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588

JOANNES.

from a letter of Francesco Filelfo to Pietro Per-leoni (Philelphus, Epistol. v. 3), engaged in pub­lic teaching, but it is uncertain how long he had been established there. Probably he had re­turned some time between A. D. 1434 and 1439, and accompanied Bessarion to and from the council of Florence. Among his pupils at Constantinople was Michael Apostolius. Argyropulus must have left Constantinople not long after the date of the letter of Philelphus, for in 1442 he was rector of the university of Padua (Facciolati, Fasti Gym-nasii Patavini) ; and he was still there A. d. 1444, when Francesco della Rovere, afterwards pope Sixtus IV., took his degree, not, however, as Nic. Comnen. Papadopoli (L c.) states, as a student (dis­ci pulus), but, according to the better authority of Tiraboschi (/. c.), as master of the school of philo­sophy (philosophiae magister scholaris). That he re­turned to Constantinople after 1444 is improbable, and rests on no better evidence than the assertion, /chiefly of later writers, that he fled into Italy on its capture in 1453. During his abode in Italy, after his last removal thither, he was honourably received by Cosmo de' Medici, then the principal person at Florence, for whose assistance in be­coming acquainted with the philosophy of Aristotle, some of his Latin versions of that great writer were made. He also assisted the studies of Piero de' Medici, son of Cosmo, and was preceptor to Lo-renzo de' Medici, the celebrated son of Piero, whom he instructed in Greek and in the Aris-.totelian philosophy, especially in ethics. When Lorenzo, who, from his father's ill health, took a leading part in affairs during his life, and succeeded, on his death (a. d. 1469), to his pre-eminence at : Florence, established the Greek academy in that .city, Argyropulus read and expounded the clas­sical Greek writers to the Florentine youth, and had several, among his pupils who afterwards at­tained to eminence, as Angelo Poliziano (Politi-'anus) and Donato Acciajuoli.

Argyropulus is said to have visited France (a. d. , 1456 ), to ask the assistance of the French king in pro­curing the release of some of his kindred who were .detained in captivity by the Turks, but he returned to Florence. From Florence he removed to Rome, on account of the plague which had broken out in the former city: the time of his removal is not as­certained, but it was before 1471. At Rome he obtained an ample subsistence, by teaching Greek and philosophy, and especially by publicly ex­pounding the works .of Aristotle. He died at the :age of seventy, from an autumnal fever, said to have been brought on by eating too freely of me­lons. But the year of his death is variously stated: .all that appears to be certainly known is, that he survived Theodore Gaza, who died a. d. 1478. 'Fabricius states that he died a. d. 1480 ; but this ;date appears from the anecdote of his interview with Reuchlin to be too early.

The attainments of Argyropulus were highly .estimated in his own and the succeeding age. The love and reverence of his most eminent pupils, Lo­renzo de' Medici, Poliziano, and Acciajuoli, is an honourable testimony to his character. Yet he has been severely censured ; and is charged with glut­tony, to which his corpulence is ascribed, and with .drunkenness, as well as with conceit and jealousy. These last qualities were so likely to be manifested by persons in the situations of these Greek exiles, reverenced: and sought as instructors by the men

JOANNES.

most eminent in Italy for intellect and social po­sition, and yet dependent upon their pupils, and com­petitors with each other for their patronage, that the charge is credible enough. A letter of intro­duction or recommendation written by Francesco Filelfo, while speaking highly of his erudition, apologises for his "moroseness and fickleness." The allegation, sufficiently improbable in itself, that it was jealousy which led him to depreciate Cicero's acquaintance with Greek literature (by which depreciation he incurred much reproach), shows the judgment which was formed of his cha­racter. Yet Theodore Gaza is said to have esteemed him very highly ; and when he found that Argyropulus was engaged in translating some pieces of Aristotle on which he had also been occupied, he burnt his own versions, that he might not, by provoking any unfavourable comparison, stand in the way of his friend's rising reputation.

Reuchlin when in Italy had an interview with Argyropulus at Rome. Argyropulus was explain­ing Thucydides ; and having asked Reuchlin to translate and expound a passage, was so astonished at the extent of his erudition, that in the words of Melancthon, nephew of Reuchlin, who has recorded the anecdote, " gemens exclamat, ' Graecia nostro exilio Alpes transvolavit'" (Melancthon, Oratio de Jo. Capnione, apud Boerner.) This anecdote de­serves notice, inasmuch as, if it refers (which is probable) to Reuchlin's visit to Italy in 1482, it shows that the date 1480, assigned by some to Argyropulus's death, is inaccurate.

Argyropulus had several sons, Hody thinks that the Joannes Argyropulus who translated Aris­totle's work Ilepi 'EpfAyveias, and to whose name some subjoin the epithet "junior," was one of his sons, and that he died before his father ; but this version was the work of Argyropulus himself, nor does he appear to have had a son Joannes. He had a son Bartolommeo, a youth of great attain­ments, who was mortally wounded by assassins (a. d. 1467) at Rome, where he was living under the patronage of Cardinal Bessarion. Another son, Isaac, survived his father, and became eminent as a musician. Demetrius Argyropulus, who is men­tioned (a. d. 1451) in a letter of Francesco Fi­lelfo, was apparently a brother of Joannes.

The works of Argyropulus are as follows :—I. Original works. 1. Hepl rijs rov dyiov Hvevfjia-ros €K.irop(:Vff€wSj De Processione Spiritus Sancti ,• printed with a Latin version in the Graecia Oriho-dooca of Leo Allatius (vol. i. pp. 400—418). 2. Oratio quarta pro Synodo Florentina^ cited by Ni-colaus Comnenus Papadopoli in his Praenotiones Mystagogicae. We do not know if this has been published, or whether it is in Latin or Greek. 3. Commentarii in Ethica Nicomachea, fol. Florence, 1478. This work comprehends the substance of his expository lectures on the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle, taken down from his lips, and pub­lished by Donatus Acciaiolus or Donato Accia­juoli, who has already been mentioned as a pupil of Argyropulus, and who dedicated this work to Cosmo de' Medici. 4. Commentarii in Aristotelis Metaphysica, published with Bessarion's version of that work, fol. Paris, 1515. The other original works of Argyropulus are scattered in MS. through the libraries of Europe. They are, 5. Consolatio ad Imperatorem Constantinum in morte fratris Jo« annis Palaeologi extincti, A. d. 1448. This work is

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