Biography of Ramon Llull

Ramon LlullRamon Llull was born in Palma de Mallorca in the year 1232 and presumably killed in what is today Tunisia in 1316. His childhood was marked by the Christian re-conquest of the island under James I of Aragon. He served as seneschal for the King who was educated according to the rules and knowledge of a knight. Llull married and had two children. He was also a man of action and a troubadour. His religious life began in 1263. Inspired by extraordinary fervour, he embarked on a mission to convert infidels (Jews and, especially, Muslims). After a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, he dedicated nine years to studying these oriental languages and founded a school in Mallorca dedicated to preparing himself for evangelisation.

Ramon Llull’s literary activity was inspired by his own missionary pursuits and educational efforts. Both topics are reflected in a body of work which includes more than 270 written documents. The latter can be divided into three stages. The first corresponds to the preparatory phase for his mission. It culminates with the work, Lògica d’Algatzell and Llibre de Contemplació en Déu. The second stage includes his most well-known texts such as Llibre d’amic e amat and Blanquerna, as well as Art abreujada d’atrobar veritat, a structuring of faith content which allowed Llull to more clearly organise and express himself. Having achieved the latter, Llull travelled repeatedly to Paris, North Africa, Montpellier and Barcelona to gain support from ecclesiastic and academic authorities.

During the third stage of his writing, he simplified the formal structure of his teaching system and consequently reformulated Art abreujada with Ars inventiva veritatis. Finally, around 1308, Llull finished the last extensive formulation which would make up his pedagogical system: Ars Dei, a work preceded in 1307 by two of the most important texts he ever produced, Ars brevis and Ars generalis ultima.

Ramon Llull’s writing style earned him a place of honour in medieval Spanish literature. His principles would later spread by his followers, known as “Lul·listas”, achieving great impact. His followers later found chairs in Barcelona and Valencia’s universities to spread the doctrines of Llull, also known as “Doctor Illuminatus”. In 1901, the magazine Revista Lul·liana was launched in Barcelona dedicated to discussing Llull’s philosophy.

Ramon Llull University
Claravall 1-3. 08022 Barcelona
T. (34) 902 053 010 | (34) 936 022 200
F. (34) 936 022 249 |
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