A celebrated chemist and philosopher, the Seneschal of Majorca, surnamed docteur iUumin, the enlightened doctor His discoveries are most noted, such as the mode of rectifying spirits, the refining of silver, etc. He was born about 1234. In 1276 he founded a college of Franciscans at Palma, for instruction in Eastern lore, and especially the study of the Arabic language, for which purpose he instituted several colleges between the years 1293 and 1311. He died in 1314. He is known as an eminent Rosicrucian, and many fables as to his longevity are related.
The foregoing account has long been generally acceptable though there is some uncertainty as to the dates of Lully's birth and death, and investigators have not agreed as to his scientific knowledge nor the authorship of certain works attributed by others to him. The alchemical works bearing his name are all apocryphal, spurious, according to J. Fitzmaurice Kelly (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911), but Lewis Spence (Dictionary of Occultism, 1920) not only accepts him as an author and alchemist of ability but quotes a German historian of chemistry, Gruelin, who asserts Lully to be a scientist of exceptional skill. However, it is clear that he was a devoted missionary to the infidels, a progressive student and teacher of languages, venerated as saint and poet. Some of his views were in advance of the Church he served and in 1376 they were condemned in a Papal Bull issued at the behest of the Inquisition, but this was annulled by Pope Martin V in 1578. At eighty Lully was of unabated enthusiasm, preaching the Gospel, journeying far afield in Europe, crossing into Africa, where he was stoned to death by the people.
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