Giordano Bruno, Italian philosopher
Date: 1570 - 1600
Artist: Giordano Bruno (1548 - 1600)
Confronting Bodies: Catholic, Calvinist and Lutheran authorities
Dates of Action: 1570-1600
Location: Italy, France, Switzerland and Germany
Description of Artwork: Bruno surmised that there existed infinite universes and uninhabited solar systems.
The Incident: Bruno moved throughout Europe during his lifetime. He was a Dominican monk in Naples but was expelled from his order when he removed all of the items in his dorm room except for a crucifix. He lived among Calvinists in Geneva until they disapproved of a treatise that he wrote. The Calvinists imprisoned him and burned the treatise. He challenged Copernicus and Aristotle. His ideology, that there existed infinite universes, challenged the Christian notion that Jesus's incarnation was unique. While in Venice in 1592 he offended his host by preaching against the Holy Trinity and Jesus Christ's miracles.
Results of Incident: After nine months in a Venetian prison Bruno was transfered to Rome and asked to abjure his statements. When he refused he was burned at the stake with his writings. In 1889 a statue of Bruno was erected in Rome. Some now believe that the papacy did more harm than good by condemning him to death.
Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones