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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
(1975)

VII: The Catalans and Florentines in Greece, 1380-1462,   pp. 225-277 PDF (23.4 MB)


Page 236

 236 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES 
Atumano was then in Rome, and could defend himself before the pope, who knew
him. Simon had clearly not remained in Thebes very long after the Navarrese
occupation of the city, even though (as we have seen) Peter IV had accused
him of acting in collusion with the invaders. But before he left, he had
embarked upon his most significant work, a trilingual Bible in Latin, Greek,
and Hebrew, of which a partial Greek translation of the Old Testament is
still extant in Simon's own first-draft, autograph manuscript, once the posses
sion of cardinal Bessarion and perhaps the most important contribu tion of
Catalan Greece to the scholarship of the Italian Renais sance.30 
 By the time of John Boyl's arrival at the curia with the royal letters of
December 31 (1382), Simon Atumano was a familiar figure in intellectual circles
in Rome. Urban VI, to whom he dedicated his Biblia Triglotta, provided him,
on May 29, 1383, with a letter of safe conduct for a mission to Constantinople
which was envisaged as possibly lasting a year.31 When Simon died (in or
before 1387), Urban is said to have taken possession of the Biblia,32 suggesting
that the esteem in which he was held at the curia was too much for John Boyl
to combat. 
 If John Boyl had secured the archiepiscopal title to Thebes, it would have
done him little good. The Catalans apparently never recovered the city, although
Peter IV continued to hope, and his subjects in Greece still held out their
hands for further grants. The Navarrese invasion had thrown central Greece
into worse turmoil than ever. Travel was difficult and more dangerous still,
for the Turks had overrun Thrace and Macedonia, and were said to be assailing
the Morea.33 One could leave his home in the Kastro in the morning and be
carried off into slavery in the afternoon. 
 30. Biblioteca Centrale Marciana, Cod. gr. VII, published by Oscar Gebhardt
and Fr. Delitzsch, Graecus venetus: Pentateuchi Proverbiorum Ruth Cantici
Ecclesiastae Threnorum Danielis versio graeca. Ex unico bibliothecae S. Marci
Venetae codice. . . (Leipzig, 1875). Incidentally, to go with his Greek translation
of the Old Testament, Simon also prepared for scholarly or missionary purposes
a Hebrew version of the New Testament, which was, at least in part, still
extant in the year 1516 (Mercati, Simone A tumano, arcivescovo di Tebe, pp.
12—43). 
31. Mercati, Simone Atumano, doe. III, pp. 50—51. 
 32. Mercati, op. cit., pp. 16—17: ".. . cum morte praeoccuparetur,
papa totum [Vetus Testamentum] sibi retinuit." 
 33. Demetrius Cydones, Epistulae, XXII, 226 (written to Simon Atumano from
Constan tinople in 1380 or 1381), ed. R. J. Loenertz, Demetrius Cydonès:
Correspondance (Studi e testi, no. 208; Vatican City, 1960), pp. 120—121,
and first published by Mercati, Simone Atumano, pp. 55—56. On July
17, 1385, king Peter IV thanked Mahiot of Coquerel and Peter Bordo de Saint
Superan, imperial bailie and captain in the Morea, for assisting his 


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