Ramon Llull | Wikipedia audio article


Ramon Llull, T.O.S.F. (Catalan: [rəˈmoɲ
ˈʎuʎ]; c. 1232 – c. 1315; Anglicised Raymond Lully, Raymond Lull; in Latin Raimundus
or Raymundus Lullus or Lullius) was a philosopher, logician, Franciscan tertiary and writer from
the Kingdom of Majorca. He is credited with writing the first major work of Catalan literature.
Recently surfaced manuscripts show his work to have predated by several centuries prominent
work on elections theory. He is also considered a pioneer of computation theory, especially
given his influence on Leibniz.==Saint or Heretic==
Since his first writings, there has been confusion in the church regarding whether he was a saint
or a heretic. Ramon Lull has had a sanctification process open in the Vatican since the times
of Philip II. King Philip was one of the impulsors of this process. The Spanish king was extremely
fond of his work and used parts of it in the creation of the monasterio del Escorial. Prior
to that, Lull was considered a heretic by most, and the debate regarding both King Philip
II and him continued in Rome long afterwards. Lull’s works were prohibited by the Spanish
Inquisition under the same king Philip, for he considered that “non-initiates could not
understand them”. Copies of the works were safely stored in the Library of El Escorial
and were consulted by Spanish Scholars, mostly sympathetic to Lull’s views.
Within the Franciscan Order he is honoured as a martyr. He was beatified in 1847 by Pope
Pius IX. His feast day was assigned to 30 June and is celebrated by the Third Order
of St. Francis.==Biography=====Early life and family===Llull was born into a wealthy family in Palma,
the capital of the newly formed Kingdom of Majorca. James I of Aragon founded Majorca
to integrate the recently conquered territories of the Balearic Islands (now part of Spain)
into the Crown of Aragon. Llull’s parents had come from Catalonia as part of the effort
to colonize the formerly Almohad ruled island. As the island had been conquered militarily,
the Muslim population who had not been able to flee the conquering Christians had been
enslaved, even though they still constituted a significant portion of the island’s population.In
1257 he married Blanca Picany, with whom he had two children, Domènec and Magdalena.
Although he formed a family, he lived what he would later call the licentious and wasteful
life of a troubadour. Llull served as tutor to James II of Aragon,
and later became Seneschal (the administrative head of the royal household) to the future
King James II of Majorca, a relative of his wife.===Religious calling===
In 1263 Llull experienced a religious epiphany in the form of a series of visions. He narrates
the event in his autobiography Vita coaetanea (“Daily Life”): Ramon, while still a young man and Seneschal
to the King of Majorca, was very given to composing worthless songs and poems and to
doing other licentious things. One night he was sitting beside his bed, about to compose
and write in his vulgar tongue a song to a lady whom he loved with a foolish love; and
as he began to write this song, he looked to his right and saw our Lord Jesus Christ
on the Cross, as if suspended in mid-air. The vision came to him five times in all,
leading him to leave his family, position, and belongings in order to pursue a life in
the service of God. Specifically, he realized three intentions: to die in the service of
God while converting Muslims to Christianity, to see to the founding of religious institutions
that would teach foreign languages, and to write a book on how to overcome someone’s
objections to being converted.Following his epiphany Llull became a Franciscan tertiary
(a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis), taking inspiration from Saint Francis of Assisi.
After a short pilgrimage he returned to Majorca, where he purchased a Muslim slave from whom
he wanted to learn Arabic. For the next nine years, until 1274, he engaged in study and
contemplation in relative solitude. He read extensively in both Latin and Arabic, learning
both Christian and Muslim theological and philosophical thought.
Between 1271 and 1274 he wrote his first works, a compendium of the Muslim thinker Al-Ghazali’s
logic and the Llibre de contemplació en Déu (Book on the Contemplation of God), a lengthy
guide to finding truth through contemplation. In 1274, while staying at a hermitage on Puig
de Randa, the form of the great book he was to write was finally given to him through
divine revelation: a complex system that he named his Art, which would become the motivation
behind most of his life’s efforts.===Missionary work and education===
Llull urged the study of Arabic and other then-insufficiently studied languages in Europe,
along with most of his works, to convert Muslims and schismatic Christians. He travelled through
Europe to meet with popes, kings, and princes, trying to establish special colleges to prepare
future missionaries.In 1285, he embarked on his first mission to North Africa but was
expelled from Tunis. Llull travelled to Tunis a second time in about 1304, and wrote numerous
letters to the king of Tunis, but little else is known about this part of his life.In the
early 14th century, Llull again visited North Africa. He returned in 1308, reporting that
the conversion of Muslims should be achieved through prayer, not through military force.
