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 then to Figueres nine years later.

He attended high school in the Institut Ramon Muntaner of Barcelona. Later he studied pharmacy and chemistry in Madrid, completing his studies in chemistry in Barcelona. Once back in Figueres, after a competitive examination he was awarded a teaching post at the Institute of Figueres. At the same time, he became 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 became mayor of Figueres by chance, and while serving in this office he tried to keep the peace, and prevent looting and political witch hunts. He also served in the Republican Army as a health officer.

On the 5th of February 1939, Deulofeu accompanied the defeated republican forces into exile where he followed several trades: working as a teacher of various subjects; experimenting with farming, particularly hydroponics inventing his own growth solutions; working as a bricklayer, as a factory worker, and as a writer and poet.

He played the violin and the saxophone in several music groups, both modern and classical.

After returning from exile on the 22nd of January 1947 he dedicated himself to pharmacy, carried out research and continued to write, although he died without finishing the extended version of his main work, Mathematics of History. During his life he was friends with Francesc Pujols and Salvador Dalí.

Theories[edit]

Deulofeu argued that civilizations and empires go through cycles which correspond to the natural cycles of living beings. Each civilization passes through a minimum of three 1700-year cycles. As part of civilizations, empires have an average lifespan of 550 years. He also stated that by knowing the nature of these cycles, it could be possible to modify the cycles in such a way that change could be peaceful instead of leading to war. He wanted mankind to modify the cycles and bring about a universal confederation of free people.

His mathematical laws related to the evolution of people can be resuméd as below (Chapter III of Mathematics of History in Catalan, 1967 edition):

  1. All people pass through alternating periods of demographic division and periods of unification or imperialism.
  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 people go through clearly defined phases, finding themselves at the end of the cycle in the same position as in the beginning.
  4. The evolutionary cycle encompasses all types of human activity, besides considering political cycles we must also consider social, artistic, philosophical and scientific cycles.
  5. All people follow the same evolution more or less rapidly depending on the geographic characteristics of each country.
  6. Not all people display the same creative impulse. In each cycle there are periods of maximum creativity and these periods continue from one cycle to the next. In Europe, this passes in the Mediterranean from the East to West and then from the Iberian Peninsula to Gaul, then to the British Isles and on to the Germanic people and finally reaching the Northern and Slavic people.
  7. The imperialist nuclei, which give rise to periods of strong political unification, follow identical organic processes, which last five to six centuries.
  8. The transformation of sociopolitical 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 The Law of two steps forward and one backwards.

Deulofeu's thoughts are related to the ideas of Oswald Spengler and Arnold J. Toynbee, who also theoried on the cyclical character of civilizations, but not in the same precise mathematical way as Deulofeu.

A lifelong visitor of museums, temples and monuments in different countries, Deulofeu believed he had found the origin of Romanesque art, during the 9th century, in an area between Empordà and Roussillon, which he argued was the cradle of 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]