What knowledge of Bruno’s work did Campanella have? This is a question that several scholars have asked in the past. Campanella mentions Bruno in his Apology for Galileo, in the Metaphysics and in other writings. In the end, Bruno was regarded as a Lucretian by Campanella, who always declared himself to be against atomism and Epicurean moral philosophy. If we rely on the explicit references to Bruno that one may find in Campanella’s works, we would be led to conclude that Campanella’s knowledge of Bruno’s works was indirect, and that perhaps he wasn’t all that interested in the latter’s ontological and cosmological doctrines, even less in his ideas concerning moral philosophy and religion. I argue that this interpretation is not entirely satisfying, for the few and almost invariably generic acknowledgments of Bruno by Campanella seem to reflect a specific dissembling strategy. In this article, special attention will be devoted to the interpretation of one of Campanella’s sonnets.
Keywords: Bruno’s and Campanella’s philosophy, heterodoxy, Campanella’s poems, instinct, fascination, dissembling strategy, persecution and the art of writing