Tommaso Campanella

Also found in: Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Campanella, Tommaso


Born Sept. 5, 1568, in Stilo, Italy; died May 21, 1639, in Paris. Italian philosopher, poet, and political figure; creator of a communist Utopia. Son of a shoemaker; Dominican friar from 1582.

In 1591, Campanella published his Philosophia sensibus demonstrata in defense of the philosophy of nature of B. Telesio and against Scholastic Aristotelianism. He was prosecuted by an ecclesiastical court on charges of heresy. In 1598–99 he led a conspiracy in Calabria against Spanish rule; captured, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. During nearly 27 years of confinement in Neapolitan prisons he wrote dozens of works on philosophy, politics, astronomy, and medicine, of which some were published in Germany and others circulated in manuscript. In 1626, through the intervention of Pope Urban VIII, who had become interested in his astrological prophecies, Campanella was put under the supervision of the Roman Inquisition; in May 1629 he was freed and acquitted. In 1634 he escaped to France, where, under the protection of Cardinal Richelieu, he was able to publish some of his writings.

In philosophy Campanella propounded the necessity of empirical knowledge and developed a doctrine of dual revelation (nature and Scripture). He defended Galileo but did not accept the idea of the infinity of the universe, although he did acknowledge the existence of a plurality of worlds.

His communist Utopia is a program for general social transformation on the basis of communal property (City of the Sun, written in the form of a mariner’s tale in 1602; published 1623; Russian translation, 1906) under a universal theocracy (The Messiah’s Monarchy). In his ideal communist community, private property and the family have been abolished and children are raised by the state; labor is honored and is equally obligatory for all; the workday has been shortened to four hours, owing to a high level of productivity and the use of machines; and much attention is given to the development of science (“magical knowledge”) and to education and vocational training. The leadership of the communist community is exercised by a caste of scholar-priests. After the collapse of the Calabrian conspiracy, Campanella rested his hopes for the realization of his program on European sovereigns (at first the Spanish king and later the French) and the pope. He strove for the spiritual unity of mankind within a Catholicism reformed in accordance with his ideals.

Campanella’s nature philosophy was one of the prerequisites for the new natural science, and his communist Utopia makes him an early precursor of scientific socialism.

His poetry (canzoni, madrigals, sonnets) affirms with great power his faith in human reason and exposes the contradictions between the individual’s unhappy fate and the perfection of the universe, as well as the tragedy of the man who has lighted the torch of knowledge in darkness.


Poesie filosofiche. Lugano, 1834.
Tutte le opere, vol. 1. Milan-Verona, 1954.
Lettere. Bari, 1927.
Opuscoli inediti. Florence, 1951.
Cosmologia. Rome, 1964.
I sacri segni, vols. 1–6. Rome, 1965–68.
In Russian translation:
In Antologiia mirovoi flosofi, vol. 2. Moscow, 1970. Pages 180–92.


Rutenburg, V. I. Kampanella. Leningrad, 1956.
Shtekli, A. E. Kampanella. Moscow, 1966.
Gorfunkel’, A. Kh. Tommazo Kampanella. Moscow, 1969. (With bibliography.)
De Sanctis, F. Istoriia ital’ianskoi literatury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from Italian.)
Storia delta letteratura italiana, vol. 5: Il seicento. Milan, 1967.
Bonansea, B. M. T. Campanella. Washington, 1969.
Badaloni, N. Tommaso Campanella. Milan, 1965.
Corsano, A. Tommaso Campanella. Bari, 1961.
Firpo, L. Bibliografia degli scritti di Tommaso Campanella. Turin, 1940.
Firpo, L. Ricerche Campanelliane. Florence, 1947.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498), Giordano Bruno (1548 1600), Tommaso Campanella (1568-1639), Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) e Pietro Giannone (1676-1748) rappresentano nell'immaginario collettivo il gruppo di italiani piu influente e noto di riformatori e pensatori perseguitati.
While Houston's primary concern is the evolution of the English utopia, she devotes a chapter to two continental utopias, Christianopolis (1619) by Johann Valentin Andreae and La Citta del Sole (1623) by Tommaso Campanella, both of whom believe that ideal societies can exist, that humanity can improve itself.
Although the book is essentially about the English utopian traditions, Houston analyses the decline of the dialogue in the Italian Dominican monk Tommaso Campanella's City of the Sun written in Italian in 1602 and first published in Frankfurt in Latin in 1623, and the German Lutheran pastor Johann Valentin Andreae's Christianopolis published in 1619.
Es facil ver este impulso domesticador del humanismo en La Ciudad del Sol, de Tommaso Campanella. Esta obra se inscribe dentro del genero de la utopia y, por lo tanto, "se presenta como una encamacion de la sociedad racional, como la configuracion de un orden humano basado en la razon y por tanto justo" [10].
(6) A more representative statement of utopian purpose was Tommaso Campanella's La Citta del Sole (City of the Sun).
In the roll call, the names fly by: Petrarca, Lorenzo Valla, Nicholas of Cusa, Marsilio Ficino, Lorenzo de' Medici, Pico della Mirandola, Erasmus, Machiavelli, Thomas More, Luther, Calvin, Bacon, Galileo, Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, Descartes, and Tommaso Campanella, to name only the most prominent.
Tommaso Campanella, priest and poet" The dedication is compact and oblique, in that Campanella, though a friar, was not a priest, and though a poet, is known primarily for other works, such as his utopian dialogue The City of the Sun, which imagines a supreme priest-philosopher-ruler.
Essays address music functioning within esoteric and scientific traditions and theories and works by authors like Marsilio Ficino, Tommaso Campanella, Athanasius Kircher, Johannes Kepler, Marin Mersenne, Abu Ma'shar, and Giovanni Battista della Porta, or the influence of those traditions on musical works, such as pieces by John Dowland, Ferruccio Busoni, Orlando di Lasso, Alexander Scriabin, and Anton Webern.
Tommaso Campanella. Del senso delle cose e della magia.