Demetrius Pepanus

, a learned writer of the seventeenth century, whose works have but lately been brought to light, was born in the island of Chio; he took the surname of Domesticus, as appears from the title of his works. In 1637, became to Rome to prosecute his studies in the Greek college, and seven years after he returned to his native country. During his studies at Rome, he made so considerable a progress in learning and belles lettres, that he was appointed to teach his fellow-students the Greek language; but an illness, to which he became subject, and which was thought likely to terminate in an epilepsy, obliged him to leave the college, and disabled him from taking the intended order of priesthood. Yet before his return to the island of Chio, he made, with the | celebrated Lucas Holstenius, a tour to Florence, in order to examine the Greek Mss. in the Laurentian library. After his return to Chio, though he was not obliged to preach the Roman catholic religion, he attempted to support and defend it by his writings. Controversial divinity appears to have been the main object of his pursuits; though he also cultivated poetry and physic. He composed a great number of iambic verses on sacred subjects; one, among others, entitled “The Triumph of the Catholic Faith.” He wrote also a physical treatise against Galen and his disciples. He married in 1649; but the latter part of his life and his death are not recorded, though by the account of his countrymen he seems to have died at Messina. His works were published for the first time in 1781, at Rome, in 2 vols. 4to, under thfc title “Demetrii Pi-pani Domestic! Chii Opera quie reperiuntur e Grseca in Latinum et adnotationes adjecit Bernardus Stephanopolus; accedit praefatio Joannis Christophori Amadutii, cujus cura et studio nunc primum eduntur EpistoUe tres Grgeco-Latinae Imperatorum Constantinopolitanorum Joannis et Emanuelis Comneni ad Romanos poutifices Houorium II. et Alexandrum III.Demetrius’s manuscripts were discovered by signer Stellio Raffaetli, consul for the English East India company at Chio, who sent them in 1776 to cardinal York, and earnestly requested of his eminence to get them published. The cardinal’s zeal for erudition, and for the interests of the Roman catholic religion, prompted him to grant the request, and to charge Stephanopoli and Amaduzzi, two able Greek scholars, to translate the Mss. in question into Latin, and to publish both the text and their version together. They consist chiefly of polemical treatises in favour of some points in dispute between the Roman catholics and protestants, and between the Roman catholics and the Greek church; but the most valuable part of the work is the very learned preface by Amaduzzi, respecting the origin and progress of the vulgar and modern Greek language, in which several of Demetrius’s treatises are written; and another prefixed to the letters mentioned in the title of the work, which may be considered as one of the best essays extant on the ancient Greek hand-writing. 1


Dict. Hist. in Pepano. Critical Rev. vl.