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Johann Valentin Andreas's Biography (Photos)

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Johann Valentin Andreas
This eminent Lutheran theologian and mystic is especially interesting to Rosicrucians as the one who restored to us from earlier times, the Landmarks essentially as we now have them. He is often regarded as the author of the "Fama Fraternitatis" and the "Confessio" but this is erroneous. On the best authority Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, may be stated to have been the author of the "Fama" as a comparison of that work with his New Atlantis published in 1626, just before his death, will show.

Andreas' chief services to the Fraternity were his handling of the publications at Cassel in 1614, and 1615, the first outward admission of the existence of the Order, during the five year period of manifestation then existing. He may be regarded in a way as the "Herald" of the Order during its transition period.

Johannes Valentinus Andreae's role in the origin of the Rosicrucian legend is controversial. In his autobiography he claimed that the Chymische Hochzeit ("Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz") was one of his works--as a "ludibrium", possibly meaning "lampoon". He said in old age that he wrote this fake document in his youth (circa 1605). In his later works, alchemy is treated as a subject of ridicule and is placed with music, art, theatre and astrology in the category of the 'less serious' sciences.

Andreae was a pious, orthodox Lutheran theologian who probably had nothing at all to do with the two great manifestoes of this so-called "secret" society -- the Fama fraternitatis or the Confessio fraternitatis His lifelong commitment appears to have been to found a Societas Christiana or utopian learned brotherhood of those dedicated to a spiritual life, in the hope that they would initiate a second Reformation.

Johannes Valentinus Andreae's writings and efforts provided a potent stimulus to Protestant intellectuals at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and he appears to have inspired the foundation of The Unio Christiana which was established in Nuremberg during 1628 by a few patricians and churchmen under the impetus of Johannes Saubert the Elder. This utopian society was later revived in Stuttgart in the early 1660s and another utopian brotherhood known as Antilia ( a communal society reminiscent of the monastery) developed in the Baltic during the Thirty Years' War. The founders were inspired by both Baconian belief in experimental science and by Andreae's tracts. They later attempted to establish a colony on a small island in the Gulf of Riga, and considered immigrating to Virginia.

During the 1960s, as part of a hoax claiming the existence of a medieval secret society, a set of documents of dubious authenticity, the Dossiers Secrets, was discovered in the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (BNF). One of the documents included an alleged list of "Grand Masters of the Priory of Sion", and Andreae was listed as the seventeenth Grand Master.

Johannes Valentinus Andreae's Works:

- Compendium Mathematicum (1614)
- Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosencreutz Anno 1459 ("The chymical Wedding of Christian - Rosencreutz"), published anonymously (1616)
- Menippus (1617)
- Invitatio Fraternitatis Christi (1617-1618)
- Peregrini in patria errores (1618)
- Reipublicae Christianopolitanae descriptio ("Description of the Republic of Christianopolis", "Beschreibung des Staates Christenstadt") (1619)
- Turris Babel (1619)
- De curiositatis pernicie syntagma (1620)

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