Friday, January 25, 2008

Samothraki and the Sanctuary of the Great Gods

Last Autumn I visited the small island of Samothraki, Greece in the northeastern Aegean Sea. The island is beautiful with rocky beaches, mountains, dense forests, and natural waterfalls all packed into a small space.

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But, what initially drew my attention to it was the Sanctuary of the Great Gods. Alexander the Great's mother and father met there during a initiation. I wanted to find out if there were any links between modern-day Masonic ceremonies and the ritual initiations performed there. The site is beautiful!

The layout doesn't fit with the east-west layout of today's lodges. Almost every building on the site was situated north-south. Of course, with the gorgeous views of the sea to the north, who could blame them!

This site of temples and meeting halls is also where the "Winged Victory" statue was found.

The statue "Winged Victory", which now resides in the Louvre was found on Samothraki and recently featured in the movie Angel-A.

But, back to Masonic connections. It just doesn't look like there are any. While researching Masonic rites for a series of articles on National Treasure: Book of Secrets, I came across the following diagram from the Entered Apprentice degree that jogged my memory

Notice the circle in the center with the square and right angled bolded lines above it. Now, take a look at the rotunda at the Sanctuary of the Great Gods where initiations were performed.

The raised structure within the rotunda is reminiscent of the thick lines around the square in the diagram! That's it. What do you think? Does anyone else have any information? If you do, your comments are welcome!


Anonymous said...

Where did you find the diagram.I would like to see the whole page to get the whole idea. Its amazing and beautiful.

Hamilton said...

Thanks for the comment! The page is from a Masonic Lodge Monitor. You can find a picture of the whole page at:

Click on the picture for a bigger version.