Giordano Bruno (whose original name was Filippo Bruno) was born in the Italian town of Nola in 1548, studied logics and dialectics in Naples and entered the Dominican order in 1563. In 1576 he was indicted for heresy, and escaped by relinquishing his affiliation with the order and fleeing.
During his years of travel he visited Genoa, Venice, Milan, Geneva, Lyon, Toulouse, Paris, Oxford, London, Marburg, Wittenberg, Helmstedt and Frankfurt am Main. Wherever he was, he spoke out for his ideas and was drawn into arguments with the church authorities.
In 1592 he went to Venice, where he fell into the hands of the Inquisition on May 23, 1592 after his ostensible student G. Mocenigo had betrayed him. In 1593 he was handed over to Rome, where he was imprisoned in a dungeon for seven years, before he was sentenced to death and burnt at the stake as a heretic on February 17, 1600 in the Campo di Fiore in Rome.
Giordano Bruno's imaginative and well-read way of thinking was influenced by scholastic Aristotelism and the teachings of Lucretius, Plotinus and Nikolaus Cusanus. Under the framework of Renaissance Neoplatonism he developed a uniform system of the universe animated by a poetic notion. He taught about the infinity of the universe, the idea of an animated world soul, the cyclical process of the creation and ceasing of the world, the animated nature of all matter and its structure consisting of so-called monads, physical centers of force without any expansion.
Giordano Bruno defended Copernicus's heliocentric system and thought that an infinite number of fixed stars were themselves the centers of other planetary systems. His philosophy had a major influence on Spinoza, Leibniz, Herder, Goethe, Schelling, Schopenhauer and others.
Bruno's main works include: "De la causa, principio, et uno" (1584), "Dell'infinito universo e mondi" (1584), "De triplici minimo" (1591) "De monade, numero et figura" and "De immenso et innumerabilibus" (1591).