Voulgaris was born on August 11, 1716 in Corfu. He commenced his studies in Corfu and continued in Arta and Ioannina. Later, he moved to Padova, Italy to further his studies. His interests ranged from ancient Greek, Latin and Hebrew Literature to Theology, Physics, Mathematics and Languages.
In 1742, he returned to Greece and taught in various schools in Northern Greece. He became famous but not very popular in many circles because of his "free thinking" ideas.
In 1762, disappointed, Voulgaris left Greece and migrated to Wallachia and from there to Leipzig, where he was mainly pre-occupied with publishing his works. In the following years, he visited Berlin, then St. Petersburg where, in 1772, he was appointed Chief Librarian by Empress Yekaterina II "The Great". In 1776, he became Archbishop of Slovinio and Chersona. He remained Archbishop until 1779. In 1779, he returned to St. Petersburg, and became a member of the Imperial Academy.
During the years he spend in Russia, his views became softer.
Voulgaris left behind many writings on history and religion, philosophy and physics, mathematics and astronomy, archeology and music. He also translated Virgil's Aeneid into Greek.