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Demetrius' Intellectual Background

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Chapter Summary

This chapter commences with a discussion on the Byzantine Background. It presents the general intellectual and cultural context of Thessalonica in the first half of the fourteenth century, and to establish Demetrius' place within it. However, although this is Demetrius' formative cultural context, to this must be added a further, extremely important influence: that gained from western sources. On the one hand, Demetrius' knowledge of western writings may have extended far beyond those he translated; on the other hand, in the case of other translations-even those made by his own brother-there is often uncertainty as to whether Demetrius knew the material at all, or, if he did, whether he knew it in full or in part. The chapter also tries to identify some key themes arising from this survey, which can help in understanding Demetrius' preoccupations.

Keywords: Byzantine; Demetrius' preoccupations; Thessalonica



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