Europe and the Mediterranean




Ramon llull’s parents were born in Barcelona where he travelled very often as a stopover from his numerous travels. It is believed that in 1265 he had an encounter with Saint Raymond of Pennafort who dissuade him from going to Paris to learn grammar and other sciences as he had planned; instead he changed his plans and set sail to his native Mallorca.

In May 1294 he travelled again to Barcelona from Naples where he returns in July. Between 1297 and 1299 he returns to Barcelona, this time from Paris, to try in the Barcelonan synagogues the effectiveness of his Ars with the Jews. On this stay he dedicated a Dictat to Jaime II the Just, king of Catalonia and Aragon, and he offered him the book Oracions (Prayers), dedicated also to queen Blanca d’Anjou. He goes again to Barcelona in 1305 to gather the support of King Jaime II the Just to his crusade Al-Andalus; the king is enthusiastic about the idea and both leave to Montpellier where they will try to convince Pope Clement V who was visiting the city.


Barcelona was during the Lesser Middle Age, the seat of the Counts of Barcelona and kings of Catalonia and Aragon. In Ramon Llull’s time the Catalonian-Aragonese crown was experiencing an important process of territorial growth (conquests of Mallorca in 1229 and Valencia in 1238), abandoning definitively the Occitan aspirations. The city was an important strategic center, tightly connected commercial and politically with all of the western Mediterranean.

Barcelona has an outstanding gothic quarter that was built on and around the ancient roman Barcino, which wall can still be seen in some places. Near Plaza Sant Jaume, in the centre of the old city, there are several buildings that are witness of Ramon Llull’s times: such as the cathedral (1298-1454), the Royal Palace (documented in 1116 as “Palau Reial Major”), the “call” (Jewish quarter) or the wall that in those days protected the city.


Ramon Llull quotations

«Flee first from the bad prince than from the snake»

Messages about Ramon Llull

Ramon Llull was seen as a precursor of the combinatorial thinking, basic in modern computing.

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