George Amiroutzes

George Amiroutzes was born in Trebizond in 1400. It was there where he received basic education. He continued his education Constantinople, where he studied theology, philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, medicine and geography. His sound education, his impressive appearance and flexibility with public relations brought good relations with the Palace in Constantinople and the Comnenes of Trebizond, from who he was awarded with the highest offices of Protovestiarios and Megas Logothetes. Amiroutzes was among the lay advisors at the Synod of Ferrara-Florence in 1437. There, he showed favor to the ideas of Bessarion, with whom he had built a friendly relationship. He promoted the Unification of the Churches among members of the Orthodox Church. After returning to Constantinople, and affected by the general outcry against the Union, he changed sides and joined the anti-unionists, writing a treatise against the Union. He justified his contradictory attitude on reasons of state interest, emphasizing that his siding with the Latins derived from the hope of Western military assistance to ward off the threat of the Ottomans. The siege of Trebizond by the Ottomans had the last emperor of Trebizond David to conduct negotiations with the Ottomans with Amiroutzes in charge, as he had established close family ties with Mahmud Pasha, who directed the siege. After the fall of the Empire of Trebizond (1461), Amiroutzes, together with members of the imperial family and other nobles, fled to Thrace, and later returned to Constantinople. The acceptance of Islam by his two sons and his family ties with Mahmud helped him develop close relationships with the conquerors. He became a close friend of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, to whom he dedicated his theological treatise titled "Dialogue on faith in Christ with the King of the Ottomans."  Amiroutzes was accused by his contemporaries for being a traitor towards the stateand the Christian Kings. He died between 1470 -1475, in Constantinople.

Other names - versions: 
Γεώργιος Αμοιρούτζης, Amoiroutzis
Date and Place of Birth: 
1400 Trebizond
Date and Place of Death: 
c.1470-1475 Constantinople

A. Kazhdan (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, entry “ Amiroutzes, George” New York and Oxford 1991, 77.

J. Chassiotis, «Τάσεις συνεργασίας Ελλήνων και Οθωμανών», (Trends of cooperation of Greeks and Ottomans), History of the Greek Nation, v.10, Athens 1974, 248.

C. Sathas, Νεοελληνική Φιλολογία, Βιογραφίαι των εν τοις γράμμασι διαλαμψάντων Ελλήνων από της καταλύσεως της Βυζαντινής Αυτοκρατορίας μέχρι της Ελληνικής Εθνεγερσίας 1453-1821 (Modern Greek Literature, Biographies of Greek Scholars from the end of the Byzantine Empire to the Greek Uprising 1453-1821), Athens 1868, 62-63.

Ν. Tomadakis, «Γεωργίου φιλοσόφου του Αμιρουτζή προς τον βασιλέα Ιωάννην τον Παλαιολόγον απορρήσαντα», (George Amiroutzes the philosopher to emperor John Palaeologos, on questions), Epeteris Hetaireias Byzantinon Spoudon, 22 (1952) 114-134.

Ν. Τomadakis, «Ετούρκευσεν ο Γεώργιος Αμιρούτζης;», (Did George Amiroutzes become a Turk?), Epeteris Hetaireias Byzantinon Spoudon 18 (1948) 99-143

J. Monfasani (ed.), George Amiroutzes: The Philosopher and His Tractates, Theology and Philosophy Research, Bibliotheca Medieval 12, Leuven, 2011.