New Treatise on Astronomy


Ramon Llull (circa 1232−1316), a key figure in medieval literature, was a multifaceted personality who pursued literature, philosophy, theology, and the natural sciences with passion and skill. An extraordinarily prolific writer, he is considered to be the author of 267 works, written mainly in Latin and Catalan. Tradition attributed to him an even larger number of titles. Concerned about the dissemination of his work, Llull wanted to assure that a large number of his texts were issued in Catalan as well in Latin in order to reach to a great many readers. This was the case with his Tractatus novus de astronomia (New treatise on astronomy) originally written in Latin in Paris in 1297, but which Llull also produced in a contemporary Catalan version under the title Tractat d’astronomia. One of the extant manuscripts of this work is preserved at the Biblioteca de Catalunya. Probably copied at Mallorca during the first half of the 15th century, the manuscript does not contain the human figures that sometimes accompany the texts of Llull, but it was completed with a miscellaneous set of astrological notes from other authors and decorated with figures that are often colorful and of great visual impact.

Last updated: January 13, 2015