John Argyropûlus (Α᾿ργυροποῦλος), one of the learned Greeks whose flight into Western Europe contributed so powerfully to the revival of learning, was born at Constantinople of a noble family, and was a presbyter of that city, on the capture of which (A.D. 1453) he is said by Fabricius and Cave to have fled into Italy; but there is every reason to believe that his removal was antecedent to that event, and that he was in Italy several times previously. A passage cited by Tiraboschi (Storia della Lett. Italiana, 6, 198) makes it likely that he was at Padua A.D. 1434, reading and explaining the works of Aristotle on natural philosophy. In A.D. 1439 an Argyropulus was present with the emperor John Palaeologus at the Council of Florence (Michael Ducas, Hist. Byzant. c. 31), and, though it is not certain that this was our John, it yet seems very probable. In A.D. 1441 he was at Constantinople, as appears from a letter of Francesco Filelfo to Pietro Perleoni (see Philelphus, Epistol. 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. During his abode in Italy, after his last removal thither in 1453, he was honorably received by Cosmo de' Medici, and was made preceptor to Lorenzo de' Medici, the celebrated son of Pietro, in Greek and in the Aristotelian philosophy, especially in ethics. When Lorenzo succeeded to the throne in A.D. 1469 he established a Greek academy in that city, and in it Argyropulus read and expounded the classical Greek writers to the Florentine youth. 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. The attainments of Argyropulus were highly estimated in his own and the succeeding age. Thus it is related of Theodore Gaza that, 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 unfavorable comparison, stand in the way of his friend's rising reputation. The works of Argyropulus are as follows: Original works —
1. Περὶ τῆς τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος ἐκπορεύσεως De Processione Spiritus Sancti; printed with a Latin version in the Groecia Orthodoxa of Leo Allatius, 1, 400-418: —
2. Oratio quarta pro Synodo Florentina, cited by Nicolaus Comnenus Papadopoli in his Proenotiones Mystagogioce. We do not know if this has been published, or whether it is in Latin or Greek: —
3. Commentarii in Ethica Nicomachea (Florence, 1478). This work comprehends the substance of his expository lectures on the Nicomachian ethics of Aristotle, taken down and published by Donatus Acciajuoli, who is mentioned as a pupil of Argyropulus: —
4. Commentarii in Aristotelis Metaphysica, published with Bessarion's version of that work (Paris, 1515, fol.). The other original works of Argyropulus are scattered in MSS. through the libraries of Europe (of which a full list is given by Smith, ut infra). He also translated the Proedicabilia, or De quinque vocibus of Porphyry, and the Homilioe S. Basilii in Hexaemeron. His version of Porphyry was printed with his translations of Aristotle at Venice in 1496, and that of Basil at Rome in 1515. — See Hody, De Groecis Illustribus, p. 187-210; Wharton in Cave, Hist. Litt. 2, Appendix, p. 168; Fabricius, Bibl. Groec. 3, 496. etc.; 11, 469, etc.; Smith, Dict. Gr. and Rom. Biog. 2, 587.