Biography of John Argyropoulos

John Argyropoulos was one of the leading figures in the Italian revival of Classical learning. He was a Greek renaissance humanist, a philosopher, and a lecturer. He translated works from Greek into Latin, allegedly including many of Aristotle’s works. A significant amount of Argyropoulos’ works are still unprinted. His teaching in Florence is what he is most known for.

He was born around sometime after 1393 and died in 1487.

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The current concise biographical timeline for John Argyropoulos is as follows;

c.1393/1405/1415 – he is born in Constantinople

1439-1444 – he is in Italy for the Council of Florence

1443/44 – he receives a Doctor of Theology degree from the University of Padua

1453 – he leaves Constantinople when it falls and goes to Peloponnesus

1456 – he visits France and returns to Florence

1456-1470 – he is teaching at the Florentine Studium

between 1457-1471 – he writes the first version of the translation of Posterior Analytics

1460 – he gives a lecture on ‘De anima’, where he declares his lack of interest in Zoroaster and others up to Anaxagoras’ time. He chose Aristotle as his “Master of Philosophy”

1471 – plague outbreak, he moves to Rome where he teaches Greek until he dies

1487 – he dies in Rome

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The majority of Argyropoulos’ works are translations. He made translations of De Anima, De Caelo, Physics, Metaphysics (books 1-12), Nicomachean Ethics, and Organon. He made a translation of the Pseudo-Aristotlian text De Mundo, a translation of Porphyry’s Isagoge, a transcription of Plotinus’ Enneads, and a translation of St. Basil’s Hexaemeron.

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