Re: royalty

From: Ted Davis (
Date: Sat Sep 20 2003 - 22:00:52 EDT

  • Next message: Glenn Morton: "RE: royalty"

    Bob is right, no one was burned for advocating heliocentrism. Indeed, no
    one believed it, basically, prior to Copernicus (who first circulated his
    ideas c. 1510 and published them in full finally in 1543). Actually the
    only clear exception I can think of at the moment was Aristarchus of Samos,
    from antiquity.

    As for Giordano Bruno, who was indeed burned in 1600, he was executed for
    various theological heresies such as denying the trinity. It is true that
    he upheld a heliocentric view, mainly for "mystical" reasons--he wanted a
    new religion that included what we might describe loosely as "sun worship,"
    if I recall correctly. The charges against him included (for example): he
    taught that Moses and Christ were magicians; that stars have souls; and that
    there are an infinite number of worlds (an idea influenced by heliocentrism,
    though not an idea Coperncius endorsed). Furthermore, he called for the
    English to throw out Elizabeth and the French to throw out Henry, so he had
    dogs on his heels in many places for lots of reasons. If the English had
    caught him, no doubt, no one would remember him as an alleged "Martyr for

    It is much more accurate to say, that Bruno's execution (for heresy) tainted
    helicentrism by association, than to say that heliocentrism tainted Bruno,
    let alone caused his premature death.

    Prior to Galileo's observations and arguments for Coperncius from 1610-1632,
    there were fewer than one dozen Copernicans since 1543. Bruno is the only
    one who was executed or even charged with heresy. And of course the church
    *encouraged* Copernicus to publish his ideas, the Pope even invited him to
    come down to Rome at one point to talk about his stuff.


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