|Full name||Giordano Bruno|
Nola, Campania, Kingdom of Naples
February 17, 1600|
|Main interests||Philosophy, Cosmology, and Memory|
Giordano Bruno, born Filippo Bruno (1548 – February 17, 1600), was an Italian philosopher, mathematician and astronomer best known as a proponent of heliocentrism and the infinity of the universe. His cosmological theories went beyond the Copernican model in identifying the sun as just one of an infinite number of independently moving heavenly bodies: he is the first man to have conceptualized the universe as a continuum where the stars we see at night are of identical nature as the sun. He was burned at the stake by authorities in 1600 after the Roman Inquisition found him guilty of heresy. After his death he gained considerable fame; in the 19th and early 20th centuries, commentators focusing on his astronomical beliefs regarded him as a martyr for free thought and modern scientific ideas. However, later assessments have challenged the description of his beliefs as scientific, and suggest that his ideas about the universe played a substantially smaller role in his trial than his pantheist beliefs about God.
In addition to his cosmological writings, Bruno also wrote extensive works on the art of memory, a loosely organized group of mnemonic techniques and principles. More recent assessments, beginning with the pioneering work of Frances Yates, suggest that Bruno was deeply influenced by magical views of the universe inherited from Arab astrological magic, Neoplatonism and Renaissance Hermeticism. Other recent studies of Bruno have focused on his qualitative approach to mathematics and his application of the spatial paradigms of geometry to language.
Early years, 1548–1576
Filippo Bruno was born in Nola (in Campania, then part of the Kingdom of Naples) in 1548, the son of Giovanni Bruno, a soldier, and Fraulissa Savolino. As a youth, he was sent to Naples for education. He was tutored privately at the Augustinian monastery there, and attended public lectures at the Studium Generale. At the age of 17, he entered the Dominican Order at the monastery of San Domenico Maggiore in Naples, taking the name Giordano, after Giordano Crispo, his metaphysics tutor. He continued his studies there, completing his novitiate, and became an ordained priest in 1572 at age 24. During his time in Naples he became known for his skill with the art of memory and on one occasion traveled to Rome to demonstrate his mnemonic system before Pope Pius V and Cardinal Rebiba. Bruno in later years claimed that the Pope accepted his dedication to him of the lost work On The Ark of Noah at this time.
Such an honor suggests that Bruno was distinguished for outstanding ability. But Bruno's taste for free thinking and forbidden books soon caused him difficulties, and given the controversy he caused in later life it is surprising that he was able to remain within the monastic system for eleven years. In his testimony to Venetian inquisitors during his trial, many years later, he indicates that proceedings were twice taken against him for having cast away images of the saints, retaining only a crucifix, and for having made controversial reading recommendations to a novice. Such behavior could perhaps be overlooked, but Bruno's situation became much more serious when he was reported to have defended the Arian heresy, and when a copy of the banned writings of Erasmus, annotated by him, was discovered hidden in the convent privy. When he learned that an indictment was being prepared against him in Naples he fled, shedding his religious habit, at least for a time.
First years of wandering, 1576–1583
Bruno first went to the Genoese port of Noli, then to Savona, Turin and finally to Venice, where he published his lost work On The Signs of the Times with the permission (so he claimed at his trial) of the Dominican Remigio Nannini Fiorentino. From Venice he went to Padua where he met fellow Dominicans who convinced him to wear his priest's habit again. From Padua he went to Bergamo and then across the Alps to Chambéry and Lyon. His movements after this time are obscure.
In 1579 he arrived in Geneva. It seems that while there he briefly joined the Calvinists. However, during his Venetian trial he told inquisitors that while in Geneva he told the Marchese de Vico of Naples, who was notable for helping Italian refugees in Geneva, "I did not intend to adopt the religion of the city. I desired to stay there only that I might live at liberty and in security." Bruno had a pair of breeches made for himself, and the Marchese and others apparently made Bruno a gift of a sword, hat, cape and other necessities for dressing himself; in such clothing Bruno could no longer be recognized as a priest. Things apparently went well for Bruno for a time, as he entered his name in the Rector's Book of the University of Geneva in May of 1579. But in keeping with his personality he could not long remain silent. In August he published an attack on the work of Antoine de la Faye, a distinguished professor. He and the printer were promptly arrested. Rather than apologizing, Bruno insisted on continuing to defend his publication. He was refused the right to take sacrament. Though this was eventually reversed, Geneva was no longer safe for him.
