Europe and the Mediterranean

 

Montpellier

RAMON LLULL IN MONTPELLIER

Ramon Llull ended up in Montpellier on several occasions to visit Jaime II, King of Mallorca, Count of Roussillon and Cerdanya and lord of Montpellier, who had his residence in this city. Llull made his first trip to the city in 1275 aiming to ask the then Prince for his help to build a school for eastern languages in Miramar (Mallorca). In 1283 he is again in Montpellier where he writes Ars demonstrative and the main part of Blanquerna. In 1289, also in Montpellier, he drafts the Ars inventive veritatis and visits the general minister of the Franciscan order, Ramon Jofre (or Gaufre), who the following year grants Llull permission to visit the Franciscan convents of Rome and Pula (southeast of Italy).

Again he settles in the Provencal city between October 1303 and February 1304; it is when he writes the Disputatio fidei et intellectus, perhaps remembering the recent discussions of Cyprus and Lesser Armenia (1301-1302). After a one month trip to Genoa, he writes Liber de ascenso et descendu intellectus and the Liber de fine, completed in 1305. From May 1308 until the autumn of 1309 Llull takes refuge again in Montpellier, where he returns in May 1312 to in July travel to his native Mallorca. His teaching in Montpellier, University City, is important but what is impressive is the amount of work written there: forty.

 

MONTPELLIER, THEN AND NOW

Montpellier is the capital of the department of Herault, in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon, in the south of France. It is located twelve kilometres from the coast. Its origins are not Roman; it was founded between the 8th and 10th centuries and acquired great commercial importance during its historical association with the Catalan-Aragonese Crown (1204-1350). It was the birth place of Jaime I the Conqueror, who considered “the best city in the universe” and residence of his son, Jaime II, King of Mallorca. From the 12th century Montpellier obtained great renown for the trading of exotic spices and the produce of a spiced wine, the “garhiofilatum”. In 1382 the city was finally incorporated to the French Crown.

In the Middle Ages, Montpellier was surrounded by strong walls that Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) ordered to be demolish; of that era the towers of Pines (12th -14th centuries) and Babotte (14th century) are still preserved. The cathedral of Saint-Pierre (14th century) most notable for its twin church towers. The University of Montpellier, founded in 1220, is one of the oldest in France (especially its medical school); was home to scholars of all faiths and in it studied Nostradamus, François Rabelais, Arnau de Vilanova and Ramon Llull himself.

 

Ramon Llull quotations

 
«Your soul has greater value than your body»
 

Messages about Ramon Llull

 
Ramon Llull went on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in 1265, aged thirty three.
 

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