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9 Timid Mathematicians vs. Daring Explorers of the Infinite Cosmos: Giordano Bruno, Literary Self-Fashioning and De revolutionibus orbium coelestium

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the specific literary strategies which Giordano Bruno employed to situate Copernicus vis-a-vis what he called nolana filosofia. It contextualises one brief passage from Bruno's Latin poem De minimo, a text that was published late in what turned out to be an involuntary short career as a philosopher. Bruno was arrested in 1592 by the Venetian Inquisition and burnt at the stake eight years later as a heretic in Rome. The chapter outlines a few well-known facts about Bruno as a cosmologist. In an environment hostile to the author's ideas, il Nolano not only defended the heliocentric system, but went much further than what he considered to be the limited mathematical and geometric calculations of Copernicus. The Nolano developed an intellectually highly concise theory according to which the cosmos consists of countless solar systems that form an infinitely large material universe.

Keywords: Copernicus; De minimo; Giordano Bruno; heliocentric system; Rome

10.1163/9789004281127_011
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