Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) was an Italian Renaissance philosopher and poet whose dramatic death gave a special meaning to his work. He was born in Nola, near Naples. His first name was Filippo, but he adopted Giordano's when entering the Order of Preachers, with whom he studied Aristotelian philosophy and Thomistic theology.
But Giordano was an independent thinker of tormented spirit. He left the order in 1576 to avoid a trial in which he was accused of doctrinal deviations. From then on he began a wandering life that would characterize him until the end of his days.
He visited Genoa, Toulouse, Paris and London, where he lived for two years, from 1583 to 1585, under the protection of the French ambassador and frequenting the circle of the English poet Sir Philip Sidney. It was the most productive period of his life since during these years he wrote "The Ash Dinner" (1584) and "Of the Infinite Universe and the Worlds" (1584), as well as the dialogue "On the cause, the principle and the One "(1584).
In London he also dedicated himself to teaching at the University of Oxford the new Copernican cosmology, attacking the traditional Aristotelian system. In 1585 he challenged Aristotelian supporters to a public debate at the College of Cambrai, where he was ridiculed, physically attacked and expelled from the country.
In the following five years he lived in various places in central and eastern Europe, such as Marburg, Mainz, Wittenberg, Prague, Helmstedt, Frankfurt and Zurich. He dedicated himself to writing many works in Latin about cosmology, physics, magic and the art of memory. He also demonstrated, although with a wrong method, that the Sun is larger than the Earth.
In 1591 he received an invitation to go to Venice from Zuane Mocenigo, who required him to learn about the art of memory. The relations between teacher and student did not bear fruit, in part because Mocenigo had an idea of Bruno as a magician and not as the thinker he was. When trying to leave him, Monciego denounced him to the inquisition for the, according to him, heretic ideas that he had transmitted to him. Bruno was arrested for the inquisition and interrogated in Venice, however, when requested by Rome he was transferred to that city.
He was a prisoner in Rome for seven years. On many occasions Bruno offered to retract his accusations, however, they were not accepted. Finally he decided not to retract, although it is not known why he made this decision. On January 20, 1600, Pope Clement VIII ordered that Bruno be brought before the secular authorities, on February 8 the sentence was read in which he was declared heretical unrepentant, persistent and stubborn. He was expelled from the church and his works were burned in the public square.
During all the time he was accompanied by monks of the church. Before he was executed, one of them offered him a crucifix to kiss him, which he rejected and said he would die as a martyr. He has been turned into a martyr of science for the defense of heliocentric ideas, although it must be said that the main cause of his judgment was neo-Gnostic theology, which denied the original sin, the special divinity of Christ and called into question his presence in The Eucharist
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