He was born in Verona, Italy, and later studied Greek at Constantinople, where for five years he was the pupil of Manuel Chrysoloras. When he set out to return home, he had with him two cases of precious Greek manuscripts which he had taken great pains to collect. It is said that the loss of one of these by shipwreck caused him such distress that his hair turned grey in a single night. On arriving back in Italy, he earned a living as a teacher of Greek, first in Verona and afterwards in Venice and Florence. In 1436, he became a professor of Greek at Ferrara through the patronage of Leonello, the marquis of Este. His method of instruction was renowned and it attracted many students from Italy and the rest of Europe. Many of them, notably Vittorino da Feltre, afterwards became well-known scholars. From 1438 on he interpreted for the Greeks at the councils of Ferrara and Florence. He died at Ferrara in 1460.