Feb 17th, 1600; guy named Giordano Bruno is burnt at the stake. When faced with the sentence, he says to jury: “You who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it.”

Elsewhere, in the last months of his life he says:

“There was in me that which no future century will deny to be mine, that which a victor could have for his own: not to have feared to die, not to have yielded, and to have preferred a courageous death to a noncombatant life.”

What did he die for? For a system of ideas. A heretical system of beliefs. For ideas that liberated him from fears. For ideas that foreshowed our modern (and future) understanding of reality and cosmos and ourselves.

The following quote sums up his cosmogenic and cosmological view:

“All things are in the Universe, and the universe is in all things: we in it, and it in us; in this way everything concurs in a perfect unity.”

Imagine having ideas that are that powerful!

He gets the final word:

“I need not instruct you of my belief: Time gives all and takes all away; everything changes but nothing perishes; One only is immutable, eternal and ever endures, one and the same with itself. With this philosophy my spirit grows, my mind expands. Whereof, however obscure the night may be, I await daybreak, and they who dwell in day look for night Rejoice therefore, and keep whole, if you can, and return love for love.”