- (1548 - 1600) The ill-fated Italian philosopher and scientistwho wrote one play, Il Candelaio (The Candlemaker),which was banned in his own lifetime and not performed for nearly400 years. The play, a satire attacking corruption, was finally givena professional performance in Italy in 1965 in a shortened modernizedversion.
Born at Nola near Naples, Bruno travelled throughout Europe,publishing Il Candelaio in Paris and visiting London and Oxfordwhere he met the poet Sir Philip Sidney. On his return to Italy, hewas arrested and imprisoned for his unorthodox religious ideas, whichincluded a belief in the harmony of the human soul and nature. Afterseven years in prison he was burned at the stake when the Inquisitionin Rome named him a heretic.
Bruno's philosophy is thought to have influenced the writingsof Shakespeare and Ben Jonson amongst others. His life was depictedin Morris West's play The Heretic (1970).