The main historical interest of the great movement in Italy during the fifteenthand sixteenth centuries which we subsume under the general term “Renaissance” was directed towards the Roman past, but very early on the rediscovery of Greek antiquity, too, gained importance. The study of Roman literature, especially, soon led back to the Greek models and sources. The opportunity of becoming acquainted with the Greek language, works written in that language and translating them into Latin was provided or at least facilitated by contemporary foreign politics. Under pressure from the expanding Ottoman empire on the remnants of the Byzantine empire, many leading figures of Byzantine intellectual life found their way into Italy, first as ambassadors and later on as refugees. These were the first teachers and translators, later also editors of Greek literature in Italy.