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Although his rise in politics meant the loss of his local position, nevertheless in the end it had positive consequences not only for the pursuit of his studies, but also for his reputation in the Republic of Letters.

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The first Freemason lodge was formed in Cape Town in 1772 and the temple was built about 30 years later.

allow us to examine the working practices of the Republic of Letters and reconsider how to judge a scholar’s merits in a historical context other than our own.

First appointed professor of history and rhetoric at a provincial Athenaeum in Deventer (1668), Cuper subsequently became Rector of the institute (1672), burgomaster (mayor) of the city (1674), a delegate of the city to the meetings of the provincial States (the States of Overijssel), a delegate of the province to the States General of the Dutch Republic (1681-1694) and finally, for that highest governing body, a commissioner in the field during the War of the Spanish Succession (1706).

The Cape government of the time and the Freemasons were so intertwined that the Cape Parliament used the masonic banquet hall as a venue from 1854 to 1884 until the old House of Assembly was completed.

The organisation, regarded as among the most mysterious in the world, is all about money, power and secret handshakes, its detractors whisper.

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