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Abstract

The thirteenth century witnessed dramatic changes that transformed the medieval world and remain important today. The violent changes caused by the War of the Sicilian Vespers and Spiritual Franciscan movement popularized the apocalyptic ideas of the twelfth-century Italian abbot, Joachim of Fiore. The abbot's historical paradigms of biblical history influenced many southern Europeans, including the medieval mystic, missionary, and philosopher Ramon Llull (c. 1232-1316). Llull dedicated his life to converting the world to Catholic Christianity using a variety of means, including evangelical missions, Neoplatonic philosophy, and crusades. Llull's crusade treatises, the Tractatus de modo convertendi infideles (1292), Liber de fine (1305), and Liber de acquisitione Terrae Sanctae (1309), offer the best summaries of his entire conversion program as well as many examples of his apocalyptic ideas. Many scholars have criticized Llull as a utopian, a man disconnected from his time. Yet examining how Llull carefully incorporates Joachimist ideas into his crusade treatises shows the supposed utopian actually paid great attention to the world around him. In short, Llull used the apocalypticism which permeated the late medieval Mediterranean world as a rhetorical device to promote his conversion program and bring the world into a bonum statum (good age).