Reading period: Q1 2011 – Q4 2013 (intermittently).
- A pair of monks/friars came to the monastery, it was winter and they were called to solve the crimes happening there.
The plot takes place during seven days + comment of the narrator many years later.
- Monks mysteriously die.
- William and Adso investigate.
- They get into the library with labyrinth.
- There are many volumes by “infidels” (Muslim authors from Africa).
- They are only suspicious of some monks (e.g. librarian Malachi).
- In the end, it’s shown to be caused by old monk Jorge who’s afraid that a book by Aristotle may destroy the faith/obedience of the people.
- Some of the deaths were suicides, some of them murders and some were poisonings by the book (which was poisoned by Jorge).
- The finale is tragic:
- abbot dies when baited by the Jorge into the library,
- Jorge wanting to destroy the book sets the whole library on fire,
- the fire later extends to the whole monastery and surroundings,
- everything is destroyed and the abbey is abandoned.
- There are many characters to remember (especially when reading takes over two years).
- the main detective, former inquisitor
- wise, rational, experienced Englishman
- his young assistant, narrator
- in the end is killed/left to die by the old monk Jorge
- Jorge is actually responsible for all the deaths (indirectly)
- the book of Aristotles
- inquisitor to come the the abbey
- he wanted to get a victim, he revealed “heretic” history of one the monks (the cellarer?)
- former master of heresy
- leader of rioting crowds/monks
- only mentioned, probably fight for power
- there’re at least two popes (Avignonese, Roman)
- fight for power (pope, emperor, inquisitors)
- keeping the knowledge, information (the library of the monastery)
- comparison of the faith of the poor/simple people to the monks/aristocracy
- witch-hunt + monk’s (Adso’s) affair with local girl