PDA

View Full Version : Giordano Bruno: The Forgotten Philosopher



Frans_Jozef
Saturday, November 19th, 2005, 12:29 AM
Giordano Bruno: The Forgotten Philosopher
by John J. Kessler


Filosofo, arso vivo a Roma,
PER VOLONTA DEL PAPA
IL 17 FEBBRAIO 1600

In the year 1548 an Italian boy was born in the little town of Nola, not far from Vesuvius. Although, he spent the greater part of his life in hostile and foreign countries he was drawn back to his home at the end of his travels and after he had written nearly twenty books.

When he was thirteen years old he began to go to school at the Monastery of Saint Domenico. It was a famous place. Thomas Aquinas, himself a Dominican, had lived there and taught. Within a few years Bruno had become a Dominican priest.

It was not long before the monks of Saint Dominico began to learn something about the extraordinary enthusiasm of their young colleague. He was frank, outspoken and lacking in reticence. It was not long before he got himself into trouble. It was evident that this boy could not be made to fit into Dominican grooves. One of the first things that a student has to learn is to give the teacher the answers that the teacher wants. The average teacher is the preserver of the ancient land marks. The students are his audience. They applaud but they must not innovate. They must learn to labor and to wait. It was not Bruno's behavior but his opinions that got him into trouble.

He ran away from school, from his home town, from his own country and tried to find among strangers and foreigners a congenial atmosphere for his intellectual integrity that he could not find at home. It is difficult not to get sentimental about Bruno. He was a man without a country and, finally, without a church.

Bruno was interested in the nature of ideas. Although the name was not yet invented it will be perfectly proper to dub Bruno as an epistemologist, or as a pioneer Semanticist. He takes fresh stock of the human mind.

It is an interesting fact that here, at the close of the 16th Century, a man, closed in on all sides by the authority of priestly tradition, makes what might be termed a philosophical survey of the world which the science of the time was disclosing. It is particularly interesting because it is only in the 20th Century that the habit of this sort of speculation is again popular. Bruno lived in a period when philosophy became divorced from science. Perhaps it might be better to say that science became divorced from philosophy. Scientists became too intrigued with their new toys to bother about philosophy. They began to busy themselves with telescopes and microscopes and chemical glassware.

In 1581 Bruno went to Paris and began to give lectures on philosophy. It was not an uncommon thing for scholars to wander from place to place. He made contacts easily and was able to interest any group with whom he came in contact with the fire of his ideas. His reputation reached King Henry III who became curious to look over this new philosophical attraction. Henry Ill was curious to find out if Bruno's art was that of the magician or the sorcerer. Bruno had made a reputation for himself as a magician who could inspire greater memory retention. Bruno satisfied the king that his system was based upon organized knowledge. Bruno found a real patron in Henry Ill and it had much to do with the success of his short career in Paris.

It was about this time that one of Bruno's earliest works was published, De Umbras Idearum, The Shadows of Ideas, which was shortly followed by Ars Mernoriae, Art of Memory. In these books he held that ideas are only the shadows of truth. The idea was extremely novel in his time. In the same year a third book followed: Brief Architecture of the Art of Lully with its Completion. Lully had tried to prove the dogmas of the church by human reason. Bruno denies the value of such mental effort. He points out that Christianity is entirely irrational, that it is contrary to philosophy and that it disagrees with other religions. He points out that we accept it through faith, that revelation, so called, has no scientific basis.

In his fourth work he selects the Homeric sorcerer Circi who changed men into beasts and makes Circi discuss with her handmaiden a type of error which each beast represents. The book 'Cantus Circaeus,' The Incantation of Circe, shows Bruno working with the principle of the association of ideas, and continually questioning the value of traditional knowledge methods.

In the year 1582, at the age of 34 he wrote a play Il Candelajo, The Chandler. He thinks as a candle-maker who works with tallow and grease and then has to go out and vend his wares with shouting and ballyhoo:

"Behold in the candle borne by this Chandler, to whom I give birth, that which shall clarify certain shadows of ideas ... I need not instruct you of my belief. Time gives all and takes all away; everything changes but nothing perishes. One only is immutable, eternal and ever endures, one and the same with itself. With this philosophy my spirit grows, my mind expands. Whereof, however obscure the night may be, I await the daybreak, and they who dwell in day look for night ... Rejoice therefore, and keep whole, if you can, and return love for love."

