Giordano Bruno

In a dialogue that Bruno wrote in the 1570s he imagines his home town of Nola in which fate has decreed…
that Vasta, wife of Albenzio Savolino, when she means to curl her hair at her temples, shall burn fifty-seven hairs for having let the curling iron get too hot, but she won’t burn her scalp and hence shall not swear when she smells the stench, but shall endure it patiently. That from the dung of her ox fifty-two dung beetles shall be born, of which fourteen shall be trampled and killed by Albenzio’s foot, twenty-six shall die upside down, twenty-two shall live in a hole, eighty shall make a pilgrim’s progress around the yard, forty-two shall retire to live under the stone by the door, sixteen shall roll their ball of dung wherever they please, and the rest shall scurry around at random. . . . Antonio Savolino’s bitch shall conceive five puppies, of which three shall live out their natural lifespan and two shall be thrown away, and of these three the first shall resemble its mother, the second shall be mongrel, and the third shall partly resemble the father and partly resemble Polidoro’s dog. . . . Paulino, when he bends over to pick up a broken needle, shall snap the red drawstring of his underpants, and if he should blaspheme for that reason, I mean for him to be punished thus: tonight his soup shall be too salty and taste of smoke, he shall fall and break his wine flask.
Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600) was an Italian philosopher, priest, cosmologist, and occultist. A statue of Bruno was erected in Campo de’ Fiori in Rome in 1889.


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