Europe's long sixteenth century—a period spanning the years roughly from the voyages of Columbus in the 1490s to the English Civil War in the 1640s—was an era of power struggles between avaricious and unscrupulous princes, inquisitions and torture chambers, and religious differences of ever more violent fervor. Ideas of Liberty in Early Modern Europe argues that this turbulent age also laid the conceptual foundations of our modern ideas about liberty, justice, and democracy. Hilary Gatti shows how these ideas emerged in (...) response to the often-violent entrenchment of monarchical power and the fragmentation of religious authority, against the backdrop of the westward advance of Islam and the discovery of the New World. She looks at Machiavelli's defense of republican political liberty, and traces how liberty became intertwined with free will and religious pluralism in the writings of Luther, Erasmus, Jean Bodin, and Giordano Bruno. She examines how the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and the clash of science and religion gave rise to concepts of liberty as freedom of thought and expression. Returning to Machiavelli and moving on to Jacques Auguste de Thou, Paolo Sarpi, and Milton, Gatti delves into debates about the roles of parliamentary government and a free press in guaranteeing liberties. Drawing on a breadth of canonical and lesser-known writings, Ideas of Liberty in Early Modern Europe reveals how an era stricken by war and injustice gave birth to a more enlightened world. (shrink)
This book gathers wide-ranging essays on the Italian Renaissance philosopher and cosmologist Giordano Bruno by one of the world's leading authorities on his work and life. Many of these essays were originally written in Italian and appear here in English for the first time. Bruno is principally famous as a proponent of heliocentrism, the infinity of the universe, and the plurality of worlds. But his work spanned the sciences and humanities, sometimes touching the borders of the occult, and Hilary Gatti's (...) essays richly reflect this diversity. The book is divided into sections that address three broad subjects: the relationship between Bruno and the new science, the history of his reception in English culture, and the principal characteristics of his natural philosophy. A final essay examines why this advocate of a "tranquil universal philosophy" ended up being burned at the stake as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition. While the essays take many different approaches, they are united by a number of assumptions: that, although well versed in magic, Bruno cannot be defined primarily as a Renaissance Magus; that his aim was to articulate a new philosophy of nature; and that his thought, while based on ancient and medieval sources, represented a radical rupture with the philosophical schools of the past, helping forge a path toward a new modernity. (shrink)
Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake in Rome in 1600, accused of heresy by the Inquisition. His life took him from Italy to Northern Europe and England, and finally to Venice, where he was arrested. His six dialogues in Italian, today considered a turning point towards the philosophy and science of the modern world, were written during his visit to Elizabethan London. He died refusing to recant views which he defined as philosophical rather than theological, and for which he (...) claimed liberty of expression. The papers in this volume derive from a conference commemorating the 400th anniversary of Bruno's death. Some focus on his experience in England, others on the Italian context of his thought and his impact upon others. Together they constitute a major new survey of the range of Bruno's philosophical activity, as well as evaluating his use of earlier cultural traditions and his influence on both contemporary and more modern themes and trends. (shrink)
Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno was a notable supporter of the new science which arose during his lifetime; his own role has been debated since the early 17th century. This work re-evaluates his contribution to the scientific revolution, emphasizing his links with the magnetic philosophers.
Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), who died at the stake, is one of the best-known symbols of anti-establishment thought. The theme of this volume, which is offered as a collection of essays to honor the distinguished Bruno scholar Hilary Gatti, reflects her constant concern for the principles of cultural freedom and independent thinking. Several essays deal with Bruno himself, including an analysis of the Eroici furori, a study of his reception in relation to the group known as the Novatores, and discussions of (...) several important aspects of his stay in England. The authors and texts discussed here are linked by a relentless interest in the question of authority and originality, and they range from literary figures such as Alberti (1404-72), Vasari (1511-74) and the proponents of quantitative verse in sixteenth-century England to controversial philosophers who, like Bruno, were condemned by the Church, such as Tommaso Campanella (1568-1639) and Giulio Cesare Vanini (1585-1619). Taken together, these chapters show how much that was new and revolutionary in early modern culture came from its confrontation with the past. Martin McLaughlin is Agnelli-Serena Professor of Italian at Oxford. Elisabetta Tarantino is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Italian at the University of Warwick. (shrink)
The paper considers the Copernicanism of Giordano Bruno (1548–1600) as a central moment of his philosophy of nature, concentrating on his two principal cosmological works, La cena de le ceneri (The Ash Wednesday Supper), written and published in London in 1584, and the Latin De immenso, published in Frankfurt in 1591. The principal characteristic of Bruno’s reading of Copernicus which is underlined is his physical realism, which was particularly complex due to his extension of the still finite Copernican cosmology to (...) infinite dimensions. The paper shows how Bruno’s use of diagrams was essential in defining the terms of his new infinite, post-Copernican cosmology, which constitutes an essential if much debated link between Copernicus himself and the great astronomers of the early seventeenth century such as Kepler and Galileo. (shrink)
Giordano Bruno’s visit to Elizabethan England in the 1580s left its imprint on many fields of contemporary culture, ranging from the newly-developing science, the philosophy of knowledge and language, to the extraordinary flowering of Elizabethan poetry and drama. This book explores Bruno's influence on English figures as different as the ninth Earl of Northumberland, Thomas Harriot, Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. Originally published in 1989, it is of interest to students and teachers of history of ideas, cultural history, European drama (...) and renaissance England. Bruno's work had particular power and emphasis in the modern world due to his response to the cultural crisis which had developed - his impulse towards a new ‘faculty of knowing’ had a disruptive effect on existing orthodoxies – religious, scientific, philosophical, and political. (shrink)