Giordano Bruno was an Italian philosopher, priest, cosmologist, and occultist. He is possibly best known for his assertion that the Earth, rotating on its axis, revolves around the Sun, instead of the other way around, which was the popularly held belief at the time. He was arrested and imprisoned in Rome for seven years on charges such as holding opinions contrary to the Catholic Faith, speaking against it and its ministers, believing in metempsychosis and in the transmigration of the human soul into brutes, dealing in magics and divination, and denying the virginity of Mary.
Bruno was declared a heretic and handed over to secular authorities on February 8, 1600. At his trial he listened to the verdict on his knees, then stood up and said, "Perhaps you, my judges, pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it.". On February 17, 1600, he was brought to the Campo de' Fiori, a central Roman market square. He was naked, tied to a pole with his tongue in a gag, and burned to death.