Giordano Bruno: His Life and Thought

Graphic Rule


1 See pp 30, n. 9; 37, n. 28; 62-70 (for Hariot, pp- 37, 67-8). Grant McColley traces the history of the conception of other inhabited worlds and gives numerous seventeenth century examples in Annals of Science, I, iii (Oxford, 1936), 385-430

2 See pp. 36-7 seqq. Cf. also pp. 116, 125, 150

3 Opera, ed. by Ellis and Spedding, 11, 13. Cf. McIntyre, Op. cit, p. 326. McIntyre notes that Bacon may nevertheless be indebted to Bruno for certain mythological stories, while the suggestion of spiral instead of circular motion of the heavenly bodies (Novum organum [1620], i Aph. 45) might also have arisen in Bacon's mind after reading Bruno's writings. Gentile points out phrases in the Novum organum (Lib. 1, Cap. 48) very close to phrases in The Ash Wednesday Supper. It may be recalled that Bacon himself was not innocent of faith in foolproof intellectual methodsl Gentile notes also passages in Galileo very similar to passages in the same work. Cf. Gentile, "Veritas filia temporis: Postilla Bruniana" in Scritti varii di erudizione e di critica in onore di R. Renier (Turin, 1912), and Gentile, Op. ital., I, 88. Cf. also Spampanato, Quattro filosofi Napolitani nel carteggio di Galileo, 1, 11-35, and Berti, "Storia dei MSS Galileani della bibl. naz. di Firenze" in Atti dei Lincei (1875-76), S. 2a, Vol. III, Part 3, Mem. sc., p. 102.

Campanella (1568-1639), in his desire to reconcile the Church with the new philosophy based on physical experience, denied that Bruno's scientific views were the reason for his being burnt (cf. H. Höffding, History of Modern Philosophy [Eng. edition], I, 159, and Amabile, Fra Tommaso Campanella né castelli di Napoli, in Roma e in Parigi, II, 85, Doc. 197). Campanella cites Cusanus and the Nolan as authorities for the existence of "both other suns and other planets travelling around the stellar firmament" (Apologia pro Galileo [Frankfurt, 1622]). Many years later from his haven in France, he cites Tycho on the subject and repudiates the doctrines of Copernicus and of the Nolan (T. Campanella, Disputationes . . . suae philosophiae [Paris, 1637], pp. 103, 106). The following year he is again considering the views of Cusanus and of the Nolan (Campanella, Universatis philosophiae seu metaphysica . . . rum rerum . . . [Paris, 1638], Pars. III, Lib. II, pp. 52, 54; Lib. 15, p. 105)

4. Ben Jonson, Works (ed. W. Gifford, London, 1875), VII, 333.

5 CF. pp. 27-25

6 1562- 1633

7 1638, 1657 and 1768. For the second edition, see below, n. 8.

8 See preceding note. This volume appeared in 1657 so we do not hazard the identification of "Dr. S. Smith of Magdalen College" with the Smith of The Ash Wednesday Supper (cf. p. 37)

9 By Sieur de la Montagne as Le monde dans la lune (Rome, 1655). The first and second editions of Wilkins' work (both of 1638) are discussed by Grant McColley, "The Second Edition of The Discovery of a World in the Moon," Annals of Science, I, 3 (London, July, 1936), pp. 330-34. An excellent survey of the whole subject is given by McColley in "The Seventeenth Century Doctrine of a Plurality of Worlds," Annals of Science, I, 4 (London, Oct., 1936), pp- 385-430- McColley traces the history of the conception of other inhabited worlds, and gives a number of seventeenth century examples.

10. Paris, 1686.

11 Second paper on “The Cause of Change of the Variation of the Magnetical Needle” in Miscellanea curiosa (London, 1705), p. 56.

12 We quote from a charming little English translation that appeared in the same year as the Dutch original. The Celestial Worlds Discover'd; or, Conjectures concerning the Inhabitants, Plants and Productions of the Worlds in the Planets written in London by Christianus Huygens, and inscrib'd to his Brother, Constantine Huygens, late Secretary to His Majesty K. William (printed for Timothy Childs, London, 1698).

13 Cf. pp. 153-4

14 Cf. pp. 142-3         

15 Cf. Pp. 19-20.

16 See pp. 147-8 and App. III, M.

17 See App. I, 7-12 (England), and 23, 25 (a) and (b).

18 Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (1632), Giornata terza (Galileo, Edizione nazionale, VII, 426).

19 Galileo, Ed. naz., X, 315. Hasdale or Hastal was a German who had studied in Italy. In 1603 Edmond Brutius or Bruce (see below, n. 23) was writing to Kepler that Galileo described Kepler's discoveries as his own (see Ed. naz., X, 335).

20 J. Kepler, De stella nova serpentaria qui sub ejus exortum de novo inilt trigono igneo (Prague, 16o6), Cap. XXI, 104-101

21 Kepler's correspondence with Brengger concerning De Stella serpentaria is published in the Opera omnia, II, 591-96. They incidentally discuss Bruno's fate. Johann Georg Brengger was a physician of Bâle and later of Kaufburin in Bavaria (Galileo, Ed. naz., XX, indice biografico).