He left for France, arriving first in Lyon, and thereafter settling for a time (1580-1581) in Toulouse, where he took his doctorate in theology and was elected by students to lecture in philosophy. It seems he also attempted at this time to return to the Catholic fold, but was denied absolution by the Jesuit priest he approached. When religious strife broke out in the summer of 1581, he relocated to Paris. There he held a cycle of thirty lectures on theological topics, and he also began to gain fame for his prodigious memory. Bruno's feats of memory were based, at least in part, on his elaborate system of mnemonics, but some of his contemporaries found it easier to attribute them to magical powers. His talents attracted the benevolent attention of the king Henry III, who supported a conciliatory, middle-of-the-road cultural policy between Catholic and Protestant extremism.
In Paris Bruno enjoyed the protection of his powerful French patrons. During this period, he published several works on mnemonics, including De umbris idearum (On The Shadows of Ideas, 1582), Ars Memoriae (The Art of Memory, 1582), and Cantus Circaeus (Circe's Song, 1582). All of these were based on his mnemonic models of organised knowledge and experience, as opposed to the simplistic logic-based mnemonic techniques of Petrus Ramus then becoming popular. Bruno also published a comedy summarizing some of his philosophical positions, titled Il Candelaio (The Torchbearer, 1582). On The Shadows of Ideas was dedicated to King Henry III. In the 16th century dedications were, as a rule, approved beforehand, and hence were a way of placing a work under the protection of an individual. Given that Bruno dedicated various works to the likes of King Henry III, Philip Sidney, Michel de Castelnau (French Ambassador to England), and possibly Pope Pius V, it is apparent that this wanderer had experienced a meteoric rise and moved in powerful circles.
In April 1583, Bruno went to England with letters of recommendation from Henry III as a guest of the French ambassador, Michel de Castelnau. There he became acquainted with the poet Philip Sidney (to whom he dedicated two books) and other members of the Hermetic circle around John Dee, though there is no evidence that Bruno ever met Dee himself. He also lectured at Oxford, and unsuccessfully sought a teaching position there. His views spurred controversy, notably with John Underhill, Rector of Lincoln College and from 1589 bishop of Oxford, and George Abbot, who later became Archbishop of Canterbury, who poked fun at Bruno for supporting “the opinion of Copernicus that the earth did go round, and the heavens did stand still; whereas in truth it was his own head which rather did run round, and his brains did not stand still.” and who reports accusations that Bruno plagiarized Ficino's work. Still, the English period was a fruitful one. During that time Bruno completed and published some of his most important works, the "Italian Dialogues," including the cosmological tracts La Cena de le Ceneri (The Ash Wednesday Supper, 1584), De la Causa, Principio et Uno (On Cause, Principle and Unity, 1584), De l'Infinito Universo et Mondi (On the Infinite Universe and Worlds, 1584) as well as Lo Spaccio de la Bestia Trionfante (The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, 1584) and De gl' Heroici Furori (On Heroic Frenzies, 1585). Some of the works that Bruno published in London, notably the The Ash Wednesday Supper, appear to have given offense. It was not the first time, nor was it to be the last, that Bruno's controversial views coupled with his abrasive sarcasm lost him the support of his friends. While conclusive proof is wanting, the theory has been advanced that, while he was staying in the French Embassy in London, Bruno was also spying on Catholic conspirators under the pseudonym 'Fagot' for Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's Secretary of State.
Last years of wandering, 1585–1592
In October 1585, after the French embassy in London was attacked by a mob, Bruno returned to Paris with Castelnau, finding a tense political situation. Moreover, his 120 theses against Aristotelian natural science and his pamphlets against the mathematician Fabrizio Mordente soon put him in ill favor. In 1586, following a violent quarrel about Mordente's invention, "the differential compass," he left France for Germany.In Germany he failed to obtain a teaching position at Marburg, but was granted permission to teach at Wittenberg, where he lectured on Aristotle for two years. However, with a change of intellectual climate there, he was no longer welcome, and went in 1588 to Prague, where he obtained 300 taler from Rudolf II, but no teaching position. He went on to serve briefly as a professor in Helmstedt, but had to flee again when he was excommunicated by the Lutherans, continuing the pattern of Bruno's gaining favor from lay authorities before falling foul of the ecclesiastics of whatever hue.