He finally achieved his goal of linguistic education at major universities in 1311 when
the Council of Vienne ordered the creation of chairs of Hebrew, Arabic and Chaldean (Aramaic)
at the universities of Bologna, Oxford, Paris, and Salamanca as well as at the Papal Court.===Llull and the Immaculate Conception===
Following the favourable attitude of some Franciscan theologians to this truth, Llull’s
position on this subject was of great importance because it paved the way for the doctrine
of Duns Scotus, whom he met in 1297, after which he was given the nickname Doctor Illuminatus,
even if it seems that he had not direct influence on him. Llull is the first author to use the
expression “Immaculate Conception” to designate the Virgin’s exemption from original sin.
He appears to have been the first to teach this doctrine publicly at the University of
Paris. To explain this Marian privilege, he resorts
to three arguments: 1. The Son of God could not become incarnate
in a mother who was stained by sin in any way: God and sin cannot be united in the one and
same object… Thus the Blessed Virgin Mary did not contract original sin; rather she
was sanctified in the instant in which the seed from which she was formed was detached
from her parents. 2. There had to be a certain likeness between
the Son’s generation without sin and the generation of his Mother: The Blessed Virgin Mary should have been conceived
without sin, so that her conception and that of her Son might have a like nature.
3. The second creation, that is the Redemption, which began with Christ and Mary, had to happen
under the sign of the most total purity, as was the case with the first creation: Just as Adam and Eve remained in innocence
until the original sin, so at the beginning of the new creation, when the Blessed Virgin
Mary and her Son came into existence, it was fitting that the man and the Woman should
be found in a state of innocence simpliciter, in an absolute way, without interruption,
from the beginning until the end. Should the opposite have been the case, the new creation
could not have begun. It is clear, however, that it did have a beginning, and therefore
the Blessed Virgin was conceived without original sin.
In a sermon entitled The Fruit of Mary’s Womb, Llull states that, The blessed fruit of our Lady’s womb is Jesus
Christ, who is true God and true man. He is God the Son, and he is man, the Son of our
Lady. The man, her Son, is the blessed fruit because he is God the Son; for it is true
that the goodness of the Son who is God and the goodness of the Son who is man are joined
together and united in one person, who is Jesus Christ. And the goodness of the man,
Mary’s Son, is an instrument of the Son, who is God.===Death===
In 1314, at the age of 82, Llull traveled again to North Africa where he was stoned
by an angry crowd of Muslims in the city of Bougie. Genoese merchants took him back to
Mallorca, where he died at home in Palma the following year. Though the traditional date
of his death has been 29 June 1315, his last documents, which date from December 1315,
and recent research point to the first quarter of 1316 as the most probable death date.It
can be documented that Llull was buried at the Church of Saint Francis in Mallorca by
March 1316. Riber states that the circumstances of his death remain a mystery. Zwemer, a Protestant
missionary and academic, accepted the story of martyrdom, as did an article in the Catholic
Encyclopedia published in 1911 (see links in the References section). Bonner gives as
a reason for Llull’s journey to Tunis the information that its ruler was interested
in Christianity—false information given to the Kings of Sicily and Aragon and relayed
to Llull.==Literature and other works==
Llull was extremely prolific, writing a total of more than 250 works in Catalan, Latin,
and Arabic, and often translating from one language to the others. While almost all of
his writings after the revelation on Mt. Randa connect to his Art in some way, he wrote on
diverse subjects in a variety of styles and genres.
The romantic novel Blanquerna is widely considered the first major work of literature written
in Catalan, and possibly the first European novel.===Llull’s Art (Ars Magna)===
His first elucidation of the Art was in Art Abreujada d’Atrobar Veritat (The Abbreviated
Art of Finding Truth), in 1290.After spending some time teaching in France and being disappointed
by the poor reception of his Art among students, he decided to revise it. It is this revised
version that he became known for. It is most clearly presented in his Ars generalis ultima
or Ars magna (“The Ultimate General Art” or “The Great Art”, published in 1305).
