Europe and the Mediterranean




Ramon Llull travelled to Genoa at leas six times. There he found a good reception on the pietistic environment and befriended the Genoese noble Percival Spinola. In a brief stay in 1290 he translated into Arabic Ars inventive veritatis. It is in this maritime republic where, in 1293 decides to travel to the North of Africa, eager to become personally involved in the conversion of Muslims. The fear of being jailed for life and even stoned plunged him into a deep psychological crisis and falls seriously ill; in this process he has several visions and decides to join the Franciscan tertiary order. Finally decides to set sail to Tunisia. He tells of this episode brilliantly in the autobiographic book Vita coetanea.

In 1302 he arrives back to Genoa after a long trip through Cyprus and Lesser Armenia, during which composes the Llibre dels mil proverbis (Book of the thousand proverbs). In the Ligurian capital he writes Lògica nova (New logic) and, in May 1303, he translates into Latin Retorica nova (New rhetoric) that he had written in Catalan in Cyprus. In February 1304, while in Montpelier, he made a month trip to Genoa and perhaps another one in the summer of 1305; in 1308 he stays in the city again.


Genoa, Liguria’s historical capital is home to one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean. It was conquered by Rome in 222BC. It belonged to the Byzantines, the Lombards, the Carolingian Empire and the Germanic Empire. In the 11th century merchants, artisans and bourgeois instituted the republic of Genoa. The city then became a first order maritime power that came to dominate the Mediterranean maritime trade and gained control of the islands of Corsica and Sardinia. “La Superba”, as it was then known, took part in the Crusades and had frequent disputes with other maritime republics such as Pisa and Venice for the control of the maritime trade.

In Genoa stand out several assets of the Late Middle Ages: the cathedral or duomo of San Lorenzo (11th and 14th centuries); the old port (Porto Antico); the lighthouse Torre de la Lanterna (from 1128, symbol of the city); the church of San Mateo (built between the 12th and the 13th centuries by the wealthy Doria family); and the Porta Soprana (main entrance to the city, before the 14th century).


Ramon Llull quotations

«With rage, the will looses the freedom and the deliberation looses the understanding»

Messages about Ramon Llull

Ramon Llull spoke Catalan, Occitan, French, Arabic and Latin and promoted the learning of languages.

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