John Italos

John Italos
   Head of the school of philosophy in Constantinople (qq.v.) who was condemned for heresy (q.v.) in 1082. The driving force behind his condemnation was the new emperor Alexios I Komnenos (qq.v.), who seemed determined to root out suspected heretics, while his mother Anna Dalassene (q.v.) was turning the Great Palace (qq.v.) into something resembling a monastery. That Italos was born in south Italy of a Norman (q.v.) father, and was the pupil of Michael Psellos (q.v.), who himself barely escaped condemnation, must have aroused Alexios's suspicion. The condemnation illustrates the threat to Orthodoxy (q.v.) that the church and its supporters perceived in Psellos's revival of Platonic thought. More broadly, the condemnation was meant to reaffirm that theology (q.v.) was not a subdivision of philosophy.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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