Lullus, Raymundus [Ramon Llull] / Jac. Faber Stapulensis [Ed.]
Liber contemplationis/De amico et amato — Paris 1505
Contenta. Primum volumen Contemplationum Remundi duos libros continens. Libellus Blaquerne de amico et amato … — Iehan Petit. Venales habes in leone argenteo vici sancti Jacobi. [Colophon:] Impressum est hoc opus Parisijs pro Joanne parvo / mercatore morante in vico sancti Jacobi / in leone argenteo: e regione Maturinorum. Anno salvatoris veri amati / et vere hominum amatoris. Mcccccv.x.Decembris.
[Paris, (André Bocard for) Jean Petit, 10. Dec. 1505]
Folio (276 x 197 mm). A-P6 Q4: 93, (1) ff.
Paper restauration in the blank outer margins of title, and in the gutter of the first quire. Very lightly watermargins in the blank margins of a few leaves.
19th century quarter morocco, spine gilt. – Adams L-1699; Renouard/Moreau I 168 no. 134.
This is the first great work of Llull, finished around 1271-1274 in Mallorca. Llull wrote it in Arabic, translated into Catalan and this version into Latin. During his second stay in Paris in 1297-1299, he bequeathed a manuscript of the Latin text to the Carthusians of Vauvert. It is this manuscript (today Paris BN 3348 A) that Lefèvre d’Etaples was able to consult in 1491 and which was the source for his edition.
And this is the manuscript that Nicolaus Cusanus studied and excerpted during his stay in Paris in 1428. At that time, the manuscript of the Liber contemplationis still consisted of three books. But between 1428 and 1490 the manuscript of the third book must have been lost and Lefèvre could only publish books 1 and 2.
In the preface of our edition, Lefèvre tells how he came by the manuscript fourteen years ago and what significance the reading had for him immediately: „Viso titulo de contemplatione scilicet quae fit in Deo, rapior ilico libri legendi desiderio … Liber itaque ad me mansit et plurimam mihi attulit consolationum …“ It made an impression on him so deep and produced a spiritual crisis so strong that he thought to abandon the world: „et paene ad hoc pertraxit, ut demisso mundo Deum in solitudine quaererem.“
De amico et amato
„The libre de Evast e Blanquerna of Ramon Lull (1232/34-1316) is a utopian novel pleading for the reform of various social and religious classes. The work was written between about 1274 and 1289. It is made up of five books in the last of which one can distinguish three mutually independent parts: (1) the De vida ermitana, in which Blanquerna renounces the papacy and withdraws as a hermit to a mountain not far from Rome, (2) the Libre de amic e amat [here present], a collection of mystical utterances, and (3) the Art de contemplació, an introductiion to the art of mystical contemplation.
The Libre de amic e amat … was originally compposed in Catalan and possibly written independently of the novel, since it circulated separately and is listed as a work distinct from the Liber Blanquernae in the early catalogue which opens the famous Electorium manuscript of Lull’s Latin works. Medieval translations into Latin but also into Provençal, French, and Castilian testify the popularity of the work … [it] was written in the style of the Muslim sufis … In the year 1500, during his second voyage to Italy … Jacques Lefèvre d’Etaples, discovered at Padua a copy of the Liber amici et amati which he copied out with the aid of a religious of the Congregation of S. Giustina. As a part of his plan to make the works of leading mystical writers available to a sixteenth-century public, Lefèvre revised the Latin text in accordance with Renaissance taste und published the work under the title, Libellus Blaquerne de amico et amato, together with the first two book of Lull’s Liber contemplationis, at Paris in 1505. Lefèvre’s revision supplanted the medieval version of Lull’s work completely. It was reprinted three times and is preserved in a number of late manuscript copies.“ (Ch. Lohr & F. Domínguez, Raimundus Lullus, ‚Liber amici et amati‘: Introduction and critical text. In: Traditio, vol. 44 (1988), pp. 327 ff.).
„The manuscript [Lefèvre] transcribed was a Latin translation made during Lull’s lifetime and which Lull himself had given in 1298 to Doge Pietro Gardinego. It is now in the Marciana in Venice.“ (Rice 140).
Lefèvre’s edition is the only published Latin text; it was used for subsequent editions.
On Llull’s Liber contemplationis see: F. Domínguez e.a., Gottes Schau und Weltbetrachtung. Interpretationen zum »Liber contemplationis« des Raimundus Lullus. Turnhout, Brepols, 2011 On Nic. Cusanus‘ reading of it: Th. Pindl-Büchel, Die Exzerpte des Nikolaus von Kues aus dem ‚Liber contemplationis‘ Ramon Lulls. Ffm 1999.