Talk:Giordano Bruno/Archive 1

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I am starting a revision of the article. First of all, I will remove the reference to the University of Venice, which did not exist in Bruno's time. Bruno moved to Venice after accepting Mocenigo invitation to teach him mnemonics and "inventiveness". My source here is the article about Bruno by Giovanni Aqulilecchia in "Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani". Aquilecchia is also the author of the article about Bruno in the Encyclopedia Britannica. 18:44, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I am soon going to revise the paragraphs about the role of Bruno's cosmological beliefs in his trial. Bruno's belief in the plurality of worlds and his overall cosmological model, where the Sun is just a star among many other, were actually amply discussed during his trial. I am also going to add more sources. Stammer 05:57, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I've just revised the paragraph about Bruno's stay in England.Stammer 06:54, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Beside other minor edits, I have added a final paragraph stressing the still controversial character of Bruno's contribution. Moreover I have replaced the "astronomer/astrologer" in the opening paragraph with "cosmologist", which appears more appropriate. Stammer 09:18, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Some of the works that he composed and published in England are currently misattributed to his French period. I am going to fix that. Stammer 05:33, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Still work in progress. In the pipeline is a paragraph about Bruno's works on mnemonics during his first French period. 06:29, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
I am removing and replacing the unsourced reference to "Masonic circles" sponsoring the monument in Campo dei Fiori. Stammer 11:46, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
I am going to eliminate the unsourced references to Bruno's status as a "martyr of science" and the equally unsourced entry about "docetism", since I have added sourced material about Bruno's trial, including the Vatican's webpage about it. Referencing is a bit messy. I am going to clean it up later.Stammer 13:04, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

OK, I am going to add some final touches, minor edits and some links, but this is basically it for now. Stammer 13:31, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

how many trials?

The text is also confusing on another point: was he tried in Venice, then tried in Rome? If both trials are worth mentioning, then we might as well be clear on this point.

I will leave it to another to expand on this point some or will do it later but it should be noted that he was first tried by the Inquisition (the Church). At this trial he was found guilty of heresy. From there he was handed over to the Secular Authorities of Venice who found him guilty and pronounce the death sentence. The Inquisition did not have the power to carry out a death sentence, (at least at that time and location). They could find one guilty of heresy but the sentence was carried out by Secular Authorities. --Chaoscrowley 12:29, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Moved from Wikipedia:Translation into English

  • Article: ca:Bruno, Giordano
  • Corresponding English-language article: Giordano Bruno
  • Worth doing because: Material to incorporate into English-language article
  • Originally Requested by: Jmabel 22:17, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)
  • Status: in progress Jmabel 22:17, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)
  • Other notes: I haven't had a chance to read the Catalan article closely, but it looks like it's accurate, as far as it goes, and is more extensive than the English-language article. If no one picks this up soon, I'll do it myself. -- Jmabel 22:17, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)
    It looks like no one else is picking it up, so I'll try. -- Jmabel 18:17, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC) Done -- Jmabel 05:45, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • Article: de:Bruno, Giordano
  • Corresponding English-language article: Giordano Bruno
  • Worth doing because: Material to incorporate into English-language article
  • Originally Requested by: Jmabel 18:24, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • Status: All relevant material translated and incorporated. -- Jmabel 19:34, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
  • Other notes: Far more biographical material than the English-language article. -- Jmabel 18:24, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Looking at the German-language article...

The German-language article says that Bruno was forced to leave Rome in 1576 not because of religious matters but because of "einer (falschen) Mordanklage", "a (trumped-up) murder charge". Does anyone know a source for this? If true, I'd like to put it in the article, but I'm not sure I believe it. -- Jmabel 21:57, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The English-language article has Bruno handed by the Inquisition to the secular authorities January 8, 1600, the German article says February 8. Does anyone have a source for this? -- Jmabel 19:38, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I think both are coming from Britannica. It says that he was unjustly accused of murder. And it was on February 8th, 1600, the death penalty was read to him. Aknxy 22:12, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

Speaking to the dicrepency in dates it is probably the same reason the Russian Revolution is dated October and November 1917, the adoption of the Gregorian calendar over the Julian calendar.