During this period he produced several Latin works, dictated to his friend and secretary Girolamo Besler, including De Magia (On Magic), Theses De Magia (Theses On Magic) and De Vinculis In Genere (A General Account of Bonding). All these were apparently transcribed or recorded by Besler (or Bisler) between 1589 and 1590. He also published De Imaginum, Signorum, Et Idearum Compositione (On The Composition of Signs, Images and Ideas, 1591).
The year 1591 found him in Frankfurt. Apparently, during the Frankfurt Book Fair, he received an invitation to Venice from the patrician Giovanni Mocenigo, who wished to be instructed in the art of memory, and also heard of a vacant chair in mathematics at the University of Padua. Apparently believing that the Inquisition might have lost some of its impetus, he returned to Italy.
He went first to Padua, where he taught briefly, and applied unsuccessfully for the chair of mathematics, which was assigned instead to Galileo Galilei one year later. Bruno accepted Mocenigo's invitation and moved to Venice in March 1592. For about two months he functioned as an in-house tutor to Mocenigo. When Bruno announced his plan to leave Venice to his host, the latter, who was unhappy with the teachings he had received and had apparently developed a personal rancour towards Bruno, denounced him to the Venetian Inquisition, which had Bruno arrested on May 22, 1592. Among the numerous charges of blasphemy and heresy brought against him in Venice, based on Mocenigo's denunciation, was his belief in the plurality of worlds, as well as accusations of personal misconduct. Bruno defended himself skillfully, stressing the philosophical character of some of his positions, denying others and admitting that he had had doubts on some matters of dogma. The Roman Inquisition, however, asked for his transferral to Rome. After several months and some quibbling the Venetian authorities reluctantly consented and Bruno was sent to Rome in February 1593.
Imprisonment, trial and execution, 1592–1600
In Rome he was imprisoned for seven years during his lengthy trial, lastly in the Tower of Nona. Some important documents about the trial are lost, but others have been preserved, among them a summary of the proceedings that was rediscovered in 1940. The numerous charges against Bruno, based on some of his books as well as on witness accounts, included blasphemy, immoral conduct, and heresy in matters of dogmatic theology, and involved some of the basic doctrines of his philosophy and cosmology. Luigi Firpo lists them as follows:
- Holding opinions contrary to the Catholic Faith and speaking against it and its ministers.
- Holding erroneous opinions about the Trinity, about Christ's divinity and Incarnation.
- Holding erroneous opinions about Christ.
- Holding erroneous opinions about Transubstantiation and Mass.
- Claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity.
- Believing in metempsychosis and in the transmigration of the human soul into brutes.
- Dealing in magics and divination.
- Denying the Virginity of Mary.
In these grim circumstances Bruno continued his Venetian defensive strategy, which consisted in bowing to the Church's dogmatic teachings, while trying to preserve the basis of his philosophy. In particular Bruno held firm to his belief in the plurality of worlds, although he was admonished to abandon it. His trial was overseen by the inquisitor Cardinal Bellarmine, who demanded a full recantation, which Bruno eventually refused. Instead he appealed in vain to Pope Clement VIII, hoping to save his life through a partial recantation. The Pope expressed himself in favor of a guilty verdict. Consequently, Bruno was declared a heretic, and told he would be handed over to secular authorities. According to the correspondence of one Gaspar Schopp of Breslau, he is said to have made a threatening gesture towards his judges and to have replied:
"Maiori forsan cum timore sententiam in me fertis quam ego accipiam (Perhaps you pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it)." He was quickly turned over to the secular authorities and, on February 17, 1600 in the Campo de' Fiori, a central Roman market square, "his tongue imprisoned because of his wicked words" he was burned at the stake. When the fire had died out his ashes were dumped into the Tiber river. All Bruno's works were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in 1603.
After the execution
On the 400th anniversary of Bruno's death, Cardinal Angelo Sodano declared Bruno's death to be a "sad episode". Despite his regret, he defended Bruno's persecutors, maintaining that the inquisitors "had the desire to preserve freedom and promote the common good and did everything possible to save his life" by trying to make him recant and subsequently by appealing the capital punishment with the secular authorities of Rome.
Retrospective views of Bruno
Some authors have characterized Bruno as a "martyr of science," suggesting parallels with the Galileo affair. They assert that, even though Bruno's theological beliefs were an important factor in his heresy trial, his Copernicanism and cosmological beliefs also played a significant role for the outcome. Others oppose such views, and claim this alleged connection to be exaggerated, or outright false.
