1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Apostolius, Michael

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6386431911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 2 — Apostolius, Michael

APOSTOLIUS, MICHAEL (d. c. 1480), a Greek theologian and rhetorician of the 15th century. When, in 1453, the Turks conquered Constantinople, his native city, he fled to Italy, and there obtained the protection of Cardinal Bessarion. But engaging in the great dispute that then raged between the upholders of Aristotle and Plato, his zeal for the latter led him to speak so contemptuously of the more popular philosopher and of his defender, Theodorus Gaza, that he fell under the severe displeasure of his patron. He afterwards retired to Crete, where he earned a scanty living by teaching and by copying manuscripts. Many of his copies are still to be found in the libraries of Europe. One of them, the Icones of Philostratus at Bologna, bears the inscription: “The king of the poor of this world has written this book for his living.” Apostolius died about 1480, leaving two sons, Aristobulus Apostolius and Arsenius. The latter became bishop of Malvasia (Monemvasia) in the Morea.

Of his numerous works a few have been printed: Παροιμίαι (Basel, 1538), now exceedingly rare; a collection of proverbs in Greek, of which a fuller edition appeared at Leiden, “Curante Heinsio,” in 1619; “Oratio Panegyrica ad Fredericum III.” in Freher’s Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum, vol. ii. (Frankfort, 1624); Georgii Gemisthi Plethonis et Mich. Apostolii Orationes funebres duae in quibus de Immortalitate Animae exponitur (Leipzig, 1793); and a work against the Latin Church and the council of Florence in Le Moine’s Varia Sacra.