The Art operated by combining religious and philosophical attributes selected from a number
of lists. It is believed that Llull’s inspiration for the Ars magna came from observing Arab
astrologers use a device called a zairja.The Art was intended as a debating tool for winning
Muslims to the Christian faith through logic and reason. Through his detailed analytical
efforts, Llull built an in-depth theosophic reference by which a reader could enter any
argument or question (necessarily reduced to Christian beliefs, which Llull identified
as being held in common with other monotheistic religions). The reader then used visual aids
and a book of charts to combine various ideas, generating statements which came together
to form an answer.====Mechanical aspect====
One of the most significant changes between the original and the second version of the
Art was in the visuals used. The early version used 16 figures presented as complex, complementary
trees, while the system of the Ars Magna featured only four, including one which combined the
other three. This figure, a “Lullian Circle,” took the form of a paper machine operated
by rotating concentrically arranged circles to combine his symbolic alphabet, which was
repeated on each level. These combinations were said to show all possible truth about
the subject of inquiry. Llull based this notion on the idea that there were a limited number
of basic, undeniable truths in all fields of knowledge, and that everything about these
fields of knowledge could be understood by studying combinations of these elemental truths.
The method was an early attempt to use logical means to produce knowledge. Llull hoped to
show that Christian doctrines could be obtained artificially from a fixed set of preliminary
ideas. For example, the most essential table listed the attributes of God: goodness, greatness,
eternity, power, wisdom, will, virtue, truth and glory. Llull knew that all believers in
the monotheistic religions—whether Jews, Muslims or Christians—would agree with these
attributes, giving him a firm platform from which to argue.
The idea was developed further for more esoteric purposes by Giordano Bruno in the 16th century,
and in the 17th century by the “Great Rationalist” Gottfried Leibniz, who wrote his dissertation
about Llull’s Art and integrated it into his metaphysics and philosophy of science. Leibniz
gave Llull’s idea the name “ars combinatoria”, by which it is now often known.
Some computer scientists have adopted Llull as a sort of founding father, claiming that
his system of logic was the beginning of information science.===Other works===Llull is known to have written at least 265
works, including: The Book of the Lover and the Beloved
Blanquerna (a novel; 1283) Desconhort (on the superiority of reason)
L’arbre de ciència, Arbor scientiae (“Tree of Science”) (1295)
Tractatus novus de astronomia Ars Magna (The Great Art) (1305) or Ars Generalis
Ultima (The Ultimate General Art) Ars Brevis (The Short Art; an abbreviated
version of the Ars Magna) Llibre de meravelles
Practica compendiosa Liber de Lumine (The Book of Light)
Ars Infusa (The Inspired Art) Book of Propositions
Liber Chaos (The Book of Chaos) Book of the Seven Planets
Liber Proverbiorum (Book of Proverbs) Book on the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Ars electionis (on voting) Artifitium electionis personarum (on voting)
Ars notatoria Introductoria Artis demonstrativae
Book of the Gentile and the Three Wise Men Llibre qui es de l’ordre de cavalleria (The
Book of the Order of Chivalry written between 1279 and 1283)===Misattributions===
A considerable body of work on esoteric subjects was misattributed to Llull in the Middle Ages
and Renaissance. The oeuvre of the pseudo-Llull (and, by extension, that of the actual Llull)
was influential among Hermeticists, Gnostics, and other Esoterics. Llull himself explicitly
condemned many of the subjects, such as alchemy, that he is purported to have written about.==Reputation and posthumous reception==
The Roman Catholic inquisitor Nicholas Eymerich condemned 100 theories or ideas of Llull as
errors in 1376. Pope Gregory XI also formally condemned 20 of his books in 1376 and the
condemnation was renewed by Pope Paul IV, although Pope Martin V reversed the condemnation
of Pope Gregory XI in 1416. Despite these condemnations, Llull himself remained in good
standing with the Church. Chairs for the propagation of the theories
of Llull were established at the University of Barcelona and the University of Valencia.