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "in 1600 there was no official Catholic position on the Copernican system, and it was certainly not a heresy. When [...] Bruno [...] was burned at the stake as a heretic, it had nothing to do with his writings in support of Copernican cosmology."
Similarly, the Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) asserts that "Bruno was not condemned for his defence of the Copernican system of astronomy, nor for his doctrine of the plurality of inhabited worlds, but for his theological errors, among which were the following: that Christ was not God but merely an unusually skilful magician, that the Holy Ghost is the soul of the world, that the Devil will be saved, etc."
However, the webpage of the Vatican Secret Archives discussing the document containing a summary of legal proceedings against him in Rome, suggests a different perspective: "In the same rooms where Giordano Bruno was questioned, for the same important reasons of the relationship between science and faith, at the dawning of the new astronomy and at the decline of Aristotle’s philosophy, sixteen years later, Cardinal Bellarmino, who then contested Bruno’s heretical theses, summoned Galileo Galilei, who also faced a famous inquisitorial trial, which, luckily for him, ended with a simple abjuration."
Following the 1870 Capture of Rome by the newly created Kingdom of Italy and the end of the Church's temporal power over the city, the erection of a monument to Bruno on the site of his execution became feasible. In 1885 an international committee was formed for that purpose, including Victor Hugo, Herbert Spencer, Ernest Renan, Ernst Haeckel, Henrik Ibsen and Ferdinand Gregorovius. The monument was sharply opposed by the clerical party, but was finally erected by the Rome Municipality and inaugurated in 1889.
The Romanian-born Israeli poet Yotam Reuveny wrote on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Bruno's execution: "The so-called heretic Giordano Bruno was - and perhaps still is - the greatest of heroes for the pupils of No. 60 Highschool in Iasi, capital of Moldava in Romania. For us in this school, Bruno was the incarnation of total faith to one's ideals, whatever the price (...). He was at the center of our rite of passage - to hold a finger inside the flame of a burning candle and keep it there as long as you could possibly endure, in order to emulate Giordano Bruno and express our admiration for him" 
Cosmology before Bruno
According to Aristotle and Plato, the universe was a finite sphere. Its ultimate limit was the primum mobile, whose diurnal rotation was conferred upon it by a transcendental God, not part of the universe, a motionless prime mover and first cause. The fixed stars were part of this celestial sphere, all at the same fixed distance from the immobile earth at the center of the sphere. Ptolemy had numbered these at 1,022, grouped into 48 constellations. The planets were each fixed to a transparent sphere.
In the first half of the 15th century Nicolaus Cusanus (not to be confused with Copernicus a century later) reissued the ideas formulated in Antiquity by Democritus and Lucretius and dropped the Aristotelean cosmos. He envisioned an infinite universe, whose center was everywhere and circumference nowhere, with countless rotating stars, the Earth being one of them, of equal importance. He also considered that neither were the rotational orbits circular, nor was the movement uniform.
In the second half of the 16th century, the theories of Copernicus (1473–1543) began diffusing through Europe. Copernicus conserved the idea of planets fixed to solid spheres, but considered the apparent motion of the stars to be an illusion caused by the rotation of the Earth on its axis; he also preserved the notion of an immobile center, but it was the Sun rather than the Earth. Copernicus also argued the Earth was a planet orbiting the Sun once every year. However he maintained the Ptolemaic hypothesis that the orbits of the planets were composed of perfect circles—deferents and epicycles—and that the stars were fixed on a stationary outer sphere.
Few astronomers of Bruno's time accepted Copernicus's heliocentric model. Among those who did were the Germans Michael Maestlin (1550-1631), Christoph Rothmann, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), the Englishman Thomas Digges, author of A Perfit Description of the Caelestial Orbes, and the Italian Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). Curiously, Bruno's Nolan compatriot, Nicola Antonio Stigliola, born just two years before Bruno himself, believed in the Copernican model. The two, however, likely never met after their youth.
Bruno believed (and praised Copernicus for establishing a scientific explanation for the fact) that the Earth revolves around the sun, and that the apparent diurnal rotation of the heavens is an illusion caused by the rotation of the Earth around its axis. Bruno also held (following Nicholas of Cusa) that because God is infinite the universe would reflect this fact in boundless immensity. Bruno also asserted that the stars in the sky were really other suns like our own, around which orbited other planets. He indicated that support for such beliefs in no way contradicted scripture or true religion.
