Biography of Basilios Bessarion

Basilios Bessarion was a Renaissance Humanist who played an important role in the revival of the study of Plato. He was a student of Gemistus Plethon. His most important work is considered to be ‘In calumniatorem Platonis’, a defense of Plato against Aristotelianism.

He was born around 1403 and died in 1472.

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c.1389/1395/1403/1408 – He is born in Trebizond (now Trabzon, Turkey).

1423 – He goes to the Peloponnese to study under Gemistus Pletho .

1423 – He becomes a monk in the order of St. Basil and adopts the name Bessarion.

1436 – He becomes abbot of a monastery in Constantinople.

1437 – He becomes Archbishop of Nicaea (now Iznik, Turkey).

1438 – He arrives in Italy.

1439 – He reads the declaration of the Greek Association of Churches in the cathedral of Florence. He organizes the Union of Florence of the Greek and Roman churches.

1439 – He becomes Cardinal.

1450-1455 – He is Papal Governor of Bologna.

1458 – He becomes Protector of the Franciscan Order.

1463 – He becomes Latin Patriarch of Constantinople.

1464 – He presides over the Papal conclave.

1468 – He donates books which form the nucleus of the Biblioteca Marciana.

1469 – His In calumniatorem Platonis is first printed and printed in Rome by Schweynheym and Pannartz, and again in 1503 and 1516 by Manutius.

1471 – He again presides over the Papal conclave.

1471 – He is sent on embassy to a foreign prince.

1472 – He dies in Ravenna.

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