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Markos Musuros

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A learned Greek humanist, born 1470 at Retimo, Crete; died 1517 at Rome. The son of a rich merchant, he went, when quite young, to Italy, where he studied Greek at Florence, under the celebrated John Lascaris, whom he afterwards almost equalled in classical scholarship. In 1503 he became professor of Greek at Padua, where he taught with great success. Later at Venice, he lectured on Greek, at the expense of the republic, and became a member of the Aldine Academy of Hellenists. Musuros rendered valuable assistance to Aldus Manutius in the preparation of the earliest printed editions of the Greek authors, and his handwriting formed the model of Aldus's Greek type. He contributed greatly in giving to the Aldine editions the accuracy that made them famous, while his reputation as a teacher was such that pupils came from all countries to hear him lecture. Erasmus, who had attended his lectures at Padua, testifies to his wonderful knowledge of Latin. To his profound scholarship the editions of Aristophanes, Plato, Pindar, Hesychinus, Athenæus, and Pausanias owed their critical correctness. In 1499 he edited the first Latin and Greek lexicon, "Etymologicum Magnum", printed by Zacharias Callierges of Crete. In 1516 he was invited by Leo X to Rome, where he lectured in the pope's gymnasium and established a Greek printing-press. In recognition of the beautiful Greek poem prefixed to the editio princeps of Plato, Pope Leo appointed him Bishop of Malvasia (Monemvasia) in the Morea, but Musuros died before starting for his distant diocese. Besides numerous editions of different authors he wrote several Greek epigrams which with the elegy on Plato published in the Aldine edition (Venice, 1513) are about his only extant writings.


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