John Chortasmenos

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John Chortasmenos (Greek: Ιωάννης Χορτασμένος, 1370–1437) was a Byzantine monk, mathematician and astronomer.

Chortasmenos was a notary of the patriarchal chancery, teacher of Mark of Ephesus, Bessarion and Gennadius Scholarius. He was the author of philological, historical and philosophical works.

In 1406 he had the Juliana Anicia Codex of Dioscurides restored, rebound, and a table of contents and extensive scholia added in Byzantine Greek minuscule.[1]

According to T. C. Skeat, he was responsible for bringing Codex Vaticanus from Constantinople to Rome between 1443 and 1475.[2]

Beside the same problem in Diophantus' manuscript next to which Fermat would later write his famous marginalia (Fermat's Last Theorem), Chortasmenos wrote, "Thy soul, Diophantus, be with Satan because of the difficulty of your other theorems and particularly of the present theorem."[3]


  1. ^ Janick, Jules, and John Stolarczyk. "Ancient Greek illustrated Dioscoridean herbals: origins and impact of the Juliana Anicia Codex and the Codex Neopolitanus." Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca 40.1 (2012): 09.
  2. ^ see Theodore Cressy Skeat, « The Codex Vaticanus in the fifteenth century », in The Collected Biblical Writings of T. C. Skeat, J. K. Elliott (ed.), Brill, Leiden, 2004.
  3. ^ Herrin, Judith (2013-03-18). Margins and Metropolis: Authority across the Byzantine Empire. Princeton University Press. p. 322. ISBN 140084522X. 


  • Herbert Hunger, Johannes Chortasmenos (ca. 1370-ca. 1436/37). Briefe, Gedichte und Kleine Schriften. Einleitung, Regesten, Prosopographie, Text, Wiener Byzantinische Studien 7, Vienne (Autriche), 1969.