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By by Jacquilyne E. Martin. 2001

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The Byzantine rhetorical tradition which so exemplified the Palaeologan revival was a constant educational feature throughout the entire Byzantine period. even during the so-called 'Dark Age' of the seventh and righth centuries. -4s was the case then. during the Palaeologan period. the economically depleted Empire could support very few scholars and SC holarship rapidly declinrd in the fi fieenth century. Throughout the entire Palaeologan penod. scholarship \vas limited in scope and nature. lacking innovation.

Bessarion's attempt to convince his fellow delcgates will be s h o w to be rooted in the apophatic tradition of his church. Other factors will also be addressed which were instrumental in his evoiving view: the expertise of the Latins. the intellectual decadence of the Greeks and his interaction with key individuals. The fifth chapter deals with Bessarion's attempts in the latter half of his life to bring material and spiritual substance to the union declared at Florence in 1439 in the face of the rapid estinction of the rernnants of the Byzantine Empire before the relentless advance of the Turks.

The religious and rhetorical nature of early Renaissance Humanism has been well established by Charles Trinkaus. In Ozrr Image and Likeness: Humanity und Divinity in Italiun Humcinisr Thozght. 2 vois. (Chicago. 1970): Charles L. Stinger. Inripin: in the Italian Renaissance (Albany. 1977);On religion, rhetoric and philosophy see Arthur Field. The Origins of ihe Platonic dcuderny of Florence. (Princeton. 1988): Jerrold E. Siegel. Rheroric and Philosophy in Rrnnissance Hiimanism: rhe union of eloqirence and wisdorn: Perrarch to Valla (Princeton, 1968).

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Cardinal Bessarion : mystical theology and spiritual union between East and West by by Jacquilyne E. Martin. 2001


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