Biography of Ramon d'Abadal i de Vinyals

Biography of Ramon d'Abadal i de Vinyals
Posted on 22-05-2022

Ramon d'Abadal i de Vinyals

(Vic, 1888 - Barcelona, ​​1970) Spanish historian and politician. A member of an old family from Osona with a great presence and projection in the agricultural sector of the region, Abadal was the nephew of Ramón D'Abadal i Calderó, a prominent member of the Lliga Regionalista, a party in which the young Abadal began politically.

His university studies were carried out at the University of Barcelona, ​​where he graduated brilliantly, after which he received his doctorate at the University of Madrid, in 1911, with the thesis Les Partides a Catalunya during L'Edat Mitjana , a work in the that you can appreciate the imprint inherited from his most influential teacher in Law, Professor Hinojosa y Ureña. Abadal returned to Barcelona to continue his studies at the Estudis Universitaris Catalans, where he met another decisive professor for his future work as a researcher, Professor Rubió i Lluch.

He was part of the group of young scholars trained under the direct teaching of Rubió i Lluch, and collaborated, together with another great historian, Ferran Valls i Taberner, in the organization and propagation of Catalan historical-legal studies. Later, he moved to Paris to complete his training. He studied at the School of Chartres and at the School of Advanced Studies of the Sorbonne, at the same time that he carried out a meticulous job of cataloging and reviewing the Catalan collections belonging to the French National Library.

It was from the year 1920 when Abadal began to be interested and specialize in a very specific field of historical study, the Carolingian era in Catalonia, that is, the Catalan count period, work that earned him international recognition as a historian. In the year 1922, with the support of the Institute of Catalan Studies, he published the critical work of all the written documents related to Catalonia prior to the year 1000.

But the beginning of Abadal's political activity, in 1917, made his activity as a historian temporarily take a back seat. A member of the Lliga Regionalista, in 1917 and 1921 he was elected provincial deputy representing Vic, and actively participated in the management of the Commonwealth of Catalonia, especially in his department of the Pedagogy Council and the School of Agriculture.

In 1922, Abadal founded, together with a large group of dissident progressive Catalans from the Regionalist League, the Acciò Catalana party, which was severely defeated in the 1931 elections, which unleashed a shift within the party towards purely republican tendencies. and on the left, with the consequent abandonment of the centrist positions defended until then. This circumstance made Abadal leave the formation to rejoin his old party. In his new political task, he took charge of the party's press organ, La Veu de Catalunya, and founded the newspaper L'Instant.

Due to the outbreak of the Civil War, Abadal i Vinyals lost all the materials that he had gathered in his private archive, and he was forced to go into exile in Italy. At the end of the war he secretly returned to Catalonia. Puig i Cadafalch convinced him to participate in the construction of the Institute of Catalan Studies and to begin the great task of bringing together the entire diplomatic collection of the Catalan county.

In 1948, when he was sixty years old, Abadal published his first great work, the biography of Abbot Oliba, a moment with which he began a fruitful and very fluid period in his publications, in which he masterfully combined documentary contributions, monographic studies and the works of synthesis and reflection. The main foundation of all his investigations was translated into what would become his masterpiece, Catalonia Carolingia , based on his investigations before the war, but filtered by his new conception of how to make history, which was quite far from the sediment neo-romantic and idealistic, defended by the Catalan and Spanish historians of the post-war period, for which his assumptions raised great controversy among his colleagues.

Precisely, the realist zeal proposed in Abadal's work facilitated the reception of his contributions by the new generations of mid-century historians who had a more profound impact, thanks to the path opened by Abadal in such important historical issues as the articulation of the individual actions of the protagonists of the story with their social reference, as he had shown in the work of Abbot Oliba; the importance of the economic substratum of political and spiritual undertakings, as in his work On him The monastery of Cuixá ; or a chronological delimitation of national personalities.

With no less vigor he dedicated himself to denouncing, already well into the sixties, the absorbing attention of almost all historians on exclusively social and political aspects, which implied, according to his point of view, a serious distortion of the total historical reality. by relegating to the background other approaches or research points such as studies on demography, institutions, ideologies or individuals.

Despite his advanced age, Abadal maintained his political activity as a member of the private council of the Count of Barcelona, ​​Don Juan de Borbón y Borbón, pretender to the Spanish Crown. In 1959, he received the Lletra d'Or award from the Catalan Critics for his historical work. The day before his death he was awarded the Gold Medal by the Barcelona Provincial Council.

A student of the historical reality of Catalonia, taking its most remote times as a reference, his investigation of the past served to deepen and learn even more about the present reality of Catalonia. The level of his work was immense, to the point that his death represented for the historical science of Catalonia and Spain a loss only comparable to that of Vicens Vives. A man of unwavering tenacity and an enormous ability to overcome adversity, as he demonstrated after the loss of all his files, he was working until the very day of his death, which occurred on January 17, 1970.

Thank You