There came a time when the novelty of Bruno had worn off in France and he felt that it was time to move on. He went to England to begin over again and to find a fresh audience. He failed to make scholastic contact with Oxford. Oxford, like other European universities of this time, paid scholastic reverence to the authority of Aristotle. A great deal has been written about the Middle Ages being throttled by the dead hand of Aristotle. It was not the methods of Aristotle nor the fine mind of Aristotle which were so much in question as it was the authority of Aristotle. A thing must be believed because Aristotle said it. It was part of the method of Bruno to object in his own strenuous fashion to the cramming down one's throat of statements of fact because Aristotle had made such statements when they were plainly at variance with the fresh sense experience which science was producing.

In his work The Ash Wednesday Supper, a story of a private dinner, being entertained by English guests, Bruno spreads the Copernican doctrine. A new astronomy had been offered the world at which people were laughing heartily, because it was at variance with the teachings of Aristotle. Bruno was carrying on a spirited propaganda in a fighting mood. Between the year 1582 and 1592 there was hardly a teacher in Europe who was persistently, openly and actively spreading the news about the "universe which Copernicus had charted, except Giordano Bruno. A little later on another and still more famous character was to take up the work: Galilee.

Galileo never met Bruno in person and makes no mention of him in his works, although he must have read some of them. We may not blame Galilee for being diplomat enough to withhold mention of a recognized heretic. Galilee has often been criticized because he played for personal safety in the matter of his own difficulties. We demand a great deal of our heroes.

While in England Bruno had a personal audience with Queen Elizabeth. He wrote of her in the superlative fashion of the time calling her diva, Protestant Ruler, sacred, divine, the very words he used for His Most Christian Majesty and Head of The Holy Roman Empire. This was treasured against him when he was later brought to trial as an atheist, an infidel and a heretic. Queen Elizabeth did not think highly of Bruno. She thought him as wild, radical, subversive and dangerous. Bruno found Englishmen rather crude.

Bruno had no secure place in either Protestant or Roman Catholic religious communities. He carried out his long fight against terrible odds. He had lived in Switzerland and France and was now in England and left there for Germany. He translated books, read proofs, and got together groups and lectured for whatever he could get out of it. It requires no great stretch of the imagination to picture him as a man who mended his own clothes, who was often cold, hungry and shabby. There are only a few things that we know about Bruno with great certainty and these facts are the ideas which he left behind in his practically forgotten books, the bootleg literature of their day. After twenty years in exile we picture him as homesick, craving the sound of his own native tongue and the companionship of his own countrymen. But he continued to write books. In his book De la Causa, principio et uno, On Cause, Principle, and Unity we find prophetic phrases:

"This entire globe, this star, not being subject to death, and dissolution and annihilation being impossible anywhere in Nature, from time to time renews itself by changing and altering all its parts. There is no absolute up or down, as Aristotle taught; no absolute position in space; but the position of a body is relative to that of other bodies. Everywhere there is incessant relative change in position throughout the universe, and the observer is always at the center of things."

His other works were The Infinity, the Universe and Its Worlds, The Transport of Intrepid Souls, and Cabala of the Steed like unto Pegasus with the Addition of the Ass of Cyllene, an ironical discussion of the pretensions of superstition. This "ass," says Bruno, is to be found everywhere, not only in the church but in courts of law and even in colleges. In his book The Expulsion of the 'Triumphant Beast' he flays the pedantries he finds in Catholic and Protestant cultures. In yet another book The Threefold Leas and Measure of the Three Speculative Sciences and the Principle of Many Practical Arts, we find a discussion on a theme which was to be handled in a later century by the French philosopher Descartes. The book was written five years before Descartes was born and in it he says: "Who so itcheth to Philosophy must set to work by putting all things to the doubt."

He also wrote Of the Unit, Quantity and Shape and another work On Images, Signs and Ideas, as well as On What is Immense and Innumerable; Exposition of the Thirty Seals and List of Metaphysical Terms for Taking the Study of Logic and Philosophy in Hand. His most interesting title is One Hundred Sixty Articles Directed Against the Mathematics and Philosophers of the Day. One of his last works, The Fastenings of Kind, was unfinished.

