The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast  

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"Ambrogio on the one hundred twelfth thrust shall finally have driven home his business with his wife, but shall not impregnate her this time, but rather another, using the sperm into which the cooked leek that he has just eaten with millet and wine sauce shall have been converted."

"The Spaccio was in its outward form, no doubt, suggested by Lucian's Parliament of the Gods. Fiorentino has pointed out that Niccolo Franco had made use of a similar idea in a dialogue published in 1539, in which he described a journey to heaven, where he was at first refused admittance ; he had a parley with the Gods, until, with the aid of Momus, he obtained permission to enter, conversed with Jupiter, received some favours, and returned. Franco was impaled in 1565 by Pope Pius V., hence perhaps the absence of his name in Bruno." --Giordano Bruno (James Lewis McIntyre)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast (1584, Spaccio de la Bestia Trionfante) is a text by Giordano Bruno, dedicated to the English poet Philip Sidney. It was this book that caused his imprisonment by the Inquisition. The book was famously reprised by James Joyce.

Satire of Divine providence

Bruno's satire of Divine providence

In one passage of The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, Giordano Bruno satirizes Divine providence by enumerating what Mercury has ordered Jove to do in what seems a random Italian village.

Mercury [...] relates a number of things he has to see carried out, by the order of Providence, about the little hamlet of Cicala. They are none of the cleanest the number of melons that are to ripen in Franzino's garden and that are not to be gathered till over-ripe, of jujubes that are to be picked from Giovanni Bruno's tree, that are to fall to the earth, or that are to be eaten by worms ; how Vasta, in curling the hair on her temples, is to overheat the iron and burn fifty-seven of them, but is not to scorch her head and so on. These unpleasant details, however, are only a prelude to a philosophical conception of the divine action. God, it is said, does not provide for this and that individual as occasion arises. [...].


  • Divinity reveals herself in all things... everything has Divinity latent within itself. For she enfolds and imparts herself even unto the smallest beings, and from the smallest beings, according to their capacity. Without her presence nothing would have being, because she is the essence of the existence of the first unto the last being.
    • As translated by Arthur Imerti (1964)
  • Animals and plants are living effects of Nature; this Nature... is none other than God in things... Whence all of God is in all things... Think thus, of the sun in the crocus, in the narcissus, in the heliotrope, in the rooster, in the lion…. To the extent that one communicates with Nature, so one ascends to Divinity through Nature.
    • As translated by Arthur Imerti (1964)
  • Those wise men knew God to be in things, and Divinity to be latent in Nature, working and glowing differently in different subjects and succeeding through diverse physical forms, in certain arrangements, in making them participants in her, I say, in her being, in her life and intellect.
    • As translated by Arthur Imerti (1964)
  • If he is not Nature herself, he is certainly the nature of Nature, and is the soul of the Soul of the world, if he is not the soul herself.
    • As translated by Arthur Imerti (1964)
  • Of the eternal corporeal substance (which is not producible ex nihilo, nor reducible ad nihilum, but rarefiable, condensable, formable, arrangeable, and "fashionable") the composition is dissolved, the complexion is changed, the figure is modified, the being is altered, the fortune is varied, only the elements remaining what they are in substance, that same principle persevering which was always the one material principle, which is the true substance of things, eternal, ingenerable and incorruptible.
    • As translated by Arthur Imerti (1964)
  • Of the eternal incorporeal substance nothing is changed, is formed or deformed, but there always remains only that thing which cannot be a subject of dissolution, since it is not possible that it be a subject of composition, and therefore, either of itself or by accident, it cannot be said to die.
    • As translated by Arthur Imerti (1964)

See also

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