"Attempts to establish a ?natural magic,? free of demonic assistance and compatible with God as omnipotent creator, can be found in the works of Albertus Magnus, the 13th-century German Dominican bishop, and later those of Nicole Oresme, a French bishop. But it wasn?t until the Renaissance that the idea was given firm philosophical and theological foundations. That was largely due to Marsilio Ficino, the dazzling Italian scholar, and his prot?g? Pico della Mirandola, who seized on the writings of the interpreters of Plato in late antiquity to create a Christianised Neoplatonism that affirmed natural magic as doctrinally sound and intellectually respectable. Magic, says della Mirandola, is ?the practical part of natural science??and so its ?noblest part.?"