It is easy to get an impression of the reputation which Bruno had created by the year 1582 in the minds of the clerical authorities of southern Europe. He had written of an infinite universe which had left no room for that greater infinite conception which is called God. He could not conceive that God and nature could be separate and distinct entities as taught by Genesis, as taught by the Church and as even taught by Aristotle. He preached a philosophy which made the mysteries of the virginity of Mary, of the crucifixion and the mass, meaningless. He was so naive that he could not think of his own mental pictures as being really heresies. He thought of the Bible as a book which only the ignorant could take literally. The Church's methods were, to say the least, unfortunate, and it encouraged ignorance from the instinct of self-preservation.

Bruno wrote: "Everything, however men may deem it assured and evident, proves, when it is brought under discussion to be no less doubtful than are extravagant and absurd beliefs." He coined the phrase "Libertes philosophica." The right to think, to dream, if you like, to make philosophy. After 14 years of wandering about Europe Bruno turned his steps toward home. Perhaps he Was homesick. Some writers have it that he was framed. For Bruno to go back to Italy is as strange a paradox as that of the rest of his life.

He was invited to Venice by a young man whose name was Mocenigo, who offered him a home and who then brought charges against him before the Inquisition. The case dragged on. He was a prisoner in the Republic of Venice but a greater power wanted him and he was surrendered to Rome. For six years, between 1593 and 1600 he lay in a Papal prison. Was he forgotten, tortured? Whatever historical records there are never have been published by those authorities who have them. In the year 1600 a German scholar Schoppius happened to be in Rome and wrote about Bruno, who was interrogated several times by the Holy Office and convicted by the chief theologians. At one time he obtained forty days to consider his position; by and by he promised to recant, then renewed his "follies." Then he got another forty days for deliberation but did nothing but baffle the pope and the Inquisition. After two years in the custody of the Inquisitor he was taken on February ninth to the palace of the Grand Inquisitor to hear his sentence on bended knee, before the expert assessors and the Governor of the City.

Bruno answered the sentence of death by fire with the threatening: "Perhaps you, my judges, pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it." He was given eight more days to see whether he would repent. But it was no use. He was taken to the stake and as he was dying a crucifix was presented to him, but he pushed it away with fierce scorn.

They were wise in getting rid of him for he wrote no more books, but they should have strangled him when he was born. As it turned out, they did not get rid of him at all. His fate was not an unusual one for heretics; this strange madcap genius was quickly forgotten. His works were honored by being placed on the Index expurgatorius on August 7, 1603, and his books became rare. They never obtained any great popularity.

In the early part of the 18th Century English deists rediscovered Bruno and tried to excite the imagination of the public with the retelling of the story of his life, but this aroused no particular enthusiasm.

The enthusiasm of German philosophy reached the subject of Bruno when Jacobi (1743-1819) drew attention to the genius of Bruno and German thinkers generally recognized his genius but they did not read his books. In the latter part of the 19th Century Italian scholars began to be intrigued with Bruno and for a while "Bruno Mania" was part of the intellectual enthusiasm of cultured Italians. Bruno began to be a symbol to represent the forward-looking free-thinking type of philosopher and scientist, and has become a symbol of scientific martyrdom. Bruno was a truant, a philosophical tramp, a poetic vagrant, but has no claims to the name of scientist. His works are not found in American libraries. In this age of biographical writing it is surprising that no modern author has attempted to reconstruct his life, important because it is in the direct line of modern progress. Bruno was a pioneer who roused Europe from its long intellectual sleep. He was martyred for his enthusiasm.

Bruno was born five years after Copernicus died. He had bequeathed an intoxicating idea to the generation that was to follow him. We hear a lot in our own day about the expanding universe. We have learned to accept it as something big. The thought of the Infinity of the Universe was one of the great stimulating ideas of the Renaissance. It was no longer a 15th Century God's backyard. And it suddenly became too vast to be ruled over by a 15th Century God. Bruno tried to imagine a god whose majesty should dignify the majesty of the stars. He devised no new metaphysical quibble nor sectarian schism. He was not playing politics. He was fond of feeling deep thrills over high visions and he liked to talk about his experiences. And all of this refinement went through the refiners' fire -- that the world might be made safe from the despotism of the ecclesiastic 16th Century Savage. He suffered a cruel death and achieved a unique martyr's fame. He has become the Church's most difficult alibi. She can explain away the case of Galileo with suave condescension. Bruno sticks in her throat.

