Giordano Bruno: His Life and Thought

Graphic Rule


1 See App. I, 10-12.

2 There is an English version of The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast by W. Morehead, published by J. Toland (1713). Morehead was a brother-in-law of Toland. Toland also published a brief "Account of Jordan's Book of the Infinite Universe and Innumerable Worlds" in A Collection of Several Pieces (1726), pp. 316-69. But this is merely a translation of part of the Dedication. The eighteenth century also saw an anonymous French translation of part of the Spaccio published in 1750, stated by Salvestrini (loc. cir.) to be the work of l'Abbé Louis Valentin de Vougny, conseilleur de grand-chambre and Canon of Notre-Dame. One of the best and briefer accounts of Bruno's Italian ethical works is by J. Roger Charbonnel, L'Ethique de Giordano Bruno et le deuxième dialogue du Spaccio (Paris, 1919).

3 "Epistola esplicatoria," p. 18 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 13; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 412).

4 Cf. La cena de le ceneri. Bruno adds, however, to this passage in the Dedication to Sidney that envious strife-makers had intervened between Greville and himself.

5 The literary use of mythological, and especially of astrological, figures to symbolize human qualities has of course a long history. Cf. Cicero, On the Nature of the Gods and Lucian's Parliament of the Gods (2nd century). It would be interesting could we learn whether Bruno had seen the volume of Nicholas Berauld (1473-1550), the friend of Erasmus and teacher of Admiral de Coligny. Berauld's Syderalis abyssus, published at Paris in 1514, gives an illustrated figure to symbolize every human quality.

6 "Principio."

7 "Epistola dedicatoria," p. 19 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 14; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 412).

8 "Epistola esplicatoria" and Dials. I and II, pp. 20, 49, 74-75 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 14, 62, 89; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 412, 444, 457-58).

9 "Corpo a corpo nelle solide figure." Dial. III, ii, 4, 188-90 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 170-71; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 518-19).

10 lbid., p. 196 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, I77; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 522).

11 Ibid., p. 209 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 186; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 529).

12 The same theme is adumbrated in one of the last of Bruno's works, On the Composition of Images, Symbols and Ideas (Op. lat., II, iii, 237-38). Cf. App. I, 24. For the history and popularity of the theme of the Ass, see Spampanato, Giordano Bruno e la letteratura dell' asino (Portici, 1904).

13 From the Notamento de tutti li inguidati e sposati, p. 62, and the Sacra visita (1585), p. 216. Cf. Spampanato, Vita di Giordano Bruno, I, 61.

14 This work of Bruno has not come down to us. See App. I, i.

15 Cf. App. I, i (a) and 5 (b).

16 p. 16 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 243-44; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 566).

17 Medicano le ferite. Florio gives ferita, wildnesse, beastlinesse, fiercenesse, cruelty, monstrousnesse, inhumanity.

18 i.e., been occupied with illicit magic.

19 "Declamation to the Studious, Devoted and Pious Reader," pp. 21-2, 24, 25-26 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 247, 249, 250; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 568-9, 570, 571).

20 Dial. I, p. 51 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 269; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 583). Cf. Pseudo-Dionysius, Opera (Antwerp, 1684), II, 62, and Augustine, Opera omnia (Lyons [haered. Guinta], 1561), IX, 958.

21 "Animali."

22 Bruno uses the Aristotelian term complexions.

23 Cf. Matthew XI, 14; Luke I, 17. Cf. Dial. II, i, 54-55, 56-59, 60-62 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 272-74, 275, 277-78, 279; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 584-85, 586-87, 588-89).

24 Several of the names given to these commentators have been identified with fellow monks of Bruno in the Convent of St. Benedict.

25 "Fisici." (We give Florio's translation of the word.)

26 De gl' heroici furori, 1585. (See App. I, 12.) The Heroic Enthusiasts in the translation of L. Williams of 1887. But furore is translated by Florio as "Fury, rage, bedlam, madness."

27 Cf. Frances Yates, "The Emblematic Conceit in Giordano Bruno's De gli eroici furori and in the Elizabethan Sonnet Sequences," Journal of Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, VI (London, 1943), 101-21.

28 Part I, Dial. III, pp. 77-78 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 367; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 647).

29 Part I, Dial. IV, pp. 88, 89-90, 92-93 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 376, 377, 378-80; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 652, 653, 654-55).

30 Part I, Dial. V, pp. 114-21 129-30, 149 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 396-99, 405-6, 418; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 666-70, 674, 684).

31 Part II, Dial. I, pp. 171, 181-85, 190-5, 200-1 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 436, 444-46, 450-53, 457; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 696, 702-4, 706-9, 712). Bruno was some thirty-seven years old when these words were published. Gentile refers the revelation to the thirtieth year of his life, and suggests that he may have been in Venice as late as 1578 and may have proclaimed his vision in the work published there, On the Signs of the Times (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 453-54). Or the vision may perhaps have occurred in Toulouse in his thirty-first year.

32 Amphitrite, wife of Poseidon and goddess of the sea. Perhaps here equated with Diana because this goddess loved to be near wells? Or rather, as suggested in the fifth Dialogue, the two goddesses represent the utter contrast of sea and desert and yet they are one and the same.

33 Part II, Dial. II, pp. 211-13, 218-20, 222-5 (Gentile, Op. ital., II, 464-65, 469-70, 471-74; Lagarde, Op. ital., II, 717-18, 721-22, 723-25).

34 The fourth and fifth Dialogues echo the poem of Marco Antonio Epicuro, Dialogo di tre ciechi (Naples, 1535). In the fifth there are again echoes of Tansillo.

Graphic Rule