Giordano Bruno

Giordano Bruno was born 1548 in the Kingdom of Naples There he was tutored privately by Augustinian monks. At age 7, he joined the Dominican Order. His metaphysics teacher was Giordo Crispo. He completed his novitiate and became ordained priest by 1572 at the age of 24. He developed art of memory techniques that served him well throughout his life. He went to Rome and showed it to Pope Pius V. He went on and wrote the book On the Ark of Noah and dedicated it to the pope.
Later, he developed a taste of the occult and forbidden books. He threw away images of saints and kept the Cross. He defended the Arian heresy that there is no Trinity and Jesus was not equal to God the Father. He even doubted the divinity of Jesus. Bruno took the banned book of Erasmus and annotated it. His copy of Erasmus book was found in a privy. He left Naples amidst indictments of heresy against him. He shed his Dominican robe.
In 1576, he went to Genoa, Savona, Turin, and Venice. There he published his book On Sign of the Times. Then, he went on to Padua. There he met fellow Dominicans and they convinced him to wear his habit, again. He went to Bergamo, crossed the Alps to Chambery and Lyon.
He went to Geneva in 1579. He entered his name in the Rector’s book at University of Geneva.. He did not accept Calvinism that he found there. He made himself a pair of breeches. He was given a sword, hat, cape, and other necessities by supporters. He attacked the prominent professor at University of Geneva, Professor Antoine de la Faye. He and his printer was arrested for what he published. He left Geneva.
He went on to Lyon, France, then to Toulouse in 158-81. He took a doctorate in theology while there. From there, he moved to Paris. His contemporaries thought his excellent memory was due to magic, but it was his mnemic system. King Henry III was impressed. He dedicated his next book to King Henry III.
In 1583, Bruno went on to England as a guest of the French ambassador Michel de Castelnan. There he became acquainted with the poet Philip Sydney, who, in turn, the Hermetic Order under court magician John Dee.
He lectured at Oxford. He met George Abbot, who later became Archbishop of Canterbury. Abbot mocked Bruno’s acceptance of Copernicus idea of Sun being center. Giordano, also, believed there are other solar systems. Stars are suns with planets revolving around them. That there might be life on other planets and that the heavens are infinite.
John Bosry accused Bruno of being a spy who was spying on Catholics for Queen Elizabeth and going under name of Henry Fagot. That wasn’t true.
An English scientist, Thomas Digger, had proposed the Universe was infinite in 1576. Bruno heard of it and adopted it.
In 1585, the French embassy was attacked by a mole. Bruno escaped to Paris. There he put up theories against Aristotelian natural science.
In 1586, he led a quarrel against scientist Fabriza Mordento and invented a differential compass. The argument against Mordento put him out of favor of the French king. So he went to Germany. He taught at Wittenberg. He lectured on Aristotle for next two years. Then, he moved to Prague in 1588. He received a salary of 300 talers a year, but no position under Rudolf II. He went on to Helmstat, but fled again when he was excommunicated by local Lutherans.
He wrote a book on magic 1589-90.
In 1590, he went to Frankfurt. He got invitation to Venice at a book fair there by Giovanni Mocenigo. He went first to Padua, where he heard there was a mathematics teaching position there, but Galileo got the position.
Bruno came to Venice in 1592. He became a private tutor to Mocenigo. Mocenigo was unhappy with Bruno and denounced him to the local Inquisition. He was charged with blasphemy and heresy. He admitted he had some doubts about church dogma. Bruno was transferred to Rome by 1593. There, he was confined Tower of Dona for 7 years.. He admitted to charges that he doubted the virginity of Mary and claimed to plurality of life in other worlds. He believed in reincarnation, dealings with magic and the occult. He denied the divinity of Jesus. He believed in Averroes’ Arabic astrology.
On January 1, 1600, Pope Clement VIII declared Bruno a heretic and the Inquisition gave him sentence of death. They pierced his tonque and burned him at the stake. His ashes was thrown into the Tiber River. One of his Inquistors became Pope Paul V. Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe were his contemporaries.


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