Secret Society(s) - Freemasons, Illuminati and Mysteries of Egypt in Gotha, 1774-1793

Topic:

Speaker: Dr. Markus Meumann, University of Erfurt, Scientific Director Research Center Gotha

Time: Friday, 15.09.2023, 3:00 p.m.

Place: TU Ilmenau, Faraday Building, Weimarer Straße 32

Admission: 5 Euro

Gotha was in the late 18th century not only a prominent place of Freemasonry, but from 1783 to 1787 also the center of power of the Illuminati Order, which had initially operated mainly in Bavaria. Gotha’s Duke Ernst II (1745-1804) played a decisive role in the shift of the secret society’s sphere of activity. In 1774, he had been admitted to the Gotha Masonic Lodge, which had been founded shortly before by traveling actors, and a year later he was elected state grand master of one of the German grand lodges. In 1782/83, Ernst II agreed to sponsor the founding of a new province of the Illuminati Order in Thuringia and, after the order was banned in Bavaria in 1785, even advanced to become its national superior. Thus, the center of gravity of the order finally shifted to Gotha, until it finally disbanded in the summer of 1787. Under the impression of the French Revolution, the duke then decreed the closure of the lodge a few years later.

In his lecture as part of the TU Ilmenau Citizens’ Campus, Dr. Markus Meumann, Scientific Director of the Gotha Research Center at the University of Erfurt, traces the history of this secret society and its traces that still exist today, and also takes a look at the exhibition "Freemasons and Mysteries of Egypt in Gotha", which can be seen in the Ducal Museum in Gotha until October 20, 2023.




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