In 1584, Bruno published two important philosophical dialogues, in which he argued against the planetary spheres. (Two years later, Rothmann did the same, as did Tycho Brahe in 1587.) Bruno's infinite universe was filled with a substance—a "pure air," aether, or spiritus -- that offered no resistance to the heavenly bodies which, in Bruno's view, rather than being fixed, moved under their own impetus. Most dramatically, he completely abandoned the idea of a hierarchical universe. The Earth was just one more heavenly body, as was the Sun. God had no particular relation to one part of the infinite universe more than any other. God, according to Bruno, was as present on Earth as in the Heavens, an immanent God, the One subsuming in itself the multiplicity of existence, rather than a remote heavenly deity.
Bruno also affirmed that the universe was homogeneous, made up everywhere of the four elements (water, earth, fire, and air), rather than having the stars be composed of a separate quintessence. Essentially, the same physical laws would operate everywhere, although the use of that term is anachronistic. Space and time were both conceived as infinite. There was no room in his stable and permanent universe for the Christian notions of divine creation and Last Judgement.
Under this model, the Sun was simply one more star, and the stars all suns, each with its own planets. Bruno saw a solar system of a sun/star with planets as the fundamental unit of the universe. According to Bruno, infinite God necessarily created an infinite universe, formed of an infinite number of solar systems, separated by vast regions full of Aether, because empty space could not exist. (Bruno did not arrive at the concept of a galaxy.) Comets were part of a synodus ex mundis of stars, and not—as other authors maintained at the time—ephemeral creations, divine instruments, or heavenly messengers. Each comet was a world, a permanent celestial body, formed of the four elements.
Bruno's cosmology is marked by infinitude, homogeneity, and isotropy, with planetary systems distributed evenly throughout. Matter follows an active animistic principle: it is intelligent and discontinuous in structure, made up of discrete atoms. This animism (and a corresponding disdain for mathematics as a means to understanding) is the most dramatic respect in which Bruno's cosmology differs from what today passes for a common-sense picture of the universe.
During the later 16th century, and throughout the 17th century, Bruno's ideas were held up for ridicule, debate, or inspiration. Margaret Cavendish, for example, wrote an entire series of poems against "atoms" and "infinite worlds" in Poems and Fancies in 1664. Bruno's true, if partial, rehabilitation would have to wait for the implications of Newtonian cosmology.
Bruno's overall contribution to the birth of modern science is still controversial. Some scholars follow Frances Yates stressing the importance of Bruno's ideas about the universe being infinite and lacking geocentric structure as a crucial crosspoint between the old and the new. Others disagree. Others yet see in Bruno's idea of multiple worlds instantiating the infinite possibilities of a pristine, indivisible One a forerunner of Everett's Many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Note on the Bruno portraitsRetrospective 'scientific' iconography of Bruno shows him with a Dominican cowl but not tonsured. Edward Gosselin has suggested that it is likely Bruno kept his tonsure at least until 1579, and it is possible that he wore it again thereafter. When Bruno was imprisoned by the Venetian inquisition in May of 1592 records describe him as a man "of average height, with a hazel colored beard and the appearance of being about forty years of age." Otherwise, there is a passage in a work by George Abbot suggesting that Bruno was short, "When that Italian Didapper, who intituled himselfe Philotheus Iordanus Brunus Nolanus, magis elaborata Theologia Doctor, &c with a name longer than his body...".
In addition to mentioning his name is "longer than his body" Abbot uses the derisive term "didaper" which in period meant "a small diving waterfowl". Neither of these descriptions offers enough material upon which to base a portrait, and no period portrait is known to exist. The supposed "portraits" of Bruno often seen derive from two sources, the earlier of which is clearly the inspiration for the later. The more recent of the two dates from 1824, and appeared in a book discussing heroes of modern 'scientific' thought. The oldest is an engraving published in 1715. According to Salvestrini the earlier of the two is "the only known portrait of Bruno". He suggests it might be a re-engraving made from a lost print. Its authenticity is doubtful.
