Europe and the Mediterranean

 

Vienne

RAMON LLULL IN VIENNE

This French city along the Rhone, south of Lyon, hosted an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church in 1311 and 1312. Ramon Llull attends it in September 1311, coming from Paris and at the age of eighty. On the way he meets a priest who listens to his arguments and calls him “fantastic” (“crazy” in medieval catalan terminology); due to this Llull writes Liber phantasticus (Crazy Book).

Llull presented to the Council the proposal Petitio Raymundi in concilio general ad acquirendam Terra Sancta, in which he makes three proposals: the establishment of three lectures for the teachings of Eastern languages to future missionaries (based in Rome, Paris and Toledo), the training of knights to conquer the Holy Land and the writing of books against averroism. Llull gets the synod to support the first of the three which was one of is old ideals. Precisely, in that same Council that rejected the proposal of the new crusade, a papal decree condemns the Knight Templars: their assets are seized and many of them are condemned to burn at the stake (among them Jacques de Molay, Master of the Temple in Nicosia, Ramon Llull’s host in Cyprus ten year before).

 

VIENNE, THEN AND NOW

Vienne is a city of the department of Isere situated on the Rhone River around 25km south of Lyon. During the Roman Empire Vienne (lulia Vienna) benefited from the Via Domitica that followed the Rhone; it was one of the most important cities of the Gaul, competing with Ligundum (Lyon). It was a seat of a bishop in the mid 5th century. It was also the capital of ancient Burgundy (432), the kingdom of Provence (879) and the kingdom of Arles (933), until it reverted to the Holy Roman Empire (1032). In this city several Councils were celebrated: the one in 1112 and especially that of 1311-1312, which condemned the Knight Templars and in which Ramon Llull participated.

There are still several monuments from the Roman era like the Temple of Augustus and Livia and the theatre, one of the largest in the Gaul. From the Middle Ages stand out: the churches of Saint-Pierre (5th-6th centuries), Saint-André-le-Bas (founded in the 6th century), Saint-Andre-le-Haut (founded also in the 6th century), gothic cathedral of Saint-Maurice (12th-14th centuries) and the Castle of Batie (13th century). Vienne has been classified as “Ville d’art et d’histoire” (City of art and history) by the Ministry of Culture of France.

Cathedral of Saint- Maurice, in Vienne, Isère, France. Matteo Natale. Fotolia Roman Temple of August and Livia. Vienne, Isère, France. ISABELLE.ESSELIN. Fotolia
 

Ramon Llull quotations

 
«No treasure is greater than the truth»
 

Messages about Ramon Llull

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

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