He is regarded as one of the most influential authors in Catalan; the language is sometimes
referred to as la llengua de Llull, as other languages might be referred to as “Shakespeare’s
language” (English), la langue de Molière (French), la lengua de Cervantes (Spanish)
or die Sprache Goethes (German). The logo of the Spanish Consejo Superior de
Investigaciones Científicas (“Higher Council of Scientific Research”) is Llull’s Tree of
Science. Ramon Llull University, a private university established in Barcelona in 1990,
is named after the philosopher.===Mathematics, statistics, and classification
===With the discovery in 2001 of his lost manuscripts,
Ars notandi, Ars eleccionis, and Alia ars eleccionis, Llull is given credit for discovering
the Borda count and Condorcet criterion, which Jean-Charles de Borda and Nicolas de Condorcet
independently proposed centuries later. The terms Llull winner and Llull loser are ideas
in contemporary voting systems studies that are named in honor of Llull. Also, Llull is
recognized as a pioneer of computation theory, especially due to his great influence on Gottfried
Leibniz. Llull’s systems of organizing concepts using devices such as trees, ladders, and
wheels, have been analyzed as classification systems.===Art and architecture===
The inspiration of Llull’s mnemonic graphic cartwheels, reaching into contemporary art
and culture, is demonstrated by Daniel Libeskind’s architectural construction of the 2003 completed
Studio Weil in Port d’Andratx, Majorca. “Studio Weil, a development of the virtuality of these
mnemonic wheels which ever center and de-center the universal and the personal, is built to
open these circular islands which float like all artwork in the oceans of memory.”===Modern fiction===
Paul Auster refers to Llull (as Raymond Lull) in his memoir The Invention of Solitude in
the second part, The Book of Memory. Llull, now going under the name ‘Cole Hawlings’ and
revealed to be immortal, is a major character in The Box of Delights, the celebrated children’s
novel by poet John Masefield. He is also a major influence on the fictional character
Zermano in Thomas Salazar’s The Day of the Bees, and his name, philosophies, and quotes
from his writings appear throughout the novel. In Roberto Bolaño’s novel 2666, Amalfitano,
a Chilean professor, thinks about “Ramon Llull and his fantastic machine. Fantastic in its
uselessness.” Adán, Leopoldo Marechal’s protagonist of the novel Adán Buenosayres (1948), mentions
Ramon Lulio when he walks past a curtiembre (a leather-tanning shop): He says: “Ramon
Lulio, que aconsejaba no rehuir del olor de las letrinas a fin de recordar a menudo lo
que da el cuerpo de si mismo en su tan frecuentemente olvidada miseria” (Edición Crítica, Colección
Archivos, 1997. Page 312) (“Ramon Llull advised not to shy away from the smell of outhouses,
in order not to forget that which the body gives out in its often forgotten misery.”)
In William Gaddis’ first novel, The Recognitions, the final paragraph of Chapter II alludes
to “Raymond Lully”, as a “scholar, a poet, a missionary, a mystic, and one of the foremost
figures in the history of alchemy.” Llull is also mentioned in passing in Neil Gaiman’s
comic-book Calliope, an issue of the DC/Vertigo series The Sandman. In The Commodore, the
17th book in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey–Maturin series, Stephen Maturin remarks that his daughter
“…will learn Spanish, too, Castellano. I am sorry it will not be Catalan, a much finer,
older, purer, more mellifluous language, with far greater writers — think of En Ramon
Llull — but as Captain Aubrey often says, ‘You cannot both have a stitch in time and
eat it.'” Harry Harrison, in Deathworld 2, has his protagonist,
Jason dinAlt, use the Book of the Order of Chivalry, along with others, to disable the
engines of the spaceship on which he is being held. As the ship starts to blow up, he remarks
“I should not have thrown in the Lull book, it is more than even the ship could stomach.”
This comes at the end of an argument with his kidnapper, in which dinAlt attacks the
idea that there are universal laws which apply to all human beings for all time.
W. B. Yeats refers to Llull twice in Rosa Alchemica, first published in 1897 (“I turned
to my last purchase, a set of alchemical apparatus which, the dealer in the Rue le Peletier had
assured me, once belonged to Raymond Lully”; and “There were the works […] of Lully,
who transformed himself into the likeness of a red cock”). His “first eight poems in
The Green Helmet and Other Poems were published under the general title ‘Raymond Lully and
his wife Pernella’; an erratum-slip corrected this: ‘AN ERROR By a slip of the pen when
I was writing out the heading for the first group of poems, I put Raymond Lully’s name
in the room of the later Alchemist, Nicolas Flamel'”.Gordon R. Dickson has the protagonist,
Hal Mayne, in the book The Final Encyclopedia, (1984) refer to Lull and his combination-of-wheels
device, which Hal states is ″nothing less than a sort of primitive computer.″===Disposition toward Judaism===
Llull’s mission to convert the Jews of Europe was zealous; his goal was to utterly relieve
Christendom of any Jews or Jewish religious influence. Some scholars regard Llull’s as
the first comprehensive articulation, in the Christian West, of an expulsionist policy
regarding Jews who refused conversion. To acquire converts, he worked for amicable public
debate to foster an intellectual appreciation of a rational Christianity among the Jews
of his time. His rabbinic opponents included Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet of Barcelona and Moshe
ben Shlomo of Salerno.==Translations==
Le Livre des mille proverbes (2008), ISBN 9782953191707, Éditions de la Merci, [email protected]
Ramon Llull’s New Rhetoric, text and translation of Llull’s ‘Rethorica Nova’, edited and translated
by Mark D. Johnston, Davis, California: Hermagoras Press, 1994
Selected Works of Ramon Llull (1232‑1316), edited and translated by Anthony Bonner, Princeton,
N.J.: Princeton University Press 1985, two volumes XXXI + 1330 pp. (Contents: vol. 1:
The Book of the Gentile and the Three Wise Men, pp. 93–305; Ars Demonstrativa, pp.
