Journal of Biological Physics

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 329–338 | Cite as

Giordano Bruno, Philosopher/Heretic

Ingrid Rowland, University of Chicago Press, 2009
  • Sonya Bahar
Book Review

Captured in the end, held in the prisons of the Vatican from 1593 to 1600, when he was burned alive for heresy, Giordano Bruno remains nonetheless strangely uncapturable, and is therefore a mirror onto which we can project ourselves. To scientists, as to the Italian liberals of the 1880s who erected a statue in his honor on the Campo dei Fiori (“here, where the pyre burned”), he is a martyr to free thought. For Frances Yates, he represented the end of the Renaissance, the last and most extraordinary voice of Hermetic magic [1, 2]. For John Bossy, he was simply a spy [3]. But Giordano Bruno was also an “interdisciplinary” thinker of an extraordinary cast, as well as a poet, a playwright, a humorist, a philosopher—like Cyrano, he was all things.

Now, as new English translations of Bruno’s works become available, several authors have undertaken to sketch the man’s life. Unlike the scholarly work of Yates, which probes specific aspects of Bruno’s thought, these books aim to provide a full,...



The author thanks her colleague Prof. Brenda Kirchhoff for bringing references [8, 9, 10] to her attention.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Neurodynamics, Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of Missouri at St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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