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Janus Lascaris ( , born about 1445; died at Rome in 1535), also called John Rhyndacenus (from Rhyndacus, a country town in Asia Minor), was a noted Greek scholar in the Renaissance.

After the fall of Constantinople he was taken to the Peloponnesusmarker and to Cretemarker. When still quite young he came to Venicemarker, where Bessarion became his patron, and sent him to learn Latin at Paduamarker.

On the death of Bessarion, Lorenzo de' Medici welcomed him to Florencemarker, where Lascaris gave Greek lectures on Thucydides, Demosthenes, Sophocles, and the Greek anthology. Lorenzo sent him twice to Greece in quest of manuscripts. When he returned the second time (1492) he brought back about two hundred from Mount Athos.

Meanwhile Lorenzo had died. Lascaris entered the service of France and was ambassador at Venice from 1503 to 1508, at which time he became a member of the Greek Academy of Aldus Manutius; but if the printer had the benefit of his advice, no Aldine work bears his name. He resided at Rome under Leo X, the first pope of the Medici family, from 1513 to 1518, returned under Clement VII in 1523, and Paul III in 1534.

In the meantime he had assisted Louis XII in forming the library of Bloismarker, and when Francis I had it removed to Fontainebleaumarker, Lascaris and Budé had charge of its organization.

We owe to him a number of editiones principes, among them the Greek anthology (1494), four plays of Euripides, Callimachus (about 1495), Apollonius Rhodius, Lucian (1496), printed in Florence in Greek capitals with accents, and the scholia of Didymas (1517) and of Porphyrius (1518) on Homer, printed in Rome.


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