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Old 29-12-2015, 11:33 PM   #144
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Arrow Un ballo in MasChera

Fiddler on the Roof - Tradition! (1971) HD..
Freemasonry was brought to Russia by foreign officers in the Russian service..Catherine II's factotum Ivan Yelagin succeeded in reorganizing Russian Freemasonry into a far-reaching nationwide system that united some 14 lodges and about 400 government officials..He favoured an archaic ritual of blood initiation which involved a symbolic commingling of blood..Yelagin's chief rival was George von Reichel from Braunschweig who championed a different system introduced by Johann Wilhelm Kellner von Zinnendorf, the grand master of the Grand Landlodge of the Freemasons of Germany..The Yelagin-Reichel feud was ended in 1776 by the unification of all the Russian lodges under the auspices of the Minerva zu den drei Palmen Lodge in Berlin.. The following year Gustav III of Sweden went to St. Petersburg to initiate Grand Duke Paul into Masonry..A schism developed between the lodges of Moscow and St. Petersburg as the former drifted toward a form of Rosicrucianism...

Death of Gustavo, act 3, sc. 2, by August Pollak..

With its large Catholic and Jewish populations, the Pale was acquired by the Russian Empire (majority Russian Orthodox) in a series of military conquests and diplomatic maneuvers.. The Pale was first created by Catherine the Great in 1791, after several failed attempts by her predecessors, notably the Empress Elizabeth, to remove Jews from Russia entirely,unless they converted to Russian Orthodoxy, the state religion. The reasons for its creation were primarily economic and nationalist..University students, artisans, army tailors, ennobled Jews, soldiers, drafted in accordance with the Recruit Charter of 1810, and their families had the right to live outside the Pale of Settlement.. In some periods, special dispensations were given for Jews to live in the major imperial cities, but these were tenuous, and several thousand Jews were expelled to the Pale from Saint Petersburg and Moscow as late as 1891..During World War I, the Pale lost its rigid hold on the Jewish population when large numbers of Jews fled into the Russian interior to escape the invading German army. On March 20 (April 2), 1917, the Pale was abolished by the Provisional Government decree..Because of the harsh conditions of day-to-day life in the Pale, some 2 million Jews emigrated from there between 1881 and 1914, mainly to the United States. However, this exodus did not affect the stability of the Jewish population of the Pale, which remained at 5 million people due to its high birthrate...

Duc d'Anjou in a Dress..

Scribe wrote about the assassination in 1792 of King Gustav III of Sweden who was killed as the result of a political conspiracy against him. He was shot while attending a masked ballroom dance and died 13 days later of his wounds.."Verdi goes as far as one could go within the repressive conventions of his period to portray Gustavo (based on a widely known flamboyantly homosexual ruler) as either a gay man or, at a minimum, a bisexual man"..Ralph Hexter has examined the “masking” of homosexual aspects of the main character and how it relates to the idea of masking in the opera as a whole.. Scribe's libretto for Gustave III includes details that could be understood as signs of the king’s homosexuality.. Verdi and Somma eliminated many of these coded signals, but new codes take their place, particularly relating to the character of Oscar..

Catherine the Great suspected the Masons of turning her son Paul against herself, of being a tool in the hands of her enemy King of Prussia, and viewed their attitude toward women as misogynist..Anti-Masonic measures were revoked as soon as Paul ascended the Russian throne in 1796.. Increasingly haunted by the spectre of the French Revolution, Paul came to distrust Freemasonry and Martinism..The Grand Lodge Astraea was formed in 1815..It united nineteen smaller lodges and counted 1404 members..Its rival was the Swedish Provincial Lodge of Russia, with se7en smaller feuding lodges under its umbrella and 230 members..Leo Tolstoy describes some of the rituals in his novel War and Peace and mentions Fyodor Klyucharyov, a noted Masonic poet..According to Filipp Vigel, Freemasonry did little but to provide a fashionable pastime for bored nobles.. As Emperor Alexander grew increasingly conservative, the Masonic-style political clubs were outlawed in 1822..This interdict was extended by Nicholas I in the wake of the Decembrist Uprising, since the Decembrists had sprung from the Masonic lodges..Freemasonry was legalized and enjoyed a brief revival after the First Russian Revolution...'s astounding..Time is..fleeting..Madness..takes its toll..But listen closely..I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey..My mind to your thoughts to your thoughts...

Last edited by lightgiver; 30-12-2015 at 12:13 AM.
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