Monday, October 1, 2012
Giordano Bruno (Italian pronunciation: [dʒorˈdano ˈbruno]; 1548 – February 17, 1600), (Latin: Iordanus Brunus Nolanus) born Filippo Bruno, was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer. His cosmological theories went beyond theCopernican model in proposing that the Sun was essentially a star, and moreover, that the universe contained an infinite number of inhabited worlds populated by other intelligent beings. After the Roman Inquisition found him guilty of heresy for hispantheism, he was burned at the stake. After his death he gained considerable fame, particularly among 19th- and early 20th-century commentators who, focusing on his astronomical beliefs, regarded him as a martyr for free thought and modern scientific ideas.
Some assessments suggest that Bruno's ideas about the universe played a smaller role in his trial than his pantheist beliefs, which differed from the interpretations and scope of God held by the Catholic Church. In addition to his cosmological writings, Bruno also wrote extensively on the art of memory, a loosely organized group of mnemonic techniques and principles. The work ofFrances Yates, especially influential in anglophone scholarship, argues that Bruno was deeply influenced by the astronomy found in Arab astrology, Neoplatonism and Renaissance Hermeticism. Other recent studies of Bruno have focused on his qualitative approach to mathematics and his application of the spatial paradigms of geometry to language.