329. Greeks Bearing Gifts: Byzantine Scholars in Italy

Posted on 14 July 2019

Bessarion and George Trapenzuntius, rival scholars from the Greek east who helped inspire the Italian Renaissance.

Further Reading
• S. Mariev et al. (ed. and trans.), Bessarion: Über Natur und Kunst (Hamburg: 2015).
• J. Monfasani, Collectantea Trapezuntiana: Texts, Documents, and Bibliographies of George of Trebizond (Binghamton, NY: 1984).
• J.W. Taylor (ed. and trans.), Theodore Gaza’s De fato (Toronto: 1925).
• D.J. Geanaloplos, Greek Scholars in Venice: Studies in the Dissemination of Greek Learning from Byzantium to Western Europe (Cambridge MA: 1962).
• H. Lamers, Greece Reinvented: Transformations of Byzantine Hellenism in Renaissance Italy (Leiden: 2015).
• C. Märtl, C. Kaiser, and T. Ricklin (eds), Inter graecos latinissimus, inter latinos graecissimus: Bessarion zwischen den Kulturen (Berlin: 2013).
• L. Mohler, Kardinal Bessarion als Theologe, Humanist und Staatsmann, 3 vols (Paderborn: 1923).
• J. Monfasani, George of Trebizond: a Biography and a Study of his Rhetoric and Logic (Leiden: 1976).
• J. Monfasani, Byzantine scholars in Renaissance Italy: Cardinal Bessarion and other Emigrés (Aldershot: 1995).
• J. Monfasani, Greeks and Latins in Renaissance Italy: Studies on Humanism and Philosophy in the 15th Century (Aldershot: 2004).
• J. Monfasani, Greek Scholars Between East and West in the Fifteenth Century (Farnham: 2016).
Stanford Encyclopedia: Bessarion
Thanks to Okihito Utamura for his advice on this episode!


Finkewitz 19 July 2019

I just wanted to say that I enjoyed this episode very much. And I think  this is also an important episode about the role of byzantine intellectuals in Renaissance Italy (and their influence)! 


Just a short remark: Another book about Bessarion which could be mentioned in the bibliography is this one:

"Longin: von Bessarion zu Boileau: Wirkungsmomente der Schrift über das Erhabene in der frühen Neuzeit" (author: Klaus Ley, published: 2013)

I can recommend this (german)  book in this context here. 

Thanks for the interesting reference, I have not seen that book but it sounds worth checking out! As it happens I have just been doing a seminar on the Life of Plotinus by Porphyry, here in Munich, and Longinus comes up quite a lot there (thoguh I gather he didn't really write this text 'On the Sublime').

Glad you liked the episode.

Finkewitz 20 July 2019

In reply to by Peter Adamson

 I think so too. You should check it out. It's worth reading it! Everybody who is interested in the Italian Renaissance should read it in my opinion.

Another book from the same author is :

"Die Wiederkehr des Sublimen. Die Kontroverse um Platon und die Kunst der Rede nach 1453: zur Grundlegung des Programms künstlerischer Erneuerung der römischen Basilika <SS. XII Apostoli> "  

(Klaus Ley, 2015)

Longinus is also a subject of this book.  I think Plotinus was not a great fan of Longinus, if i remember it right. You can find this somewhere in Porphyrios  Plotinus biography. In my opinion the author Klaus Ley has a good knowledge of Neoplatonism in the age of the Renaissance.



Add new comment