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Nikephoros Gregoras

ikephoros Gregoras was the most brilliant student of Theodore Metochites, and one of the representative scholarly figures of the renaissance of his time. He was born around 1295 in Herakleia of Bithynia, but moved to Constantinople at a young age. There, he initated a long career, which gained him a reputation as one of the most prominent personalities of his time. In 1326 he travelled to Serbia as an ambassador of the emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos. He subsequently occupied himself with research and teaching, publishing many scientific essays and directing a private school housed in the Chora monastery. Following the deposition of Andronikos II in 1328, he retired for a while from public life but re-emerged dynamically in 1331 to counter Barlaam of Calabria in a public debate, from which came out the winner. However he did not remain a defender of hesychasm to the end. In 1351, intervening in the hesychast controversy, Gregoras sided with the opponents of Gregory Palamas, a fact which led to his being condemned by the Council of Blachernai. The emperor John VI Kantakouzenos punished him by confining him by imperial decree to the Chora monastery, and ordering him to "keep silent". Nonetheless Gregoras spent the last years of his life fighting Palamism and recounting the dramatic events he had lived through, in his historical work Rhomaike Historia. He died around 1360, leaving behind him, besides his History, numerous works of rhetoric and philosophy, as well as a number of poems, discourses and 161 letters.

See also: Hesychasm
Gregory Palamas
Theodore Metochites