or MELISSE'NUS (GREGO'RIUS), a monk of the latest Byzantine period. We first read of him as negotiator in reconciling the brothers of the emperor Joannes II. Palaeologus.
He was one of the Greek ecclesiastics, who accompanied the emperor, A. D. 1433, to the synod of Ferrara, and then held the office of Πνευματικός
, "Pneumaticus," " Pater Spiritualis," or Confessor to the Emperor.
He appears to have gone unwillingly; and Sguropulus (not, however, a very trustworthy witness) has recorded a saying of his to one of his confidential friends, " If I go there, I will work all manner of evil."
At first, after his arrival in Italy, he was most vehement in his declarations of hostility to the Latin church; but he was led, apparently by a quarrel with Marcus Eugenicus, archbishop of Ephesus, and the great champion of the Greek church, and by a present or a pension from the pope (Sgurop. 8.6) to pass over to the opposite side, and become a warm advocate of the union of the churches. Just before the removal of the synod from Ferrara to Florence, the emperor conferred on him the post of protosyncellus; and in A. D. 1446 he was appointed patriarch of Constantinople; but this was against His will; and after holding that dignity for about five years, he escaped from Constantinople, where his Latinizing opinions and his support of the union made him odious, and the fall of which he foresaw must soon take place, and fled into Italy.
He died at Rome A. D. 1459, and was buried there. His memory is held in great reverence by the Roman Catholics; and it has even been asserted that miracles were wrought at his tomb. Sguropulus generally calls Gregorius by his name and title of office, without his surname. Phranza calls him Gregorius Melissenus (ὁ Μηλισσηνός
), but states that others called him Strategopulus (Στρατηγόπουλος
), a name which, as Phranza elsewhere (2.2) states, many members of the illustrious family of the Melisseni had derived from Alexius Strategopulus, who had recovered Constantinople out of the hands of the Latins.
The name Mammas (ὁ Μάμμη
) is given him by the author of the Historia Politica
in the Turco-Graecia of Crusius. (Sguropulus, Hist. Concil. Florent.
3.20, 5.15, 6.23, 24, 7.14, 8.6, &c.; Phranza, Annales,
2.12, 15, 19, 3.1; Le Quien, Oriens Christianus,
vol. i. col. 309.)
The works of Gregorius are as follows:
This work is twice mentioned by Fabricius; first as Antirrheticus adversus Marci Ephesii Epistolam,
and then as Apologia s. Responsio ad Epistolam Ephesii,
as if he was speaking of two distinct works.
This answer was translated into Latin by Joannes Matthaeus Caryophilus, and subjoined by him to the second volume of the Acta Concilii Florentini: it is reprinted in some editions of the Concilia, e. g. in the last vol. of that of Binius, in vol. xiii. of that of Labbe, and in that of Hardouin, vol. ix. col. 601-670.
This is given in the Graecia Orthodoxa of Allatius, vol. i. p. 419, 4to. Rome, 1652, with a Latin version by the editor.
Works extant in MS.
These are the only works of Gregory which have been published; but there are extant in MS.:
This is in the libraries of Florence and Munich.
mentioned by Gregory himself in his Ἀπολογία
vol. ix. col. 658, c. ed. Hardouin), and described by Fabricius as Apologia pro quinque Capitibus Florentini Coneilii.
of Gregory are, or were, extant in the Vatican library.
Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. xi. p. 393; Cave, Hist. Litt.
) ad ann. 1440, vol. ii. Appendix,
p. 152, ed. Oxford, 1740-42; Bandini, Catalog. Codd. MSS. Biblioth. Medic. Laur.
vol. i. pp. 483, 484; Aretin s. Hard, Catalog. Codd. M Storum Biblioth. Reg. Bavar.
vol. i. pp. 146, 147.