PICO DELLA MIRANDOLA, pî'co del'la mi"rndô'lâ, GIOVANNI: Italian philosopher; b. at Mirandola Feb. 24, 1463; d. at Florence Nov. 17, 1494. He studied at the University of Bologna (1477-79), and then visited the principal universities of Europe, pursuing the studies of philosophy and theology, learning as a means to this end Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic. In this arduous course of discipline he became a follower of Marsilio Ficino, and their common aim was to demonstrate the fundamental agreement of heathen philosophers with each other and with Christian scholasticism and mysticism. The root idea of this propaganda was that all truth is one and all science is one. Yet the substructure of Pico's system was derived from the Cabala. In 1487 he went to Rome where he proposed to hold a disputation covering the domain of knowledge, to which he invited the leading scholars as participants. As the themes of the discussion he issued 900 theses "in dialectics, morals, physics, mathematics, metaphysics, theology, magic, and cabalism." In publishing these he declared that he did not intend to defend anything regarded by the Church or its head as untrue or improbable. But the theologians declared some of the theses heretical at least in tendency, and the pope (Innocent VIII.) prohibited the disputation. Pico composed an apology, and went to France. He was later, through the intervention of Lorenzo de' Medici, permitted to return to Italy, and took up his residence near Florence, a member of the brilliant circle which gathered about Lorenzo. In 1493 a brief of the new pope, Alexander VI., relieved him of the taint of heresy. The humiliation suffered through the interdiction of the disputation led his thoughts toward celibacy, and when he died he had been contemplating retirement to a monastery, and for this he prepared by ascetic practises. He transferred his estates to his nephew, Giovanni Francesco, and bestowed his personal property on the poor.