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Basilio Bessarione

Basilio Bessarione

Trebisonda ca. 1408 - Ravenna 1472


Greek scholar and Roman Catholic ecclesiastic, notable as a patron of learning and a collector of manuscripts. He entered the order of St. Basil in 1423; studied under Platonic scholar George Gemistus Pletho, became archbishop of Nicæa in 1437; accompanied John Palæolagus to Italy, in 1438, to assist in effecting union between the Greek and Latin churches; supported the Roman Church at the councils of Ferrara and Florence, whereby he gained the favor of Pope Eugenius IV by whom he was made cardinal in 1439 and successively invested with the archbishopric of Siponto and the bishoprics of Sabina and Tusculum; and received the title of Patriarch of Constantinople 1463. He wrote Adversus Calumniatorem Platonis, etc.
The Century Cyclopedia of Names (1903).

Bibliography: D.J. Geanakoplos, Greek Scholars in Venice: Studies in the Dissemination of Greek Learning from Byzantium to the West, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.) 1962; L. Labowsky, Bessarione, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 9 (1967); M. Zorzi, La libreria di San Marco, libri, lettori, società nella Venezia dei Dogi, Mondadori, Milano 1987; C. Bianca, Da Bisanzio a Roma. Studi sul cardinale Bessarione, Roma nel Rinascimento, Roma 1999; G. Sfranze, Paleologo. Grandezza e caduta di Bisanzio, Sellerio, Palermo 2008; G.L. Coluccia, Basilio Bessarione: Lo spirito greco e l'Occidente, Firenze, Olschki 2009.



H. Omont, Inventaire des manuscrits grecs et latins donnés à Saint Marc par le cardinal Bessarion, «Revue des Bibliothèques», IV, 1894, pp. 129-187.

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