Manuel Chrysoloras

Chrysoloras, Manuel (b. c. 1353, Constantinople -- d. April 15, 1415), Greek scholar of the early Renaissance and pioneer of Greek literature in the West. In 1393 the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus sent Chrysoloras to Italy to enlist aid against the Turks. From 1394 onward he travelled in Europe and accompanied Manuel on his tour of the European countries. Chrysoloras settled in Italy, where he worked hard to revive the study of Greek culture.

After Manuel's return to Constantinople in 1403, Chrysoloras remained for the most part in the West; he taught Greek in Florence and other cities and made notable translations of Homer and Plato. He was also active in trying to arrange for a general council to consider union of the Greek and Latin churches. His Erotemata sive Quaestiones (1484) was the first Greek grammar used in western Europe and the first printed book in the greek language. He also left many letters; the Syncrisis, a comparison of old and new Rome; and a Latin translation of Plato's Republic "Platonos Politeia". He was on his way to the Council of Constance, having been chosen to represent the Greek Church, when he died.