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LULL (or LvLLY), RAIMON, or RAYMOND (...

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 121 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LULL (or LvLLY), RAIMON, or RAYMOND (c. 1235-1315), Catalan author, mystic and missionary, was born at Palma (Majorca). Inheriting the estate conferred upon his father for services rendered during the victorious expedition (1229) against the Balearic Islands, Lull was married at an early age to Blanca Picany, and, according to his own account, led a dissipated life till '266 when, on five different occasions, he beheld the vision of Christ crucified. After his conversion, he resolved to devote himself to evangelical work among the heathen, to write an exposure of infidel errors, and to promote the teaching of foreign tongues in seminaries. He dedicated nine years to the study of Arabic, and in '275 showed such signs of mental exaltation that, at the request of his wife and family, an official was appointed to administer his estate. He withdrew to Randa, there wrote his Ars major and Ars generalis, visited Montpellier, and persuaded the king of Majorca to build a Franciscan monastery at Miramar. There for ten years he acted as professor of Arabic and philosophy, and composed many controversial treatises. After a fruitless visit to Rome in 1285-'286, he journeyed to Paris, residing in that city from 1287 to 1289, and expounding his bewildering theories to auditors who regarded him as half insane. In '289 he went to Montpellier, wrote his Ars veritatis inventiva, and removed to Genoa where he translated this treatise into Arabic. In 1291, after many timorous doubts and hesitations for which he bitterly blamed himself, Lull sailed for Tunis where he publicly preached Christianity for a year; he was finally imprisoned and expelled. In January 1293 he reached Naples where tradition alleges that he studied alchemy; there appears to be no foundation for this story, and the treatises on alchemy which bear his name are all apocryphal' His efforts to interest Clement V. and Boniface 1 The alchemical works ascribed to Lull, such as Testamentum, Codicillus seu Testamentum and Experimenta, are of early although uncertain date. De Luanco ascribes some of them to a Raimundo The circumstances of Lull's death caused him to be regarded as a martyr, local patriotism helped to magnify his merits, and his fantastic doctrines found many enthusiastic partisans. The doctor illuminatus was venerated throughout Catalonia and afterwards throughout Spain, as a saint, a thinker and a poet; but his doctrines were disapproved by the powerful Dominican order, and in 1376 they were formally condemned in a papal bull issued at the instance of the inquisitor, Nicolas Emeric. The authenticity of this document was warmly disputed by Lull's followers, and the bull was annulled by Martin V. in 1417. The controversy was renewed in 1503 and again in 1578; but the general support of the Jesuits and the staunch fidelity of the Majorcans saved Lull from condemnation. His philosophical treatises abound with incoherent formulae to which, according to their inventor, every demonstration in every science'may be reduced, and posterity has ratified Bacon s disdainful verdict on Lull's pretensions as a thinker; still the fact that he broke away from the scholastic system has recommended him to the historians of philosophy, and the subtle ingenuity of his dialectic has compelled the admiration of men so far apart in opinion as Giordano Bruno and Leibniz. The speculations of Lull are now obsolete outside Majorca where his philosophy still flourishes, but his more purely literary writings are extremely curious and interesting. In Blanquerna (1283), a novel which describes a new Utopia, Lull renews the Platonic tradition and anticipates the methods of Sir Thomas More, Campanella and Harrington, and in the Libre de Maravelles (1286) he adopts the Oriental apologue from Kalilah and Dimnah. And as a poet Lull takes a prominent position in the history of Catalan literature; such pieces as El Desconort (1295) and Lo Cant de Ramon (1299) combine in a rare degree simple beauty of expression with sublimity of thought and impassioned sincerity.
End of Article: LULL (or LvLLY), RAIMON, or RAYMOND (c. 1235-1315)
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