Ramon Llull (Palma, Mallorca, 1232 - Palma?, Mallorca, 1316). Philosopher, mystic, missionary, narrator and poet. Throughout his life he pursued the goal of unifying humanity under Christianity, an idea which led him to abandon his court life and dedicate himself to study and preaching. He wrote at least 250 attributable books. He founded monasteries dedicated to the study of Arabic language and traveled around the Orient with the aim of converting nonbelievers to Christianity. Although he remained secular during most of his life, he became a Franciscan Tertiary in 1295.
Even though the objective of the Ars or Art Lul·liana was to reveal the truth of Christianity to nonbelievers –musilms, jewish and gentiles–, it also made significant advances concerning to rhetoric, science and education. He mainly wrote in Catalan, but he also wrote in Arabic and Latin with the aid of proofreaders, depending on who the book was intended for. From his poetry, two works remain, Desconhort (1295) and Cant de Ramon (1300), with a clear Provençal influence in the style. His prose is elegant and balanced, and he adopted syntactic and lexical solutions that had great importance for the developement of the scientific and literate Catalan language.
His life and work has had many followers throughout the centuries, and from an early stage his work was translated into several different languages.
Update by Josep Miàs for AELC.
Translation by Josep Miàs.