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Marcus Musurus

Marcus Musurus Greek scholar

Greek scholar
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Greek scholar
Occupations Poet Publisher Philologist Educator
Type Academia Business Journalism Literature Social science
Gender male
Birth Rethymno
Death Rome
The details

Marcus Musurus (Greek: Μάρκος Μουσοῦρος Markos Mousouros; Italian: Marco Musuro; c. 1470–1517) was a Greek scholar and philosopher born in Retimo, Castello, Venetian Crete (modern Rethymno, Crete).


The son of a rich merchant, Musurus became at an early age a pupil of John Lascaris in Venice. In 1505, Musurus was made professor of Greek language at the University of Padua. Erasmus, who had attended his lectures there, testifies to his knowledge of Latin. However, when the university was closed in 1509 during the War of the League of Cambrai, he returned to Venice where he filled a similar post.

In 1512 he was made professor of Greek language in Venice: during this time he published through Aldus Manutius, a contemporary printer and publisher, his edition on Plato. This was the first time that the Dialogues were printed in Greek.

In 1516, Musurus was summoned to Rome by Pope Leo X, where he lectured in the pope's Greek College of the Quirinal (el) (Gymnasium) and established a Greek printing-press. In recognition of a Greek poem prefixed to the editio princeps of Plato, Leo appointed him archbishop of Monemvasia (Malvasia) in the Peloponnese, but he died before he left the Italian peninsula.

From 1493, Musurus was associated with the famous printer Aldus Manutius and belonged to the Neacademia (Aldine Academy of Hellenists), a society founded by Manutius and other learned men for the promotion of Greek studies. Many of the Aldine classics were published under Musurus' supervision, and he is credited with the first editions of the scholia of Aristophanes (1498), Athenaeus (1514), Hesychius of Alexandria (1514) and Pausanias (1516). Musuros' handwriting reportedly formed the model of Aldus' Greek type. Among his original compositions Musurus wrote a dedicatory epigram for Zacharias Kallierges' edition of the Etymologicum Magnum, in which he praised the genius of the Cretans.

Musurus died in Rome.

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