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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

And Majorca may be considered together


[Sidenote: General characteristics of intellectual culture in the kingdom of Aragon.]

In intellectual culture Aragon proper, Catalonia, Valencia, and Majorca may be considered together. The same general line of progress was in evidence as that already described for Castile. There was the same eagerness for learning among the upper classes, the same development of educational institutions, an analogous penetration of foreign influences (especially French and Italian), and an identical practice of going to other parts of Europe to study. The landmarks in intellectual history were the reign of Pedro IV in didactic literature, that of Juan I for the Proven?al troubadour literature, and that of Alfonso V for the Classical Renaissance.

[Sidenote: Education and printing.]

The most noteworthy university founded in the period was that of Barcelona, which evolved from an academy in the opening years of the fourteenth century to the rank of a university in 1450, with courses in theology, civil and canon law, philosophy, arts, and medicine. In addition to numerous other schools similar to those of Castile there were two more or less distinct types here: the primary school, much more frequently met with than in other parts of the peninsula; and the Lulian schools (due originally to the initiative of Raymond Lull, but carried on throughout the

era), which devoted themselves primarily to philosophy, but also to foreign languages, especially Arabic. Naturally the invention of printing at the end of the period gave a fresh impulse to intellectual culture. The first book to be printed in this region was published in Valencia in 1474. In 1478, or a little before, books began to be printed in Barcelona.

[Sidenote: Leading currents in thought and science.]

Philosophy, medicine, nautical science, cartography, and cosmography were the studies most cultivated. The influence of Raymond Lull continued to be felt, both in the imitations and translations of Hebrew and Arabic philosophers, especially Averr?es, and in the reaction against them. In the fifteenth century the Italian, and to a less extent the French, influences began to be felt. The Neapolitan court of Alfonso V was the great centre for the penetration of Italian and classical thought. Theologians proper contributed little in this period, but there were numerous writings on ecclesiastical subjects,--works of a controversial or moral nature, translations, and histories of saints, mystics, ascetics, and sacred orators. The extraordinary development of the study of medicine was due primarily to Jewish and Moslem elements. Toward the end of the fifteenth century a marked current of opinion against the deductive method in medicine and in favor of experimental studies became apparent. Chemistry, the companion study of medicine, was much in favor, as also was alchemy, which counted King Juan I and Miguel Jim?nez de Urrea, bishop of Tarazona, among its devotees. The Catalans and Majorcans were famous for their knowledge of cartography and the related sciences. To the Catalans were due the first map of the Danish peninsula and the correction of the maps of the Norwegian and Swedish coasts and the lands touching the Baltic Sea. Jaime Ferrer, a Marrano of Majorca, was the leading nautical and geographical scholar of those whom Prince Henry attracted to Portugal to prepare the Portuguese for their r?le in the history of maritime exploration. In addition to the kindred sciences of mathematics and astronomy the pseudo-science of astrology was also much pursued. Just as in Castile, so in Aragon, juridical studies in both the civil and canon law had a great vogue.

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