Alexandre Deulofeu

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Alexandre Deulofeu Torres

Alexandre Deulofeu Torres (20 September 1903, in L'Armentera – 27 December 1978, in Figueres) was a Catalan politician and philosopher of history. He wrote about what he called the Mathematics of History, a cyclical theory on the evolution of civilizations.

Biography[edit]

Deulofeu was born at L'Armentera in the province of Girona, Catalonia (Spain), where his father was a pharmacist. When he was three years old, his family moved to Sant Pere Pescador and nine years later to Figueres.

He attended high school in the Institut Ramon Muntaner of Barcelona. Later he studied pharmacy and chemistry in Madrid, finishing the latter in Barcelona. Once back in Figueres, he won a chair in a competitive examination and started teaching in the Institute of Figueres. At the same time, he also got strongly involved in politics. First he was a leader of the Republican Nationalist Youth in Empordà and afterwards he became a town councilor of the independentist party ERC (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya). During the Spanish Civil War, he was a chance mayor at Figueres, where he avoided fights, looting and pursuits. He was mobilized to the war as a military health officer.

On 5 February 1939, Deulofeu went into exile when the republicans withdrew. During exile, he carried out several trades, was a teacher of different matters and played the violin and the saxophone in various music groups both for fun and classical. In addition, he was an experimental farmer creating plantations without soil with liquid solutions he invented, a worker in a factory, bricklayer, writer and poet. It was during this time, when he became friends with Francesc Pujols and Salvador Dalí.

He came back from exile on 22 January 1947, dedicated himself to pharmacy, carried out his researches and went on writing. He died without finishing the extended version of his main work, Mathematics of History.

Thought[edit]

Deulofeu declared that civilizations and empires go through cycles which correspond to the natural cycles of living beings. Each civilization may fulfill a minimum of three 1700 years cycles each. Included within civilizations, empires have a medium length of 550 years. He also declared that, by knowing the nature of cycles, wars may be avoided, being unnecessary, causing the processes to be violent instead of peaceful. He also affirmed that mankind will be able to modify the cycles and that it must strive towards an organization as a universal confederation of free peoples.

The wording of the mathematic law which, in his opinion, determines the evolution of the peoples, can be epitomized under the following items (Chapter III of Mathematics of History in Catalan, 1967 edition):

  1. All peoples go through periods of great demographic division, alternating with periods of great unification or imperialistic periods.
  2. The periods of great division last six centuries and a half. The periods of great unification last ten centuries and a half. Therefore, the evolutionary cycle comprises seventeen centuries.
  3. During this evolutionary process, the peoples go through perfectly defined phases. At the end of the cycle, they are in the same position as at the beginning.
  4. The evolutionary cycle comprises all the types of human activity, so, besides considering a political cycle, we must also consider a social, arts, philosophical and scientific cycle.
  5. All peoples follow the same evolution, but this gets ahead or lags behind depending on the geographic situation of each country.
  6. Not all the peoples show the same creative force. In each cycle there is an area of maximum creative intensity and this area moves from one cycle to the next following the steps of the overall process. In Europe, this goes in the Mediterranean from the East to West and then from the Iberian Peninsula to Gaul, it follows to the British Isles, then through the Germanic peoples and finally arrives to the Northern and Slavonic peoples.
  7. The imperialist nuclei which give rise to periods of great political unification follow perfect biological processes, identical to each other, which last for five to six centuries.
  8. The transformation of the socio-political regimes does not take place following a constant upward or downward trend, but by means of forward and backward steps, each being alternatively more intense than the others. This results in a broken line, which is an advancement in a given direction. It is what is called Law of two steps forward and one backwards.

His thought is related to the ideas of Oswald Spengler and Arnold J. Toynbee, who also stated theories on the cyclical character of civilizations, but without reaching the more exact, mathematical measure expounded by Deulofeu.

During his exile and also later, Deulofeu visited several museums, temples and monuments in different countries. There he thought he had found the origin of Romanesque art during the 9th century, in an area between Empordà and Roussillon, which was what he called the second cycle of western European civilization.

References[edit]

