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Comacine masters

Today in Masonic History we discuss the Comacine masters.

The Comacine masters was a guild which existed in Lombardy, Italy.

The Comacine masters or magistri comacini is believed to have originated in or around Isola Comacina in Lake Como in Italy. There are some who interpret the name Comacine to mean "masons" since the Comacine Masters are largely known through their stone works around Europe. Examples of their work are believed to be found as far away as Sweden and Syria. They were first and foremost a guild which protected it's members.

It has been theorized they came into existence when the Roman secrets of masonry were passed on by the mason brotherhood. It should be noted this is not a reference to Freemasonry, but to operative masons who worked in the Roman style. In each city or town a confraternity formed, a group of lay people generally doing Christian works. It was made up of men only and consisted of free men, freedmen and slaves all working together like a microscasm of the community in which they were formed. Each confraternity had it's own religious orientation and was not always stone masons, carpenters and other skilled labor had their own confraternites. Other more common events involving the Comacine Masters included, fraternal banqueting and the eventual support of their widows throughout the Roman Empire.

With the above description it makes sense modern Freemasons claimed a connection with them. There is no known direct link between modern Freemasonry and the Comacine Masters. The first earliest known mention of them came in the edict of 643. The portion of the edict of 643 mentioning them simply talks about liability if a house which they built collapes.

Regardless of any real or imagined connection between the Comacine masters and Freemasonry, the goals of the two organizations seem to be very compatible.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.