[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail: Bill Thayer 
[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home

An article from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, now in the public domain.
Any color photos are mine, © William P. Thayer.

Vol. XVI
p232
John Lascaris


[image ALT: A vertically rectangular stone slab with a large Latin cross moline preceded by the first 4 lines of an inscription consisting of four lines of bi-justified Greek capitals, and followed by the remaining 6 lines. It is the tombstone of Ioannes Lascaris in the church of S. Agata dei Goti in Rome.]

photo © William P. Thayer 2004

Lascaris, Joannes [John], or Janus (c. 1445‑1535), Greek scholar, probably the younger brother of Constantine Lascaris,a surnamed Rhyndacenus from the river Rhyndacus in Bithynia, his native province. After the fall of Constantinople he was taken to the Peloponnese, thence to Crete, and ultimately found refuge in Florence at the court of Lorenzo de' Medici, whose intermediary he was with the sultan Bayezid II in the purchase of Greek MSS. for the Medicean library. On the expulsion of the Medici from Florence, at the invitation of Charles VIII of France, Lascaris removed to Paris (1495), where he gave public instruction in Greek. By Louis XII he was several times employed on public missions, amongst others to Venice (1503‑1508), and in 1515 he appears to have accepted the invitation of Leo X to take charge of the Greek college he had founded at Rome. We afterwards (1518) find Lascaris employed along with Budaeus (Budé) by Francis I in the formation of the royal library at Fontainebleau, and also again sent in the service of the French crown to Venice. He died at Rome, whither he had been summoned by Pope Paul III, in 1535.b Among his pupils was Musurus.

Amongst other works, Lascaris edited or wrote: Anthologia epigrammatum Graecorum (1494), in which he ascribed the collection of the Anthology to Agathias, not to Planudes; Didymi Alexandrini scholia in Iliadem (1517); Porphyrius of Tyre's Homericarum quaestionum liber (1518); De veris Graecorum litterarum formis ac causis apud antiquos (Paris, 1556). See H. Hody, De Graecis illustribus (London, 1742); W. Roscoe, Life of Leo X II (1846); C. F. Börner, De doctis hominibus Graecis (Leipzig, 1750); A. Horawitz in Ersch & Gruber's Allgemeine Encyclopädie; J. E. Sandys, Hist. Class. Schol., ed. 2, vols. II (1909), p78.


Thayer's Notes:

a The Catholic Encyclopedia article (q.v.) — which has rather different information — prudently says nothing about what his relationship to Constantine Lascaris might have been; it's uncertain.

b Lascaris is buried in Rome, in the church of S. Agata dei Goti; the photograph that heads this webpage is his tombstone there. Below, excerpted large so as to be nicely readable, his epitaph, the first four lines of which are loosely translated in the biographical sketch by Paolo Giovio, which is much more entertaining, and even, in any normal human sense, actually more informative than the capsules in the Britannica and the Catholic Encyclopedia.

[image ALT: Ten lines of an inscription in bi-justified Greek capitals. It is the epitaph of Ioannes Lascaris in the church of S. Agata dei Goti in Rome.]

photo © William P. Thayer 2004

ΛΑΣΚΑΡΙΣ ΑΛΛΟΔΑΠΗ ΓΑΙΗ ΕΝΙ ΚΑΤΘΕΤΟ ΓΑΙΗΝ

ΟΥΤΙ ΛΙΗΝ ΞΕΙΝΗΝ Ω ΞΕΝΕ ΜΕΜΦΟΜΕΝΟΣ

ΕΥΡΑΤΟ ΜΕΙΛΙΧΙΗΝ ΑΛΛʼ ΑΧΘΕΤΑΙ ΕΙΠΕΡ ΑΧΑΙΟΙΣ

ΟΥΔΕΤΙ ΧΟΥΝ ΧΕΥΕΙ ΠΑΤΡΙΣ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΟΝ

ΞΕΙΝΕ ΛΑΚΑΙΝʼ ΥΠʼ ΕΜΟΙ ΡΑΛΛΟΥ ΠΑΤΡΟΣ Η ΠΡΟΦΥΓΟΥΣΑ

ΔΟΥΛΟΣΥΝΑΝ ΠΑΤΡΑΣ ΗΛΘΕΝ ΕΣ ΙΤΑΛΙΗΝ

ΜΗΤΡΩ ΠΕΙΘΟΜΕΝΗ ΟΣ ΖΕΥΞΕ ΜΙΝ ΑΝΕΡΙ ΚΛΕΙΝΩ

ΤΟΙΣ ΚΑΙ ΚΟΣΜΟΣ ΕΗΝ ΤΑΙΣ ΙΔΙΑΙΣ ΑΡΕΤΑΙΣ

ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ ΑΛΛʼ ΟΛΟΗ ΚΑΤΕΡΙΝΑΝ ΠΡΟΥΦΘΑΣΕ ΜΟΙΡΑ

ΤΗΛΕ ΠΕΡ ΟΥΔʼ ΩΚΤΕΙΡʼ ΕΓΚΥΟΝ ΟΥΤΕ ΝΕΗΝ


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 25 Apr 17