  • Catalunya i l’Europa futura (Catalonia and future Europe), Barcelona, Llibreria Catalònia, 1934 (Foreword by Antoni Rovira i Virgili. Facsimile edition, 1978).
  • Catalunya 1932-1934 (Catalonia 1932-1934), Barcelona, Llibreria Catalònia), 1935.
  • Química estructural, primera part (Structural chemistry, part I), Figueres, Edicions de l'Escola del Treball, 1937.
  • L’evolució social (Social evolution), Figueres, Edicions de l'Escola del Treball, 1937 (there is a second, unpublished, volume).
  • Alejandro Deulofeu. La energía atómica al servicio de la química, and La energía atómica y la energía iónica (Atomic energy in the service of chemistry, and Atomic energy and ionic energy), cyclostyle editions for Breviata Médica (service of medical information of the Leti and Uquita Laboratories), Barcelona, 1949.
  • Alejandro Deulofeu. La Matemática de la Historia (Mathematics of History), Barcelona, Aymà Edicions, 1951.
  • Alejandro Deulofeu. La energía atómica al servicio de la química (Atomic energy in the service of chemistry), Barcelona, Editorial Emporitana, 1952.
  • Alejandro Deulofeu. Europa al desnudo (Naked Europe), Barcelona, Editorial Emporitana, 1954.
  • Alejandro Deulofeu. Nacimiento, grandeza y muerte de las civilizaciones (Birth, greatness and death of civilizations), Barcelona, Casa del Libro, 1956 (volume I in Spanish of Mathematics of History).
  • La matemàtica de la Història en la cultura occidental (The mathematics of history in western culture), "Els Autors de l’Ocell de Paper" ("The authors of the paper bird"). Barcelona, Editex, 1957.
  • Alejandro Deulofeu. Los grandes errores de la Historia. Del servilismo a la democracia (The great errors of History. From servilism to democracy). Barcelona, Aymà Edicions, 1958 (volume II in Spanish of Mathematics of History).
  • L’Empordà, bressol de l’art romànic (Empordà, the cradle of Romanesque art), Barcelona, Gràfiques Diamant, 1961.
  • Alejandro Deulofeu. El Ampurdán, cuna del arte románico (Empordà, the cradle of Romanesque art), Barcelona, Gràfiques Diamant, 1962.
  • Catalunya, origen de la pintura medieval (Catalonia, origin of mediaeval painting), Barcelona, Ed. Selecta, 1963.
  • Alejandro Deulofeu. Cataluña, origen de la pintura medieval (Catalonia, origin of mediaeval painting), Barcelona, Ed.Selecta, 1963.
  • La Matemàtica de la Història (Mathematics of History), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1967.
  • Foreword to the book of Carles Fages de Climent Vilasacra, capital del món (Vilasacra, capital city of the world), Figueres, Ed. Pérgamo, 1st edition 1967, 2nd edition 1977, 3rd edition 1993.
  • L’Empordà-Rosselló, bressol de l’escultura romànica (Empordà-Rosselló, the cradle of Romanesque sculpture), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1968 (pictures by Joaquim Fort de Ribot).
  • Les cultures europees. De la primera onada històrica de gran fragmentació demogràfica (European cultures. The first historic surge of great demographic fragmentation), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1969 (volume III in Catalan of Mathematics of History).
  • La pau al món per la Matemàtica de la Història (Peace in the world through Mathematics of History), Barcelona, Ed. Pòrtic, 1970.
  • Naixença, grandesa i mort de les civilitzacions (Birth, greatness and death of civilisations), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1970 (volume I in Catalan of Mathematics of History).
  • El monestir de Sant Pere de Roda. Importància, història i art (The monastery of Sant Pere de Roda. Its importance, history and art), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1970.
  • Els grans errors de la Història (Great errors of History), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1971 (volume II in Catalan of Mathematics of History).
  • Lluita d’imperis, primera part (persa, macedoni, cartaginès, romà, bizantí (Empires at war, part I (Persian, Macedonian, Carthaginian, Roman and Byzantine)), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1972 (volume IV in Catalan of Mathematics of History).
  • L’Empordà, bressol de l’art romànic (Empordà, the cradle of Romanesque art), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1972.
  • Alejandro Deulofeu. La paz mundial por la Matemática de la Historia (World peace through the Mathematics of History), Barcelona, Ed. Pòrtic Hispànic, 1973.
  • Lluita d’imperis, segona part (teutònic, anglosaxó, polonès, danès, noruec, víking, lituà, suec, moscovita) (Empires at war, second part (Teutonic, Anglosaxon, Polish, Danish, Norwegian, Viking, Lithuanian, Swedish, Muscovite)), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1973 (volume V in Catalan of Mathematics of History).
  • El segon cicle europeu. El procés polític i social (The second European cycle. The political and social process), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1974 (volume VI in Catalan of Mathematics of History).
  • Memòries de la revolució, de la guerra i de l’exili (Memories of the revolution, of war and of exile), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1975, two volumes.
  • Preliminary words in the book by Sebastià Delclos, Guia del romànic de l’Alt Empordà (Guide to the Romanesque style in Alt Empordà), Figueres, Centre Escursionista Empordanès, 1975.
  • Catalunya, mare de la cultura europea (Catalonia, mother of European culture), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1977 (volume VII in Catalan of Mathematics of History).
  • La segona onada imperial a Europa (The second imperial surge in Europe), Figueres, Editorial Emporitana, 1977 (volume VIII in Catalan of Mathematics of History).
  • Alejandro Deulofeu. Nacimiento, grandeza y muerte de las civilizaciones (Birth, greatness and death of civilisations), Buenos Aires, Ed. Plus Ultra, 1978 (special edition for South America, foreword by Abelardo F. Gabancho).
  • Les cultures irano-sumèria-caldea, hitita i egipcia (The Iranian-Sumerian-Chaldaic, Hittite and Egyptian cultures). Figueres. Realization: Amics de l'Albera i Cap de Creus, Centre Escursionista Empordanès, posthumous edition 2005 (volume IX in Catalan of Mathematics of History).
  • Història de l'art universal (History of the universal art). Figueres. Realization: Amics de l'Albera i Cap de Creus, Centre Escursionista Empordanès, posthumous edition, October 2008.
  • Articles i altres escrits. Els darrers mots. (Articles and other writings. The last words). Figueres. Realization: Amics de l'Albera i Cap de Creus (APNACC) and Centre Excursionista Empordanès (CEE), design and monitoring: Juli Gutiérrez Deulofeu, posthumous edition, juny 2012.

Sources[edit]

  • Alexandre Deulofeu. Figueres, town council of Figueres, Institut d'Estudis Empordanesos, Patronat Francesc Eiximenis, 2003.
  • Juli Gutiérrez Deulofeu. Alexandre Deulofeu, la Matemàtica de la Història (Alexandre Deulofeu, the Mathematics of History). Barcelona, Llibres de l’Índex / Neopàtria, 2004.
  • Enric Pujol, Jordi Casassas, Francesc Roca, Juli Gutiérrez Deulofeu. La Matemàtica de la Història. La teoria cíclica d’Alexandre Deulofeu (Mathematics of History. The cyclic theory of Alexandre Deulofeu), Figueres, Brau Edicions, 2005.

External links[edit]