Some Original Writings of the Order of the Illuminati (title – p. 12)
NB: Superscripted endnotes are my own, while the parenthesized footnotes (when encountered) are from the original editors of the collection, c. 1786/87. – Terry Melanson
Some Original Writings Of The Order of the Illuminati
WHICH WERE FOUND AT THE RESIDENCE OF ZWACK, FORMER COURT COUNCILLOR, DURING THE DOMICILIARY SEARCH EXECUTED AT LANDSHUT, ON THE 11TH AND 12TH OF OCTOBER 1786
Printed on the Supreme order of His Highness the Elector
Munich Printed by Antoine Franz Printer of the Court, And on sale at the three libraries
The letters, along with their responses, are deposited in the archives. — They are very instructive and contain together good rules and give a sufficient appreciation of the system.
Spartacus, in a letter to Cato (see p. 274)
[Folio 2, no pagination, I°]
The present collection has been published by the Supreme order of His Highness the Elector in order to convince the public of this and foreign countries of the undoubted falsity of the reasons given for the ceaseless outcry from the Illuminati against the injustice, violence, and prosecution to which they are subjected in Bavaria, and also at the same time to put them on their guard against this epidemic sect, and against all other such illegal and clandestine societies. For these merely set themselves to deceive credulous people and get money out of them, and in place of spreading the truth and morality, as they profess to do, absolutely ruin the latter and suppress or completely falsify the former.
If anyone doubts the authenticity of this collection, let them present themselves at the secret Archives of this town, where orders have been given to show the originals.
Munich, March 26, 1787.
Cypher of the Order of the Illuminati (already known)
Chronological System of the Order
Namely, that of Yazdegerd, or the Persian calendar
- Adarpahascht May
- Chardad June
- Thirmeh July
- Merdedmeh August
- Schaharimeh September
- Meharmeh October
- Abenmeh November
- Adarmeh December
- Dimeh January
- Benmeh February
(The manuscript is by Cato-Zwack)
- Bavaria Achaea
- Swabia Pannonia
- France Illyria
- Austria Egypt
- Tyrol Peloponnese
- Munich Athens
- Ravensburg Sparta
- Merseburg Sestos
- Konstanz Abydos
- Freising Thebes
- Eichstatt Erzerum
- Bamberg Antioch
- Landsberg Megara
- Augsburg Nicomedia
- Regensburg Corinth
- Nuremburg Nicaea
- Landshut Delphi
- Vienna Rome
- Burghausen Chalcis
- Neuburg Neapolis
- Salzburg Nicosia
- Innsbruck Samos
- Ingolstadt Eleusis
For the non-initiates
- Ingolstadt Ephesus
- Erlangen Saguntum
- Würzburg Carthage
List of Members admitted in the years 1776, 77, 78 and 1779
|Date and year of admission|
|776 Spartacus (A) [Areopagite]1||1st||May||1776|
|777 Ajax (A)2||–||–||–|
|778 Tiberius (A)3||–||–||–|
|779 Cato (A)4||22||February||1778|
|780 Marius (A)5||12||March||–|
|781 Alcibiades (A)6||May||–|
|782 Solon (A)7||May||–|
|783 [Cornelius] Scipio (A)8||28||July||–|
|784 Celsus (A)9||13||December||–|
|785 Hannibal (A)10||–||–|
|786 Tamerlane (Ill) [Illuminati]11||16||December||1776|
|787 Claudianus (R) [Received]12||26||–||–|
|[Date and year of admission]|
|788 Agrippa (M) [Minerval]13|
|789 Tasso (M)14||31||March||1777|
|790 Odin (M)15||17||June||–|
|791 Lucullus (M)16||27||November||–|
|792 Osiris (R)17||17||December||1778|
|793 Coriolanus (M)18||22||February||–|
|794 Confucius (M)19||13||March||–|
|796 Euclid (M)21||10||June||–|
|797 Cicero (R)22||12||June||–|
|798 Sulla (M)23||17||June||–|
|799 Timoleon (R)24||17||July||–|
|800 Pericles (M)25||20||July||–|
|801 Democrit (R)26||4||August||–|
|802 Remus (Int.) [Initiate]27||27||August||–|
|803 Minos (R) Susp.28||29||August||–|
|804 Pen (R)29||4||September||–|
|806 Lud. Bav. (R) Susp.31||27||–||–|
|808 Hermes (R)33||1st||November||–|
|809 Attila (M)34||29||–||–|
|810 R. Lullus35||3||January||1779|
|811 Anacreon (R)36||7||–||–|
|812 Brutus (M)37||16||–||–|
|813 Thales milesius (M)38||18||–||–|
|814 Ennius (M)39||16||February||–|
|815 Saturn (M)40||27||March||–|
|816 Saladin (R)41||6||April||–|
|817 Arminius (R)42||28||–||–|
|[Date and year of admission]|
|818 Stilpo of Megara (R)43||29||–||–|
|819 Deucalion (R)44||30||–||–|
|820 Nestor (R)45||13||May||–|
|821 Musaeus (M)46||30||–||–|
|822 Diomedes (M)47||23||June||–|
|823 Menelaus (M)48||–||–||–|
|824 Hector (M)49||27||–||–|
|825 Numa Pompilius (R)50||27||July||–|
|826 Ganganelli (Int.)51||1st||Schahar.||–|
|830 Mohammed (A)55||2||Mehar.||–|
|833 Titus Quintus Flaminius58||5||–|
|834 Germanicus (A) 59|
Particular items found prior to the visit at the residence of Zwack
1. Proposition with a view toward the establishment of a female Order
(From the hand of Zwack)
Object and Purpose of this Order
The practicality of promoting the woman
would be to procure a real Order of gold; that is to say, in an advantageous manner, we provide protection and wait for them to obtain new secrets, all the while providing voluptuous pleasure for the Freemasons.
