The Name of the Rose

The finis Africae is a hidden room in the abbey’s labyrinthine library. It is called the “finis Africae”—the “end of Africa,” in Latin—because it is adjacent to the “Leones” rooms containing books by African authors…

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Jorge of Burgos orchestrated the deaths of five of his fellow monks in order to protect the secrecy of a single book—a book that comes to symbolize the dangers of forbidden knowledge. This book is…

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Adso of Melk describes William of Baskerville as very tall and thin, but perhaps the most striking feature of his physical appearance is that he wears glasses to help his eyesight. Reading glasses were a…

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Although William of Baskerville describes the abbey’s library as the “greatest in Christendom,” its thousands of books are all destroyed in a raging fire at the end of Adso of Melk’s narration. Decades later…

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