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Giordano Bruno, 1548-1600

bruno.gif (18655 bytes)There are no extensive web sites dedicated to the life and thought of this interesting 16th century Italian philosopher and astronomer. However, there are a number of sites which do offer up partial or brief biographies of Bruno. For instance, you can read what Renaissance scholar, Paul Oskar Kristeller, had to say about Bruno's life in his Collier's Encyclopedia article (1987). There is a good biography at the Catholic Encyclopedia. The Galileo Project at Rice University contains a biography of Bruno. The SETI League has included a page with two brief biographies of Bruno, one from Microsoft Encarta, the other from "A High Stake Gamble," from Linda Zimmerman's From Bad Astronomy. At the same site, be sure to consult "The Folly of Giordano Bruno," an article by Richard W. Pogge of Ohio State University (1996?). Here's another page of Bruno links. I also managed to find a page which focuses on Bruno's Memory Wheel. The interested reader should also consult John Kessler's essay, "Giordano Bruno: The Forgotten Philosopher." Oddly enough, at one point Kessler calls Bruno "a 14th century Socrates," interesting because Bruno spent his entire life in the 16th century!  Bruno is far from forgotten -- see the recent essay by Frank Gaglioti, A Man of Insight and Courage at the World Socialist Web Site.

A number of Bruno's writings (most in Latin) are now available at the Twilit Grotto -- Esoteric Archives, including De Umbris Idearum ("The Shadow of Ideas"), Ars Memoriae ("Art of Memory"), De Gli Eroici Furori ("The Heroic Frenzies"), Cantus Circaeus ("Incantations of Circe"), De Magia Theses De Magia, Magia Mathematica and De Vinculiss in Genere.

I've received some email from Bill Bruehl, a playwright living in New York, who has just completed Giordano Bruno and The Field of Flowers. The play focuses on the last twelve hours of Bruno's life before he is led out to die. The premise is that the Church, knowing it will suffer historical consequences if it carries out a death sentence against this man, sends a Jesuit lawyer, Fr. Roberto Caponegro, to persuade Bruno to deny his life's work as false or mistaken. If he does he can go free. The play imagines how Bruno would negotiate with this man, this Church. Bruno's own motives are mixed. On the one hand he wants to live. He could deny his work. He did it before in Venice. On the other hand, his primary objective is to change the world and he believes his work will eventually do just that. The play is in two acts and will run about ninety minutes on a simple unit set. Except for Bruno all the characters are fictional.

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