Ramon Llull: The Philosopher

Ramon Llull was born in Palma in 1232. He is considered to be one of the most important intellectuals of his time, a restless traveller and devoted writer. Llull’s works include several hundred texts, mostly in Catalan and Arabic, as well as other documents in Latin. His masterwork, Ars Magna, had a great influence on the work of many thinkers and philosophers throughout history such as Giordano Bruno or Gottfried Leibniz.

Ramon Llull was from a rich, aristocratic Mallorcan family. Initially he did not show much interest in science. It was only after his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and to the monastery of Montserrat near Barcelona, that he devoted himself exclusively to his faith and studies.

In order to dedicate himself entirely to this purpose, he decided to withdraw from society to the monastery of Randa in Mallorca. Llulls main interest was the conversion, by rational argument, of other religious communities, especially those of the Muslim faith.  Between 1283 and 1313 he taught – with a few breaks – in Paris and Montpellier. His philosophical novel “Blanquerna” helped Catalan to achieve recognition as a literary language.

The facts surrounding Ramon Llulls death remains unclear. At more than 80 years of age, he set out again for Tunis and Algeria. Attempting the conversion of some Muslims, he was stoned to death by the infuriated people.  It is still uncertain, if he died during the stoning or if he passed away later onboard a ship.