Also seen as Chalcocondyles (Χαλκοκονδύλης in greek). This is the name of an old noble family of Athens (Greece) which was elected during the Florentine possession of the city. Despite all this, the actions of the family, also seen as Chalcocandylis (Χαλκοκαντήλης) or Charchandylis (Χαρχαντήλης), as the greek people called it, originate back in the 11th century. Greatest members of this family have been:
1 Georgios (possibly 1390 - 1466). In 1435 he visited Sultan Muratt the Second as a sender of Maria Melissini, a widow of Antonios Atzagiolli the Second, for his consent for the understanding, from himself and Maria, of his noble power in Athens. While he was away, however, their oppositions sent Maria and his family away from Athens and, when he returned, he was arrested and sent to the Sultan, who imprisoned him. The same fate had another mission to the Sultan himself, which was assigned by the Duke of Moria, Constantinos Palaiologos.
2 Demetrios (Athens 1423 - Milan 1511). From the most eminent Greek scholars in the West. From Peloponnisos, to where his family had moved after its persecution from the Florentine dukes, he moved to Italy. There, he was elected a professor of Greek Literature at the University of Pandova (1463). Afterwards, after Francesco Philelpho's -a guide and teacher of Demetrios- suggestion, he took over Ioannis Argyropoulos' place in the head of the Greek Literature department. Lastly, after an invitation of the leader Ludovic Sfortsa, he moved to Milan (1491), where he taught until he died. In spite of his pedagogic and writing activities, Demetrios Chalcocondylis contributed -in a big degree- to the Renaissance of Literature in Italy. He wrote in Ancient Greek the grammar handbooks "Summarized Questions of the Eight Parts of Word After Their Rules" (Ερωτήματα Συνοπτικά Τον Οκτώ Του Λόγου Μερών Μετά Τινών Κανόνων), translated in Latin Galinos' "Anatomy" plus he administered the first printed versions of Omiros' ('Saved works of Omiros' - 'Ομήρου τα Σωζόμενα', Florence, 1488) and by Isocrates' works (Milan, 1493) as well as the byzantium lexicon, 'Suddah' ('Σούδα' - 1494)
3 Theophilos (Florence 1486 - 1510). Demetrios' son. He taught Greek Literature when he was very young, at the University of Pavia, and he translated some works of Cicero. He was murdered by some rivals of his.
4 Laonicos (Athens before 1430 - possibly Italy 1490). The name is probably an anagram of Nicolaos. A byzantine historian, son of Georgios and Demetrios' cousin. After a quarrel between his father and the Florentine dukes of Athens, he followed his family to Peloponnisos where, according to Kyriakos the Agonites, he lived in the court of Constantinos Palaiologos and he was taught by Plithon. After the dectruction of Constantinople, it is said to have written his most important historic work, 'Proofs of Histories' (Αποδείξεις Ιστοριών) (10 books), in which the facts and cases from the placement of the Turks to Prousa (Προύσα) until their charge at Peloponnisos. Laonicos was a great fan of the ancien Greek historians, Thukidides and Herodotous, and therefore he attempted following their steps. His venture, though, did not have the expected success, especially regarding the linguistic expression. The archaic language he used made his texts inapprehensible in many parts, whereas the ancient-like names, with which he named people of his time, created a big confusion (Γεταί, Δάκες, Λίγυρες, Μυσοί, Παίονες etc). However, the extended use of the named 'Greeks' (Έλληνες), which Laonicos used to describe all the people of Byzantine, is considered positive, since it is contributing to the connection between the ancient greek civilization and the modern one. In general, and despite all his defects, the historic work of Laonicos Chalcocondylis comprises one of the most important sources for the students of the last 150 years of byzantine history, and that's validated from the great interest that's been shown about the same the historian, as well as his work, by many top researchers.
A lot of books have been written about this family, especially about Laonicos Chalcocondylis, since he was one of the greatest historians of the time. Some of them are K. Kambouroglou's 'The Chalcocondylis and G. Muller's "The last Athenian historian, Laonicos chalcocondylis".
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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