2. Establishment of an Order for woman
(From the hand of Zwack)
This Order must consist of two classes, each of which constituting a separate Society, considering its own obligations (nexus), and remaining unknown to the other: a class of the virtuous; the other of debauchery.
Both classes must be unaware that they are directed by the men, and the Superiors of each class must believe there is a higher Lodge from which they receive their orders; though in reality it will be the men who have given it to them.
The two classes should assist in the means of pedagogy as competently as the male Masters proposed to these ends—who happen to be members of the Order, but would remain ignorant of each other as well as to the woman. Proper books would also be provided, and the second class would in secret give satisfaction to its passions.
(At the time of the search at Zwack’s residence, we found two sheets in 8vo (bearing):
Short character drafts
of 95 woman in Mannheim
in the French language and with this description:
Portraits Des Demoiselles à Mannheim
a) the Brethren at Athens [Munich], in the system of the Order.
(From the hand of Zwack)
Here, for Greece [Bavaria] alone, its distribution:
In Athens, there is: an assembly of Major Illuminati, well organized; an assembly of Minor Illuminati answering perfectly to our goals; a large and beautiful Masonic Lodge, and two beautiful Minerval churches.
In Thebes [Freising], there is also a Minerval church.60
In Megara [Landsberg] as well.
Likewise in Burghausen.
In Straubing as well.
And soon in Corinth [Regensburg].
We bought a house [in Munich], and it goes so well, by judicious measure, that the people, not only do not make a commotion [p. 8] but speak of us with regard, because we go openly every day to the house, just as we infiltrate the [masonic] Lodges. It is certain that we have quickly gained a lot in this city.
In this house, there is a good collection of natural history and instruments of physics, as well as a library, which members add to all the time.
The garden is used for botanical research.
Our Order has procured for the Brethren all the learned journals. They draw the attention of the prince and the citizens on certain abuses, and with these printed materials, which obstructs all the monkish forces, we can obtain much success.
We have organized the whole Lodge according to our system and broke completely with [the Grand Lodge of] Berlin.
We have not only halted the action of the Rosicrucians, but have even rendered their name contemptible.
We are in negotiations for a close alliance with the Lodge —— at ——,61 and with the Grand Lodge of Poland.
b) of the Order in Greece, in the political domain, after a year.
(Likewise from the hand of Zwack)
As a result of the intervention of the Brethren, the Jesuits have been excluded from all professorships, and the University of Ingolstadt [p. 9] is completely cleansed of them.
The duchess [dowager] would like to organize the Institute of Cadets completely in the manner indicated by our Order; the Institute is under the surveillance of the Order, all the professors are members of the Order, five of them are very well-established, and all the pupils will soon become adepts in the Order.
On the recommendation of the Brethren, Pylades62 has been appointed treasurer of the Ecclesiastical Council and the Order has at its disposal church revenue.
And by lending this money to our —— and ——, we have reversed their domestic mismanagement and liberated them from the usurers.
In this way, we have come to the aide of our Brethren.
All the members who are priests, we have equipped them well with benefice [church property], parishioners and advisory positions.
By the grace of our intercession, Arminius and Cortez63 were instituted as professors in Ephesus.
All our young men have obtained, through our intermediaries, bursaries to attend this University.
Through the recommendation of some members of our Order who are employed at the Court [in Munich], two of our young men have departed on a voyage; they went to Rome.
The German schools are entirely under the direction of our Order, and have no other administrators than our Brethren.
The Society of Benevolence is also under our management.
A large number of members of the Order, who are found in the Dicasteries, have obtained, by the grace of the Order, salaries and compensations.
We have placed members of the Order in four ecclesiastical chairs.
Within a short time, we will draw all the young priests of the Bartholomew Institution to us; hence the establishment is affected [p. 11] and, in this way, we have a great opportunity to provide all of Bavaria with superficial [clever] priests.
We also intend and hope to go after another priestly institution.
