LASCARIS, JOANNES [JOHN], or JANUS (c. 1445-1 535), Greek scholar, probably the younger brother of Constantine Lascaris, surnamed Rhyndacenus from the river Rhyndacus in Bithynia, his native province. After the fall of Constantinople he was taken to the Peloponnese, thence to Crete, and ultimately found refuge in Florence at the court of Lorenzo de' Medici, whose intermediary he was with the sultan Bayezid II. in the purchase of Greek MSS. for the Medicean library. On the expulsion of the Medici from Florence, at the invitation of Charles VIII. of France, Lascaris removed to Paris (1495), where he gave public instruction in Greek. By Louis XII. he was several times employed on public missions, amongst others to Venice (1503-1508), and in 1515 he appears to have accepted the invitation of Leo X. to take charge of the Greek college he had founded at Rome. We afterwards (1518) find Lascaris employed along with Budaeus (Bude) by Francis I. in the formation of the royal library at Fontainebleau, and also again sent in the service of the French crown to Venice. He died at Rome, whither he had been summoned by Pope Paul III., in 1535. Among his pupils was Musurus.
Amongst other works, Lascaris edited or wrote: Anthologia epigrammatum Graecorum (1494), in which he ascribed the collection of the Anthology to Agathias, not to Planudes; Didymi Alexandrini scholia in Iliadem (1517); Porphyrius of Tyre's Homericarum quaeslionum liber (1518); De veris Graecarum lilterarum formis ac causis apud antiques (Paris, 1556). See H. Hody, De Graecis illustribus (London, 1742); W. Roscoe, Life of Leo X. ii. (1846); C. F. Borner, De doctis hominibus Graecis (Leipzig, 1750); A. Horawitz in Ersch & Gruber's Allgemeine Encyclopadie; J. E. Sandys, Hist. Class. Schol., ed. 2, vols. ii. (1908), p. 78.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)