Laonici Chalcocondylae Atheniensis historiarum libri decem
The Byzantine writer Laonicus Chalcocondyles (c.1430-90) has been described as 'the last Athenian historian'. From a noble Athenian family, he moved to the court of Mistra in the Peloponnese, then ruled by Constantine XI Palaiologos (later the last emperor of Byzantium), and may have been a pupil of Gemistos Plethon. Laonicus' most important work was this 'Apodeixis' or 'setting forth' of the history of the period from 1298 to 1463, during which the Byzantine Empire came under increasing pressure from, and eventually succumbed to, the Ottoman Turks. Laonicus uses the Ancient Greek historians, especially Herodotus, as his models, comparing the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the fall of Troy. The surviving Greek manuscripts of his work were not well preserved, and for this edition of 1843, the German philologist Immanuel Bekker (1785-1871) collated the various versions and supplied a Latin translation, rendering the work accessible to historians.