The Lullian ‘Art of Finding Truth’: Nicholas of Cusa

Here we present a Lullist author, the German philosopher Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464). It is not known exactly how Cusa first encountered Lull’s work; perhaps in Padua, in Cologne, in Basel or in Paris, where he came into contact with Lullian codices and made notes. The Folio of the manuscript we present is one such manuscript that was in his hands. The manuscript contains texts copied in the 14th century (the Ars demonstrativa) and in the 15th century (fragments of some 50 titles).

In this beautiful manuscript we can see several diagrams grouped together corresponding to Ramon Llull’s Ars demonstrativa: the figures A, S, T, V, Y, Z, the figures of theology, philosophy, law, the periodic table…

If you look carefully, at the bottom of the right-hand page, you can see a diagram made with several levels of paper. When the different levels are rotated, the figure moves, and it was intended that this would turn it into an instrument of logical calculation. Note also the use of colour to differentiate the figures and at the same time, in some cases, the groups of items within them.

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Understanding Ramon Llull: ​Philosophy, Arts and Science through the Ars Combinatoria

Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona

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