Video: Myth and reality: Why Giordano Bruno was actually burned
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
Probably every student when asked why the Inquisition dealt with Giordano Bruno, will answer like this: in the XVII century. the young scientist was burned at the stake because he was a supporter of the Copernican heliocentric system, that is, he claimed that the Earth revolves around the Sun. In fact, in this common myth, only one thing is true: Giordano Bruno was actually burned by the Inquisition in 1600. Everything else needs clarification.
First, Bruno could hardly be called young. The preserved engraving of the 19th century. Nolanets (by birthplace - the Italian city of Nola) really looks young, but at the time of his execution he was 52 years old, which at that time was considered a very old age. Secondly, he can hardly be called a scientist. Giordano Bruno was a wandering Dominican monk and philosopher, traveled all over Europe, taught at many universities (from where he was often expelled with a scandal for heretical judgments), defended two dissertations.
Perhaps a few centuries earlier he could have been called a scientist, but in his time, hypotheses in scientific works demanded mathematical confirmation. Bruno's works were performed in a figurative, poetic form, and not in the form of scientific treatises. He wrote more than 30 works in which he argued that the Universe is limitless and infinite, that the stars are distant suns around which the planets revolve, that there are other inhabited worlds, etc. Copernicus' heliocentric system only supplemented his religious and philosophical concepts. Bruno did not engage in scientific research in the sense that Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and other scientists did.
Bruno Nolanets considered himself primarily a religious preacher who intended to reform religion. Contrary to the popular version, according to which the scientist opposed the church and the clergy, he was not an atheist, and this dispute was not a conflict between science and religion. Despite the radicalism of his judgments, Giordano Bruno remained a believer, although he believed that his contemporary religion had a lot of shortcomings. He spoke out against the fundamental dogmas of Christianity - about the Immaculate Conception, the divinity of Christ, etc.
In a denunciation written by a Venetian aristocrat against his teacher of mnemonics (the art of memorization) Bruno Nolanz in 1592, it was reported about his heretical views, "". Principled for Giordano Bruno were primarily religious and philosophical, not scientific ideas.
The proceedings of the Inquisition in the case of Bruno lasted 8 years, during which they tried to convince him that his heretical statements are full of contradictions. However, the monk did not abandon his views, and then the inquisitorial tribunal declared him "an unrepentant stubborn and unyielding heretic." Bruno was defrocked, excommunicated and handed over to the secular authorities. In his conviction, the heliocentric system was out of the question - he was accused of denying the dogmas of Christianity. In those days, the ideas of Copernicus were not supported by the church, but their supporters were not persecuted or burned at the stake. But Bruno, in fact, created a new religious and philosophical doctrine that threatened to undermine the foundations of Christianity, since it denied the omnipotence of God. Therefore, he was punished as a heretic and not as a scientist.
In mid-February 1600"Punishment without shedding blood" was carried out. Giordano Bruno, who never renounced his views, was burned in Rome. In 1889, a monument was erected at this place with the inscription: "Giordano Bruno - from the century that he foresaw, at the place where the fire was lit". And if Galileo was rehabilitated several centuries later by the church, then Bruno is still considered an apostate and a heretic.
Since the adherents of the heliocentric system, in addition to Giordano Bruno, were also Galileo Galilei and Copernicus, in the popular mind all these three historical characters often merge into one, which in the scientific world is jokingly called Nikolai Brunovich Galilei. The famous phrase "And yet it turns" is attributed to them all in turn, although in fact it was born much later in one of the works about Galileo. But Bruno, before his death, again according to legend, said: "To burn - does not mean to refute."
It wasn't just Bruno Nolantz that the Inquisition had dealt with. The cruel laws of the Middle Ages: for dissent - death.
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