22 John Matthias Wacker (1550-1619) studied law in Strasbourg, Geneva and Padua. Later he settled at Breslau. In 1592 he renounced the reformed faith for Catholicism. Soon after, he was ennobled as Wacker of Wachenfels, and in 1597 he was nominated a member of the Emperor's Council in Prague. In 1616 he was created Count Palatine.

23 Edmondio Brutius was a correspondent of Kepler in 1602 and 1603 (see above, n. 19). The learned editors of the Edizione nazionale of Galileo failed to trace any particulars of him, except in Paolo Gualdo's Latin Vita G. B. Pinelli [1535-1601] (Augsburg, 1607; London, 1704), where Edmond Bruce is described as "a noble Englishman knowing much of the mathematical disciplines, of military matters and of herbaria." The letters to Kepler are from Florence and Padua respectively.

24 Galileo, Ed. naz, X, 320-1 (cf. III, 106). This letter is incorporated in Kepler, Dissertatio cum nuncio siderio nuper ad mortales misso a Galilaeo (Prague, 1610); published also in Galileo, Ed. naz., III, 97-145

25 Galileo, Ed. naz., III, 106, § 3

26 Ibid., III, 118, § 2; X, 333, 5 4.      

27 Ibid., X, 334, 335 and III, 119, 120.

28 Ibid., X, 338 and III, 123.   

29 Ibid., X, 339 and III, 124.

30 Kepler, Narratio de observatis a se quatuor louis satelitibus erronibus (Frankfurt, 1611), Galileo, Ed. naz., III, 183

31 Johann Jacob Zimmermann, Scriptura S. Copernizans seu potius astronomia Copernico-Scripturaria bipartita (Hamburg and Altona, 1690). J. J. Zimmermann of Wayhingen was a distinguished mathematician. He held minor clerical posts, but his unorthodox theology led him to project emigration to Pennsylvania, for which purpose he received from a follower of Penn a grant of money, and from Penn himself a grant of land in the colony. Zimmermann, however, died in Rotterdam when on the point of embarkation.

32 Jean-Pierre Nicéron, Mémoires pour servir á l’histoire des hommes illustres dans la république des lettres (Paris, 1732), XII, 201-20. For Bruno's influence on Moliére, cf. Spampanato, Vita, II, 325; also Louis Moland, Moliére et la Comèdie Italienne, 2nd ed. (Paris, 1867), pp. 105-11

33 Cf. Sigwart, Kleine Schriften. Cf. also Arthur O. Lovejoy, "The Dialectic of Bruno and Spinoza," University of California Publications, Philosophy, I (November 1904), 141-74

34 Perhaps by John Toland (1670-1722), the deist and prolific writer on matters political, literary and religious. Toland was a warm defender of Bruno. In his posthumous Collection of Several Pieces (London, 1726), 1, 307-15, is an article entitled "De genere loco et tempore mortis Jordani Bruni Nolani," giving the letter of Scioppius (cf. pp. 179-80). There follows (pp, 316-49) a rather inadequate "Account of Jordano's Book On the Infinite Universe and Innumerable Worlds" with a translation of the Dedicatory Epistle. The translation of the Spaccio, which is anonymous, may however be by a brother-in-law of Toland, William Morehead.

35 This translation is attributed to the Abbé de Vougny in Brunet, Manuel du libraire, I, 1298. Jean Marie Quérard describes him as l’abbé Louis Valentin de Fougny, conseiller clerc en la grand chambre de parlement et chanoine de l’église de Paris (i.e. Notre-Dame), and mentions besides the 1750 edition of Le ciel réformé another of 1754, the year of de Vougny's death. (Cf. La France littéraire [Paris, 18381, IX, 459-) Salvestrini in his bibliography mentions (No. 94) only the 1750 edition which he attributes to de Vougny, giving him the same titles as in Quérard.

36 Vol. V, No. 389, pp- 301-5 (London, 1712).

37 L’impiété des déistes et des plus subtils libertins déouverte et refutée (2 vols., Paris, 1624)

38. Acta philosophorum (Halle, 1715, 1716, 1718 and 1720) . Other contributors to this controversy were Johann Franz Buddée, Mathurin Veyssière de Lacroze and Johann Benedict Carpzow. Their writings on the subject are listed in Salvestrini, loc. cit.

39, Acta philosophorum (Halle, 1724)

40 In Museum helveticum, V, Fasc. XX, pp. 577-601 and VT, Fasc. XXI, pp. 1-34. The study was reprinted in his Opera (Zurich, 1751-57), II, ii, 1128 scqq. This writer is not to be confused with Zimmermann of Wayhingen. J. J. Zimmermann of Zurich held a succession of theological Chairs. The volumes of the Museum helveticum show him as a Pythagorean, concerned to defend from the charge of atheism many philosophers from Plato onwards.

