ARGYROPULOS John (’Αργυροπουλος, Argiropulo, Giovanni)—a Byzantine humanist, philosopher, and writer, b. around 1415 in Constantinople, d. July 16, 1487 in Rome.

Argyropulos’ first trip to Italy was in connection with the Ferraro-Florentine Council (1438) is was an occasion for him to meet Francis Philelphem and the Italian humanists. From 1441 to 144 he studied in Padua where he earned a doctorate and the honorific title: “rector artistarum et medicorum”; at the urging of Emperor Constantine XI he lectured at the university in Constantinople (1448–1453), where he commented on Aristotle’s Physics and Logic and as a supporter of unity between the Greek and Latin Church he wrote a treatise on the Council of Florence concerning the origin of the Holy Spirit (ed. R 1652; PG 158, 991–1008); after the fall of Constantinople he traveled to Greece, Italy, and France. From 1457 to 1471 and from 1477 to 1481 with the support of Cosimo and Pietro Medici he taught the Greek language and philosophy first in Florence and then (at the invitation of Pope Sixtus IV, with whom he studied in Padua) in Rome. He was a renowned teacher and a friend of Latin and Greek humanists (his students included Platina, Michael Apostolios, Donato Acciaiuoli, Cristoforo Landino, and Angelo Poliziano). He was one of the major promoters of the formation of this movement of philosophical thought in the Florentine Renaissance, from which the mature thought of Marsilio Ficino grew. He was the author of oratorical and philosophical works and wrote many letters. He was especially known was a translator of Aristotle’s writings: Ethica nicomachea, De anima, and Porphyry’s Isagoge. He also edited other translations. The Physica, De caelo and De anima are published in the third edition of Aristotle’s writings (Academia Regia Borussica, Berolini). Argyropulos was interest mainly as a philologist and historian in Arisotle, but as a philosopher he was closer to Platonism. He tried to reconcile Plato’s theories was the Stagyrite’s views, and this position appeared in his many polemical writings with Poliziano, Theodore Gaza, and George of Trapezunto, and particular in his collaboration with Cardinal Bessarion in the publication of In calumniatorem Platonis and in the introduction to the commentary on the Isagoge where Argyropulos revived the Platonic theory of the ideas and ascribed to ideas an existence separate from visible things.

J. Fijalek, Jan Argyropulos i jego promocja doktorska w Padwie w lipcu 1444 roku [John Argyropulos and his doctoral promotion in Padua in July 1444], Kr 1902; S. Lampros, Argyropuleia, At 1910; M. Heitzman, Studia nad Akademią Platonską we Florencji [Studies on the Platonic Academy in Florence], Kr 1933; G. Camelli, Giovanni Argiropulo, Fi 1941 (bibliogr.); E. Garin, Un trattatello inedito di Giovanni Argiropulo, in: Prospettive storiche e programmi attuali dell’educazione, Fi 1960; E. Bigi, DBI IV 129–131.

Marian Ciszewski

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