He is one martyr whose name should lead all the rest. He was not a mere religious sectarian who was caught up in the psychology of some mob hysteria. He was a sensitive, imaginative poet, fired with the enthusiasm of a larger vision of a larger universe ... and he fell into the error of heretical belief. For this poets vision he was kept in a dark dungeon for eight years and then taken out to a blazing market place and roasted to death by fire.

It is an incredible story.

The "Church" will never outlive him.

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/john_kessler/giordano_bruno.html

Frans_Jozef
Saturday, November 19th, 2005, 12:30 AM
Giordano Bruno - pantheist martyr

Giordano Bruno is the first pantheist in the modern mould. Completely abandoning Christian theology, he resurrected the materialism and Stoicism of the ancient world and combined it with a prophetic view of an infinite universe of solar systems, united in a single interpenetrating unity. For his intellectual courage he was condemned by the Inquisition and burned at the stake in Rome on February 17, 1600.

Bruno was born in 1548, the son of a soldier, in the small town of Nola at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. In 1565 he became a novice monk at the Dominican convent of San Domenico Maggiore, where he was to spend the following ten years. Even at this stage he attracted attention for his unwillingness to conform to convention, accepted wisdom or authority: he refused to keep images of saints in his cell and kept only a crucifix. Throughout his life he pursued the same intellectual non-conformity, in an almost naive way, as if he expected everyone to be swept away by the force of his argument, and was surprised when they reacted against him.

Bruno already had doubts about the Trinity, and tended towards a unitarian view of God. He left the convent in 1576 under suspicion of heresy. In Rome he was further accused of the murder of a fellow Dominican who was found drowned in the Tiber.

After travels in Northern Italy and France he headed in 1579 for Geneva, where Calvin had set up a Protestant republic. Here Bruno gave up his Dominican habit and formally adhered to Calvinism. But he did not stay long. In the first of many academic battles, he published and distributed a pamphlet boldly accusing a leading Calvinist philosophy professor of making twenty errors in one lecture. For this he was briefly imprisoned until he admitted his error.

Bruno in France and England

Leaving Geneva he obtained a philosophy post at the University of Toulouse, but left for Paris when the religious wars between Catholics and Huguenots intensified. As a renegade priest he was unable to gain a normal teaching post, but after dedicating a work on memory to Henri III, the king appointed him extraordinary professor at the University of Paris in 1581.

Two years later he took the opportunity to travel to Protestant England with the French ambassador Michel de Castelnau. The British intellectual atmosphere was exuberant, and enemies of Catholic Spain and Rome were feted. Bruno, ever ambitious to scale the intellectual heights, applied to teach at Oxford, which like Paris was in the grips of sterile Aristotelianism. Bruno lectured on the new Copernican cosmology, which was not generally accepted at that time, and attacked Aristotle's system. After a heated public debate, he was accused of plagiarism and had to leave Oxford.

Returning to London, he stayed at the French ambassador's residence, and it was here that he wrote his famous dialogues in Italian, including De la Causa, Principio e Uno and De l'Infinito Universo e Mondi, which set out his philosophical system.

It was not until 1585 that he returned to Paris, where he was soon once again embroiled in controversy. He challenged the Aristotelians to a public debate in the College de Cambrai, where he was ridiculed, physically attacked, and forced to flee the country. Once again he was rehearsing the pattern begun in his youth and repeated in Geneva and Oxford - over-bold outspokenness followed by outrage among those he attacked, leading to his own hasty flight.

The next five years he spent in central and eastern Europe, stopping for varying periods in Marburg, Mainz, Wittenberg, Prague, Helmstedt, Frankfurt and Zurich. In these Protestant German countries he wrote many works in Latin on philosophy, cosmology, physics, magic, and the art of memory.

Bruno in Venice.

If only he had stayed in Germany where he was free to say what he liked and safe from persecution. But in 1591 he received an unusual invitation to Venice. It came from the young patrician Zuane Mocenigo, who wanted Bruno to teach him the art of memory. Venice was one of many independent states in Italy, so Bruno may have fancied himself out of the reach of Rome, which still had outstanding business with him.

The relationship did not go well. Mocenigo may well have had an image of Bruno as a great Magus, and felt that Bruno was holding back on him, not teaching him everything he wanted to know.

