The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast

The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast

The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast

The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast

Synopsis

The itinerant Neoplatonic scholar Giordano Bruno (1548–1600), one of the most fascinating figures of the Renaissance, was burned at the stake for heresy by the Inquisition in Rome on Ash Wednesday in 1600. The primary evidence against him was the book Spaccio de la bestia trionfante, a daring indictment of the church that abounded in references to classical Greek mythology, Egyptian religion (especially the worship of Isis), Hermeticism, magic, and astrology.

The author of more than sixty works on mathematics, science, ethics, philosophy, metaphysics, the art of memory, and esoteric mysticism, Bruno had a profound impact on Western thought.

Excerpt

In my translation, I have endeavored to convey to the reader not only the literal meaning of Spaccio de la bestia trionfante but also its style. With this aim in mind, I have made every effort to preserve the flavor of Bruno's poetical prose, without violating the spirit of the English language. When necessary, however, I changed the word order, modified the punctuation, paragraphed passages that ran on for several pages, and broke up involved sentences especially after clauses ending with a colon or semicolon, where a change of subject was indicated. Wherever I felt that the antecedents in Bruno's involved sentence structure were ambiguous, I inserted them either in the text itself or in bracketed inter-

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