Giulio Cesare Vanini

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vanini, Giulio Cesare


(pseudonym, Lucilio). Born 1585, in Taurisano, near Naples; died Feb. 9, 1619, in Toulouse. Italian philosopher and pantheist. As a priest, condemned for heresy and atheism and burned at the stake.

Vanini was influenced by P. Pomponazzi, G. Cardano, and especially G. Bruno. He wrote in Latin two works The Amphitheater of Eternal Providence (1615) and On the Wonderful Secrets of Nature, the Queen, and the Goddess of Mortals (1616). Vanini denied the immortality of the soul, the creation of the world out of nothing, and the divinity of Jesus; he understood man’s mental life to be dependent upon climate, nourishment, heredity, and the influence of the stars.


Le opere, vols. 1-2. Rome, 1933-34.


Tarle, E. V. “Dzhulio Vanini.” Mir bozhii, 1900, no. 5.
Rutenburg, V. I. Velikii ital’ianskii ateist Vanini. Moscow, 1959.
Lenoir, E. Au seuil du grand siècle. Paris, 1939.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pierre Bayle said that Bruno, unlike Giulio Cesare Vanini, had died only for the confusion of his ideas.
Un philosophe libertin dans l'Europe baroque: Giulio Cesare Vanini (1585-1619).
For Descartes this was a dangerous situation: in 1619 Giulio Cesare Vanini had been burned at the stake in Toulouse for "atheism," and there seems to have been around this time an epidemic of sorcerer-burnings in France, one of whose victims in 1623 was a man executed at Moulins for the crime of possessing a copy of that sixteenth-century encyclopedia of magic, Cornelius Agrippa's De occulta philosophia.(37) The climate, in short, was an increasingly repressive one.