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Explanation: From Ulyssess Annotated (a must if you want to delve into the book): Pico della Mirandola: (1463-94), an Italian humanist, philosopher, and scholar with a Renaissance mastery of Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic, plus an interest in alchemy and the cabala. His flair is shown in the title he gave his theses: "De Omni Re Scibili" (On Everything that Can Be Known). Stephen's pretension is like Pico's in that Pico at twenty-three is described (Giovanni Francesco Pico, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola: his Life by His Nephew, trans. Sir Thomas More, ed J.M. Regg [London, 1890], pp. 9-10) as "full of pryde and desyrous of glory and mannes prayse ... He went to Rome and there convetynge to make a shew of his connynge: (& lytel consideringe how grete envye he sholde reyse angaynst hymslefe)" set out to publicize the scope and breadth of his obscure and esoteric learning. He was subjected to humiliation and partial defeat.