by Andrea Elizabeth
Could his aversion to Greek be more than just a negative reaction to being forced to learn a new language? Maybe a different worldview? Although, medieval Greeks of St. Gregory Palamas’ time had a mixed reaction to their own philosophical heritage:
“The Byzantines never “rediscovered” Plato and Aristotle in the same way the West did; Meyendorff explains, “for the Byzantines, Greek antiquity was a part of their own past, expressed in their own language: they could not be converted to it. By rejecting paganism and adopting Christianity, medieval Greeks became immune to any revolutionary rebirth of antiquity.” Therefore, although Barlaam was a Greek, his formative education in the West undoubtedly impressed upon him a particularlyenthusiastic admiration for antiquity, one that was probably foreign to his Byzantine colleagues.” (from Palamas and Barlaam: The Hesychast Dispute of the Fourteenth Century, by Zachary Kostopoulos)
This does not imply an over-reactionary opposition, however, as the rest of the paper bears out.