Vanini, Lucilio

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Lucilio Vanini (lōōchē´lyō vänē´nē), c.1585–1619, Italian philosopher, who gave himself the name Julius Caesar. A freethinker, he was persecuted for his ideas and driven from one European country to another. His works, published in 1615 and 1616, caused suspicion, and he was finally condemned and burned at the stake at Toulouse, France, for atheism and witchcraft. A part of the movement to break with the dogmas of scholasticism and the authority of Aristotle, Vanini made a courageous contribution to the foundations of a new philosophy. His writings are available in Italian.