The Name of the Rose

Malachi is the abbey’s librarian. He is suspicious of outsiders and jealously guards the secrecy of the library, which he alone is allowed to enter. Adso observes that Malachi has a face that looks as if he has once felt deep passions, but has suppressed them. William and Adso later discover that Malachi does not read Greek or Arabic and thus has been doing the bidding of Jorge of Burgos for decades, since he lacks the learning to understand many of the books in the library. He had a long-running affair with Berengar of Arundel—this was perhaps the suppressed passion that Adso noticed—and murdered Severinus in a jealous rage, after Jorge told him that Berengar and Severinus had a sexual relationship.

Malachi of Hildesheim Quotes in The Name of the Rose

The The Name of the Rose quotes below are all either spoken by Malachi of Hildesheim or refer to Malachi of Hildesheim. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Mariner Books edition of The Name of the Rose published in 2014.
First Day Quotes

[O]nly the librarian knows, from the collocation of the volume, from its degree of inaccessibility, what secrets, what truths or falsehoods, the volume contains. Only he decides how, when, and whether to give it to the monk who requests it; sometimes he first consults me. Because not all truths are for all ears, not all falsehoods can be recognized as such by a pious soul.

Related Characters: Abo of Fossonova (speaker), Malachi of Hildesheim
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
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Malachi of Hildesheim Character Timeline in The Name of the Rose

The timeline below shows where the character Malachi of Hildesheim appears in The Name of the Rose. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
First Day
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...herbs that can induce visions. Afterwards, William and Adso visit the scriptorium, where they meet Malachi of Hildesheim, the librarian: he is tall and thin and there is something “upsetting about... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
William and Adso also meet Berengar of Arundel, Malachi’s assistant. They also meet Venantius of Salvemec, a translator, and Benno of Uppsala, a rhetorician.... (full context)
The Subversive Power of Laughter Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Malachi shows them Adelmo’s now empty desk. Adelmo’s marginal illustrations are very creative and unusual, including... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Before they leave the scriptorium, Malachi tells William and Adso that there are no doors between the kitchen and the scriptorium:... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...be a secret entrance to the Aedificium. And indeed, that night, William and Adso see Malachi emerging from the chapel, suggesting the entrance must be in the crypt. Adso asks William... (full context)
Second Day
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...if he were to “seek among the Africans,” he might find a very different answer. Malachi became furious and sent Berengar back to his tasks. But this cryptic statement prompted both... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...the search for the book on his own until someone murdered him. William suspects Berengar, Malachi, Jorge, or Benno himself. He tells Adso that they have to break into the library... (full context)
Fourth Day
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Malachi comes in to speak with Severinus, but quickly leaves when he sees William and Adso... (full context)
Fifth Day
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
The next morning, Adso sees Bernard conferring with Malachi about some papers. He then enters the chapter house through a doorway carved with statues... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...shelves, but the cellarer protests his innocence. As Remigio is dragged away, he shouts at Malachi, who responds “I will do nothing to harm you.” Benno whispers to William and Adso... (full context)
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...and that Fra Dolcino himself had entrusted Remigio with “certain letters,” which Remigio gave to Malachi for safekeeping. Bernard then calls Malachi for interrogation. Malachi admits that he kept the letters... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...he stole the forbidden book from the infirmary and returned it to the library when Malachi chose him for the position of assistant librarian, replacing Berengar. William fears that the library’s... (full context)
Sixth Day
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
At morning prayers, the monks chant the “Sederunt,” which gives Adso comfort. But then Malachi collapses in church and dies, saying “He told me…truly…It had the power of a thousand... (full context)
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...Aymaro and Alinardo—grumbled against the appointment of foreigners to the role. It is possible that Malachi and Berengar were killed, he suggests, because someone didn’t want them to become abbot. Nicholas... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...some calculations. Robert of Bobbio was librarian by the year 1290, and after he died, Malachi succeeded him. Before Robert, there was another librarian, Paul of Rimini—he was appointed about sixty... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...speak with them in private. He confesses that he is afraid that since someone killed Malachi, he might be next, especially since the Italians don’t want another foreign librarian. Apparently the... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...that the scriptorium is in chaos and no one is working. William suggests that with Malachi and Berengar dead, everyone is looking for a scapegoat. He goes to lie down for... (full context)
Seventh Day
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...the library for the past forty years. He directed Robert of Bobbio, and Robert’s successor, Malachi, was also under Jorge’s control. Since Malachi didn’t read Greek and Arabic, he was entirely... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...from the infirmary and poisoned the pages of the book which killed Venantius, Berengar, and Malachi (explaining their blackened fingers and tongues). He convinced Malachi to murder Severinus by claiming that... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...the infirmary to read the book himself, but died shortly afterwards from the same poison. Malachi killed Severinus, and then died after trying to read the book that Jorge seemed so... (full context)
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...of the “seven trumpets” in the Book of the Apocalypse. Jorge explains that he told Malachi that the book had the power of “a thousand scorpions”—one of the seven trumpets of... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...good. The fire begins burning in several places, catching on to the rolls of parchment Malachi had left in the room.  (full context)