Famous Calabrian People

Tommaso Campanella

The philosopher Tommaso Campanella was born in Stilo in 1568 and he died in Paris in 1639. He is considered one ofe the most important Italian Philosophers and poets of the 17 th century. Wen he was 14 years old, he entered the religious order of the Domenicans and, even if he kept in being a faithful and humble Catholic towards the Church. Very soon he provoked many suspicions and persecutions for his activity of writer and scholar. In fact he revealed himself inclined to the occult sciences and enthusiastic supporter of Telesio. The prison of Naples where he underwent the first sentence for heresy in 1591, his continuous wandering in North Italy in search of a chair from which to spread his ideas, the repeated tortures by the Roman Inquisition (1595), were in his tormented life the first acts of his tragedy that had to find its end in his native country. In fact, in 1598, he came back to Stilo with the intention of exploiting the widespread discontend against the Spanish Goverment in South Italy in order to carry out his ideal example of State: a religious republic gouverned by a prince-priest and of which he should have been the legislator. In 1599 a plot was discovered and Campanella known for his ideas and for his preaching about a big revolution in 1600, was brought to Naples, submitted to a trial for subversive action, judged mad and condemned to prison for all his life. He was kept in prison for 27 Years during which with constant practice of thought and will, he was able to meditate, to study, to poetry and to write a lot of works among which "La Città del sole" that abridges his ideal of republic.
Released in 1626 he lived in Rome under the Inquisition's control. Pope Urban VIII facilitated his escape in France when he was again involved in a plot against the deputy of Naples. When he arrived in Paris, he was appointed astrologer of court by Louis XIII and he could spend the last years of his life studying quietly and considering France with hope owing to those social and political reformations to which, also from prison, he had continued to incite kings and princes.