When Bruno said he had to go to Frankfurt to get some of his works finished, Mocenigo threatened him, saying that if he did not stay willingly, he would find ways of keeping him there. Bruno had been as indiscreet as ever, and Mocenigo threatened to tell the inquisition about the heretical ideas he had expressed.

Ready and packed to leave the next day, Bruno was lying asleep in bed, when Mocenigo broke in with six gondoliers. He still said that if Bruno would teach him all he knew, he would free him. But Mocenigo's confessor got to hear the tale, and threatened Mocenigo that he would not give him absolution unless he turned Bruno over to the Inquisition.

So Bruno was consigned to the Venetian Inquisition and interrogated. Mocenigo recited a long list of accusations, which were elaborated by Bruno's prison cell-mates. On the whole they do not sound like fabrications. In many cases they correspond with Bruno's known views, in others they sound fully in character. Bruno had maintained that Moses was a great magician. It was fiction that he spoke with god. Jesus was a magician and a wretch. There was no reason to wonder at his miracles because he, Bruno, could perform even greater ones. Jesus sinned in asking his Father to let the cup pass from him.

Bruno was said to have mocked the resurrection and the virgin birth. He said there was no Hell and no-one would suffer eternal punishment. There was no distinction of persons in God, since this would be imperfection. Prayer, relics, images were all without efficacy. Monks were asses.

No religion pleased him. Mocenigo asked - what religion do you adhere to then? Bruno quoted a line from Ariosto: "Enemy of every law and every faith" and let out a great laugh.

Bruno also made it clear that he nurtured the ambition to set up a new sect under the name of new philosophy. If he was freed he would return to Germany or England and continue to spread his teachings and recruit followers. He had great hopes of help from Henri of Navarre, and even of bringing the Pope round to his way of thinking.

Before the Venetian Inquisition Bruno knelt, recanted fully, and denied all his theological and cosmological beliefs. He saw nothing wrong with this dissimulation, nor was there anything wrong with it: why allow yourself to be murdered by the vicious machinations of an insane system, if by a simple gesture you could escape and live to fight another day?

Bruno must have thought he had a good chance of getting off with an apology and appropriate penance. But Rome had heard of his interrogation, and Rome wanted to finish her business with him. The supreme inquisitor, Cardinal Santaseverina, asked Venice to surrender Bruno to Rome. The Venetian government resisted at first, but eventually ceded.

Bruno in Rome

Bruno was transferred to Rome at the request of Holy office, and arrived at the prison of the Holy Office near St Peters on February 27, 1593, where he was to spend a full seven years. Conditions were appalling. He was kept without writing materials or books. He seems to have been seriously undernourished - prisoners relatives had to pay for food and Bruno may have had no-one to do so.

The proceedings dragged on. We do not know the details - most of the Vatican papers relating to Bruno were taken away from Rome by Napoleon, and lost in transit on their return journey, and only a few summary items remain. There were repeated testimonies against him, by Mocenigo and by his Venetian cell-mates. Since most of these were criminals or heretics, their testimony had to be supplemented by careful study of Bruno's works, and this was undertaken by Cardinal Roberto Bellarmino.

It was not till January 1599 that Bellarmino drew up a list of eight titles of accusation. In February these were put to Bruno, and he made another of his many offers to recant. Yet these were never believed genuine, because Bruno continually asked to write appeals to see the Pope in person, to persuade him that his works were not heretical.

On September 9 the tribunal has its final sitting on his case, and recommends that he be given forty days to recant, and be subjected to "severe" interrogation - probably torture.

From this point on Bruno makes no more offers to recant. It is not clear why. Perhaps he had finally given up hope of the pope intervening. His inquisitors make mention now for the first time of his work The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, which makes a thinly disguised mockery of Jesus. Bruno may have felt that dissimulation would no longer work. Or again, that martyrdom might serve to spread his ideas.

Called to the congregation of inquisition, he now stated that he should not and would not recant, and had nothing to recant, and had written nothing worthy of recanting, and did not know about what he should recant.

On January 20 of the first year of the new century Pope Clement VIII ordered that Bruno be handed over to secular authorities for punishment. Sentence is read on February 8th: Bruno is declared an impenitent, obstinate and pertinacious heretic, to be stripped of priesthood and expelled from the Church, and his works to be publicly burned at the steps of St Peters and placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. Bruno replies: "Perhaps you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it."

