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teemed; a little treatise de Mensibus Atticis ; an epistle on the origin of the Turks, addressed to Filelfo, some controversial tractates on Plato and Aristotle against Pletho ; besides other writings preserved in different libraries.
Georgius Trapezuntius, or George of Trebisond (being descended from ancestors of that place), was born at Crete, the 4th of April, 1396. He first taught in Venice, and was then sent for to Rome by Eugene IV., to whom he was secretary, as well as to his successor Nicolas V. Having incurred the displeasure of that Pope, he went to Naples, to King Alfonso, from whom he received an invitation and a stipend. By the intercession of Filelfo he was restored to the favour of the Pontiff, and returned to Rome. In 1465 he sailed to Crete, thence to Constantinople, and so back to Rome, where he died in 1485, in a state of childishness.
He translated many Greek works into Latin, among others Eusebius de Præparatione Evang., (of which we collect from Pico di Mirandula, as quoted by Hody, p. 132, that he had perhaps a very imperfect copy); Aristotle's Problems, afterwards translated by Theodore Gaza ; Aristotle's three books on Rhetoric to Theodectes ; Plato de Legibus and his Parmenides ; and Ptolemy's Almagest, and produced several original compositions, of which some are published, particularly five books on Rhetoric, and others are scattered up and down in MS. He was considered as inferior to his rival Theodore, by which his temper and happiness seem to have suffered much.
Cardinal Bessarion, born at Trebisond, after having passed twentyone years in a monastery in the Peloponnesus, accompanied the Emperor John Palæologus to the council, which was transferred from Ferrara to Florence on account of the plague, in 1438. Here he took an active part, and went over to the side of the Latin Church. He was promoted to various ecclesiastical honours, by Eugene IV., Nicolas V., and Pius II., and was sent ambassador to Louis XI., of France, by Sixtus IV., on the return from which embassy he died. Though it appears that he was near being elevated to the papal dignity, yet a story told by Jovius relating to this circumstance is discredited by Hody, though afterwards related by Gibbon, vol. xii., c. 66., as Roscoe remarks.
He translated Aristotle's Metaphysics, Lib. xiv. Xenophon's Memorabilia, and the Oration of Demosthenes for the Olynthians, and wrote many other works, four books of a Defence of Plato against George of Trebisond, and an Oration for appeasing the dissensions
among Christians, and uniting against the Turks. Many of his MSS. works remain in various libraries, and among others an Epistle to Gemisthus Pletho on Questions of the Platonic Philosophy, with two answers by Gemisthus, in the Bodleian library.
Nicolaus Secundinus, so named from his family being of Saguntum in Spain, was born in Euboea. He served as a mutual interpreter between the Greeks and Latins at the council called the Florentine.
He translated Plutarch De Civilibus Præceptis, and addressed a treatise on the origin and actions of the Turks to Æneas Sylvius, afterwards Pius II.
Joannes Argyropylus, as Roscoe remarks (Life of Lorenzo de' Medici, vol. i., c. i.), though ranked by Dr. Hody amongst the learned Greeks who did not arrive in Italy until after the capture of Constantinople (anno 1453), had undoubtedly taken up his residence there before that event, as is fully shown by Mehus (Præf. ad Trav. Ep., vol. i., præf. 20). He was celebrated as a public professor of Greek in Italy, and particularly as an interpreter of Aristotle. His translations of some of the physical and moral works of that philosopher are extant. A treatise by him on the procession of the Holy Spirit, and on the decree of the Florentine Council is in Græciæ Orthodoxe tomo primo, and a few of his MSS. works are in different libraries.
The time of his death is uncertain ; but it was after 1478.
Demetrius Chalcondyles, an Athenian by birth, and a pupil of Theodore Gaza, was invited by Lorenzo de' Medici to the academy in Florence, at whose death he went to Milan by the desire of Ludovico Sforza, where he died about 1510.
In 1499 he published an edition of Suidas, at Milan, (and of Isocrates, at the same place, in 1498, see De Bure, Bibl. Inst., No. 2343 ; and of Homer, at Florence, 1488, see De Bure, 2943) and Erotemata Græcæ linguæ, less obscure, but perhaps not so profound as the work of Theodore Gaza. (For an account of the edition of this last book see De Bure, No. 2220. De Bure, No. 2217, seems to have confounded him with Demetrius Cretensis, as appears by his index under the name Demetrius.) He had the misfortune to lose his three sons, two of whom were eminent as scholars ; but was more fortunate in his daughter, whom he left happily married. He was a man of pure and amiable manners.
Joannes Andronicus Callistus, of Thessalonica, professed the Greek language at Florence, and was very eminent. His treatise Περί Παθών was mistaken for a work of Andronicus Rhodius the Peripatetic, and so edited by Haeschelius in 1593, and again 1617. The index to the Bodleian MSS. has the same error. Some of his MSS. works are in different libraries.
