Padova, Biblioteca Universitaria, ms. 695, ff. 3v-4r.
This exhibition reconstructs the relationship between Byzantium and Padua through the history of the study of the Greek language in the city and its university during the Renaissance. The topic is illustrated through a selection of manuscripts and printed books from Paduan libraries (Biblioteca Civica, Biblioteca Universitaria, Biblioteca del Seminario, Archivio storico dell’Università). The various sections include Byzantine manuscripts, such as the Dioscurides one from the Biblioteca del Seminario (Seminary Library), finely illuminated with images of plants, along with numerous documents illustrating the work of the first Byzantine scholars in Padua (such as John Argyropoulos, who studied in the city and whose portrait adorns the Sala dei Quaranta in Palazzo Bo); the spread of Greek studies within the context of Paduan Humanistic culture; and the Greek or Italian professors who taught Greek language and literature at Padua University – such as Demetrios Chalkokondyles, the first Professor of Greek, and Niccolò Leonico Tomeo, who stood at the centre of a concentrated network of Italian and European scholars.
Through archival material and manuscripts, one final section explores the presence of Greek (overseas) students from different areas of the Mediterranean, and the central role played by the University in the education of intellectuals within the formerly Byzantine territories that came to be governed by the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire.
Padova, Biblioteca Universitaria, ms. 560, f. 6v.