Execution is delayed, why we do not know. At dawn on the 17th, Bruno is taken to the Campo dei Fiori, looking emaciated and broken. Even in his last moments on earth the church does not leave him alone. A company of monks from S. Giovanni Decollato accompany him, chanting, exhorting him till the last moment to abandon his heretical beliefs. Before the pyre is lit a monk offers him a crucifix to kiss. Bruno turns his head away angrily. He says he dies willingly, as a martyr, and that his soul will rise with the fire to paradise. He is stripped naked, tied to a stake, and burned alive, while the cantors sing continuous litanies.

Bibliography


Dorothea Waley Singer, Giordano Bruno, Henry Schuman, New York 1950.
Vincenzo Spampanato, Vita di Giordano Bruno, Messina, 1921
Angelo Mercati, Il Sommario del Processo di Giordano Bruno, Studi e Testi, 101, Vatican City, 1942.
Ramon Mendoza, The Acentric Labyrinth, Element Books, Shaftesbury, 1995.
Domenico Berti, Documenti intorno a Giordano Bruno da Nola, Rome 1880.

Translations in English:

Giordano Bruno, Cause, Principle and Unity, trs Jack Lindsay, Background Books, London, 1962
Giordano Bruno, On the Infinite Universe and Worlds, Singer op cit.

Source:
http://members.aol.com/pantheism0/brunlife.htm

jagdmesser
Tuesday, May 21st, 2019, 06:24 PM
For amid the many layers and deposits of thought with which Bruno’s restless mind occupied itself, there was one fixed point: his rejection of the Aristotelian and Ptolomaic concept of the universe, his acceptance of Copernican theories, and his extension of those ideas on the philosophical level. In an infinite universe populated by an infinity of worlds, there are no concentric heavens or spheres, and any point may be the centre of the universe. And since our world is not the hub of the universe, man dissolves into the eternal process of nature, where every birth is a death and every past is present. Bruno’s dictum is well known:


Quid est quod est? Ipsum quod fuit
Quid est quod fuit? Ipsum quod est
Nihil sub sole novi.


What is that? That was
What is that was? That is
Nothing under the sun is new.


In this cosmic and tragic view of reality, which many have seen as a foreshadowing of Spinoza, the old God is no longer the creator or unmoving mover of things, but the spirit of the universe, poured and diffused into all things: God becomes Nature. In this framework what importance could the hair-splitting of differing sects and creeds have? From the contemplation of the infinite unity of the universe the philosopher drew a sense of the transience of things and human opinions, and at the same time a sense almost of dizziness, in which there was some dismay but also enthusiasm, a ‘heroic exaltation’ close to the feeling of one who discovers and explores new, unknown lands. ‘Take away everything and bring everything’ wrote Giordano Bruno. ‘Everything changes, Nothing is destroyed: there is only one (being) that cannot change, and is eternal, and may eternally endure. With this philosophy my soul becomes greater and my intellect is magnified.’


P 190 Chpt 5 1550 – 1600 Decadence and Greatness, History of the Italian People by Giuliano Procacci.

Ravenrune
Tuesday, May 21st, 2019, 08:31 PM
I have read some about him in the past and always thought it was such an amazing conceptual leap to think of all the stars being like the Sun and having planets and people on the planets. This couldn't have even been based on observational proof at that time but purely on a conceptual idea thought up in the mind.

The idea that stars at night were like the Sun but just at extreme distances is quite a jump from the accepted model of reality which had the Earth at the centre and various spheres around it for the 5 naked eye planets ("wanderers" from Greek if I remember correctly), Moon and Sun and then the supposed "fixed stars" and then the divine realm above. To discard this Earth-centred model would be entirely illegal as a heresy (a thought crime punishable by even death).

I think his idea of the cosmos full of suns and planets and people slightly predated Galileo's telescopic observations that were more physical proof of some problems with the Earth-centred model that the Church stuck to (seeing the Moon with mountains and craters, the Sun with spots, Venus with phases proving it was inside the Earth's obit closer to the Sun, the Milky Way having far more stars and Jupiter having at least four moons etc) .

I don't think he was killed by the authorities for these astronomical ideas as much as for other religious heresies.



his works to be publicly burned at the steps of St Peters and placed on the Index of Forbidden Books.