- De umbris idearum (Paris, 1582) Full Latin text, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- Cantus Circaeus (1582) Full Latin text, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- De compendiosa architectura (1582) ;
- Candelaio (1582) Full Italian text, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- Ars reminiscendi (1583) ;
- Explicatio triginta sigillorum (1583) ;
- Sigillus sigillorum (1583) ;
- La Cena de le Ceneri (Le Banquet des Cendres) (1584) Full Italian text, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- De la causa, principio, et Uno (1584) Full Italian text, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- De l'infinito universo et Mondi (1584) Full Italian text, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- Spaccio de la Bestia Trionfante (L'expulsion de la bête triomphante) (London, 1584), allégorie où il combat la superstition Full Italian text, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- Cabala del cavallo Pegaseo- Asino Cillenico(1585) Full Italian text, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- De gl' heroici furori (1585) Full Italian text, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- Figuratio Aristotelici Physici auditus (1585) ;
- Dialogi duo de Fabricii Mordentis Salernitani (1586) ;
- Idiota triumphans (1586) ;
- De somni interpretatione (1586) ;
- Animadversiones circa lampadem lullianam (1586) ;
- Lampas triginta statuarum (1586) ;
- Centum et viginti articuli de natura et mundo adversus peripateticos (1586) ;
- Delampade combinatoria Lulliana (1587) ;
- De progressu et lampade venatoria logicorum (1587) ;
- Oratio valedictoria (1588) Full Italian version, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- Camoeracensis Acrotismus (1588) ;
- De specierum scrutinio (1588) ;
- Articuli centum et sexaginta adversus huius tempestatismathematicos atque Philosophos (1588) ;
- Oratio consolatoria (1589) Full Italian version, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- De vinculis in genere (1591) Full Italian version, Giordano Bruno.info: Download;
- De triplici minimo et mensura (1591) ;
- De monade numero et figura (Francfort, 1591) ;
- De innumerabilibus, immenso, et infigurabili (1591) ;
- De imaginum, signorum et idearum compositione (1591) ;
- Summa terminorum metaphisicorum (1595) ;
- Artificium perorandi (1612) ;
- Jordani Bruni Nolani opera latine conscripta, Dritter Band 1962 / curantibus F. Tocco et H. Vitelli
- ↑ See for example, Michel, Paul Henri. The Cosmology of Giordano Bruno. Translated by R.E.W. Maddison. Paris: Hermann; London: Methuen; Ithaca, New York: Cornell, 1962; Birx, Jams H.. "Giordano Bruno". The Harbinger, Mobile, AL, November 11, 1997.; Turner, William. "Giordano Bruno". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 13 Jan. 2009; http://www.history.com/encyclopedia.do?articleId=203945; and http://www.pantheism.net/paul/brunphil.htm.
- ↑ 19th and early 20th century portrayals of Bruno often focus on his role as a 'martyr' for free thought, or intellectual freedom. In this regard McIntyre, J. L., Giordano Bruno: Mystic Martyr, London, 1903 is one representative example among the many available. He is portrayed by some as a martyr for science (e.g. Griggs, E.H., Great Leaders in Human Progress, Ayer Publishing, 1969, Ch. 9 "Giordano Bruno, The Martyr of Science"). Saiber notes: Kepler admitted to accepting Bruno's theory of infinite worlds (but not an infinite universe); Leibniz drew from Bruno's monadology, and Spinoza from Bruno's ideas of a infinite, pantheistic universe. In 1926, in Sydney, Australia, the Theosophical Society chose 2GB (2 for the State, New South Wales, G for Giordano and B for Bruno) as its call sign as a tribute to Bruno. In 1960 Soviet astronomers named a crater of the moon after Bruno. Also in 1960, the Dutch astronomers Cornelius Johannes van Houten and Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld discovered an asteroid which they subsequently designated 5148, a permutation of Bruno's birth year (Saiber 2005: 43-45). However, today, many feel that any characterization of Bruno's thought as 'scientific' (and hence any attempt to position him as a martyr for 'science') is hard to accept. e.g. "Ever since Domenico Berti revived him as the hero who died rather than renounce his scientific conviction of the truth of the Copernican theory, the martyr for modern science, the philosopher who broke with medieval Aristotelianism and ushered in the modern world, Bruno has been in a false position. The popular view of Bruno is still roughly as just stated. If I have not finally proved its falsity, I have written this book in vain" Frances Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964, p450; see also: Adam Frank, The Constant Fire: Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate, University of California Press, 2009, p24
- ↑ The primary work on the relationship between Bruno and Hermeticism is Frances Yates, Giordano Bruno and The Hermetic Tradition, 1964; for an alternative assessment, placing more emphasis on the Kabbalah, and less on Hermeticism, see Karen Silvia De Leon-Jones, Giordano Bruno and the Kabbalah, Yale, 1997; for a return to emphasis on Bruno's role in the development of Science, and criticism of Yates' emphasis on magical and Hermetic themes, see Hillary Gatti, Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science, Cornell, 1999
- ↑ Alessandro G. Farinella and Carole Preston, "Giordano Bruno: Neoplatonism and the Wheel of Memory in the 'De Umbris Idearum'", in Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 2, (Summer, 2002), pp. 596-624; Arielle Saiber, Giordano Bruno and the Geometry of Language, Ashgate, 2005
- ↑ Dorothea Waley Singer, Giordano Bruno, His Life and Thought, New York, 1950.
