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Unformatted text preview: Many Renaissance writers studied the works of the ancient Romans and Greeks, coming to new, modern conclusions based upon their studies. One such writer was Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. In 1484, Pico, as he was known, became a member of Florence's Platonic Academy. There he studied and tried to reconcile the teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In 1486, he published a collection of 900 philosophical treatises, in which his conclusions often differed from those of the Roman Catholic Church. Pico's best known work, the "Oration on the Dignity of Man," describes his belief, contrary to church dogma, that people have free will and are able to make decisions affecting their destinies. Not surprisingly, the Church declared Pico a heretic; he was only saved from demise by the intervention of Lorenzo de Medici. Niccolo Machiavelli rose to even greater literary prominence, and a prominence with a...
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