Europe and the Mediterranean




In 1307 Ramon Llull had been expelled from Bejaia (Algeria) and shipped to the Italian coast. A heavy storm caused the wreck of the ship off the coast of Pisa; Llull, with a companion (probably his secretary) manage to escape on a boat to the coast of Pisa where he is welcomed by the citizens. After the ordeal he goes to the Cistercian monastery of San Donninno. There he finishes the Ars generalis et ultima, that he started in Lyon. Also in Pisa he writes a more concise Art (Ars brevis quae est imago Artis generalis) and the Disputatio fidei et intellectus, dated April 1308. Llull suggests Pisa’s authorities to give the support for the crusade he is promoting, only obtaining from the “Comune” (Council) recommendations to visit various cardinals and the Pope.



Pisa is the capital of Tuscany, Italy. The medieval port was located by the Arno River, twelve kilometres from its mouth. It was an important city in Roman times, being after conquered by the Ostrogoths, Lombards and Carolingians. Its maritime height began in the 11th century while consolidating its political autonomy from the Germanic Empire and from the Marquises of Tuscany, establishing as an autonomous Republic. During the 12th and 13th centuries it had power over Sardinia. In 1284 it suffered a severe defeat by Genoa. It was incorporated to Florence in 1406, finally losing its independence.

It preserves important monuments from the Middle Ages. The magnificent Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral square) is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (1987) and it is composed by the cathedral (built between 1063 and 1118), of Pisan Romanesque style, known for its leaning tower, actually the bell tower detached from the cathedral; the baptistery, started in1153 and completed in the 14th century; and the graveyard established on Jerusalem’s soil, brought back by the Crusaders. Also worth mentioning are the gothic churches of Santa Catalina and Santa Maria della Spina, and the ancient wall of Roman origin surrounding the city. 


Ramon Llull quotations

«The gluttonous man, when not eating cries and when he has eaten he has regrets»

Messages about Ramon Llull

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

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