Michael Apostolius

Michael Apostolius an eminent Greek scholar, who contributed largely to the revival of learning in Italy, flourished in the 15th century. He was an intimate friend of Gemistus Pletho, and an adherent of the Platonic philosophy, two circumstances which, together with his own merits, caused him to be well received by cardinal Bessarion in Italy, where he settled about 1440. Later in life Michael retired to Candia, where he got a livelihood by teaching children and copying manuscripts. There he died, some time after 1457, for in that year he wrote a panegyric on the emperor Frederick III. His principal works are, a defence of Plato against Theodore Gaza, extant in MS. in the Vienna library: — Menexenus, a dialogue on the Holy Trinity, investigating whether the Mohammedans and Jews are right in believing a Mono-Deus; or the Christians, in believing a Deus Trinunus; extant in MS., ibid. — Oratio consultoria ad Socerum sibi irascendum cum, ad secundas transiret nuptias, extant in the Bodleian: Appellatio ad Constantinum Palaeologum ultitum Imperatorum: Oratio ad loannem Argyropulum: Epistolae XLV; these letters are extremely important for the history of the writer's time, as Lambecius asserts, who perused all or most of them, and it is to be regretted that nope of them are printed. The first is addressed to Gemistus, the others to Manuel Chrvsolaras, Chalcocondylas, Argyropulus, Bessarion, and other celebrated men of the time. They are extant in MS. in the Bodleian; some of them are also to be found in the Vatican and at Munich: — Oratio Panegyrica ad Fredericum III, written about or perhaps in 1457; it was published in Greek and Latin by Freherus in the second volume of his Rerum German. Script.: — Oratio Funebris in Laudem Bessarionis, does credit to the heart of Michael for it seems that the cardinal had not behaved very generously towards the poor scholar. Still it is very questionable whether our Michael is the author of it; Bessarion died in 1472, and as Michael, previously to leaving Constantinople, in or before 1440, had enjoyed, during many years, the friendship of Gemistus, whose name became conspicuous in the very beginning of the 15th century, and who was a very old man in 1441, he must have attained a very great age if he survived Bessarion: — Disceptatio adversus eos qui Occidentales Orientalibus superiorses se contendebant, extant in MS. in the Bodleian: — De Figuris Grammaticis, which Leo Allatius esteemed so highly that he intended to publish it, but was unfortunately prevented: — An Etymological Dictionary; doubtful whether still extant; a work of great importance: — Ι᾿ωνία, Violets, a pleasing title given to a collection of sentences of celebrated persons. Arsenims. of Malvasia, made an extract of it (Α᾿ποφθέγματ Rome, 8vo), which he dedicated to pope Leo X, who reigned from 1513 to 1522: — Συναγωγὴ Παροιμιῶν, containing 2027 Greek proverbs, a very remarkable little work, which soon attracted the notice of the lovers of Greek literature; it was dedicated by the author to Casparus Uxama, or Osmi, a Spanish prelate, whom Michael met at Rome. Editions: the Greek text by Hervagius (Basle, 1558, 8vo); the text, with a Latin version and valuable notes, by P. Pantinus and A. Scholl, (Leyd. 1619, 4to); also cum Clavi Homerica, by George Perkins. See Cave, Hist. Lit. ad an. 1440; Fabricius, Bibl. Graec. 11:189; Smith, Dict. Greek and Rom. Biog. aid Mythol. s.v.

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