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Title: Cardinal Bessarion and the transmission and interpretation of Plato in the fifteenth century
Author: Malone-Lee, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 9681
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Cardinal Bessarion came from his native Byzantium and settled in Rome in the mid fifteenth century. He was a Basilian monk and, at the time, a Greek Archbishop. His cultural background was in the rationalist tradition of Greek theology. As the Byzantine Empire succumbed to the invading Turks he made it his mission to preserve as much of Greek cultural heritage as possible. Part of this mission was to set out for the Italians (or Latins as he called them) the teachings of Plato of which they had only scanty knowledge. His work in Calumniatorem Platonis was intended as a defence of Plato's teachings against the criticisms of the militant Aristotelian George of Trebizond. This thesis examines Bessarion's exposition of Plato's teachings in that work on a range of philosophical questions that were litmus tests of theological orthodoxy at the time. It argues that Bessarion's exposition of Plato is heavily interpreted through a prism of later commentaries and thinkers particularly the Neo-Platonists. It shows how these interpretations and Bessarion's use of his sources is determined by his aim of showing that Plato's philosophy was closer to Christian orthodoxy than Aristotle's and, therefore, provided a firmer philosophical base than the prevailing Aristotelianism.
Supervisor: Wilson, Nigel ; Heyworth, Stephen ; Gertz, Sebastian ; Wilson, Nigel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Transmission of texts--Europe--History--To 1500