Roman Secret Society Lodge Discovered in Pompeii
Stone and tile diagrams in an ancient Pompeii building have been linked to Roman surveyors and their sophisticated measuring tools and highly guarded secret craft.
Ancient Roman measuring specialists and town planners, known as ‘agrimensores’ used smart measuring instruments and these newly discovered images in the Casa di Orione, or the House of Orion, in the province of Naples, southern Italy, depict these mysterious tools. And furthermore, this location is believed to have been used by the measuring specialists as a center of their planning and measuring activities.
The new images have been located in concrete floors in the pavements of the House of Orion in the ancient city of Pompeii, marked by 1 and 2. (L. Ferro, G Magli, M. Osanna)
Examining the House of Orion
Details of the ancient floors found in the house of Pompeii have been published in a paper by Massimo Osanna, director of the Pompeii archaeological site, and Luisa Ferro and Giulio Magli, of the School of Architecture at the Politecnico of Milan.
The Great Pompeii Project, an EU-backed initiative to restore the ancient Italian city, stated that a small section of the House of Orion had been excavated between 1892 and 1893, but the greater house was only discovered in December last year. And now, researchers believe their excavations have uncovered the first ever depiction of the “groma”, a clever measuring tool developed in ancient Egypt and later used by Greek then Roman land surveyors.
This image appears to be a depiction of a primitive badge or logo of the secret society. Source: L. Ferro, G Magli, M. Osanna.
Discovering an Ancient Universal Axis
The ancient images were created by the embellishment of cement paving stones within the house using small stones and tiles, and they are located on the pavements of the House of Orion in the ancient city of Pompeii. According to an article in The Daily Mail two mosaics represent Orion, the hunter in Greek mythology, and appear to reference the Roman agrimensores, (Roman ground surveyors and planners).
One illustration features a representation of the ancient mathematical problem of squaring the circle, and circling the square, and it shows a square inscribed within a circle. This symbol, resembling a compass rose, is cut by two perpendicular lines and one of these falls in alignment with the longitudinal axis of the house. This square in a circle, the researchers propose would have been the first image visible to any visitor upon entering the house and may represent the duties of the agrimensores and their sacred measuring principles.
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Medieval scriptures show the work of the groma, which researchers used to compare the new excavation findings — in particular, a circle-cross nearly identical to the one just discovered. (L. Ferro, G Magli, M. Osanna)
Aligning to the Heavens
Agrimensores were the land surveyors of the ancient Romans who inherited their skills from the rope pullers of ancient Egypt, via the geometers of Greece. According to an article in Archaeology News Network, agrimensores carried out surface surveys and set out grids for the formation of a town and were skilled engineers in charge of “centuriations” (division of the land) as well as town planning.
They also decided on the most efficient routes for new aqueducts. Medieval codices, or scriptures, have passed on a collection of writings by the agrimensores which the team of researchers used to back up their summations on the images.
Popularly, agrimensores were referred to as gromatici, after their favored instrument, the groma, which was based on a wooden cross of four perpendicular arms supported by a vertical staff. Identical weights were suspended from the four arms and they were used to measure out straight lines on the landscapes. The importance of agrimensores was that their land measurements decided the taxes that people paid, thus they administered the economy of the empire through controlling the measurements of territories.
Groma were the ancient tools used by the Roman agrimensores to measure precise angles in the land for planning purposes. (GROMA / Facebook)
Like their Egyptian forebears, the measuring skills of agrimensores required a mastery of astronomy, geometry, and geography and their crafts were shrouded with secrecy and only today measurable in the orientations of cities and buildings which are often found aligned with significant celestial and planetary phenomena on the horizons.
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Another image located beside the probable groma illustration features five almost parallel segments growing from a baseline, which the scientists interpret as representing part of a land-surveying project, and it is also speculated that the house may have been used for planning meetings, or that the house owner had belonged to the gromatic’s guild.
Researchers believe the first ever depiction of a groma has been uncovered in the remains of the House of Orion. (L. Ferro, G Magli, M. Osanna)
If this last postulation is correct then what has been discovered is a proto-Masonic lodge, where groups of skilled craftsmen convened in secret to discuss matters of geometry, astronomy, geography, each subject having been overlaid with deep esoteric significance. And within this and Roman secret society, so too must politics, judicial, and commercial issues have been discussed and sorted out by the agrimensores of Rome, those silent puppet masters who controlled the cities and tax systems.
Top image: Evidence of a secret society lodge found in Pompeii. Here Apollo temple. Source: Boris Stroujko / Adobe Stock
By Ashley Cowie