- ↑ This is recorded in the diary of one Guillaume Cotin, librarian of the Abbey of St. Victor, who recorded recollections of a number of personal conversations he had with Bruno. Bruno also mentions this dedication in the Dedicatory Epistle of The Cabala of Pegasus (Cabala del Cavallo Pegaseo, 1585).
- ↑ Gosselin has argued that Bruno kept his tonsure after fleeing Naples, and suggests that Bruno's report that he returned to Dominican garb in Padua suggests that he kept his tonsure at least until his arrival in Geneva in 1579. He also suggests it is likely that Bruno kept the tonsure even after this point. According to this view the tonsure would show a continued and deep religious attachment contrary to the way in which Bruno has been portrayed as a martyr for modern science. Instead, Gosselin argues Bruno should be understood in the context of reformist Catholic dissenters. Edward A. Gosselin, "A Dominican Head in Layman's Garb? A Correction to the Scientific Iconography of Giordano Bruno", in The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 673–78.
- ↑ Bruno's name appears in a list, compiled one hundred years later, of Italian refugees who had belonged to the Protestant church of Geneva.
- ↑ Andrew D. Weiner, "Expelling the Beast: Bruno's Adventures in England", in Modern Philology, Vol. 78, No. 1 (Aug., 1980), pp. 1–13.
- ↑ Bossy, John: "Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair." Yale University Press, 1991.
- ↑ Giordano Bruno, Cause Principle and Unity, and Essays on Magic, Edited by Richard J. Blackwell and Robert de Lucca, Cambridge, 1998, xxxvi
- ↑ "II Sommario del Processo di Giordano Bruno, con appendice di Documenti sull'eresia e l'inquisizione a Modena nel secolo XVI", edited by Angelo Mercati, in Studi e Testi, vol. 101.
- ↑ Luigi Firpo, Il processo di Giordano Bruno, 1993.
- ↑ This is discussed in Dorothea Waley Singer, Giordano Bruno, His Life and Thought, New York, 1950, ch. 7, "A gloating account of the whole ritual is given in a letter written on the very day by a youth named Gaspar Schopp of Breslau, a recent convert to Catholicism to whom Pope Clement VIII had shown great favour, creating him Knight of St. Peter and Count of the Sacred Palace. Schopp was addressing Conrad Rittershausen. He recounts that because of his heresy Bruno had been publicly burned that day in the Square of Flowers in front of the Theatre of Pompey. He makes merry over the belief of the Italians that every heretic is a Lutheran. It is evident that he had been present at the interrogations, for he relates in detail the life of Bruno and the works and doctrines for which he had been arraigned, and he gives a vivid account of Bruno's final appearance before his judges on 8th February. To Schopp we owe the knowledge of Bruno's bearing under judgement. When the verdict had been declared, records Schopp, Bruno with a threatening gesture addressed his judges: "Perchance you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it." Thus he was dismissed to the prison, gloats the convert, "and was given eight days to recant, but in vain. So today he was led to the funeral pyre. When the image of our Saviour was shown to him before his death he angrily rejected it with averted face. Thus my dear Rittershausen is it our custom to proceed against such men or rather indeed such monsters."
- ↑ "II Sommario del Processo di Giordano Bruno, con appendice di Documenti sull'eresia e l'inquisizione a Modena nel secolo XVI", edited by Angelo Mercati, in Studi e Testi, vol. 101; the precise terminology for the tool used to silence Bruno before burning is recorded as una morsa di legno, "a vise of wood", which will hopefully be noted and put to rest the sensationalistic claims (as though being burned alive were not sensationalistic enough) that his tongue was pierced with an iron spike.