These days, these books would quietly be disappeared from Amazon overnight LOL :D

Terminus
Monday, May 27th, 2019, 08:31 AM
It's important to stress that Bruno owes his ideas to a scientific/humanistic basis, not a mystical/religious one. This would become increasingly apparent if his writings were readily made available in English. Mystics are not even remotely a threat to Jewry, they just strengthen the cause of religions. They lack a foundation for their ideas, they take their experiences for granted, and end up just like Western philosophers: illusionists.


I have read some about him in the past and always thought it was such an amazing conceptual leap to think of all the stars being like the Sun and having planets and people on the planets. This couldn't have even been based on observational proof at that time but purely on a conceptual idea thought up in the mind.On the contrary, these discoveries had their basis in observation/instinct/senses, not reason/intellect/logic. The pre-Socratic philosopher Thales of Miletus is widely accredited as predicting an eclipse, independently from the Babylonians. Clement of Alexandria reports that the pre-Christian Germans were able to predict the most opportune time to strike in war from observing whirlpools and listening to the streams.
Both Jesus and Apollonius of Tyana demonstrate clairvoyant faculty, with the one anticipating Nicodemus and the other personally spectating the murder of Emperor Domitian. They were also able to discern a person's true character.


The idea that stars at night were like the Sun but just at extreme distances is quite a jump from the accepted model of reality which had the Earth at the centre and various spheres around it for the 5 naked eye planets ("wanderers" from Greek if I remember correctly), Moon and Sun and then the supposed "fixed stars" and then the divine realm above. To discard this Earth-centred model would be entirely illegal as a heresy (a thought crime punishable by even death).At least St. Thomas Aquinas distinguished between different kinds of heavens.


I don't think he was killed by the authorities for these astronomical ideas as much as for other religious heresies.He was definitely killed for these astronomical ideas.

"Absolutely no Lutheran or Calvinist, unless he reoffended or publicly induced to sin, was in any way judged in Rome, and by no means sentenced to death." https://historyforatheists.com/2017/05/giordano-bruno-gaspar-schoppes-account-of-his-condemnation/

Unfortunately, the Catholic Church built it's edifice on geocentricism. Bruno's ideas threatened to directly unravel everything the Church had been built upon. Incidentally, both Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine maintained that Galileo had been condemned for rejecting that the earth was as "flat as a trencher", a claim being played down nowadays.

His other "heresies" include a rejection of monogenism (Adam and Eve), teaching reincarnation, broaching the theories of infinite worlds (which the title Lord of heaven and earth omits. The Christians of that generation acknowledged the host of heaven, but not the heavens themselves), of the Holy Spirit as the world's Soul (citing Genesis 1:2) and that the world is eternal (has no beginning and end), and an eventual rehabilitation of "Satan". And a few other ideas which would need clarification on.

The remaining "heresies" are tantamount to typical dismissals from modern atheists (Moses, Christ, prophets, and apostles played tricks, were deceitful magicians; scriptures are not infallible).

Ravenrune
Monday, May 27th, 2019, 05:56 PM
On the contrary, these discoveries had their basis in observation/instinct/senses, not reason/intellect/logic


What I meant was there was no direct observation of other planets around other stars (we are only in this modern age starting to be able to do that), nor was there any direct observation of stars as being like the Sun (a concept could be thought up to suggest such an idea but there could be no observational proof at that time). Likewise, there was no direct observation of any of these theoretical planets out there having living beings on them (and there is still no direct observation of this even today ... and I'm totally avoiding the field of UFO's and alleged aliens visiting Earth from afar when I say that). So the idea was not based on observational proof but was conceptual.


When Galileo say that the Milky Way band in the sky had far more stars in it than could be seen with the unaided eye, this could have been the start of the idea that our Sun was one of a vast number of stars inside a giant disk of stars. I don't recall if he ever thought of that concept but it could have made someone think that way if they had that observation.




He was definitely killed for these astronomical ideas

Ok, however something I read suggested it was not his astronomical ideas as much as his religious ideas that got him in the most trouble.

Terminus
Monday, May 27th, 2019, 09:22 PM
When Galileo say that the Milky Way band in the sky had far more stars in it than could be seen with the unaided eye, this could have been the start of the idea that our Sun was one of a vast number of stars inside a giant disk of stars. I don't recall if he ever thought of that concept but it could have made someone think that way if they had that observation.You're completely omitting the ancient Greek philosophers. It's not like they all shared in Ptolemy's view.

