Pico Della Mirandolla

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Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola was born on February 24, 1463 and died on November 17, 1494. He was an Italian Renaissance humanist philosopher and scholar, whose short influential life was brilliant, adventurous, and almost theatrical. He is most celebrated for the events of 1486, when at the age of 23, he proposed to defend nine hundred theses on religion, philosophy, natural philosophy and magic against all comers, for which he wrote the famous Oration on the Dignity of Man which has been called the "Manifesto of the Renaissance," and a key text of Renaissance humanism. During the Middle Ages, when God and the church were in the most exalted position, it was considered almost impossible to declare “The Dignity of Man,” the concept that became the starting point of Renaissance humanism. Pico Della Mirandola was one of the first to resurrect the humanism of ancient Greek philosophy. He also believed that every religion shares some elements of truth, and set out to create a blend of several great religions and major philosophies including those of Plato and Aristotle. Pico and his teacher Marsilio Ficino are credited with starting the resurrection of human dignity and the concept of free will at the beginning of the Renaissance. Pico said that free will, if properly directed, can make men into divine beings, or if misdirected, into evil beings. Pico Della Mirandola was the youngest son of the family. Pico’s father, Giovanni Francesco Pico, was prince and feudal lord of a small region in the province of Emilia-Romagna. His father provided humanistic education at home for Pico. He was schooled in Latin, and possibly Greek, at a very early age. Intended for the church by his mother, he was named a papal protonotary at the age of ten and in 1477 he went to Bologna to study canon law. Upon the sudden death of his mother two years later,

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