Hermes Trismegistus

The article mentions Hermes Trismegistus, but (1) only vaguely hints at the connection between his writings and Neoplatonism and (2) doesn't remark on the fact that in Bruno's time these writings were thought to be very ancient, but they are now thought to date from about 300AD. I would think this worth mentioning. Does anyone disagree? -- Jmabel 21:57, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

No one having weighed in for 2 weeks, I will do this. -- Jmabel 19:39, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

According to Frances Yates the Hermetica were fundamental to Bruno's cosmology, even more than neo-Platonism. Also, from what I understand it is now thought that, however recent the Hermetica may have been it reflects thought which originated a great many years ago in ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs have been discovered that testify to similar cosmological ideas as contained in those works ThePeg 23:07, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Saint Augustine maintained that God's wisdom had been revealed to the wise men of antiquity, pagan and Jewish alike, and that (since he was Christian) their wisdom was compatible with Christianity and even was Christianity in its purest form. It was known that the wisdom of Egypt was the oldest of all. The neo-Platonists hoped that uncovering it might reveal "Primitive Christianity" which would reconcile all the conflicting religions and philosophical controversies of the day by clearing away the superstitions and errors that might have accrued to of modern religions, in the same way that errors and interpolations accrue to texts that are copied manually again and again through the ages. This was the optimistic hope of the Renaissance Platonists, and it persisted until the end of the eighteenth century. Of course it was a disappointment to find out that the Hermetic corpus actually dated from the Christian era. Even more of a disappointment was the decipherment of hieroglyphics in the nineteenth century. In this connection an interesting book (in addition to Yates) is Umberto Eco's The Search for the Perfect Language: The Making of Europe. Also see Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680), who, according to Wikipedia, "argued under the impression of the Hieroglyphica that ancient Egyptian was the language spoken by Adam and Eve, that Hermes Trismegistus was Moses, and that hieroglyphs were occult symbols which 'cannot be translated by words, but expressed only by marks, characters and figures.' This led him to translate simple hieroglyphic texts now known to read as dd Wsr ('Osiris says') as 'The treachery of Typhon ends at the throne of Isis; the moisture of nature is guarded by the vigilance of Anubis'" Hieroglyphics were supposed to express ineffable insights that are beyond words, the sort of communication higher beings such as angels might use, a perfect language that would reveal the nature of truth. One thing is certain, perfect language or no, truth is stranger than fiction.Mballen (talk) 17:10, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

"astrologer, and magician"

Recent anon edit adds "astrologer, and magician" to the lead paragraph.

He definitely was an astrologer, like most people in his times with a reasonable knowledge of celestial mechanics. Not sure it's worth mention in the lead paragraph though. But magician? Can someone clarify what they mean by that in this context? Presumably not a conjuror... I'm pretty inclined to delete this, but since it's probably not a highly visible article, I'm first raising the matter here for comment and I'll leave it for at least a couple of days. -- Jmabel 06:16, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC) writes "philosopher, astronomer, mathematician, and occultist". Occultist would be better instead of magician. Aknxy 22:07, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

I can live with that. -- Jmabel 03:33, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)


I restored this text: As a demonstration of mercy, the clerical authorities placed a bag of gunpowder around his neck before they set the fire, to spare Bruno, bringing his suffering to an end quickly. Although it seems strange to us, what matters is what it meant to them at the time. For an example, see this example from Foxe's Book of Martyrs. PRIIS 15:10, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"...his scientific ideas..."

I have edited the lead paragraph for style and at least for now left "...because his scientific ideas went against church doctrine," but I think that is at least a bit misleading. I'm pretty familiar with Bruno's writing and with writing about him, and his was not a particularly scientific temperament. His cosmological speculations paralleled the science of his time, but he was rather anti-mathematical. I don't see him as even as much a "scientist" as P. D. Ouspensky, to whom I don't think we'd apply that word. It is true that many in the world of science have tried to claim him as a martyr, but that doesn't mean that they were legitimate in doing so. Comments? -- Jmabel | Talk 07:57, Dec 7, 2004 (UTC)

Seeing Bruno as a martyr to science is certainly a Whiggish interpretation. I think it's misleading, and, depending on how you define "science," quite anachronistic. Bruno reached all his conclusions by pure speculation. PRiis 15:32, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The final clause of the introduction is too sweeping and loaded a statement as to be useful: "[Bruno's pantheist beliefs about God] not an idea (sic, number) that would be characterized today as scientific". Neither is this comment supported explicitly by the quotation it cites. From what I can gather, this statement purports an unjustified authority on the relative 'scientificness' of theism and pantheism as a foregone conclusion. It sounds rather weak for this. Could an authorised person edit this to something more balanced and less opinionated, or else remove the useless clause altogether please? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:49, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Recent anon deletions

It was deleted that he was imprisoned in the Castel Sant'Angelo for six years before he was tried. I'm pretty certain that is accurate, but I don't have a citation. It was replaced by an equally uncited claim that "imprisoned for six years before he was tried, lastly in the Tower of Nona" but I thought he was in the Tower after his trial. Since there is no citation on either side, I don't know how best to proceed.

The following was deleted: "As a demonstration of mercy, the clerical authorities placed a bag of gunpowder around his neck before they set the fire, to spare Bruno, bringing his suffering to an end quickly. The authorities also nailed his tongue to his jaw to stop him from speaking." I don't have any idea whether this is true or not, but if it is, could someone restore with citation?

Again, I know about Bruno mostly from college 30 years ago, so I'm no authority. Could someone more familiar weigh in? -- Jmabel | Talk 18:40, September 5, 2005 (UTC)

Was he pardoned by the Church?

Galileo Galilei was pardoned for his "crimes" in 1992 by the Pope. Has a similar pardon been issued to Bruno yet? The preceding unsigned comment was added by Fred26 (talk • contribs) 8 Oct 2005.

No, he was not, nor will he likely ever be. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:57, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

I translate from the article in "Not without reason his statue looks in the direction of the Vatican. Pope Leo XIII condemned the erection of the statue. In 1942 cardinal Giovanni Mercati declared that Bruno was condemned quite righly, "abstraction made about the way he was executed". Pope John Paul II has officially declared his deep sorrow about Bruno being burnt alive. Bruno was not rehabilitated due to the fact that his views are not in accordance with catholic views."

Poldebol (talk) 04:49, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Bruno x Galileo

"Like Galileo Galilei, his Copernicanism was a factor in his heresy trial. Unlike Galileo, some of his theological beliefs were also a factor."

Are you sure about this? Let me quote 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 Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) was burned at the stake as a heretic, it had nothing to do with his writings in support of Copernican cosmology." [1]

The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 17 Nov 2005.

I think this probably should change in the article. My own view is that in the eyes of the Church, the heretic Bruno's Copernicanism is a lot of what gave Copernicus a bad name, rather than vice versa. But I don't have a citation, and this is an area in which I would call myself clueful but not expert. Is there someone more expert who can weigh in? -- Jmabel | Talk 07:37, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
This is a complex topic. It is not accurate to say that no documents about the trial survive. What is lost is the final verdict, which contained the motivations for the death sentence. There is actually a classic book by Luigi Firpo "Il processo di Giordano Bruno", which is based on a careful analysis of the surviving documents. It is available also in French, but, as far as I know, it has not been translated in English. Bruno's support for heliocentrism was an issue at the trial, but it may not have been decisive in motivating the death sentence. In my opinion the current article is a good starting point, but it could be improved, keeping in mind that Bruno's thought still has a remarkable capacity to stir controversy. I may try my hand at it in the next few weeks. I will add here a quote by Hans-Georg Gadamer that may give an idea both of Bruno's importance and the challenges it poses to the modern scholar: "For a long time, Giordano Bruno has represented a philosophical figure with immense symbolic power. During the period of conflict between the modern states and the Catholic Church, his martyrdom and his philosophical work were elevated to the status of universal notoriety. In the meantime, modern research has come to forget more and more the merits of the Italian Renaissance and the genesis of modernity's scientific culture". -- Stammer 15:58, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Does this really belong?

In a recently added section called "In the movies":

It's a clever piece of Satire on Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, but it seems like a frivolous link. Wikipedia is not a repository of links, and I don't see what anyone turning to this page for an encyclopedia article about a historical figure would gain from the link. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:16, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Having received no response in over 24 hours, I am removing. -- Jmabel | Talk 08:32, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. Such links document that Bruno's legacy is still alive in popular culture (cf. the "Influence and reputation" section in the Thomas More article as an example among many). I may re-integrate the link and add one to Bruno (webcomic). Stammer 07:50, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Question about Bruno as an Occultist

I wonder why Giordano Bruno is described in to have been an occultist. Other Encyclopedias do not mention something like this (for instance my "Atlas of Philosophy" in the German langage, dtv Verlag). I have also checked other websites and consulted two printed history books, without anything pointing in this direction... Any more info about this? mathaxiom 23:16, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi, Mathaxiom. I moved your comment - it’s a convention in Wikipedia to write the contributions at the end of the discussion page. I'd like to repeat that I already saw other works describing Bruno as a mystical, etc…, (but it was some time ago, and I don't remember where). Let's see what other people have to say. PS.: I’m also interested in the reasoning behind the (now gone) description of Bruno as a spy. --Leinad ¬ Flag of Brazil.svg pois não? 23:46, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I have posted two listings of translations of Bruno that were recently put into English. Cause, Principal, and Unity, and The Cabala of Pegasus. In both these writings Bruno deals with matters that are occult in nature. Two short treatises by Bruno are included with "Cause" entitled "Essays on Magic" and "An Account of Bonding" both works deal specifically with magic. In addition "The Cabala of Pegasus" is a set of Dialogues wherein Bruno describes his cosmology using Cabalistic (Kabalistic) terms. Whatever we choose to call it I think these demonsrate that some reference to the occult or magic is justified. These parts of Bruno's life have not been noticed because a study of Bruno and translations out of Italian or Latin have only recently begun. De Magia only arrived in English in 98 and Cabala in 97. The Cabala is translated to German only in 2000 and at least 50 of his writings still remain only in Italian or Latin. Chaoscrowley 00:19, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

How can you say they have not been noticed? Frances A. Yates Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition dates from 1964. - Jmabel | Talk 06:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
When Yates book first arrived it was greeted with a fair amount of controversy. Yates work in general wasn't very well respected at the time. It took a number of years before it was accepted into the broader academic community. "Ignored" may be a bit of a strong word, but it was an area that wasn't really dealt with in his biographies and ideas even after Yates work. Considering the number of people who wondered about it on this site and are not able to find much on the idea, and the fact that Yates begins dealing with the subject 350 years after his death show that it is an idea that hasn't been dealt with in a major way. The fact that there had to be an actual discussion on why he was described as an occultist shows it is a matter that was not really noticed. If the idea was well known why would anyone post questions on Why he is described as an occultist? --Chaoscrowley 08:04, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I'd guess that most people don't encounter Bruno at all in the course of their education, or if they do it's a passing mention where he is misrepresented as simply a martyr for science. But I would also hope that anyone who has studied Bruno in any depth at all in the last 30-odd years has at least heard about Yates's work. But maybe I'm wrong, and I'd be interested in hearing about how Bruno's work is currently taught (if at all) at various universities. I'd also be interested in knowing the date of the "Atlas of Philosophy" referred to above. I read Bruno (and Yates on Bruno) in a course I took in 1975-'76, taught by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl (who I see doesn't have a Wikipedia article; I would think she should, I'll put that on my list about whom I just wrote an article - Jmabel | Talk). In any event, I agree that, certainly, for several centuries, Bruno was co-opted successfully as a martyr for science and rationalism, which to me suggests that not many people actually bothered reading him. One might not go as far as Yates, but clearly Bruno was no rationalist. - Jmabel | Talk 00:03, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Personally I would go farther than Yates but not in this article. I have lived within walking distance of a Big 10 university for the last 10 years and I have only met two people outside of philosophy majors who even knew who Bruno was. He seems to be mainly passed over or treated overly dramatic as a copernican martyr, or a one paragraph side note. Considering the teacher of the course I think it could be said that she was probably open to ideas that were not always smiled upon by other professors. (a compliment) I would propose that he is still being ignored, although not as an occultist. A number of his works are still only available in the Omnia in Italian. People will continue to churn out "pulp" biographies by the dozen because he led an exciting life but outside the realm of Bruno scholars no one is going to actually read anything by him. --Chaoscrowley 02:25, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Solving the Martyr of Science Problem

It appears that there are some issues here of whether Bruno should be regarded as a martyr for science or if his death was due to theological heresy. I think this question can be solved. Some of the problems we are experiencing are due to outdated references. A partial document of Bruno's Inquisition trial in Rome was found in the Vatican archives and only recently released for public consumption.Vatican Archives. This negates the accuracy of most bibliography's being used here. In the late 90's nearly complete transcripts of his Venice secular trial were also found. I think the argument that we can't decide for what or why he was convicted due to lack of materials is negated. Bruno was never accused of holding the heretical idea of Heliocentrism. It was not a heretical idea at the time then. Bruno's interrogation involving Heliocentricity was in relation to his philosophical/theological ideas. Bruno inspired a number of later thinkers including Spinoza, and Hegel. He was offered the choice to recant multiple times and held his ground until death, unlike Galileo and others. If no one opposes I will gather some sources and begin in a few days and try to clear this idea up.--Chaoscrowley 13:31, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Removing Spy section

I am completely removing the section on Bruno as a spy. The involvement of Bruno in the "Embassy Affair" as the informer 'Henry Fagot' was put forth by John Bossy a number of years ago, and he does make a convincing argument. Latter Bossy himself in "Under the Molehill", writing again about the affair, quietly acknowledges that he was wrong on a number of key dates, when the letters were written, and Bruno's whereabouts at the time. Since the reference was made invalid by its own author I don't think including this section is of any use. This is a direct quote from Bossy in the section entitled "A note on the date of Fagot's letter" pg.169

"If we choose the first [assumed date] we may like to imagine Bruno handing his letter to Sidney as he steeped on to the Queen's Barge which was to take the party festively towards Oxford, for Sidney to pass on to Walsingham on their return: what could be safer? But the later date, and a less distinguished postman, seems much more likely." --Chaoscrowley 11:02, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, the "spy section" is back, added by a gentleman who apparently did not read your post. Stammer (talk) 15:55, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Can anyone provide the actual text of this supposed recant? I expect Bossy would 'recant' if he found that his findings were somehow screwed up, but I'd like to actually see the text of this retraction of his position. If I remember correctly (I don't have "Embassy Affair" at hand) there were a number of 'Fagot letters', or at least more than one. How would uncertainty as to the transfer of a letter to Sidney in one particular instance invalidate the entire line of argument and constitute a retraction of position? If there is an actual retraction I'd love to see it, and to include the text of it (if possible) in a footnote with a proper citation. Thanks! --Picatrix (talk) 22:52, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Stanford's Michael Wyatt writes: "Just as Bossy has now acknowledged regarding his case supporting Giordano Bruno's supposed career as an Elisabethian spy in the 1580s, the facts are too elusive to provide but tantalizing hypotheses." [2]. Note 106 concerning Bossy's "flimsy paleographical evidence", can be perused here. Stammer (talk) 16:16, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Rewriting the Apology from church

The apology section seems to be very poorly reasearched and attempts to paint Bruno as a murderer of Catholics. The Church never made these statements. I will wait for comment as I have edited a fair amount already. Here is the actual statement Catholic statement on Bruno on the anniversary. --Chaoscrowley 11:32, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. I was just about to start a new talk section on this when I saw this one; even if it is factual it's a complete non-sequitur and demands explanation. —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 28 March 2006.

Immanant and imminent

I know it seems anal but I have changed imminent back to Immanent. The idea of immanence was central to Bruno's cosmology and left a large mark on Spinoza and those after him. I have wikified the words and I'm sure the subtle, yet in this case substantial difference between the two can be seen. --Chaoscrowley 10:47, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Bruno as astronomer

I did some minor tinkering with the article; in particular, I added him to a couple of astronomer categories. The body of the article says (in contrast to the intro) that he was not an astronomer. I left the statement because, in context, I think it is intended to say that he didn't do anything with a high level of mathematics. At the same time, he did lecture and write on astronomy. I believe it is accurate to call him an astronomer with this qualification. Maestlin 05:00, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Citation needed

Citation is needed on a matter where our sources apparently do not all agree with one another.


can we start a related article on giulio camillo which exists in italian and german wiki but not in english and has tremendous relevance to bruno??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:24, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

The following was removed without comment:

Although the actual charge against Bruno was docetism, (adherence to the doctrine that Jesus did not actually have a physical body and that his physical presence was an illusion), and despite the fact that his theoretical work cannot be considered scientific, some authors have claimed Bruno as a "martyr of science". They see a parallel between his persecution and the Galileo affair, asserting that even though, unlike Galileo, Bruno's theological beliefs were a factor in his heresy trial, Bruno's Copernicanism was also a factor.

But the above "connection" may be exaggerated, or even plainly false. For example: 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."[1] In fact, the precise charges of heresy on which Bruno was finally condemned are unknown, as the official record has long been lost. The role (if any) of his heliocentric teachings and belief in an infinite universe is not a matter that can be conclusively proved on either side.

It was replaced by an uncited statement that "The numerous charges against him included blasphemy, immoral conduct, and heresy in matters of dogmatic theology, and involved some of the basic doctrines of his philosophy and cosmology." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is usually considered a pretty decent (if tertiary) source. I would expect some discussion around saying that it is wrong. I would, especially, expect to see a citation. - Jmabel | Talk 17:08, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

I think the old segment is more substantive, and has the added advantage of an actual citation. We really should have further discussion of this change before making it permanent. I will revert the page back [correction: reinsert section --V.]and request anyone preferring otherwise to discuss it here. --Varenius 23:39, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

In film and fiction addition

Bruno figured prominently in an episode of the anime series Those who Hunt Elves. I would add this into the article, but I'm not quite sure how. Could someone put it in? --Not a User 1:19, 2 April 2007

I added the Margaret Gabrielle Long/Marjorie Bowen novel in this section. --User:jessnevins 9:09, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Burned by whom?

I made the following edit: "Burned at the stake by the Catholic Church as a heretic…" As far as I know, he would have been burned by the civil authorities, even if his conviction was in an ecclesiastical court. I'm unaware of anywhere in Europe at that that time that the Church actually carried out executions. I could be mistaken on this, in which case, please produce a citation. - Jmabel | Talk 10:00, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Øøh (imagine the sound of a punch in the stomach), the Roman Inquisition, developed by the Holy See. Actually, the Roman Catholic Church is responsible, more specifically Pope Clement VIII and Cardinal Robert Bellarmine are responsible for his execution. And, like the witch hunts and immoral persecutions of Jews, we True Christians are obligued to denounce these Christian atrocities in order to gain absolution for our collective sin. Is that so foreign for a Christian?? No revisionism please.
Besides, I once saw a cleric, responsible for the Vatican Observatory, having a portrait of Giordano Bruno on his wall. END. Said: Rursus 16:53, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Even at the heyday of the Inquisition, the final verdict and/or excecution were often put into the hands of civil authorities. This had led to many people, even today stating that the victims of the Inquisition were much less than those condemned and executed by the civil authorities.

Poldebol (talk) 04:30, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Bruno's manifest heresy was determined at trial before an ecclesiastical tribunal that then handed him over to the secular authorities for execution. Nevertheless it is truly only coincidental that, in 1600, the top secular authority in Rome was also the Pope. [shrug] Heck, if Bruno hadn't assiduously alienated everyone who ever sponsored him or if he had just stuck to science instead of running a sideline in heresy, he might still be alive today . . . [tear] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:34, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Whoever may have been 'ultimately responsible' Bruno was turned over to secular authorities for execution. In any case the section in question no longer claims he was burned by the Catholic Church. This issue is no longer 'live' as the text has been changed, and talk pages are not for discussion of personal views. --Picatrix (talk) 12:47, 8 April 2009 (UTC)


Vatican Secret Archive Reference

The text about the Vatican Secret Archive, citing footnote 9, misleadingly appears to be quoting the text of the archival document in question. It is not, but rather is quoting the cited page that describes the archival document. The quote mentions Galileo's trial being held in the same room as Bruno's and thus implies that the Secret Archive document was written sometime after Galileo's trial, but the cited web page also suggests that the document was written by a canonist who died in 1612, before Galileo was tried. The cited page does have some quotes from the document in question in both Latin and in English translation, but the quote that appears on the Wikipedia page is not part of the quote, but merely is the final paragraph of the web page.

I strongly suggest that this be reworded, but I have no specific suggestions for an appropriate alternative 05:51, 15 November 2007 (UTC) -[lojbab (non-Wikipedian)]

I strongly concur with the foregoing. The quote is little more than innuendo and doesn't belong here, regardless of how laudable the effort at presenting an alternative view. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:18, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually, the text currently on the page expresses clearly that the discussion is on the web page, not in the document. In any case, this is a web page published and maintained by a Vatican organization, and for that reason alone this deserves mention in the context of balanced reporting of controversies. --Picatrix (talk) 12:44, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I read the quoted sentence as saying many things. I will take the prudent course and use more than one sentence to recapitulate it:
* Galileo and Bruno were questioned in the same rooms.
* Galileo and Bruno were questioned for the same reasons, to wit: “the relationship between science and faith, at the dawning of the new astronomy and at the decline of Aristotle’s philosophy.”
* Bellarmine contested Bruno’s heretical propositions.
* Bellarmine later summoned Galileo.
* Galileo and Bruno faced famous inquisitorial trials.
* Galileo’s trial resulted in a mild sanction, lucky for him.
The proposition that Bruno had “heretical theses” seems to be granted by the quoted sentence. Does the statement that Galileo and Bruno were 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” mean that Bruno’s heresy trial was based, in whole or in part, on his astronomy/astrology/cosmology? Or does it merely imply or suggest such? The latter is the case, of course, as the current article text already admits. I used the word innuendo before and I stand by it. This sort of ambiguous gobbledygook should not pass as a usable source. Despite its laudable source, it does not stand as material evidence of a controversy, nor does it constitute a balanced report of same--I say this while freely admitting that the supposed controversy does actually exist.
I will note that the (presumably original) Italian seems to have a slightly different sense in certain places:
“In quelle stesse stanze ove veniva interrogato Giordano Bruno, per questi medesimi cruciali problemi del rapporto fra scienza e fede, agli albori della nascente astronomia e sul crepuscolo della decadente filosofia aristotelica, sedici anni dopo sarebbe stato convocato dal cardinale Bellarmino, che ora contestava al Bruno le tesi eretiche, Galileo Galilei, soggetto anch’egli ad un celebre processo inquisitoriale che per fortuna, almeno nel suo caso, si concluse con una semplice abiura.”
That's all I will say on the matter. Thank you for your kind consideration. (talk) 06:31, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Bruno and Cusanus

The article ignores completely Cusanus view on the universe and the huge influence he had on Bruno. It even suggests Bruno developed his "theory" extrapolating Copernicus' heliocentric cosmos. Any evidence on that? Bruno had read Cusanus, he was influenced by Cusanus (as he mentioned him in his works) and Cusanus wrote on an infinite universe with infinitely many stars and systems where Earth has no special place. Cusanus argues (and on that also Ficino) the center of the universe is ubiquitous and the circumference is infinite. Cusanus also argues on a spherical Earth (but that was not so rare in the "Aristotelic Middle Ages"), but a rotating one. Daizus 17:03, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I removed the POV-bit template, but if this is the cause for POV-bit, then I'm going to Dispute it instead. Said: Rursus 16:09, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

To my understanding, Bruno DID extrapolate Copernicus' heliocentric views, though this certainly wasn't the only source of his cosmology. Frances Yates discusses this in her book on Bruno. Bruno himself makes references to Copernicus and how he more properly understood the implications of Copernicus' merely mathematical understanding of heliocentrism. As far as I can tell, Bruno's heliocentrism doesn't state that the Sun is the center of the universe, just that the Earth revolves around the sun, and not the other way around. I apologize that I am on vacation at the moment and don't have access to the page references, but it is definitely in Yates' book, and is taken directly from Bruno's writings. (added by dimensional_didge 23:03, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Film and Fiction misunderstanding

The movie The Ninth Gate mentions Bruno, but not in any kind of context with The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows. Nor does the novel, "The Club Dumas"- upon which it was based - imply that Bruno was involved in the creation of the satanic folio.

Bruno's cosmology

It is currently written as it is a kind of modern cosmology missing few things here and there. Daizus 13:32, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes. And Cusanus still needed? Said: Rursus 16:39, 27 May 2007 (UTC) (Admire my new signature! ☻☻☻)
Nicholas of Cusa for the fastest one with itching fingers. Said: Rursus 16:40, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Bruno's influence on Spinoza's "deus sive natura"

Could anyone shed some light on Bruno's influence on Spinoza, in particular the latter's idea that God is the matter? Thank you.

Pierre (

No one is picking up on this interesting question? DeSeingalt (talk) 11:21, 29 February 2008 (UTC)deSeingalt

Maybe because the question is hard. Some external analysis needed to cite, in order to get it done. Said: Rursus 19:29, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Cleanup: the conflict over his execution

The section has a nagging language! All standpoints should remain, but the section gives a jigsaw puzzle impression of Mr X adding this and Mr Y countering by that argument for and against. The citations can actually be moved to the references section, in order to get the ordinary section's language flow better. Said: Rursus 17:59, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Not solved as I said, but nevertheless acceptably. Criticism retracted. Said: Rursus 20:26, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Disdain for math

This sentence in the article: "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." is faulty.

If he had a "disdain for math as a means to understanding" he was right. If you study more about the formal sciences, math logic etc, you will understand why the formal sciences cannot tell us anything about the real world. The expression "a common-sense picture of the universe" is very undefined. Does it mean what people in general think, or the current position of the philosophy of science?

His "disdain for mathematics as a means to understanding" should be described as an insight in the role of the formal sciences which is correct in the modern world. The opposite view, that logic and math expressed the absolute truth or could give us knowledge about the real world, was a religious view, which still influence less educated people.

Theoretical models, like formulas and maps are never correct models of the real world, in every detail. If the map (model) differs from the reality it is the map that is wrong and has to be revised. Modern science is based on observations of reality, not on theoretical speculations. (Roger J.)

Something "queeird"

Section "Early years", second and third para. Second para contends that Bruno might have been influenced by Hermetic tracts according to Frank Yates. Then the third para talks on, as if proven that Bruno was influenced by Neoplatonism. Too far leap-to-conclusions to be exactly quite acceptable, by my taste. I think it might not exactly be proven that his mnemonic theory really is a Neoplatonic writing in disguise, at least not by the paras 2 and 3 in this section. Maybe instead he invented a mnemonic theory, that happen to remind very knowledgeable authors of the kind of thinking in Neoplatonism, maybe ... Said: Rursus 20:13, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Some more discovered: section Bruno's cosmology, para 3, the end:
There was no room in his stable and permanent universe for the Christian notions of divine creation and Last Judgement.
And then para 4:
According to Bruno, infinite God necessarily created an infinite universe,
Now, was there room for a creation or was there not? The apparent (?) contradictions confuses me. Do we understand Bruno incorrectly or are we mixing various author interpretations on Bruno in an indiscriminate manner? Said: Rursus 20:47, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

New Round of Revisions

This article has a lot of useful information, but there are a number of problems with it that I'll be attempting to address as I have time in coming weeks. For starters, however, I would like to suggest that the "Statue of Giordano Bruno" article remain separate, though some mention of it can be placed in the article with a link. I will therefore remove the suggestion that the material be merged. I also find the "Popular Culture" and "Legacy" sections to be more or less useless page-clutter. An encyclopedia article discussing an important philosopher is not an appropriate place for collecting trivial odds and ends about where and when he may have been mentioned by others. Since five or six months have elapsed since this useless content was tagged with the suggestion that it be incorporated into other sections or appropriate articles, and nothing seems to have been done, I am removing it. --Picatrix (talk) 19:05, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't have time to deal with it now, but the "Cosmology before Bruno" and "Bruno's cosmology" sections should be merged and rewritten. This whole article needs a lot of work. --Picatrix (talk) 19:12, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I've completed a first pass of revisions in an effort to get this article off to a better start. We've got a decent opening paragraph and an acceptable biography (though no doubt both can be improved). Until I have more time I've put in place a compromise solution for the "Cosmology" section, but it's not optimal. This article needs a serious discussion of Bruno's philosophy, cosmology and art of memory. Hopefully someone will step up to take care of this. If not, I'll get to it as soon as I can. Let's try to keep the pop-culture clutter and third rate derivative sources out, while building on citations based on sound scholarship about Bruno, of which plenty exists. --Picatrix (talk) 21:39, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Bruno portraits

The two alleged portraits of Bruno were awkwardly placed in both of my web browsers, so I made an attempt at realignment. I'm not sure that what I did is Wikipedia approved, but perhaps it will get regular contributors to this page thinking about new ideas for the layout. I'm not planning to be a regular editor of the Bruno article, so let me simply say "happy editing" to the regular contributors. -- Astrochemist (talk) 18:55, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Unsigned Comment Without Subject Heading

Bruno was a minor scientist of limited abilities who is being hyped by extremist atheists like Dawkins. He is being hyped for obvious reasons, to be coupled with Galileo as a sign of religion's oppression of science. Yet there is no proof that Bruno was tried and then executed by the state for anything but the simple crime of heresy. In that date and time heresy was a capital offense,m since it was considered dabbling in the political machinery of the theocracy. Such behaviour could lead to civil unrest or even wars.

Bruno was not responsible for any advancements in science. He was not credited with any great scientific theories or experiments.

Bruno got in trouble for his religious views (publicly denying the divinity of Christ is never a good move... for a Christian living in a monastery), not for his "beliefs" in the Copernican sun-centred system. Nobody believed the Copernican system... not even Copernicus (the predictions it made were just as inaccurate as the predictions made with the Earth-centred model).

Galileo got in trouble because he pretended he had proofs that the planetary system was Sun-centred... when he did not. And he made fun of the Vatican chief scientist in the process. They did not like that. (I had a boss who once told me, if you are going to be arrogant about something, first make damn sure you are right)

At the time, the world was still thought to be composed of 4 elements: earth, water, air and fire. earth was obviously the heaviest, then water (sits on top of earth), then air (stays above water) and fire (rises).

The heaviest elements would seek the centre (that is how gravity was explained in those days).

Earth (the thing we stand on) was made of... err... earth (what else?) and water. It was obviously the heaviest. The Sun was made of fire, it was obviously the lightest. Therefore, the Sun could not be at the centre, based on the knowledge of the time.

What proof did Galileo offer that everything orbits around Earth? He found moons around Jupiter.

Obviously not a very convincing proof that everything orbits Earth. However, instead of looking for proofs that his support of Kepler's system was correct, Galileo spent his time proving that the theory of the Vatican astronomers was wrong.

And he was very arrogant about it.


Kepler first book was around 1615.

Newton's explanation came in 1687.

Scientists (including Vatican scientists) were really swayed by Newton's work, so the answer would be "up to the penultimate decade of the 17th century." Even if some began to accept the Sun-centred system as early as the 1620s (Kepler's predictions for planetary positions were more accurate than any previous tables). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Logan6362 (talkcontribs) 12:17, 25 December 2008

Please create a subject heading consistent with your comments on the talk page, and please sign your posts. Placing your comments inside subject headings to which they do not relate is confusing. Other editors then have to take time to straighten out your 'contributions'. The rambling discussion above appears to be an expression of personal views. Please note that Wikipedia talk page guidelines explicitly state that "article talk pages should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views." As for the claim that the article does not maintain NPOV, please note that the intro paragraph states that he is "often considered" a martyr for scientific ideas, not that he was a martyr for these ideas. Also, please read the section on retrospective views of Bruno, wherein it is written: "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." Alternative points of view are presented in the article. This NPOV tag is not warranted. If you cannot provide citations (as opposed to a long-winded discussion of your personal feelings) this tag will shortly be removed. To be entirely clear, your assertions require citations, and should be reflected in the sections for which they are appropriate. --Picatrix (talk) 22:02, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm sure you can't wait to delete the truth. Amigo, I'm not going to be bothered. I see where this is going, and I've read the prior talk history, it's a waste of my time.

I'm not a grounded 16 year old. I have a life.

The article itself should be deleted, Bruno was a nobody in scientific and historical terms according to mainstream science and history. Even the article doesn't present any reason to see Bruno as anything else but a minor scientist who held an opinion which was different than the mainstream at the time. His math was awful. He convinced no one of anything.

The flow of the article is intended to present Bruno as a martyr, despite other opinions which are shoved in and just as quickly refuted with an editorial. It's loaded with inaccuracies intended to hype it's subject, including Pope Paul's supposed apology. There is editorial comment relating to the Vatican Secret Archive, which is again, intended to sway readers, not present a genuine supposed dispute.

Mainstream historians have not honored this man in the way he is being presented here. The fact remains he was a minor scientist of no accomplishments who would have never been remembered but for the proponents of the Reformation hyping his scandal. Later marxists and now counterculture proponents are sadly keeping this nonsense alive.

It's a shame some teachers allow wiki to be used for research with trash like this in it. You wonder why donations are not jumping into the coffers. This is why. So continue your inaccuracies and Catholic bashing, There are alternatives to Wiki, and I'd rather put my time into that. Peace.

synodus ex mundis

Would any Latin fans like to add a translation of synodus ex mundis? TJRC (talk) 22:03, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

  1. ^ Sheila Rabin, Nicolaus Copernicus in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (online, accessed 19 November 2005).