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The Catalan language is a Romanesque language of the Neo-Latin group, born between the 8th and 10th centuries in a part of Catalonia, in Northern Catalonia and in Andorra, in the territories of the Carolingian Empire that formed the counties of the Hispanic Brand.

In the 12th and 13th centuries it spread to the rest of Catalonia, most of the Valencian Country, the Balearic Islands, the Strip (Aragon), the Sardinian city of Alghero and the Murcian region of Carche, and the linguistic border it was established at the end of the reign of Jaime I.

Currently, it extends over a territory of about 68,730 km2 inhabited by 13,740,000 people belonging to four states: Andorra, Spain, France and Italy.

The first known texts written in Catalan today are fragments of the Catalan version of the Forum Iudicum and the sermonary Les Homilies d’Organyà, both from the 12th century.

Catalan had a considerable expansion as a language of creation and government (Royal Chancellery) between the 13th and 16th centuries, a time when the Crown of Aragon extended its dominions throughout the Mediterranean, in Sicily, Sardinia, Naples and even in Athens. Among the literary works of universal relief from this period we can mention those of Ramon Llull, a contemporary of Dante, the four Chroniques (that of Jaime I or Llibre dels fets, that of Bernat Desclot, that of Ramon Muntaner and that of Pedro the Ceremonious ), the works of Francesc Eiximenis, Anselm Turmeda, Bernat Metge, Ausiàs Marc or Tirant lo Blanc, considered the first modern novel in Western literature. The great legislative texts of this time are also in Catalan, such as the Furs de València, Costums de Tortosa, Usatges or the Llibre del Consolat de Mar, a compilation of maritime trade laws that were applied throughout the Mediterranean until the 18th century. The relationship with Italy meant that one of the first known translations of the Divine Comedy was Andreu Febrer’s Catalan and that great works of contemporary literature were also translated into Catalan, such as the Decameron.

Despite the fact that the Catalan language had an early access to the printing press – as evidenced by the fact that in 1474 the first book printed in Catalan, Les trobes en llaors de la Verge Maria, already appeared – in the centuries of the Renaissance and the Baroque lived a period of decline, in terms of cultured literature.

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