Janus Parrhasius

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Aulus Janus Parrhasius (1470–1522) was a leading humanist scholar and grammarian in Italy. He was from Cosenza in Calabria. He was known therefore as Cosentius. He also went by the Italian name Aulo Giano Parrasio. He was the founder of the Cosentian Academy (Accademia Cosentina in Italian) in 1511.

He was resident in Milan in the first years of the sixteenth century, and was noted as a teacher. He married a daughter of Demetrius Chalcondyles.

He is known for his commentary on the De Raptu Proserpinae of Claudian. Some letters of his on philology were later published, in 1567, as Liber De rebus epistolam quaesitis.

From an online review of a recent scholarly volume on him:

Parrasio is an important figure on a number of counts, but chiefly for his famous library, his early use of the manuscripts discovered at Bobbio in 1493, and his connections both intellectual and personal with his fellow humanists in Naples, Milan, and Rome — men like Pontano, Barzizza, Cortesi, Valeriano, Inghirami, and the Greek émigrés Janus Lascaris and Demetrius Chalcondyles (his father-in-law). His personal life, like that of many humanists, was as interesting as his intellectual accomplishments (which were considerable). External events (wars and "regime changes," as we say these days) kept him on the move from city to city, but academic quarrels and allegations of pederasty also dogged his peripatetic career.[1]


  1. ^ Book Review of Parrhasiana II, collection by Giancarlo Abbamonte, Lucia Gualdo Rosa, Luigi Munzi, PARRHASIANA II. Atti del II Seminario di Studi su Manoscritti Medievali e Umanistici della Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli. Napoli, 20-21 ottobre 2000. Naples: Annali dell'Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli (AION), 2002. Pp. 243. ISBN ISSN 1128-7209. Reviewed by Julia Gaisser, Bryn Mawr College.