Demetrius Chalcocondyles or Demetrios Chalcocondylis or Chalcocondylas or Chalcondyles (1423 – 1511), born in
Athens, was one of the most eminent Greek scholars in the West. He contributed also to Italian Renaissance literature. He was associated with Marsilius Ficinus, Angelus Politianus, and Theodorus Gazain the revival of letters in the Western world. One of his pupils at Florence was the famous Johann Reuchlin. Demetrius belonged to one of the noblest Athenian families. He was a first cousin of the chronicler of the fall of Constantinople, Laonicus Chalcondyles, and the last of the Greek humanists who taught Greek literature at the great universities of the Italian Renaissance (Padua, Florence, Milan).
He was from the
Peloponnisos, where his Athenian family had moved after its persecution by the Florentinedukes. He was brought to Italy in 1447 by Cardinal Bessarionand arrived at Romein 1449, where he became the student of Gaza 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. In 1463 he was made professor at Padua and later, in 1479 at Francesco Philelpho's suggestion, he took over the place of Ioannis Argyropoulos, as the head of the Greek Literature department and was summoned by Lorenzo de Medicito Florence. It was during his tenure at the Studium in Florence that Chalcondyles edited Homerfor publication. He assisted Marsilio Ficino with his Latin translation of Plato. His edition of Homer, dedicated to Lorenzo, Piero de' Medici's son, is his major accomplishment. Finally, invited by Ludovico Sforza, he moved to Milan(1491/1492), where he taught until he died.
He wrote in
Ancient Greekthe grammar handbooks "Summarized Questions of the Eight Parts of Word After Their Rules" (Ερωτήματα Συνοπτικά Τον Οκτώ Του Λόγου Μερών Μετά Τινών Κανόνων). He translated Galen's "Anatomy" into Latin.
As a scholar, Chalcondyles published the "
editio princeps" of Homer, ('Ομήρου τα Σωζόμενα', Florence, 1488), Isocrates, (Milan, 1493) and the " Suda" (Σούδα), the Byzantinelexicon (1494).
*Greek Grammar, edited 1546 by
Melchior Volmarin 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 Nerliusand 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 Damilasfrom the type that he had used to print Constantinus Lascaris’ " Erotemata" (Milan, 1476), the first book to be printed entirely in Greek, based upon the hand of Damilas’s fellow scribe Michael Apostolis.
*Proctor, "the Printing of Greek in the Fifteenth-Century", pp. 66-69.
Byzantine scholars in Renaissance
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