Statue by Ettore Ferrari at Campo dei Fiori, Rome, where Bruno was burned at stake as a heretic on charges including denial of core Catholic doctrines.
Giordano Bruno was born in 1548 in Nola, Italy. He joined the Dominican order at the age of 17 and spent several years studying philosophy and theology. However, Bruno was known for his unorthodox ideas and his refusal to conform to traditional dogma. He began to develop his own ideas about the nature of the universe, which were heavily influenced by the teachings of Copernicus and the ancient philosopher Lucretius.
Bruno’s ideas eventually brought him into conflict with the church, and he was accused of heresy several times. In 1576, he fled from Italy to Geneva, where he briefly taught at the Calvinist Academy. He then moved to France, where he lectured at the University of Paris and gained a reputation as a brilliant scholar.
Despite his successes, Bruno continued to face criticism for his unconventional ideas. In 1583, he moved to England, where he hoped to find more freedom to express his views. However, his ideas still attracted controversy, and he was eventually turned over to the Inquisition by the English authorities. After being held in prison for several years, Bruno was extradited to Rome.
Bruno spent several years in prison, where he was repeatedly interrogated and tortured. He refused to renounce his beliefs. Despite attempts by some prominent figures to save his life, Bruno was found guilty and sentenced to death. On February 17, 1600, he was taken to the Campo de’ Fiori, a public square in Rome, and burned at the stake. His death has since become a symbol of the conflict between science and religion and the struggle for intellectual freedom.
Despite his tragic end, Bruno’s ideas would go on to influence many later thinkers, including Galileo and Descartes. Today, he is remembered as a pioneer of modern scientific thought and a champion of intellectual freedom.