Among the topics are translating Aristotle in 15th-century Italy: George of Trebizond
and Leonardo Bruni, a knowing likeness: artists and letterati at the Farnese Court in mid-16th-century Rome, Greek antiquities and Greek histories in the late Renaissance, defining philosophy in 15th-century humanism: four case studies, and Justus Lipsius as historian of philosophy: the reception of the Manuductio ad stoicam philosophiam (1604) in the history of philosophy.
George of Trebizond
, who also translated many of the Greek fathers into Latin, was "the chief scholar responsible for their wider diffusion in the West." (30) In addition to pagan philosophical and scientific works by Aristotle and Ptolemy, (31) Trebizond translated several important patristic texts that Hubmaier read, including Cyril of Alexandria's Commentary on John, John Chrysostom's Homilies on Matthew, works by Athanasius and works by Basil of Caesarea, notably his important Contra Eunomium (32) As was common, Trebizond produced most of his translations though access to Bessarion's celebrated library of some 800 Greek manuscripts.
George of Trebizond
fashioned the first new kind of rhetoric of the Renaissance.
The remaining articles focus on aspects of Petrarch, Poliziano, Manuzio, Gaza, George of Trebizond
, and Marcello Adriani.
Here Hankins provides chapters on George of Trebizond
, Pletho, Cardinal Bessarion, and a fascinating account of the dispute between Trebizond and Bessarion.
It is no secret that the humanists loved to argue: Filelfo vilified the Medici, who tried to have him assassinated, and Poggio Bracciolini's problems with George of Trebizond
also ended in violence.
Other famous contributions were George of Trebizond
's Comparison of the Philosophies of Aristotle and Plato (1458) and, as a response to this, Against Plato's Calumniator (1469) by Cardinal Bessarion, who had been a student of Plethon in his youth.
When I published my book on George of Trebizond
in 1976, I quoted his Rhetoric from the 1523 Aldine edition, not because it was the best edition, but because it seemed to me that it was the most widely available one, given how highly prized and therefore better preserved Aldine books are.
John Monfasani gives a detailed and careful analysis of his position in the great Plato-Aristotle controversy, a philosophical genre with roots in Middle Platonism that flourished anew in the Renaissance following the heated exchanges among Pletho, George of Trebizond
, and Bessarion.
Other figures entered in, so that early on one line links Vergerio, George of Trebizond
, Bruni, Poggio, and Guarino as Ciceronians and another links Barzizza, Alberti, Salutati, and Valla as eclectics.
(120) In the representation of George of Trebizond
In the thirteenth century it influenced Aquinas, who had parts of Proclus' long commentary, along with the apposite lemmata, translated into Latin for him by the Dominican William of Moerbeke; and in the fifteenth, it molded the Platonism both of Cusanus, for whom it was quickly and sloppily translated by George of Trebizond
(a rabid Aristotelian), and of Bessarion.