ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf


354. Life and Work. -- We know little of the youth of RAYMOND LULLY (Raymundus Lullus, 1235-1315). He was born in the island of Majorca, and after spending some years at the Court, devoted himself passionately to the study of Arabic and logic, renounced the world and took the habit of St. Francis. Thenceforward he laboured with an astonishing energy in the pursuit of one single object: the extirpation of Averroïsm and the triumph of Catholic teaching over infidelity. Not content with writing incessantly throughout his whole life a library of works which some biographers estimate at over a thousand volumes, he also preached the apostolate of his own doctrines, making three separate pilgrimages into Saracen regions to refute the Averroïst philosophy. Legend has largely distorted the career of Lully. We may note that, like Roger Bacon, he carried on a campaign in favour of the introduction of linguistic studies into the universities.{1} Lully is not merely a philosopher; he is also a mystic, a scholar, a linguist, and the most brilliant Catalonian writer of the Middle Ages.{2}

{1} In 1298-99 he wrote for this purpose to the University of Paris and to the king of France (Chartul., ii., pp.83, 84). In 1311 he set out for Vienne to obtain a decree of the Council in favour of compulsory teaching of the languages.

{2} According to GRÖBER, in the Grundr. d. Romanisches Philologie, ii., 2 (1893), p. 105, Raymond wrote in Catalonian several works which his disciples must have translated into Latin. The Catalonian texts that have come down from him have been edited by Geronimo Rossello. Numerous philosophical works were translated into Catalonian in the fourteenth century: among others the Secretum Secretorum; certain treatises of Cicero, Seneca, St. Augustine and Boëthius; the Dragmaticon of William of Conches; some writings of Hugh of St. Victor, etc. (ibid., pp. 92-101 and 102-110).

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