From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Rosicrucian Order is a legendary esoteric order with its roots in the western mystery tradition. This hermetic order is viewed among earlier and many modern Rosicrucianists as a "College of Invisibles" from the inner worlds, composed of great Adepts, aiming to give assistance in humanity's spiritual development.
The "Brethren of the Rose Cross" is perceived by students of metaphysics as an important part or even the source of the hermetic-Christian tradition of the western alchemy treatises period subsequent to the publication of Dante's The Divine Comedy (1308-1321).
However, researchers of history and society in general through the last centuries, dealing with objective material proofs, assume its origin in a group of German protestants, between 1607 and 1616, when three anonymous documents were elaborated and published in Europe: Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis, Confessio Fraternitatis and Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz anno 1459. The influence of these documents, presenting the most laudable Order and promoting an "Universal Reformation of Mankind", was so huge that the historian Frances Yates calls this period of the 17th century as the Rosicrucian Enlightenment. Members of organized Rosicrucian groups, however, date the beginning of the Order to much more ancient times.
- Brethren of Purity
- Parabola Allegory
- Rosicrucian cipher
- Western esotericism
- Western Esotericism (academic field)