Bard book summary of Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition is a 1964 non-fiction by Frances A. Yates
Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition is a 1964 non-fiction book by British historian Frances A. Yates. The book delves into the history of Hermeticism and its influence upon Renaissance philosophy and Giordano Bruno.
Yates argues that Hermeticism was a major influence on Renaissance thought, and that Bruno was one of the most important figures in the transmission of Hermetic ideas to the Renaissance. She traces the development of Hermeticism from its origins in ancient Egypt to its revival in the Renaissance, and shows how it influenced the work of philosophers, artists, and scientists such as Pico della Mirandola, Marsilio Ficino, and John Dee.
Yates also argues that Bruno's ideas about the universe, which were based on Hermeticism, were heretical and led to his execution by the Inquisition. She concludes that Bruno was a martyr for Hermeticism, and that his ideas were an important influence on the development of modern science and philosophy.
Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition is a groundbreaking work of scholarship that has had a major impact on the study of the Renaissance. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of ideas, the Renaissance, or the life and work of Giordano Bruno.
Here is a more detailed summary of the book:
Chapter 1: The Hermetic Tradition
In the first chapter, Yates introduces the Hermetic tradition and its origins in ancient Egypt. She argues that Hermeticism was a syncretic religion that combined elements of Egyptian, Greek, and Jewish thought. The Hermetic texts, which were written in Greek, were attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, a mythical figure who was said to be the founder of Egyptian religion and magic.
Chapter 2: The Renaissance Revival of Hermeticism
In the second chapter, Yates discusses the revival of Hermeticism in the Renaissance. She argues that the Hermetic texts were rediscovered in the early 15th century, and that they quickly became popular among Renaissance scholars. The Hermetic texts were seen as a source of ancient wisdom, and they were used to support a variety of Renaissance ideas, including the revival of Platonism, the development of magic, and the heliocentric theory of the universe.
Chapter 3: Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition
In the third chapter, Yates discusses Giordano Bruno's relationship to the Hermetic tradition. She argues that Bruno was deeply influenced by Hermeticism, and that his ideas about the universe were based on Hermetic principles. Bruno's ideas were heretical, and he was eventually burned at the stake by the Inquisition.
Chapter 4: The Influence of Hermeticism on Renaissance Thought
In the fourth chapter, Yates discusses the influence of Hermeticism on Renaissance thought. She argues that Hermeticism had a major impact on the work of philosophers, artists, and scientists such as Pico della Mirandola, Marsilio Ficino, and John Dee. Hermeticism also influenced the development of modern science and philosophy.
Chapter 5: Conclusion
In the fifth chapter, Yates concludes that Giordano Bruno was a martyr for Hermeticism, and that his ideas were an important influence on the development of modern science and philosophy.