Chrysoloras, Emanuel

, the principal of those learned men who brought the Greek language and literature into the West, was born at Constantinople, as it is supposed, about 1355. He was of considerable rank, and descended from so ancient a family that his ancestors are | said to have removed with Constantine from Rome to Byzantium. He was sent ambassador to the sovereigns of Europe by the emperor John Palseologus in 1387, to solicit assistance against the Turks, and was here in England in the reign of Richard II. In an epistle which he wrote at Rome to the emperor, containing a comparison of ancient and modern Rome, he says that he was two years before at London with his retinue. When he had finished this embassy in somewhat more than three years, he returned to Constantinople; but afterwards, whether through fear of the Turks, or for the sake of propagating the Greek learning, left it again, and came back into Italy about 1396, by invitation from the city of Florence, with the promise of a salary, to open a school there for the Greek language. With this he complied, and taught there for three years, and had Leonard Aretin for his scholar. From Florence he went to Milan, at the command of his emperor, who was come into Italy, and resided in that city; and while he was here, Galeazzo, duke of Milan, prevailed with him to accept the Greek professorship in the university of Pavia, which had lately been founded by his father. This he held till the death of Galeazzo, and then removed to Venice on account of the wars which immediately followed. Between 1406 and 1409 he went to Rome upon an invitation from Leonard Aretin, who had formerly been his scholar, but was then secretary to pope Gregory XII. In this city his talents and virtues procured him the honour of being sent, in 1413, into Germany by pope Martin V. as ambassador to the emperor Sigismund, along with cardinal Zarabella, in order to fix upon a place for holding a general council; and Chrysoloras and the cardinal fixed upon Constance. Afterwards he returned to his own emperor at Constantinople, by whom he was sent ambassador with others as representatives of the Greek church, to the council of Constance; but a few days after the opening of the council he died, April 15, 1415. He was buried at Constance and a handsome monument was erected over him, with an inscription upon it by Peter Paul Vergerio. His scholar Poggio also honoured his memory with an elegant epitaph, and a volume of eulogies upon him lately existed in the monastery at Camaldoli, justly due to one who contributed so essentially to revive Grecian literature, which had lain dormant in the West for seven hundred years. Emanuel had a nephew, John Chrysoloras, who likewise | taught Greek in Italy, and died in 1425. Emanuel’s. Greek Grammar was published soon after the invention of printing, and there are a great many editions from 1480 to 1550, 4to and 8vo, almost all of which are very scarce. 1

1 Hody de Græc. illmtribus. Borner de Graecig Lit. Græc. in Italia instauratoribus.