was known only from a few descriptions in Greek and Latin texts. They are described by Philo in Hypothetica (11.1-18) and Every Good Man Is Free (12.75-13.91). Josephus writes of the Essenes in passages of several of his books. The most detailed description is found in The Jewish War (2.119-161). A shorter passage on them is included in Jewish Antiquities (18.18-22). Pliny the Elder wrote briefly about the Essenes in his Natural History (5.73). Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran in 1947, …