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234 × 156 mm
304 pages
21 illustrations
11 Jun 2018

Burned Alive Giordano Bruno, Galileo and the Inquisition Alberto A. Martínez

In 1600 the Catholic Inquisition condemned the philosopher Giordano Bruno for his heretical beliefs. He was then burned alive in a public place in Rome. Historians, scientists and teachers usually deny that Bruno was condemned for his beliefs about the universe and that his trial was linked to the later confrontations between the Inquisition and Galileo in 1616 and 1633. Based on new evidence, however, Burned Alive asserts that Bruno’s beliefs about the universe were indeed the primary factors that led to Bruno’s condemnation: his beliefs that the stars are suns surrounded by planetary worlds like our own, and that the Earth moves because it has a soul.

Alberto A. Martínez shows how some of the same Inquisitors who judged Bruno also confronted Galileo in 1616. Ultimately the one clergyman who wrote the most critical reports used by the Inquisition to condemn Galileo in 1633 immediately wrote an unpublished manuscript, in which he denounced Galileo and other followers of Copernicus for believing that many worlds exist and that the Earth moves because it has a soul. This book challenges the accepted history of astronomy and shows how cosmology led Bruno bravely to his death.

Alberto A. Martínez is Professor of History of Science at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of several books, including The Cult of Pythagoras (2012), Science Secrets: The Truth About Darwin’s Finches, Einstein’s Wife, and Other Myths (2011) and Kinematics: The Lost Origins of Einstein’s Relativity (2009).


1 The Crimes of Giordano Bruno
Pythagoras and Copernicus | The Moving Earth and the
Fugitive Friar | Prisoner of the Inquisition | Censured
Propositions in Bruno’s Books | Fire and Smoke | Why
the Romans Killed Bruno

2 Aliens on the Moon?
Kepler Announces Life in other Worlds! | Campanella
Imprisoned and Tortured | Bellarmine and the Enemies
of Bruno | Galileo in Danger

3 The Enemies of Galileo
Campanella Defends Galileo from Prison | Galileo Defends
the Pythagorean Doctrines Again | Inchofer Against the
New Pythagoreans | No Life in Other Worlds, No Living
Earth | Campanella’s Exile and Death

4 Worlds on the Moon and the Stars
How Heretical, really? | Bellarmine’s Innumerable Suns
Critiques after Galileo’s Death

Photo Acknowledgements