6. Apollonius of Tyana, fl. 70 A.D., travelled throughout the ancient world
expounding Neo-Pythagoreanism, and working wonders, esteemed miraculous.
7. For an account of these spurious compositions, written at various dates
universally regarded as genuine in Pico's day, see Zeller, "Philosophie der Griechen."
9. With whom Pico was connected by affinity. See note 2.
10. For this vaunt of Epicurus see Diogenes Lærtius, "Vitæ Philosph.": τουτον
φησιν αλλ εαυτου, εν τη προς Ευρυδικον επιστολη.
11. Pico's conduct in this matter was not altogether so generous as it appears in
the family estates, and matters went so far that in 1473 Galeotto surprised Antonio
Maria and incarcerated him in the citadel of Mirandola, while he made himself master
of the entire inheritance, apparently ignoring Pico's title altogether. Antonio Maria
remained a close prisoner in Mirandola for about two years, at the close of which he
was released in deference to the intercessions, or perhaps menaces, of his friends, fled
to Rome, and appealed to the Pope. He returned in 1483 with a small army furnished
by the Duke of Calabria, possessed himself of Concordia, and negotiated a treaty of
partition with his brother. The treaty was, however, by no means strictly observed.
Pico had taken no part in the quarrel, and was probably the more ready to cede his
rights to his nephew that any attempt to vindicate them for himself would certainly
have excited the determined hostility of his brothers. The conveyance was executed
on 22 April 1491. "Memorie Storiche della Mirandola," i. 108; ii. 43. Calori Cesis,
12. Girolamo Benivieni, author of the "Canzone dell'Amore Celeste e Divino"
him see Mazzucchelli, "Scrittori Italiani."
13. St. Jerome, author of the Vulgate version of the Bible. The passage
corpore nihil dedisse; porrexisse egentibus manum, sed carnis voluptate superatos
dealbasse ea quæ foris erant, et intus plenos suisse ossibus mortuorum." "Epistola ad
Eustochium Virginem," Opera (fol.) i. 65. g.
14. "Potissimum" (G.F.P.), especially. So in "Romaunt of the Rose," l. 1,358-
15: A reminiscence of the "De Sapientis Constantia."
16. "Passim "(G F.P.), on all hands. In fourteenth and fifteenth century
literature "by and by" frequently means severally, or one by one, as in "Romaunt of
the Rose," l. 4,582, "These were his words by and by." The "Promptorum
Parvulorum" (Camden Soc.) translates it "sigillatim." Thence the transition to the
sense of the text is not difficult.
17. See Introduction.
18. "Quam primum"(G.F.P.), as soon as possible.
19. See note 6.
20. A reminiscence of Epode II.
21. After leaving Bologna, Pico spent two years at Padua, the stronghold of
scholasticism in Italy. He also studied for a time at Ferrara, under Battista Guarino,
the humanist, whom in one of his letters he addresses as preceptor meus. In 1482 he
returned to Mirandola, in the vicinity of which he built himself a little villa, which he
describes as "pleasant enough, considering the nature of the place and district," and on
which he wrote a poem now lost. Here he entertained Aldo Manuzio, who about the
same time, doubtless by Pico's recommendation, was appointed tutor to his nephew,
Alberto Pio, and a Greek scholar, Emanuel Adramyttenus, a refugee from Crete,
where the Moslem was triumphant. He now began to correspond with Politian, and on
a visit to Reggio made the acquaintance of Savonarola, who had come thither to
attend a chapter of Dominicans. In 1483 he went to Pavia, taking with him Emanuel
Adramyttenus, who acted as his Greek master. There Emanuel died, and Pico then
joined Aldo Manuzio at Carpi. About this time he began the study of the oriental
languages, his master being one Jocana, otherwise unknown. In 1484, if not earlier, he
went to Florence, and made himself known to Marsilio Ficino, who had then just
completed his translation of Plato. Pico urged him to crown his labours by performing
the same office for Plotinus. Ficino, who was so little above the common superstitions
of his time that he believed firmly in astrology, saw in Pico's unexpected appearance
at this critical juncture an event not to be explained by natural causes, and taking his
suggestion as a divine monition, forthwith set about the work: nor, when it was
completed, did he omit to recount, in dedicating it to Lorenzo, the incident which led
to its initiation. Pico appears to have remained at Florence until the latter part of 1485,
when we lose sight of him for a time. We obtain, however, a transient glimpse of him
in a somewhat novel light from a letter from his sister-in-law, Costanza, to Fra
Girolamo, of Piacenza, dated 16 May, 1486, and printed in "Memorie Storiche della
Mirandola," ii. 167. From this it appears that he had then recently left Arezzo with a
Florentine married lady, who, Costanza is careful to state, "accompanied him
voluntarily," but had been attacked by some boors, who cut to pieces his attendants,
wounded him in two places, and carried him back to Arezzo. Whether the outrage is
imputable to the jealousy of the lady's husband, Costanza cannot say. How the affair
ended does not appear, but in the following October we find Pico at Perugia, and in
November at Fratta in the Ferrarese. Then followed the visit to Rome, the affair of the
Theses, and the journey to France, where he was presented to Charles VIII. After his
recall to Italy he resided either at Fiesole or Florence until the summer of 1491, when
he accompanied Politian to Venice. They returned to Florence in time to be present at
the deathbed of Lorenzo (8 Ap. 1492). The rest of his life Pico spent partly at Ferrara
The foregoing brief record of Pico's wanderings reposes mainly upon the
Many of these, however, are undated, and all are singularly poor in personal detail.
See also Calori Cesis, "Giovanni Pico della Mirandola," 2nd ed., 1872; Parr Greswell,
"Memoirs of Angelus Politianus," &c.; and Villari's "Savonarola," Eng. tr. 1889, ii.
22. "Insidiosissima correptus est febre" (G.F.P.).
23. See Note 2.