John Italus

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

John Italus


Lived during the second half of the 11th century. Byzantine philosopher.

John Italus was a pupil of Michael Psellus and succeeded him as “consul of philosophers.” His interest in classical idealistic rationalism, particularly Platonism, which he acquired from his teacher, grew into a head-on confrontation with Christianity and church orthodoxy. At the order of Emperor Alexius I Comnenus his doctrines were reviewed at a church council in 1082, where they were anathematized. In an orthodox synod he was charged with denying god’s incarnation and with accepting Plato’s theory of ideas; he was also charged with believing that ideas and matter existed before the creation of the world (see A.F. Losev, Ocherki antichnogo simvolizma i mifologii, Moscow, 1930, pp. 847–48). His teachings influenced the Georgian thinker John Petritsi.


Opuscula selecta. fascicles 1–2. Tiflis, 1924—26.
In Russian translation:
In Antologiia mirovoi filosofii, vol. 1, part 2. Moscow, 1969. Pages 627–29.


Uspenskii, F. Ocherki po istorii vizantiiskoi obrazovannosti. St. Petersburg, 1891.
Uspenskii, F. “Deloproizvodstvo po obvineniiu Ioanna Itala v eresi.” Izv. Russkogo Arkheologicheskogo in-ta v Konstantinopole, 1897, vol. 2.


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