Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola

1463-1494. Italian philosopher. Born count of Mirandola, he was fluent in Latin and Greek by the time he was sixteen, had studied at several universities, and was renowned for his remarkable memory. At the University of Padua (1480-82) he studied both Averroism* and the Kabbalah* the latter interest producing a current of Christian Kabbalism leading to J. Reuchlin* and the Hebrew studies of sixteenth-century Protestantism. After 1484 the Platonic Academy at Florence dominated his thought, but his major objective became the discovery of a unity underlying these various philosophical traditions, a unity that would accord also with Christianity. His major writings reflect both this objective and the humanist- Christian themes of the dignity of man and the incompatibility of astrology with human freedom. Though he became a follower of the Christian reformer Savonarola,* his last work, De ente et uno-unfinished-again sought to prove the essential unity of Plato and Aristotle and that all truth and knowledge are one. The depth and range of Pico's learning and vision have earned him the admiration of serious scholars.