"The Nolan" Giordano Bruno
(1548-February 17, 1600)
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, which effectively ended Classical Antiquity, the light of higher learning was for the most part snuffed out over most of Europe (the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire notwithstanding). Though progress was made on a number of fronts in succeeding centuries, real devotion to the arts and sciences on the continent was not seen again until the time known as the Renaissance, which began in Italy during the 14th century.
It is a matter of record that Bruno was one of the earliest and most outspoken proponents of the heliocentric theory of Nicolaus Copernicus. Copernicus’s view of the solar system fit in quite nicely with Bruno’s cosmology, which saw our own sun as merely one in an infinite number of suns, each with its own world orbiting it, inhabited with intelligent beings. In this he anticipated the Many Worlds Theory of quantum physics by almost four centuries!
Bruno monument at Campo dei Fiori
Photo courtesy of New York Scugnizzo