Georgios Sphrantzes

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Georgios Sphrantzes


Born Aug. 30, 1401; died after 1478, on Corfu. Byzantine historian and statesman. Governor of Patras, Selimbria, and Mistra; from 1451, grand logothete (head of the civil administration).

From 1453 to 1454, Georgios Sphrantzes was a prisoner of the Turks, after which he entered the service of the Peloponnesian despot Thomas. In 1468 he became a monk. Memoirs, Sphrantzes’ chronicle based on his diary, covers the period 1413-77 and contains reliable information. A certain amount of humanist influence is evident, particularly his interest in human personality and his partial denial of complete providentialism (the interpretation of history as the expression of the will of god).


Memorii 1401-1477. Bucharest, 1966.
In Russian translation:
Selected passages in the collection “Vizantiiskie istoriki Duka i Frandzi o padenii Konstantinopolia.” Vizantiiskii vremennik, vol. 7. Moscow, 1953.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.