41 In the Polyhistor (4th ed., Lübeck, 1747)

42 Dichtung und Wahrheit, VI and VIII (Sämtliche Werke [Stuttgart, 1851], XIII, 216 and 315-16).

43 A. Arber, "Goethe's Botany" in Chronica Botanica, X, No. 2 (Waltham, Mass., 1946), 63-126.

44 Särntliche Werke (Jubilaeum Edition, Stuttgart, 1940), XXXI, 269. For relationship of Goethe and Schiller with Bruno, cf. L. Kuhlenbeck, Giordano Bruno's Einfluss aul Goethe und Schiller (Leipzig, 1907; Vortrag in der Richard Wagner Gesellschaft zu Berlin, am 25.X. 19o6) and Werner Sänger, Goethe und Giordano Bruno (Berlin, 1930). Cf. also H. Brunnhofer, "Giordano Bruno's Einfluss auf Goethe" in Goethe-Jahrbuch, VIII (Frankfurt, 1886), 241-50; and B. Croce, "G. Bruno e Volfgango Goethe" in Juvenilia 1883-1887 (Bari, 1914), pp. 69-72. See also Walter van der Bleek, Giordano Bruno, Goethe und der Christus Problem, Naturwissenschaft und Bibel (Berlin, 1911). Other works on the subject are listed by Salvestrini.

45 The relationship has been perhaps most tersely and clearly traced in H. Brunnhofer, Bruno's Lehre von Kleinsten als die Quelle der Prdstabilirten Harmonic von Leibnitz (Leipzig, 1890); and in the same author's Giordano Bruno's Weltanschauung und Verängnis (Leipzig, 1882), part of which appeared in an anonymous English translation privately printed by Trilbner, London, 1883,

46 Cf. Walter van der Bleck, op. cit. (Cf. note 44)

47 F. W. J. von Schelling, Bruno, oder über das göttliche und natürliche Principium der Dinge (Berlin, 1802).

48 Uber die Lehre des Spinoza in Briefen an Herrn Moses Mendelssohn (in the second edition only, Breslau, 1789). Jacobi gives an account of Bruno in the Preface to this second edition, and the translations in an Appendix. See also above, p. 192. Jacobi is also believed to be the author of the German translations from Bruno in Rixner and Siber, Leben und Lehrmeinungen berühmter Physiker am Ende des XVI und am Anfang des XVII Jahrhunderts (Sulzbach, 1824), Vol V. These comprise the main part of the io Dialogues of the De la causa, principio et uno and of the De Pinfinito universo et mondi (without the Dedicatory Epistles and Arguments), and some translations of extracts from the Latin works. Some German translations in the same volume of sonnets from these two Italian works and from the Spaccio are attributed to M. Waldhausen.

49 Cf. p. 86.

50 Ernest Hartley Coleridge, Letters of S. T. Coleridge (2 vols., London, 1895), I, 371. William Sotheby (1757-1833) was a minor poet and playwright. He was a nephew of Sir Hans Sloane and prominent in the circle of Coleridge, Wordsworth and Samuel Rogers. Among his friends also were Sir Walter Scott, Maria Edgeworth and Mrs. Siddons. The latter, with Kemble, performed in 1800 Sotheby's play Julian and Agnes. Sotheby started life in the army, but soon retired. In 1794 he became both F.S.A. and F.R.S. He made no contribution to the Phil. Trans.

51 John Brown (1735-1788), founder of the "Brunonian" system of medicine, once the subject of acute controversy.

52 Omniana or Horae otiosores (2 vols., London, 1812), I, 216-217, Essay 110.

53 Ibid., I, 234-37, Essay 122. Coleridge then cites the claims of the sixteenth century Spanish veterinary writer Francisco de la Reyna to have anticipated the discovery of the circulation of the blood.

54 Cf. Dorothea Waley Singer, "Coleridge Suggests Two Anticipations of the Circulation of the Blood," in Archeion (Santa F6, 1943).

55 Op. lat., I, ii, 321-22.

56 Omniana or Horae Otiosores, I, 240-45, Essay 129. Cf. Bruno, Op. lat., I, ii, 321-22.

57 Felix Farley's Bristol Journal, 6th August, 1814, opening a series of "Essays on the Fine Arts" by Coleridge; we have not seen the Essay, which is cited by Joseph Cottle, Early Recollections Chiefly Relating to the Late S. T. Coleridge (2 vols., London, 1837), II, 202, Appendix.

58 Biographia Literaria (London, 1817), I, 138, 150

59 The Friend (3rd ed.; ed. Coleridge, London, 1818), I, 149, Essay XIII; and I, 193-97, Essay XVI. Cf. Bruno, Op. lat., I, 265-66. Other references to Bruno are in the Literary Remains of S. T. Coleridge (London, 1839), IV, 141, 422.

60 The Friend, I, 149, Essay XVI.

61 At least two very diverse works of the twentieth century may be cited in illustration. These are Joseph Needham Time and the Refreshing River (London, 1941) and Lance Whyte, The Next Development in Man (London, 1944)

62.  Turin, 1887

63.D. Berti, Vita di Giordano Bruno (Turin, 1868 and 1889). From Preface to the edition of 1889.

64 De iminenso, Lib. I, Cap. i (OP. lat., I, i, 205)

Graphic Rule