According to wikipedia:

[Gemistus Plethon] was a Greek scholar of Neoplatonic philosophy. He was one of the chief pioneers of the revival of Greek learning in Western Europe. In the dying years of the Byzantine Empire, he advocated a return to the Olympian gods of the ancient world.

I have read history books on Byzantium which touch only briefly on Gemistus Plethon. I have also just read his wikipedia article.

I will admit, the wikipedia article makes out Plethon's religious views to be very confusing (at least to me). It makes mention of Greek Polytheism, Zoroastrianism, Esotericism and belief in a single "supreme being".

Yet at the same time, he was also well versed in Christian theology and held opinions on how to best resolve the conflicts facing the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church.

I guess my real question is, was Plethon an actual worshipper of the ancient Greek gods? or was he just a dissenter who combined heaps of beliefs from ancient cultures to form his own kind of religion? Did he ever claim himself to be a polytheist?

1 Answer 1


He was a neoplatonic and one of the leading protagonist of the Italian Renaissance Neoplatonism, following his attendance of the Council of Florence; see also: Marsilio Ficino.

He promoted a "rediscovery" of ancient pre-Greek wisdom, like that of Zoroaster, and taught polytheism as opposed to monotheism.

He is one of the source of the Renaissance peculiar blend of Platonism, Mosaic wisdom, Hermeticism, etc.


  • Sort of a Renaissance version of New Age?
    – Mark Olson
    Nov 7, 2023 at 13:26
  • 1
    @MarkOlson - sort of :-) Maybe it is "New Age" that is not so new... Nov 7, 2023 at 14:26

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