Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

2011 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund

Basil Bessarion

  • George Karamanolis
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9729-4_77

Abstract

Basil Bessarion (c. 1400/1408–1472) was an eminent scholar and philosopher of the late Byzantium, engaged in the theological and philosophical controversies of his time, such as those regarding the union of the churches, the procession of the Holy Spirit, and the question of how the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle compare. After the end of the council at Ferrara/Florence, Bessarion left Byzantium and settled in Italy where he made a career as a cardinal. He was an avid collector of manuscripts, which he left to the Republic of Venice, now preserved in the Bibliotheca Marciana. Bessarion recommended to the West the study of the classical philosophers from the original. His work In calumniatorem Platonis is a detailed exposition of Platonic philosophy and an attempt to place it in its historical framework. Bessarion’s views on substance, the soul, on cognition, and the divine are mainly inspired by the Neoplatonists.

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Bibliography

Primary Sources

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Karamanolis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Social StudiesUniversity of CreteRethymnoGreece