317–567; Ars Brevis, pp. 579–646; vol. 2: Felix: or the Book of Wonders, pp. 659–1107;
Principles of Medicine pp. 1119–1215; Flowers of Love and Flowers of Intelligence, pp. 1223–1256)
Doctor Illuminatus: A Ramon Llull Reader, edited and translated by Anthony Bonner, with
a new translation of The Book of the Lover and the Beloved by Eve Bonner, Princeton,
N.J.: Princeton University Press 1994==See also==
Apologetics Catalan literature
List of pioneers in computer science Volvelle==References=====Citations======Sources===
Lola Badia, Joan Santanach and Albert Soler, Ramon Llull as a Vernacular Writer, London:
Tamesis, 2016. William Theodore Aquila Barber, Raymond Lull,
the illuminated doctor : a study in mediaeval missions, London: C.H. Kelly, 1903.
Anthony Bonner (ed.), Doctor Illuminatus. A Ramon Llull Reader (Princeton University
1985), includes The Book of the Gentile and the Three Wise Men, The Book of the Lover
and the Beloved, The Book of the Beasts, and Ars brevis; as well as Bonner’s “Historical
Background and Life” at 1-44, “Llull’s Thought” at 45-56, “Llull’s Influence: The History
of Lullism” at 57-71. Anthony Bonner, The Art and Logic of Ramon
Llull: A User’s Guide, Leiden: Brill, 2007. Alexander Fidora and Josep E. Rubio, Raimundus
Lullus, An Introduction to His Life, Works and Thought, Turnhout: Brepols, 2008.
Martin Gardner has written extensively about Llull. His analyses can be found in Logic
Machines and Diagrams and Science – Good, Bad and Bogus.
J. N. Hillgarth, Ramon Lull and Lullism in Fourteenth-Century France (Oxford University
1971). Mark D. Johnston, The Spiritual Logic of Ramón
Llull, Oxford: Clarenden Press, 1987. Antonio Monserat Quintana, La Visión Lulliana
del Mundo Derecho (Palma de Mallorca: Institut d’Estudis Baleàrics 1987).
Pereira Michela, The Alchemical Corpus attributed to Raymond Lull, London: The Warburg Institute,
1989. Lorenzo Riber, Raimundo Lulio (Barcelona:
Editorial Labor 1935, 1949). William Thomas Walsh, Characters of the Inquisition,
Tan Books and Publishers, Inc (1940). ISBN 0-89555-326-0
Frances Yates includes a brief chapter on Lull in “The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan
Age” (London, Ark Paperbacks 1979). Frances Yates, “Lull and Bruno” (1982), in
Collected Essays: Lull & Bruno, vol. I, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Samuel Marinus Zwemer, Raymund Lull, first missionary to the Moslems, New York and London
: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1902; reprinted by Diggory Press, 2006, ISBN 978-1-84685-301-2==External links==
Works by Llull (OL 148354A) at the Open Library Works by Ramon Llull at Project Gutenberg
Works by or about Ramon Llull at Internet Archive
Priani, Ernesto. “Ramon Llull”. In Zalta, Edward N. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Who was Ramon Llull? Centre de Documentació Ramon Llull, Universitat de Barcelona
Samuel M. Zwemer Raymund Lull: First Missionary to the Muslims
Othmer MS 4 Ars brevis; Ars abbreviata praedicanda at OPenn
Ramon Llull at the AELC (Association of Writers in Catalan Language). Webpage in Catalan,
English and Spanish. Ramon Llull in Lletra, Catalan Literature
Online (Open University of Catalonia) (in English) (in Spanish) (in Catalan)
Ramon Llull Database, University of Barcelona Catholic Encyclopedia article of 1911
Blessed Raymond Lull Esteve Jaulent: The Theory of Knowledge and
the Unity of Man according to Ramon Llull Online Galleries, History of Science Collections,
University of Oklahoma Libraries High resolution portrait of Ramon Llull in .jpg and .tiff
format. O’Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., “Ramon
Llull”, MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
Selected images from Practica compendiosa From The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Digital Library

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