Francesc Eiximenis is an outstanding figure in the ranks of the mendicant orders who, in the late Middle Ages, strove to educate the lower echelons of society. Born in Gerona, around 1330, probably to a comfortable middle-class family, Eiximenis entered the Franciscan order at a very early age, studied in Oxford, and probably also in Paris, and obtained the degree of master of theology in Toulouse. Later he combined teaching with the composing of his works. Among these stands out the monumental and widely known Lo Crestia (The Christian), in which Eiximenis aimed to include all contemporary university knowledge, adapted for a lay public whose basic level of instruction was far below that of clerics. The same didactic purpose is seen in the Libro de los angeles (Book of the Angels), the Libro de las mujeres (Book of the Women) and the Vita Christi. Eiximenis, by then bishop of Elna, died in 1409.
Among the many themes that recur in his extensive literary production, this anthology concentrates on his ideas on the transmission of knowledge, on education and on culture. The introduction and selection of texts is by David Guixeras and Xavier Renedo.
ROBERT D. HUGHES is a translator and researcher with particular expertise in the fields of fine art, the history of ideas and Catalan culture.
Published in association with Editorial Barcino