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Friday, July 12, 2024
Giacomo Puccini

Giordano Bruno was born named Filippo in Nola, in Campania, the son of Giovanni Bruno, a soldier. In 1572 he was ordained a priest. He was interested in philosophy and was an expert in the art of memory. Bruno was also heavily influenced by the ideas of Copernicus and by the newly rediscovered ideas of Plato. In 1576, Bruno left Naples to avoid the attention of the Inquisition. He left Rome for the same reason and abandoned the Dominican order. He was forced to leave for France. For seven years, he enjoyed the protection of powerful French patrons, including Henry III.

During this period, he published 20 books, including several on memory training. In 1583, he went to England with letters of recommendation from Henry III. He sought a teaching position at Oxford, but appears to have given offense and was denied a position there (and elsewhere in England). Giordano returned to Italy, first to Padua, where he taught briefly, but the chair went instead to Galileo Galilei, so he continued on to Venice. Bruno attempted to leave Venice but was arrested on May 22, 1592, and tried before being extradited for trial in Rome in 1593. His trial was overseen by the inquisitor, Cardinal Saint Robert Bellarmine, who demanded a full recantation, which Bruno refused. Consequently, he was declared a heretic and handed over to secular authorities on January 8, 1600 and burned at the stake on February 17, 1600, in Campo de' Fiori, a popular Roman square. At his trial, he said: Perhaps you, my judges, pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it. All his works were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in 1603. Four hundred years after his execution, official expression of "profound sorrow" and acknowledgement of error at Bruno's condemnation to death was made during the papacy of John Paul II.
(Courtesy of www.wikipedia.org)

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