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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

I: The Crusade in the Fourteenth Century,   pp. 2-26 ff. PDF (9.6 MB)

Page 7

point in his memorandum is that he wrote it when Acre was still in Christian
hands, and so considerable modification had to be intro duced in his plans
to cope with the new situation. On the whole, the reign of Nicholas IV witnessed
the birth of an epoch of intense literary and diplomatic propaganda for the
 During the same period, a new departure in propagandist literature appeared
in the work of Raymond Lull, a Catalan born in 1232. A poet, a philosopher,
and a prolific author of several hundred books and treatises of the most
varied nature, Lull was also one of the most active figures of his time.
Like Roger Bacon, he was one of the early pioneers of the principle of the
unity of human knowledge, which he exemplified in his Arbor scientiae. Like
Frederick II, he was one of the earliest orientalists, mastering the Arabic
tongue and even com posing Arabic poetry; and like him, too, he was a crusader
who believed in the ways of peace rather than the ways of war for a permanent
settlement of the causes of difference between east and west. Whereas Frederick
II resorted to diplomacy, Raymond Lull became the great exponent of religious
missionary work among the followers of Mohammed. It is here that Lull's real
contribution rests, though he was not without a precursor in this field.
Around the middle of the twelfth century, Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny,
after a visitation tour of the Cluniac houses in the Iberian peninsula which
brought him into direct contact with Moslems, had formulated a new thesis
for relations with the enemies of the cross. His treatise, entitled Contra
sectam Saracenorum,9 makes it clear that he wished Christians to approach
Moslems "not with arms as the crusaders do, but with reason, not with hatred
but with love," for, in so doing, they might win them over to Christ and
save their souls from perdition. His work was a counterfoil to that of his
great contempo rary, Bernard of Clairvaux, whose vehement appeal to arms
is found in his treatise De laude novae militiae. 10 
 Peter paved the way for Raymond Lull, the great apostle of missionary work
among Moslems. Though he did, like most of the authors of his time, start
by promoting a new plan for a crusade, in the Liber de fine, which he wrote
at an early stage in his career, Lull afterward gave up this plan and embraced
the idea of converting Moslems to Christianity, instead of destroying their
bodies and the 
9. In Migne, PL, CLXXXIX, as "Adversus sectam sive haeresim Saracenorum,
" and trans. 
J. Thoma, Zwei Bucher gegen den Muhammedanismus (Leipzig, 1906). On Peter,
see James Kritzeck, Peter the Venerable and Islam (Princeton, 1964). 
10. In Migne, PL, CLXXXII—CLXXXV; also several other editions and translations.
 11. Ed. A. Gottron in Ramon Lulls Kreuzzugsideen (Abhandlungen zur mittleren
und neueren Geschichte, vol. XXXIX; Berlin, 1912). 

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