Mirandula, Giovanni Francesca Della

Mirandula, Giovanni Francesca della a noted theological and philosophical writer of the 16th century, was born about 1469. He cultivated learning and the sciences, after the example of his uncle. SEE MIRANDULA, GIOVANNI PICO DELLA. Upon the death of his father, in 1499, he succeeded, as eldest son, to his estates, and thus became involved in great trouble, which finally cut short not only his literary labors but also his life. His brothers Lewis and Frederick combined against him, and, by the assistance of the emperor Maximilian I and Hercules I, duke of Ferrara, succeeded in driving him from his principality in 1502, and he was forced to seek refuge abroad, until at length pope Julius II, invading and becoming master of Mirandula, re-established him in 1511. After the pope's defeat at Ravenna (April 11, 1512), Giovanni Francisca became a refugee a second time, and so continued for two years. After the French were driven out of Italy he was restored to his possessions. He died in October, 1533, when Galeoti Picus, his nephew, i.e., the son of his brother Lewis, entered his castle by night with forty armed men, and assassinated him and his eldest son Albert. He seems to have been a more voluminous writer than his uncle. His earlier works were inserted in the Strasburg edition of his uncle's, in 1504, and continued in those of Basle, 1573 and 1601. Among these are:

(1.) De studio divinae et humanae philosophiae libri duo: in this he compares profane philosophy with a knowledge of Holy Scripture, and shows how preferable the latter is to the former.

(2.) De imaginatione libero

(3.) De imitatione ad Petrum Bembum episolae duae, et ejus responsum.

(4.) De rerum praenotione libri 9: in this book of the Prescience of things, he treats of the divine prescience, and of that knowledge which some pretend to have of things future, by compacts with evil spirits, by astrology, chiromancy, geomancy, and the like means, which he confutes at large.

(5.) Examen vanitatis doctrinae gentium et veritatis disciplinae Christianae, etc., wherein he opposes the errors of philosophers, Aristotle particularly.

(6.) Epistolarum libri quatuo.

(7.) De reformandis moribus oratio ad Leonem X.

These are the most important of his writings to be found in the editions above mentioned of his uncle's works; but there are other works, which have never been collected together, but have always continued separate, as they were first published: such are Vita Hieronymi Savonarolae: De veris calamitatum temporum nostrorum causis liber: De animae immortalitate: Dialogus cui nomen Strix, sive de ludificatione daemonum: Hymni heroici tres ad Trinitatem, Christum, et Virginem: De Venere et Cupidine expellendis carmen heroicum: Liber de Providentia Dei contra philosophastros: De auro tum aestimando, tum conficiendo, tum utendo libri tres, etc. "There is not," says Du Pin, "so much wit, sprightliness; subtlety, and elegance in the works of Francis Pico as in those of his uncle: no, nor yet so much learning: but there is more evenness and solidity." See the books referred to in the article following.

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