In the XVIII century a passion for secret societies affected many people including students. At that time there existed student orders or societies, that had many ways copied the pattern of Freemasonry. One of such unions, Mosellaner (Moselbund), was set up in Jena in 1746. Later they formed a fraternity, the Amizisten (Amicistenorden), with its well-known motto “True friendship is a fruit of honour”. The order espoused some liberal ideas but they were doomed to die. Student societies splitted the academic Bürgerschaft into two parts. Members of the fraternities showed disdain for the uninitiated, while the latter were highly displeased with the societies’ policies. The discord between the two parties was a fertile ground to nuture mutual outrage, which led to the Gießen battle in 1777.
As a result of the orders activity, especially the Amizisten, the student unions caused government discontent: the authorities suspected the societies of having a secret political agenda. According to Regensburg Reichstag’s decision, the students societies were proclaimed out of law. Inspite of this, the Amizisten, the Burschenschaft predecessors, continued to attend their sessions in secret. At long last the Jena academic senate banished cum infamia the last twelve members of the Amizisten order.
Suggestions for further reading:
1. Friedrich Christian Laukhard. Der Mosellaner – oder Amicisten – Orden nach seiner Entstehung, inneren Verfassung und Verbreitung auf den deutschen Universitäten, Halle 1799