Even at this time when the Jesuits desire to destroy the ecclesiastical council, we have, through intermediaries of the institutions of the Order, by our tireless effort, our ensnarement of diverse ——, by ——, succeeded; that not only has the ecclesiastical council been strengthened, but that all the revenue which the Jesuits had administered in Bavaria — such as the Mission Institute, the prosperous charities, the domicile of the Exercitium and the coffers of the converts — have been entrusted with this council, as well as the funds for school and university, which already provide employment and transportation. On this subject the leading Illuminati have convened six meetings, and some of them have gone a few nights without sleep. Among them, there is——, and——.
2 Franz Anton von Massenhausen (1758-1815), one of the original five members of the Illuminati, as is obvious by the date of initiation.
3 Maximilian Balthasar Ludwig Edler von Merz
4 Franz Xaver Carl Wolfgang Zwack [or Zwackh] zu Holzhausen (1756-1843) was Weishaupt’s closest confidant; his residence at Landshut was the source of the present first volume of the Original Writings of the Illuminati.
5 Jakob Anton Hertel (1747-1828)
6 Franz von Paula Hoheneicher (1753-1844)
7 Franz Benno Michl (1750-1828)
8 Franz Paul Edler von Berger
9 Ferdinand Maria Baader (1747-97)
10 Thomas Maria Baron De Bassus (1742-1815)
11 Franz Georg Lang (1742-90); the “Illuminati” attribute probably means that he was initiated immediately as either an Illuminatus minor or an Illuminatus major.
12 Friedrich Christian Müller; it is not clear what the precise meaning of “Received” is.
13 Anton Will (1756-1827); insinuated as a Minerval.
14 Michael Wendelin Ernst (b. 1751)
15 Joseph Maria Lucas Gerstner (1745-1828)
16 Thaddäus Klüg (1751-1831)
17 Joseph Barth (1760-1819)
18 Ernst Leopold Troppanegro
19 Alois Ignaz Baierhammer [or Bayrhammer]
20 Franz Ruedorfer (1748-1825)
21 Michael Adrian Riedel (d. 1819)
22 Thomas von Pfest
23 Ferdinand Maximilian Baron von Meggenhofen (1760-90)
24 His identity is unknown. A more famous initiate would later take the same alias (Duke Ernst II von Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg) when he was initiated in 1783, but the only clues we have as to the identity of this particular “Timoleon” is that he was a Cobenzl court valet in Eichstätt; see Hermann Schüttler, Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens 1776-1787/93 (Munich: Ars Una 1991), p. 104. [Update May 16, 2023: The initiate’s name was N.N. Minier]
25 Ludwig Felix Johann Nepomuk Baron von Ecker (1757-1826)
26 Ferdinand Maria Bauer
27 Identity unknown; two other members with the alias “Remus” – Joseph Friedrich Baron von Retzer (1754-1824) and Count Emerich Stadion-Thannhausen (1766-1817) – are known, but both their date’s of initiation didn’t occur in August 1778. [Update May 16, 2023: The initiate’s name was Johann Philipp Carl Joseph Reichsgraf von Stadion]
28 Philipp Anton Baron von Redwitz (b. 1751); “Susp.” means suspended.
29 Unknown; there is no member in any lists (Schüttler’s included) with an alias corresponding to this – even in the section (Schüttler, op. cit., pp. 189-95) reserved for lone aliases that haven’t been matched to a name.
30 Schleitheim (Schlotheim?)
31 Ludovicus Bavarius=Michael Lori (1728-1808); and he was indeed “kicked out” of the Order.
32 Anton Drexel [or Drexl] (1753-1830)
33 Joseph Laurentius Erdmann Gebhart Mandatarius Socher (1755-1834)
34 Georg Conrad Sauer (1754-97)
35 Raimundus Lullus= Ludwig Fronhofer (1746-1800)
36 Christian von Groggen
37 Count Ludwig Alexander von Savioli-Corbelli (1742-1811)
38 Johann Georg von Kapfinger [or Karstinger]
39 Johann Linde
40 Felix Eisele
42 Johann Nepomuk von Krenner (1759-1812)
43 Identity unknown
44 Alois Duschl
45 Franz Seraph Strixner
46 Count Maximilian Joseph Baron von Montgelas (1759-1838)
47 Constantin Marchese di Costanzo (1738-1800)
48 Erasmus von Werner
49 Count Anton von Spaur (1742-99)
50 Count Maximilian Josef von Lodron (b. 1757)
51 Beda Mayr (1742-94)
52 Identity unknown.
53 Franz de Paula Winterhalter
54 Nepomuk Schiessl
55 Friedrich Baron von Schröckenstein (1753-1808)
57 Franz Paul de Dufresne (b. 1748)
58 Franz Josef von Gaza (1739-1805)
59 Count Johann Martin zu Stolberg-Rossla (1728-95)
60 These “Minerval churches” were sometimes referred to as “Academies.” The backbone of the Order of the Illuminati itself, the insignia of this class prominently featured Minerva’s owl of wisdom; hymns to Athena/Minerva were even recited at each gathering. (A whole chapter is devoted to the Minervals, in Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati.)
61 The suppression of the Lodge name and location was in the original.
62 Joseph Karl von Pettenhofen (1754?–1784)
63 Franz Georg Xaver Semer