Pythagoras: The Ideal Acacian
While our Founding Fathers were the first to succeed in starting a general college fraternity based on Masonry, they were not the first to try. In the mid-18th century, secret Masonic organizations formed in many universities throughout Germany. In 1771, a group called the Black Order or the Order of Harmony formed and named Pythagoras as its founder. By the early 19th century, all trace of these secret German organizations had vanished.
Joseph R. Wilson, Acacia President from 1908 to 1910, says:
"In reference to Pythagoras, who plays such an important part in the Acacia Ritual, it is interesting to note that although he died at least 1,500 years before the institution of [the] Freemasons' society, he is hailed by the fraternity as a brother Mason. Both Cross and Webb, in treating of Masonic emblems, among which they include a diagram of the 47th problem of Euclid, hold the following language:
'This was an invention of our ancient friend and brother, the great Pythagoras, who, in his travels through Asia, Africa and Europe, was initiated into several orders of priesthood, and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. This wise philosopher enriched his mind abundantly in a general knowledge of things, and more especially in geometry or Masonry.'
Today, even though Acacia has long been more than just a Masonic fraternity, Pythagoras still has a prominent place. His life, beliefs, teachings and ideals are still worthwhile examples for all Acacians. In Pythagoras, we still find a truly great mentor.