Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund

Basil Bessarion

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1151-5_77-2

Abstract

Basil Bessarion (c. 1400/1408–1472) was an eminent scholar and philosopher of 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. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria