"Innumerable suns exist; innumerable earths revolve around these suns in a manner similar to the way the seven planets revolve around our sun. Living beings inhabit these worlds."
from _On the Infinite Universe and Worlds_, Giordano Bruno, 1584
a crater on the moon is named after Giordano Bruno - from _The Mars Mystery_ by Graham Hancock
Bruno is regarded by many Renaissance scholars as a forerunner, if not a founder, of modern science and philosophy. Many credit him with greater influence in his day than better known Italian philosophers who were his contemporaries, including Copernicus.
Bruno's extraordinary skill in the art of memory attracted the attention of patrons, and he was brought to Rome to demonstrate his abilities to the Pope. Later, thanks to his unorthodox tendencies and outspoken nature, he also attracted the attention of the Inquistion in Naples. In 1576 he left to escape persecution. When the same thing happened in Rome, he began a 15 year journey across Europe, teaching and writing under the sponsorship of various patrons.
While excommunicated to England,
he is largely credited with inspiring the character Berowne in one of William
Shakespeare’s first London plays, "Love’s Labor’s Lost." In the story,
Berowne was a sharp-witted attendant of King Ferdinand who pledged to devote
himself to study for a period of three years without the intrusion of such
physical pleasures as adequate sleep, enough food, or the company of women.
When "Lost" first played, Bruno had already lived in London for two
years.Scientifically, Bruno advocated a radical view of a universe extending
everywhere in all directions, echoing what later would become a detailed
mathematical theory and Einstein’s
‘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."
But for many, Bruno is considered the first Westerner to publish a position that entertained the possibility for not only the Earth as a planet orbitting around a sun, but for many such planets harboring conditions compatible with life.
In 1591, in Venice, he was arrested by the Inquisition and tried. For eight years he was imprisoned and eventually declared a heretic. Bruno was burned at the stake on the Campo dei Fiori in Rome, Feb. 17, 1600.
Giordano Bruno and some of the other figures involved with the 'Copernican revolution' were motivated more out of a desire to revive the heliocentric religion of Egyptian Hermeticism than anything else. - Steve Mizarch aka Seeker1
If you read _Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition_ you know that Bruno was burned at the stake and the reason that he was burned at the stake is because he looked up at the sky and did not see the stellar shells and the angelic hierarchies. Bruno had a mystical experience and when it was over he said, "the universe is infinite. The stars go on forever." That single statement was the intellectual dynamite that destroyed the whole Medieval, Hellenistic, the entire previous cosmological vision was left behind with that single statement. It was such a powerful statement that he had to go to the stake for that. And we have never recovered from that perception. It was a fundamental perception and it occurred because he looked without preconception into the night sky and did not see wheels and demons and angels and shells of cosmic fate and necessity and he just said, that's bullshit, what is there is infinite space, infinite time, the stars are hung like lamps onto the utmost regions of infinity. This, then, inaugurates the beginning of modernity and it's a perception that arose on the foundation of all this earlier thinking.
- Terence McKenna lecture on Alchemy
Giordano Bruno was best known for ending his days as Vatican kindling, a "martyr to science" whose heretical advocacy of Copernicanism was actually motivated by his enthusiasm for pagan sun worship. Believing that the astral forces that govern the outer world also operate within, and can be reproduced there to operate "a magico-mechanical memory," Bruno created datadense memory charts based on a complex Egyptian iconography of star-beings. These fantastic daemons, who should not be confused with christian demons, were not only "active" and "striking" mnemonic icons, but also living spiritual entities - the intelligent agents of Bruno's universe of knowledge. Bruno also introduced movement into his system through the use of revolving gears of abstract symbols superficially similar to diagrams of symbolic logic. These secret decoder rings derived from the ars combinatoria of the thirteenth-century Catalan mystic Ramon Lull, who believed that his logical wheels could automatically demonstrate the divine attributes of god.
It's hardly surprisng that Dame
Yates, writing in the 1960's, saw a "curiously close" link between Bruno's magico-mechanical
systems - with their "appalling complexity" - and the "mind machines" discussed
in the press, and the German philosopher Werner Kunzel eventually translated
Lull's art into the computer language
COBOL. For Bolter, the connection between the scientist and the Rennaissance
magus makes sense, for both operators "share the feeling that memory is the
key to human knowledge and therefore to human control of the world." Bolter
points out that the memory devices of Bruno and others not only reflected the
world of sense perceptions
but also the "true" metaphysical
structure of the cosmos; moreover, the manipulation of this hidden structure
would itself open up all the realms of humanly accessible knowledge. So
too, Bolter argues, does the computer specialist verse, a structure of information
that also provides for ultimate control.
- Erik Davis - _Techgnosis: Myth, Magic & Mysticism In the Age Of Information_
Giordano Bruno (1548 - February 17, 1600) was an Italian philosopher, executed as heretic.
He was born named Filippo in Nola, in Campania, the son of Giovanni Bruno, a soldier. He took the name Giordano on becoming a Dominican friar at the Monastery of Saint Domenico near Naples. In 1572 he was ordained a priest.
He was interested in philosophy and reported to have an outstanding memory. It is said that Bruno was attracted to the newly rediscovered ideas of Plato and Hermes Trismegistus.
In 1576 he left Naples to avoid the attention of the Inquisition. He left Rome for the same reason and abandoned the Dominican order. He travelled to Geneva and briefly joined the Calvinists, before he was excommunicated and forced to leave for France.
He stayed in France for seven years, enjoying the protection of some powerful patrons. While in France he published twenty books, including several on memory training, Cena de le Ceneri (1584), and De l'Infinito, Universo e Mondi (1584). In Cena de le Ceneri he defended the theories of Copernicus, albeit rather poorly. In De l'Infinito, Universo e Mondi, he argued that the stars we see at night were just like our Sun, that the universe was infinite, with an infinite number of worlds, and that all were inhabited by intelligent beings (see the Drake equation).
In 1586, following a violent quarrel about "a scientific instrument", he left France for Germany, and in Helmstadt he was excommunicated by the Lutherans. In 1591 he accepted an invitation to Venice. There he was arrested by the Inquisition and tried before being extradited for trial in Rome in 1593.
In Rome he was kept imprisoned for six years before he was tried. His trial was overseen by the inquisitor, Cardinal Saint Robert Bellarmine. He refused to retract his views and was declared a heretic and handed over to secular authorities on January 8, 1600 and burned at the stake on February 17 1600 in Campo de' Fiori, a popular Roman square.
Four hundred years after his execution, official expression
of "profound sorrow" and acknowledgement of error at Bruno's condemnation
to death was made, during the incumbency of John Paul II.