Georgius Hermonymus Charitonymus Christonymus, a Spartan, (his name is not so,) was the first Greek who professed the Greek language at Paris. Lilius Gregorius Tiphernas (Gregorio of Tiferno), had professed it before, but he was an Italian, of whom Joannes Reuchlinus (in . 1473), the first professor of Greek and Hebrew in Germany, was a pupil, as he was afterwards of Hermonymus. Before he came into France, Hermonymus was sent by Sixtus IV. into England, to procure the delivery of the Archbishop of York. His Life of Mahomet, translated from Greek into Latin, was published at Basil, 1541.
Constantius Lascaris, descended from the Imperial family of his name, was a Byzantine, who taught Greek, first at Milan, till 1463, or a little later, and afterwards at Messana, in Sicily, to which place many resorted to him out of Italy from as far as Venice. About the end of the same century he died at Messana.
His works on Greek Grammar, were printed by Aldus. Erasmus thinks they entitle him to the next place to Theodore Gaza among the Greek philologists. Other of his works remain in MS. in a few libraries.
Joannes Andreas Lascaris (called Janus Lascaris) is by some said to have been the son of Constantinus Lascaris, but Hody gives good reasons for doubting it. He was twice sent by Lorenzo de' Medici ambassador to Bajazet II., with the view of collecting MSS., an employment which he successfully performed. On his return, Lorenzo being dead, and Piero de' Medici banished from Florence, in 1494, he betook himself to Charles VIII., and accompanying him on his expedition into Italy, where that monarch died, he remained in the train of his successor, Louis XII. By him he was sent ambassador to the Italian cities in alliance with him, and under that function passed several years in Italy, where he promoted Greek literature both by teaching and by imparting Greek MSS., which were printed by Aldus. Leo X., son of his patron Lorenzo, being advanced to the papal dignity, did not forget his old friend, but employed him in one or two embassies, and put him at the head of an academy, instituted for the purpose of educating Greek youths and propagating that language. From hence he was invited by Francis I., for the sake of forming an academy at Paris on the same plan, a design that fell to the ground owing to the wars in which that king was engaged. On this he returned to Rome, to Clement VII., successor to his nephew, Leo X. By him he was sent ambassador to the Emperor Charles V., to persuade him to lay aside his disputes in Christendom, and unite against the Turks ; the oration he made on this occasion is extant. He again went to Francis I., and from him once more returned to Rome, invited by many promises from the new Pope, Paul IV., and at Rome he died of the gout, in the following year, at the age of about ninety, leaving his son Angelus his heir, who lived in Paris. He was highly respected both for his amiable manners and for his zeal in the cause of learning, which he manifested by several editions of Greek works. He either did not like the labour, or was not convinced of the utility of adding Latin translations to them ; but his version of a part of Polybius is commended by Is. Casaubon.
Marcus Musurus, a Cretan, was the pupil of Janus Lascaris. He first gave lectures in Greek writers at Padua, and afterwards at Venice, where he received a public stipend. He was engaged with Aldus in several editions of Greek authors, and in 1516, being sent for to Rome by Leo X., he was by the unanimous choice of the conclave appointed to an archbishopric (Archiepiscopatus Epidaurius sive Monovariensis), and soon after died, not having attained his
His dedication of Aldus's edition of Plato to Leo X. in a Greek poem, is published in Foster's Essay on Accent and Quantity, with a literal version in Latin, ed. 1763.
T. Warton, in his preface to Theocritus, speaks too slightly of some of these illustrious Greeks *. In a note, he mentions Michael Apostolicus as one of them, vol. i. p. vii. They are warmly vindicated by Foster in the Essay on Accent and Quantity. In that learned and extraordinary work, it is said, in a note to p. 222, “ Several writers have given the history of the revival of Greek learning : Christ. Rosa, de Turcismi fugå et Græcæ linguce incremento ; C. F. Boerner, de alterd migratione Lit. Græc. &c. ; Sam. Battier, Orat. de Lit. Græc. post inductam barbariem, &c.”
* Horum enim permulti exscripti sunt in Italiâ post captum Constantinopolim a Græculis famelicis qui patriâ expulsi stipem undequaque corrogabant.
The commencement of the following year was clouded with domestic affliction by the sudden death of one of his wife's brothers, at a time when she was about to be confined with her third child. He thus describes his distress in a letter:
TO HIS SISTER GEORGINA.
Kingsbury, February 1, 1801. MY DEAR GEORGINA, I have a very melancholy circumstance to communicate to you, of which the papers may perhaps have already informed you. Yesterday I received two letters at the same time from Plymouth Dock, the one requesting me to come immediately to George Ormsby, who lay dangerously ill there (which was not written, however, by his desire nor even with his knowledge), the other acquainting me with his decease, and also requesting my presence to give directions for his funeral. It was written on the 28th, on which morning he died. You may conceive my distress on account both of the melancholy event and of the consequences it might have on Jane in her present condition, if she should know it. I have determined, however, by the advice of my friend, Dr. Humberston, to keep it concealed from her, if possible, till she has been confined and begins to recover her strength. Fortunately I received the