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Bessarion, Johannes (also Basilius)

Born: 1403? AD
Died: 1472 AD.

Nationality: Greek
Categories: Cardinal


1403? - Basilius Bessarion was born on January 2nd at Trebizond, Trebizond empire (Trabzon, Turkey). Byzantine humanist and theologian, later a Roman cardinal, and a major contributor to the revival of letters in the 15th century.

         - He was one of the earliest scholars to transplant Greek literature and philosophy into the West.

1413 - He was sent to Constantinople, where he devoted himself to study, achieving great success in the field of letters.

1423 - He was educated at Constantinople (Istanbul) and adopted the name Bessarion upon becoming a monk in the order of St. Basil.

         - Went to the Peloponnese to hear Gemistus Pletho expound the philosophy of Plato.

1436 - He was made Bishop of Nicæa.

1437 - He was made metropolitan of Nicaea by the Byzantine Emperor John VIII Palaeologus.

1438 -  As Archbishop of Nicaea, he accompanied the Greek emperor, John VIII Palaeologus, to Italy to effect a union between the Greek and the Roman churches.

1439 - He joined the Roman Church, and was made cardinal by Pope Eugene IV.

1449 - Was made Bishop of Ulazzara.

1450-1455 - He was legate at Bologna and was engaged on embassies to many foreign princes.

1463 - Received the title of Latin patriarch of Constantinople.

1470 - Bessarion wrote the letter "De Bello Turcis inferendo".

1472 - He died on 18th of November at Ravenna.


Page last updated: 4:09pm, 06th Aug '07