Nicholas Hill was one of the most intriguing and particular personalities of England during the reign of James I. Details of his life are scarce. He is the author of Philosophia Epicurea Democritiana Theophrastica proposita simpliciter, non edocta that was first published in Paris in 1601 and appeared posthumously in a “purged” edition in Geneva in 1619 (Hill 2007).
His work was considered as one of the first modern philosophical works containing an open discussion of the theories of Democritus and Epicurus and an affirmation of the heliocentric theory. There is also a significative and direct convergence between Hill and Giordano Bruno regarding the dimensions of the universe formulated in De immenso. The topics of the Philosophia Epicurea are discussed in 509 sentences or aphorisms – as Hill defines them – in which a number of Greek philosophical terms are disseminated. The work is introduced by a preface dedicated to his son and a series of 15 questions. To a hierarchical and subordinate view of reality, he opposes an alternative image of the world that shows strong traces of the complex model of interpretation of reality developed by Paracelsus.
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