Loading Events

Musicology Colloquium Series | Petrine Prophecy as Power Discourse in the Thought of John Plousiadenos, ‘unionist priest’ (ἑνωτικός ἱερεύς)

Hillsdale College, 102 Woolworth

February 3, 2023 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 102 Woolworth

Charles Yost

Among the most intriguing aspects of late Byzantine intellectual and religious history is the phenomenon of Greek theologians who renounced the schism and advocated reunion with the Roman Church. The unionist movement reached its high point in the proceedings that resulted in the Council of Florence and its declaration of union between the Latin and Greek Churches in 1439. This article examines a key theological motif visible in the writings of Greek proponents of the Florentine Union, and John Plousiadenos (fl. 1460s) in particular: their identification of the Roman See and its bishop with prophetic power capable of overcoming earthly kings and disturbing terrestrial kingdoms. For unionists such as Plousiadenos, the Roman Church was not merely the “Mother See” and divinely appointed Head of Christendom, but a formidable Mistress that must be respected and obeyed at the threat of loss of power and liberty. For Plousiadenos, as well as other unionists who influenced him such as Basil Bessarion and George of Trebizond, the recent conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks stood as a warning for the rest of the Greek Christian world about the consequences of rejecting Roman authority. While elaborating this motif, this article also demonstrates that a narrative about Pope Alexander III allegedly humiliating the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, which was previously thought to have been fabricated by Martin Luther or else by German humanists of the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries, was actually known in the middle of the fifteenth century by the Greek unionist John Plousiadenos.

Free, non-ticketed

Humanities Council Logo
Italian Studies Logo
American Studies Logo
Humanistic Studies Logo
Ancient World Logo
Canadian Studies Logo
ESC Logo
Journalism Logo
Linguistics Logo
Medieval Studies Logo
Renaissance Logo
Film Studies Logo