YÆÓRYIOS YÆMISTÓS PLÍTHÔN

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ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΣ ΓΕΜΙΣΤΟΣ ΠΛΗΘΩΝ

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Yæóhryios Yæmistós Plíthôn (Geôrgius Gemistus PlêthônΓεώργιος Γεμιστός Πλήθων) was born 1355 CE in Constantinople and died 1452/1454 at Mystrás (Mistra, Μυστράς) in the Pælopónnisos (Peloponnese, Πελοπόννησος). He is generally known simply as Plíthôn, but in reality, this was a pseudonym; plíthôn (πλήθων) is a synonym for yæmistós (γεμιστός), his family name, both words meaning "abundant," while simultaneously sounding a bit like the name of the famous philosopher, for he was known as a "second Plátôn" (Plato, Πλάτων).

Plíthôn was a Greek Neo-Platonist philosopher who exerted a seminal influence on the Italian Renaissance. It is unknown exactly who taught Plíthôn but the ideas of the Byzantine monk Mikhaíl Psællós (Michaêl Psellus, Μιχαήλ Ψελλός) and the philosopher Iôánnîs o Italós (John Italos, Ἰωάννης ὁ Ἰταλός) can be discovered in his writings. 

In 1438 Plíthôn in the entourage of the Byzantine Emperor, Iôánnîs VIII Palaiológos (John VIII Palaiologos, Ίωάννης Η' Παλαιολόγος) at the Council of Ferrara-Florence. The purpose of this council was to reconcile the eastern and western Christian churches and obtain military aid for the Byzantine Empire, which was threatened by the Turks. While in Florence, Plíthôn taught Platonism and Zoroastrianism, inspiring Cosimo de' Medici to open the Accademia Platonica. As a consequence, the classic translation of Plátôn from Greek to Latin was created under the Academy's first head, Marsilio Ficino, who was under the patronage of the de' Medici's. Plíthôn asserted the superiority of Platôn's teachings over that of Aristotle. Although he was decidedly polytheistic (for which he was eventually condemned as a heretic), his ideas influenced Christian ecclesiastics and scholars in both the eastern and western Churches. 

Shortly after Plíthôn died, the empire fell to the Turks, who held it in tyranny until the Ællînikí Æpanástasî (Ellênikê Epanastasê, Ελληνική Επανάσταση), the Greek war for independence of 1821 and 1830.

Plíthôn was a true believer in the Gods. Here is a quotation from Νόμοι Συγγραφή Πλήθωνος Γεμιστού Εʹ [5], The Books of Laws, one of his compositions:

Νόμοι μὲν δή, οὕς ὡς μάλιστα πρὸς τῶν ἀεὶ θείων ἀνδρῶν γενομένων παρειλήφαμεν, οἵδε εἰσί· Θεοὺς εἶναι σύμπασαν τὴν κρείττω τε καὶ μακαριωτέραν ἢ κατ' ἄνθρωπον φύσιν, οὕς δὴ καὶ ἀνθρώπων τῇ ἀγαθῶν τῶν σφετέρων περιουσίᾳ προνοεῖν, κακοῦ μὲν οὐδ' ὁτουοῦν οὐδενός, τῶν ἀγαθῶν ἁπάντων αὐτοὺς ὄντας τοὺς αἰτίους, εἱμαρμένη τε ἀμεταστρόφῳ καὶ ἀπαρατρέπτῳ τὸ ἀεὶ βέλτιστον ἐκ τῶν ἐνόντων ἑκάστοις ἀπονέμοντας. Εἶναί τε αὐτοὺς πλείους μέν, οὐ τοὺς αὐτοὺς δὲ θεότητι. Ἀλλὰ μέγιστον μὲν καὶ ἐξαίρετον ἕνα αὐτῶν, τῶν βασιλέα Δία, τῶν γε ἄλλων τῇ τε ἀξίᾳ καὶ φύσει ἀμηχάνῳ ὅσῳ διαΙφέροντα,

"The laws most certainly binding, those very ones which we received from a continuous progression of men who always become divine, these (laws) have been: that the Gods are altogether mighty and happy and thus producing man. Verily, it is they who do good for men and provide from their own plenitude. Indeed, they are never the source of anything evil, but are responsible for all which is good. While fate is unalterable and not able to be perverted, they always portion out the best to each. But indeed, are we ourselves complete? Not ourselves but divinity (is). But in truth the greatest and most exalted one of these (is) Zefs the king, (exalted over) those others by both the value and difference of their inexplicable great nature." (trans. by the author)


The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.
How do we know there are Gods? Experiencing Gods.


The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia, Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase (Γῆς παῖς εἰμί καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος) are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara, κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς).


PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as 

, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.


The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

Pronunciation of Ancient Greek          

 

Transliteration of Ancient Greek          

 

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