Demetrius Chalcondylas

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Demetrius Chalcondylas (14231511) was a Greek exile in Italy, and a humanist scholar of the Italian Renaissance.

Demetrius belonged to one of the noblest Athenian families. He was a first cousin of the chronicler of the fall of Constantinople, Laonikos Chalcondylas, and the last of the Greek humanists who taught Greek literature at the great universities of the Italian Renaissance (Padua, Florence, Milan). Chalcondylas was brought to Italy by Cardinal Bessarion in 1447 and arrived at Rome in 1449, where he became the student of Theodorus Gazis and,later gained the patronage of Lorenzo de Medici, serving as a tutor to his sons. Chalcondylas spent the rest of his life as a teacher of Greek and philosophy at Perugia, Padua, Rome, Florence and Milan. It was during his tenure at the Studium in Florence that Chalcondyles edited Homer for publication. He assisted Marsilio Ficino with his Latin translation of Plato. His edition of Homer, dedicated to Lorenzo's son Piero de' Medici, is his major accomplishment.

[edit] Works

  • Greek Grammar, edited 1546 by Melchior Volmar in Basel
  • Latin translation of the Anatomical Procedures of Galen, edited and published in 1529 by Jacopo Berengario da Carpi
  • 1488, editio princeps of Homer's Ilias and Odyssey, Poiesis Hapasa, edited by Bernardus Nerlius and Demetrius Chalcondylas, appeared in Florence, not before 13 January 1489, in two folio volumes. It was the first Greek book to be printed in Florence. The Greek type used to print the 1488-89 Homer is believed to have been cast by the Cretan Demetrius Damilas from the type that he had used to print Constantinus LascarisErotemata (Milan, 1476), the first book to be printed entirely in Greek, based upon the hand of Damilas’s fellow scribe Michael Apostolis.

[edit] References

  • Proctor, the Printing of Greek in the Fifteenth-Century, pp. 66-69.

Demetrius Chalcondylas

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