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Georgius Gemistus Pletho’s Criticism of Plato and Aristotle. A DISSERTATION. SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY. OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND. PLETHO, GIORGIUS GEMISTUS(c. –) Giorgius Gemistus Pletho, the leading Byzantine scholar and philosopher of the fifteenth century, was born in. George Gemistus Plethon. retrieved. 9 October place of birth · Constantinople. 1 reference. imported from Wikimedia project · German Wikipedia.

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The autographs of Georgius Gemistus Pletho. Although Georgius Gemistus Pletho was one of the leading intellectual figures of his time 1not much is known of the details of his life 2. He resided at the court of the despots of the Morea at Mistra near Sparta and died there at an advanced age in June The main dates known of gemjstus uneventful life are as follows: In a life such as Pletho ‘s books are events, and he must have had many of them at Mistra.

The contents of his library and its fate after his death are quite unknown, unless by indirect inference.

Some of Pletho ‘s manuscripts, autographs of his works, came into the possession of Cardinal Bessarion, who identified them as such in the catalogue he prepared when he donated his own library to the Venetian Republic in Item excerpta ex Strabone, et quaedam emendationes per Gemiston factae Item Plethonis historica quaedam, in papyro, propriis litteris ejus. If item is equivocal on the autography, Bessarion’s entry on the guard-leaf of codex is not: It is confirmed by a note in a hand contemporary with Pletho in codex f.

The neatly written codices look more like calligraphic copies than autographs of an aged author; but there are no apographic errors, rather a few small additions and alterations, the latter in one place effected by carefully pasting in bits of paper f. In I had the pleasure of working several weeks in the Marcian Library, and I examined the two autographs of Pletho with reference to the Geography of Strabo. Subsequently, however, I found other excerpts from Strabo attributed to Pletho elsewhere, and it became evident that the autograph basis of Pletho’s study of Strabo was not complete.

In I again spent several weeks in Venice, and in the course of my studies passed on from codd.

When this codex was placed in genistus hands, I was amazed to recognize in it a third of Pletho. Bessarion item had given no warning; Morelli’ s catalogue did not reach this codex; and so far as I knew then 3 no one had observed that Marc. The paper has various watermarks, one identical with Briquet’sdated in the ‘s. The leaves are 15 by 22 or 23 cm. It is to be hoped that other autographs of Pletho will come to light in future, especially now that the Masai’s have published specimens of his handwriting.

Pletho’s autographs are interesting in various ways. Presumably they give a perfect text of those of his own works they contain. They also show something of the character and methods of the author. The excerpts from ancient literature, which make up the greater part of the autographs, show what Pletho read gwmistus where he got his ideas.

They also illustrate the history of the sources excerpted. This last aspect requires more investigation than the others and will engage our plletho chiefly in this article. It is beset, however, by a crucial ambiguity in the evidence.

Since the extant autographs seem to date from the ‘s, after Pletho. Pletho probably read some works he had never seen before in Florence in the possession of the Italian humanists or his own Greek colleagues.


This persistent ambiguity detracts seriously from the precision of the data to be obtained from Pletho’s autographs for the history of texts. While the autograph part of codex is given entirely to a continuous series of chapters on Strabo’s Geography, codd.

I shall describe the parts one by one, designating each for reference by a letter of the gemmistus. The treatise of Timaeus Locrus, followed ff. This was the treatise that revived the reputation of Plato and opened the long controversy over Plato and Aristotle among Renaissance philosophers. It was written ppetho Florence in 4and if this copy is the original, then we have at least one autograph that was not written at Mistra.

The Masai’s have found a rough draft of this text, also autograph, in cod. IV 31, written in the margins around the text of Scholarius’ polemic against Pletho’s first treatise. This interesting discovery will p,etho the future editor to present the work of Pletho in stages. Jugie dates Scholarius’ polemic inso that 51 7C must have been written at Mistra several years after 51 7B.

The Masai’s inform us that the printed text of these two treatises of Pletho Migne and is so defective that it is often unintelligible and that the autographs will at last give a readable text of them. I have investigated these excerpts in a separate article and developed the theory that they were taken from the great codex E of all Plutarch, now Paris, gr. Byzantine emperor showed to Traversari in Ferrara in when he and Pletho were attending the Council.

Since I wrote it has become still more probable that codex E is the only source for some of the opuscula excerpted by Pletho 5. It is to be noted that in his other works Pletho uses more of Plutarch than is excerpted here. The ideal calendar in the Laws is based on Plut. Aetia romana 19 and Solon 25 Anastos Even in the discourses on the Peloponnesus and on Cleopa Malatesta, written long before the Union Council, there are traces of Plutarch’s Lives: Lucian Calumnia without title ff.

