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Pico Della Mirandola- Introduction

Pico della Mirandola


Thomas More et al.

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) was a scholar and philosopher who stood at the cusp of the old mediaeval scholasticism and the new Renaissance humanism. Trained as one, he made himself into the other. His boundless energy and photographic memory made him one of the leading scholars of the age – he was said to have by heart the complete works of every known Greek and Latin writer, and was deeply immersed in the study of Hebrew, Arabic and Aramaic texts before his untimely death. In addition to numerous philosophical writings, he was the first Christian to study the Jewish Cabbala seriously, and translated a number of Cabbalistic classics into Latin. His biography was written by his nephew and heir (also Giovanni Pico della Mirandola) and came to prominence in England when it was translated, along with some of his writings, by Thomas More. This is the edition presented here; to which we have added an essay by the Victorian scholar Walter Pater.

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