Giordano Bruno was a truly cosmopolitan figure of the late Italian Renaissance. Often called the Nolan after his birthplace near Naples, Bruno wandered restlessly across Europe preaching his doctrine of cosmic consciousness and publishing it in dialogues and poetry that read today like volcanic spiritual upheavals. With Tommaso Campanella, author of the utopian City of the Sun and a controversial Defense of Galileo, Bruno represents the traumatic decline of humanistic philosophy, heralding the birth of modern natural science at the hands of Galileo and Francis Bacon. His major writings, attacking the Roman Catholic Church and celebrating the poetic frenzy of creative geniuses, have inspired writers of a similar temperament down to the days of James Joyce, who drew on Bruno, as well as Giambattista Vico, for Finnegans Wake. Bruno died in 1600.