- ↑ Seife, Charles, "Vatican Regrets Burning Cosmologist", in ScienceNOW, March 1st, 2000.
- ↑ Sheila Rabin, Nicolaus Copernicus in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (online, accessed 19 November 2005).
- ↑ "Giordano Bruno". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Giordano_Bruno.
- ↑ Vatican Secret Archives accessed 3 November 2006.
- ↑ Site of Bruno's execution: .
- ↑ Alan Powers, Bristol Community College, Campania Felix: Giordano Bruno’s Candelaio and Naples accessed 27 May 2007
- ↑ Hans-Volkmar Findeisen: „Gegenpapst und Designer des Darwinismus“ – Wer kennt heute eigentlich noch Ernst Haeckel? (in German) accessed 27 May 2007
- ↑ Bhattacharjee, Yudhiijit (March 13, 2008). "Think About It". Science 319: 1467.
- ↑ http://bruno-denkmal.de/index.html Bruno-Denkmal website in German
- ↑ Haaretz literary section, February 17, 2000
- ↑ Max Tegmark, Parallel Universes, 2003
- ↑ Robert McNulty, "Bruno at Oxford", in Renaissance News, 1960 (XIII), pp 300-305
- ↑ Edward A. Gosselin, "A Dominican Head in Layman's Garb? A Correction to the Scientific Iconography of Giordano Bruno", in The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Autumn, 1996), p 674
- ↑ Virgilio Salvestrini, Bibliografia di Giordano Bruno, Firenze, 1958
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Bruno, Giordano.|
- Blackwell, Richard J.; de Lucca, Robert (1998). Cause, Principle and Unity: And Essays on Magic by Giordano Bruno. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-59658-0.
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- Yates, Frances (1964). Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226950077.
- Michel, Paul Henri (1962) The Cosmology of Giordano Bruno. Translated by R.E.W. Maddison. Paris: Hermann; London: Methuen; Ithaca, New York: Cornell. ISBN 0801405092
- The Cabala of Pegasus by Giordano Bruno, ISBN 0300092172
- Giordano Bruno, Paul Oskar Kristeller, Collier's Encyclopedia, Vol 4, 1987 ed., pg. 634
- Il processo di Giordano Bruno, Luigi Firpo, 1993
- Giordano Bruno,Il primo libro della Clavis Magna, ovvero, Il trattato sull'intelligenza artificiale, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore.
- Giordano Bruno,Il secondo libro della Clavis Magna, ovvero, Il Sigillo dei Sigilli, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore.
- Giordano Bruno, Il terzo libro della Clavis Magna, ovvero, La logica per immagini, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore
- Giordano Bruno, Il quarto libro della Clavis Magna, ovvero, L'arte di inventare con Trenta Statue, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore
- Giordano Bruno L'incantesimo di Circe, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore
- Guido del Giudice, WWW Giordano Bruno, Marotta & Cafiero Editori, 2001 ISBN 8888234012
- Giordano Bruno, De Umbris Idearum, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore
- Guido del Giudice, La coincidenza degli opposti, Di Renzo Editore, ISBN 8883231104 , 2005 (seconda edizione accresciuta con il saggio Bruno, Rabelais e Apollonio di Tiana, Di Renzo Editore, Roma 2006 ISBN 8883231481)
- Giordano Bruno, Due Orazioni: Oratio Valedictoria - Oratio Consolatoria, a cura di Guido del Giudice, Di Renzo Editore, 2007 ISBN 8883231740
- Giordano Bruno, La disputa di Cambrai. Camoeracensis Acrotismus, a cura di Guido del Giudice, Di Renzo Editore, 2008 ISBN 8883231996
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Giordano Bruno|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Giordano Bruno|
- Official site of Giordano Bruno's 'followers'
- Bruno's works: text, concordances and frequency list
- Writings of Giordano Bruno
- Detailed biography of Giordano Bruno
- Latin text of Bruno's Ars Memoriae
- Collection of short excerpts about Giordano Bruno, from many authors throughout history
- Bruno's Latin and Italian works online: Biblioteca Ideale di Giordano Bruno
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Giordano Bruno", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Bruno_Giordano.html .
- Complete works of Bruno as well as main biographies and studies available for free download in PDF format from the Warburg Institute and the Centro Internazionale di Studi Bruniani Giovanni Aquilecchia
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