Giordano Bruno : biography

1548 - 07 February 1600

In London the books, which later would be used by the Catholic church as the proof for accusation, were published. They aroused not only philosophical, but moral questions. Simultaneously Bruno refused dogmata in his works and called for a free description of philosophical thoughts. He was the first who told the idea of endlessness of human learning and praised an instrument of learning the truth – renunciation – as the highest valour.

In summer of 1585 the king recalled the ambassador to France, and in October Bruno with his protector went to Paris. According to the words of one of his admirers, the philosopher left “discord in philosophical schools of England and ruin of thoughts in university minds”. On the road to the French capital Bruno and his friend were robbed by brigands, and Bruno had to lead half-starved existence in Paris. A former ambassador fell into disfavour, because catholic mores were now spreading in the royal court, and the king gave himself to pilgrimage, fastings and salutary conversations. An edict about tolerance was abandoned.

Bruno was allowed to read a lecture in university. It is considered to be one of the most considerable performances against Aristotle’s philosophy. The lecture took place on the 28th of May in 1586 and quickly turned into a public debate, ended with a scandal. At the beginning of June Giordano Bruno went to Germany because of the threat of violence. But the fame of a fighter with Aristotle passed ahead him, and his attempts to find work were unsuccessful.

Bruno was included in a list of professors in the Marburg University, but suddenly a chancellor called Bruno and said him that he forbade Giordano to teach philosophy in public. The scientist answered in a very insulting tone and left the university. He was cordially received in Vittenberg, so that Bruno called еры city “German Athens”. Giordano Bruno spent there two years. He had a high freedom of describing his ideas, and besides he wrote and published several works. But soon Calvinists took the control of Saxony, and Bruno had to leave Vittenberg. On the 8th of March in 1588 in his farewell speech he furiously confirmed loyalty to canons and principles of his new philosophy.

In autumn of 1588 Giordano Bruno published his new work – “One hundred and sixty theses against mathematicians and philosophers of our time”, in which he planned a transition to more extensive part of his philosophy and strengthened accents on mathematical aspects and developing of atomic theory. In January of 1589 he was a teacher in Helmstadt University. To the scientist’s fortune, the duke of Braunsweig was an irreconcilable enemy of clergymen and theologian idle talkers, and he took Bruno under his patronage. But the duke died, and Bruno suffered deprivation again – from the Lutheran church. He didn’t have constant earnings and his situation was very unsteady, and Bruno decided to leave the town, but he didn’t have money even to rent a carriage. His only joy at that time was his pupil Geronimo Bessler, who followed Bruno as a servant, secretary, friend and assistant. Bessler not only guarded the teacher from problems, but also accurately and diligently rewrote the scientist’s works. And it wasn’t easy – Bruno, foreboding about a coming misfortune, worked intensely. In autumn of 1590 he finished his philosophical trilogy.

In summer of 1590 Bruno came in Frankfort on the Main. At that time the city was a center of book trade in the whole Europe. Publishers agreed to publish the scientist’s works, and instead of giving a honorarium they kept his life. in Frankfort he loved for half a year, and went to Zurich once to read a lecture on metaphysics to a small group of interested young men. In winter Bruno got an invitation from Giovanni Mochenigo, a Venetian aristocrat. Mochenigo asked him to visit Venice and teach suffering people the art of mnemonics and philosophy. Bruno went to Venice, but his main purpose was the Padua university. When he arrived in Padua, he gave private lessons to German students. But his hope to have a chair of mathematics in the university didn’t come true, and Bruno went to Venice.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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