Giordano Bruno (1548-1600)
Italian philosopher, b. Nola. The son of a professional soldier, he entered the Dominican order early in his youth and was ordained a priest in 1572, but was accused of heresy and fled (c.1576) to take up a career of study and travel. Bruno was the first to enunciate what is now called the cosmic theory, he pictured the world as composed of individual elements of being, governed by fixed laws of relationship. These elements, called monads, were in constant motion, ultimate, and irreducible and were based on a pantheistic infinite principle, or cause, or Deity, manifest in us and in all the world.