The Name of the Rose

Salvatore of Montferrat Character Analysis

Salvatore speaks a strange combination of multiple languages, including Latin, an Italian dialect, and Provençale. Adso describes his face and body as “bestial.” Like Remigio, he was a follower of Fra Dolcino and has taken sanctuary in the abbey. He is arrested by Bernard Gui for using superstitious rituals to try to cast a love spell on a girl from the village, and Remigio accuses him of collaborating in the murders. His bad Latin accidentally gives William and Adso the key to opening the finis Africae: he refers to a horse as “of the third” instead of “the third,” which helps William understand Venantius’s riddle. Salvatore’s bizarre language demonstrates that even confusing and incoherent signs can have meaning.

Salvatore of Montferrat Quotes in The Name of the Rose

The The Name of the Rose quotes below are all either spoken by Salvatore of Montferrat or refer to Salvatore of Montferrat. 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.
Third Day Quotes

This is the illusion of heresy. The faith a movement proclaims doesn't count: what counts is the hope it offers. Scratch the heresy and you will find the leper. Every battle against heresy wants only to keep the leper as he is.

Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:
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Salvatore of Montferrat Character Timeline in The Name of the Rose

The timeline below shows where the character Salvatore of Montferrat appears in The Name of the Rose. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
First Day
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
Adso’s reverie is broken by the appearance of Salvatore of Montferrat, a vagabond-looking monk and former Franciscan who speaks an odd combination of several... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
...wounds of the lord, throw away your books.” Before they part, William asks Ubertino about Salvatore and Remigio: Ubertino admits that they were once followers of a “heretical” group as well. (full context)
Second Day
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
William and Adso witness an argument between Salvatore and Remigio, who call each other heretics, prompting Adso to reflect on the difficulty of... (full context)
Third Day
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
Adso goes to the kitchen to eat and encounters Salvatore, who recounts his days as a follower of various popular religious movements. He explains how... (full context)
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
...are the simple: “first comes the condition of being simple, then the heresy.” People like Salvatore—who are poor, outcast, and uneducated, like “lepers”—are easy prey for these movements because they are... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
...each word. After this, they break for a meal, and Adso goes and talks to Salvatore, who claims that he can make the third horse (“tertius equi”) run faster by casting... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
...streets shouting “penitenziagite!” (a vernacular translation of the Latin for “do penance”). Adso has heard Salvatore say this exact phrase. Gherardo came into conflict with the church for his preaching, which... (full context)
Fourth Day
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...in to speak with Severinus, but quickly leaves when he sees William and Adso there. Salvatore accounts for the presence of the girl in the kitchen, confirming William’s theory that he... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...he has been passed over and should have been made librarian, instead of the foreigners. Salvatore tells Adso that he plans to cast a spell to make the village girls fall... (full context)
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...library, however, they do see the girl from the village. Bernard has arrested her and Salvatore, since Salvatore had been using a ritual involving a black cat to try to cast... (full context)
Fifth Day
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Bernard puts Remigio on trial, accusing him of murder and of having known Fra Dolcino. Salvatore is brought into the court, having clearly been tortured. He tells Bernard that he met... (full context)
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...murders. But when Bernard threatens him with torture, Remigio falsely confesses to the murders, naming Salvatore as his accomplice—an act of revenge for Salvatore’s betrayal. Bernard sentences Salvatore and Remigio to... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...sends Adso to bed. Adso remarks on the unfairness of the “simple folk” (like Remigio, Salvatore, and the girl) suffering for the sins of the powerful. (full context)
Sixth Day
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
...“deaf and blind ruin.” Ubertino tells Adso that this is the price of sin. Suddenly, Salvatore enters, and Adso imagines that he is inside a great flame, but is no longer... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
...leaves the chapel, finding William saying goodbye to the Franciscans. He hears that the prisoners (Salvatore, Remigio, and the girl) have already left. He decides that it’s better this way, since... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
...to get in. They visit the stables, where Adso idly remarks on a comment that Salvatore had made about a horse, calling it “tertius equi”—in his bad Latin, he said “the... (full context)