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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

And the principal work was that of Jaime I himself


_Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia_

[Sidenote: Economic differences in the kingdom of Aragon.]

[Sidenote: Catalan commerce.]

Much that has been said about Le?n and Castile as regards material prosperity might be repeated for Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia. Aragon proper was the poorest part of this region, economically. Stock-raising and industries growing out of it were the principal occupations there. Catalonia, though not backward in agriculture, was not too well adapted to it, since certain crops, notably grain, could not be raised, but it had a varied industrial life and an active commerce. Valencia was the most favored region, being agriculturally wealthy, on account of the extensive use of irrigation, and, like Catalonia, having a rich industrial and commercial life. This was true also of Majorca. The Catalans had been engaged in Mediterranean commerce since the ninth century, but in this period their trade reached much greater proportions. Although Catalan boats went to every part of the Mediterranean, the principal relations were with Italy; there were frequent commercial treaties with Pisa and Genoa. Jaime I brought about the sending of commercial representatives, or consuls, to foreign countries, and was responsible for the establishment of mercantile bodies, called _consulados de mar_ (commercial tribunals of the sea) in Catalan ports. A special maritime law sprang

up, and was embodied in a code, called the _Libro del consulado de mar_ (Book of the _consulado_ of the sea).

[Sidenote: Intellectual manifestations.]

[Sidenote: Raymond Lull.]

The intellectual movement in Aragon and Catalonia ran along lines parallel to that in Le?n and Castile, but with more frequent contact with French and Italian thought. Jaime I followed the custom of the era in founding universities, establishing one at L?rida and another at Valencia. One great name appeared in the literary history of this period, reaching over into the next, that of Raimundo Lulio, known to English scholars as Raymond Lull, or Lully (1232-1315), a philosopher, mystic, and poet, who wrote many books which had a noteworthy influence on European thought. Writing in the vulgar tongue and in a style adapted to the general public, he attacked the pantheistic ideals of Averr?es and held that all sciences, though they have their individual principles, lead to a single all-embracing science, which, for him, was Christianity; in other words, he represented the reconcilement of Christianity with reason and science. The development of the Romance tongues followed the same course as in Castile, but the Catalan became widely separated from the other peninsular tongues, being more akin to the Proven?al, or language of southern France. The Proven?al influence on poetry was earlier in evidence in Catalonia than in Castile, and was more pronounced. Lyric poetry, accompanied by music, was so high in favor that great nobles and the kings themselves cultivated it. Alfonso II (1162-1196) was the first Spanish troubadour, and other kings followed, including Jaime I. History was the most important form of prose literature, and the principal work was that of Jaime I himself, a chronicle of the vicissitudes of his reign. Jaime I also compiled a collection of proverbs and the sayings of wise men.


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