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The Seven Pillars of Science

If ever you have visited Ramon Llull’s tomb, inside the Basilica de Sant Francesc in Palma de Mallorca, you may have found yourself confronted with seven beautifully carved pieces of stone pillar, representing the seven pillars of Science, according to the Mediaeval thinker and gnostic. Llull published his theorem in his book La Doctrina pueril (1274-1276).

Llull defined the sciences as the seven liberal arts of the trivium (grammar, dialectic, rhetoric) and of the quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy).

You will find equally beautiful stone carvings, depicting the same seven branches of science on the façade of the Centre Cultural Espai Ramon Llull in Carrer Ramon Llull, just a few metres down from the Sant Francesc church. Shown in my photo (above) is the depiction of Arithmetica, but the other six carvings are equally artistic.

In case you would like to read more about Ramon Llull and some of his thoughts and theorems, I would recommend a visit to a very useful website where you will be enlightened in Catalan, Castellano, English, German, French or even Italian. The information there is provided by the Centre de Documentació Ramon Llull of the Universitat de Barcelona, just in case you wondered.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 13th, 2010. The time was 10:49:24.

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