He learned Latin from Vittorino da Feltre, and made such rapid progress that in three years he was able to teach Latin literature and rhetoric. His reputation as a teacher and a translator of Aristotle was very great, and he was selected as secretary by Pope Nicholas V, an ardent Aristotelian. The needless bitterness of his attacks upon Plato (in the Comparatio Aristotelis et Platonis), which drew forth a powerful response from Basilios Bessarion, and the manifestly hurried and inaccurate character of his translations of Plato, Aristotle and other classical authors, combined to ruin his fame as a scholar, and to endanger his position as a teacher of philosophy. (Pope Pius II was among the critics of George's translations.) The indignation against George on account of his first-named work was so great that he would probably have been compelled to leave Italy had not Alfonso V of Aragon given him protection at the court of Naples.
He subsequently returned to Rome, where in 1471 he published a very successful Latin grammar based on the work of another Greek grammarian of Latin, Priscian. Additionally an earlier work on rhetoric Greek principles garnered him wide recognition, even from his former critics who admitted his brilliance and scholarship. He died in great poverty in 1486 in Rome.
For a complete list of his numerous works, consisting of translations from Greek into Latin (Plato, Aristotle and the Fathers) and original essays in Greek (chiefly theological) and Latin (grammatical and rhetorical), see Fabricius, Bibliotheca Graeca (ed. Harles), xii.
Page from Book X of George of Trebizond's Commentary on the Almagest. On the left, is a model of the planet Mercury, showing its closest approach to the earth; on the right, is information about Mercury and the beginning of his commentary on the planet Venus.
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