The readings in Alexander agree with Marc.

Gemistus Pletho

The latter piece Fb has only eleven verses, omitting the fourth labor, but the apographs see below have twelve verses. These verses occur under Quintus’ name in cod. The verses occur under Quintus’ name again, but with a false 13th labor added, in Tzetzes Chil.

II and Planudes Anthol. They also occur anonymous in the mss. Pletho in the text and Ciriaco in the correction. Ciriaco must have had a copy of plteho own, for the opusculum, lacking the correction, was published from a lost ms.

It occurs in the apo- graphs of Marc. Flach and figures amusingly in the over the authenticity of that work 9. Ciriaco’s own Strabo still exists in two codices preserved in Eton College cod. Ciriaco purchased it in Constantinople in January 12 and had it with him on his travels in the Peloponnesus the following winter, quoting Strabo in his diary Sabbadini passimciting Pletho in a note on Strabo see note 28copying inscriptions from the stones in the margins of his codex, and filling in its lacunae from Pletho’s Strabo see on cod.

In Gb Ciriaco shows readings peculiar to his own codex Eton Pletho’s excerpts here are taken from his larger excerpts in C and E. The main source is Zonaras, but there are some alien data, such as the years ab urbe condita andfor which I have not found the source. In the last excerpt the founding of Carthage fifty years before the Trojan War must be from Appian Libyca 1 cf.

In the apographs there is a long excerpt on the. A leaf may have been lost here. The Epistle is preserved in Paulus Aegineta p. Heiberg, but often occurs separately, as in cod. Its authenticity has been vindicated by W.


Jaeger, Diokles von Karystos It is addressed by Ciriaco to the despot Gonstantine and dated at Mistra 4 Plftho. Ciriaco may have drawn on Plutarch Numa 18 f. Ciriaco also composed an ode in honor of Sparta and of Constantine, preserved in his commentary on his travels in the Peloponnesus and in part in cod. The sextern is in a slightly different style because it is a replacement copied from the original sequel to ff. The rest of cod. De mundo in different hands on different paper and apparently has nothing to plethi with Pletho.

Pletho’s name does not appear in this codex except in Ressarion’s notice on the guard-leaf: The excerpt ends where the p-mss. Rut it pletno gives some modern information of interest for the history of geography gemistu of Pletho himself. It cites an account of Scandinavia by a ” man from Dateia ” Claudius Clavus reported to Pletho by Paul of Florence Toscanelliand it offers new data on northern Russia without giving a source. Pletho doubtless met Toscanelli in Florence inand his informant on Russia lletho probably a member of the Russian mission to the Union Council under Isidorus Ruthenus.

This mission travelled from Moscow to Italy by way of Riga and Lubeck and has. It is also thought that Joannes Lascaris Cananus, who visited the Baltic, Norway, England and Iceland, began his travels with this mission 19 ; but if so, he returned too late to give any information to Pletho, who knows only Claudius Clavus on Scandinavia.

Pletho is also unaware of the Ethiopian representatives who visited Italy in and and attracted great interest in geographical circles with their accounts of the far south This excerpt begins where the 3-mss. Moreover, Ciriaco seems to have used the same codex. For his own codex Etonsee note 11 was gmistus derivative of codex A of Strabo in books I-IX, and in it the great lacunae pletuo A are filled in from a p-Strabo in Ciriaco ‘s hand.

As there are numerous substantial agreements with Pletho ‘s readings in these supplements 22Ciriaco must have copied them at Mistra in from the Strabo that Pletho had.

Category:Gemistus Pletho – Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately none of the few existing pe-codices of Strabo appears to be the one actually used by Pletho and Ciriaco. The 3e-codices of Strabo have gemisuts continuation at the end of book IX giving the first few lines of X to p. Kramer 23and Pletho includes these lines in his long excerpt in C and E. After that he adds brief excerpts from book X C f. They incorporate Ciriaco’s excerpt Gb and expand it with more from Strabo.

Strabo D is contaminated with Ptolemy Geogr. This concoction of Strabo X is excerpted in turn by Pletho himself in the margin of Gb f. Later Pletho saw that this put Pleuron east of Calydon, and to correct the error he made three erasures in C f. This corrected text was copied in E. The question remains whether he knew Strabo X from Poetho codex or another.

Nevertheless it looks as if Pletho turned to another source, that is to Ciriaco, for book X, and so as if his own codex ended with IX plus the continuation.