Copernicus admitted that he built his theory on what certain Pythagorean philosophers had presented. The idea did not begin with Copernicus, Galileo, Bruno, etc.

https://hti.osu.edu/sites/hti.osu.edu/files/dedication_of_the_revolutions_of_the_hea venly_bodies_to_pope_paul_iii.pdf


...and I found first, indeed, in Cicero, that Niceta perceived that the Earth moved; and afterward in Plutarch I found that some others were of this opinion, whose words I have seen fit to quote here, that they may be accessible to all:—
“Some maintain that the Earth is stationary, but Philolaus the Pythagorean says that it revolves in a circle about the fire of the ecliptic, like the sun and moon. Heraklides of Pontus and Ekphantus the Pythagorean make the Earth move, not changing its position, however, confined in its falling and rising around its own center in the manner of a wheel.”
Taking this as a starting point, I began to consider the mobility of the Earth;


Ok, however something I read suggested it was not his astronomical ideas as much as his religious ideas that got him in the most trouble.What did you read?

Apparently, Bruno denied almost everything the Church accused him of, except the ones involving the nature of the world, the soul, etc. So Bruno definitely saw it that way (being condemned for his astronomical ideas).

Ravenrune
Monday, May 27th, 2019, 09:59 PM
You're completely omitting the ancient Greek philosophers. It's not like they all shared in Ptolemy's view.

Copernicus admitted that he built his theory on what certain Pythagorean philosophers had presented. The idea did not begin with Copernicus, Galileo, Bruno, etc.




In that example, I was specifically describing the idea of Galileo observing far more stars in the Milky Way band which theoretically could cause someone to infer that the Cosmos was a giant disk of stars (I don't know if Galileo even had this idea after seeing that the Milky Way band contained many more stars ... obviously, in reality the Cosmos is not just one giant disk of stars but this idea of other galaxies would have to wait more centuries ).


What I was talking about has nothing to do the Earth-centred model or the Sun-centred model (which was the main point of argument at the time) but an idea of the Sun being one of a vast number of stars within a giant disk of stars (although I don't know if anyone around that time even suggested this ... although Bruno thought of the idea of vast numbers of stars with planets and beings .... I don't think he considered that all of these would be within essentially a giant disk. However Galileo's later telescopic observations of the Milky Way band showing it had many more stars not seen by the unaided eye could have caused him to ponder if the whole Cosmos was some kind of giant disk of stars.).



I don't remember what I read that suggested Bruno was killed more for his religious "heresies" than his astronomical views. Although I can see even the astronomical ideas as being against the ideas of the Church (and against certain passages especially in Genesis which talked about the alleged creation of the world).

Primus
Wednesday, May 29th, 2019, 09:49 AM
The man's genius of the secular sciences notwithstanding, Bruno was a Judaizer and a proponent of the Jewish fables of the Kabbalah, plus Hermeticism (i.e. more Jewish bullshit), et cetera. He was an unrepentant heretic and got what he deserved the hands of the Inquisition. There's a reason why the Catholic Church used to burn Jewish books like the Talmud, i.e. because Christian morals would be corrupted by the morals and beliefs of the perpetual brood of vipers.

Terminus
Thursday, May 30th, 2019, 05:00 AM
The man's genius of the secular sciences notwithstanding, Bruno was a Judaizer and a proponent of the Jewish fables of the Kabbalah, plus Hermeticism (i.e. more Jewish bullshit), et cetera. One is either a genius or a destroyer, he can't be both. That doesn't prevent the genius from undertaking a task of destruction every now and then, but then it is out of necessity, not malicious intent.

The Jew's Kabbalah was ripped off of the Chaldeans. First you must examine the surviving Chaldean literature before dismissing it.


He was an unrepentant heretic and got what he deserved the hands of the Inquisition. Unrepentant insofar as he was adjourned to renounce his ideas on the world and the human soul, not the other things he was accused of.


There's a reason why the Catholic Church used to burn Jewish books like the Talmud, i.e. because Christian morals would be corrupted by the morals and beliefs of the perpetual brood of vipers.No, they only resented the bitter statements against Jesus. The Talmud is merely a commentary on the Old Testament, and thereby it's ethics.