BALOGLOU Ch.P. Bessarion on Economics and Geopolitics


Christos P. Baloglou


University of Frankfurt am Main;

Economist, Hellenic Telecommunications Organization,

Chomatianou, 30, 151 23 Amaroussion Attikis, Hellas/Greece

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Abstract. This paper deals with those aspects of Byzantine intellectual heritage, which belong to the Bessarion’s thought and writing. Bessarion, Cardinal of the Roman-Catholic Church, proposed specific, systematic and analytical measures for a re-organization and recovery of the Despotate of Mistra, while, as it is known, he lived there from the end of 1431 until the end of 1436. Then Вessarion, in his capacity as cardinal, showed his continual and undiminished interest to the advancement of Greek nation, as proven by three famous memoranda of scholar. These are appeals to Constantine Palaiologos, Despot of Mistra, as well as to the doge of Venice. Dated July 13, 1453 the letter to the doge informed him on the Fall of Constantinople and the sufferings of Greek nation! Especially noteworthy is the third (and only surviving) letter of Вessarion, addressed to his friend, Despot Constantine Palaiologos in the spring of 1444. Here Вessarion proposes a specific, specialized program for the economic restructure, social reorganization and military strengthening of the Despotate. The intellectual associates education with economy. Sharing the economic philosophy of ancient Greeks on self-sufficiency and utilization of local means, Вessarion became a forerunner of mercantilism, while also acknowledging the productive contribution of education. The proposal of Вessarion for the transfer of the Despotate’s capital closer to the Isthmus was of great geopolitical importance since, when the guarding of the Hexamilion Wall would be reconstructed and constant and properly updated. These proposals, having been so important for the evolution of Byzantine economic thought, took an appropriate place in its development.

Key words: Bessarion, Despotate of Mistra, Palaeologean Renaissance, Byzantine Economic Thought, economics and education, Isthmus of Corinth.

Citation. Baloglou Ch.P. Bessarion on Economics and Geopolitics. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 171-180. DOI:

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Bessarion on Economics and Geopolitics by Baloglou Ch.P is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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