Umberto Eco - Baudolino
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Baudolino is a 2000 novel by Umberto Eco about the adventures of a young man named Baudolino in the known and mythical Christian world of the 12th century. Wikipedia, Amazon (allows full text search).
Seems to depict a man blowing a trumpet. Eco's memory of playing the trumpet as a boy formed one of the core ideas of Foucault's Pendulum.
Historical name of city now known as Regensburg, Germany. Wikipedia. Roman numeral mclv would seem to indicate 1155, which is the year Frederick Barbarossa was crowned King of Italy and then Holy Roman Emperor. Wikipedia
Germans. What follows are German words: "Myn got" for "Mein Gott," etc.
Major theme/device in The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana.
I couldn't scrape off...
All of Eco's novels deal with layers of text, here, literally.
Chapter 1 summary and thoughts
The chapter raises three thoughts: 1) As in Name of the Rose, Eco opens his novel with a purposely "difficult" chapter, in which he seems to lay down that the rules of this game (i.e. interpreting his novel) will be difficult. Only a reader with an introductory knowledge of German, French, Italian and Latin will understand all the language thrown into the mix. 2) The free mix of languages in the 12th century touches upon the questions of translation and interpretation, on which Eco has written extensively. 3) The mix of languages in this chapter recalls the mix of quotations that opens his next book, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. Bleakhaus
The translator William Weaver on the first ten pages: "there is a character whose only language is a kind of Piedmontese dialect, but who knows some Latin, of course, and who is trying to write. He himself doesn’t know what language he’s writing in. It’s a mixture of misspelled Latin and dialect spelled phonetically. Fortunately Italian is phonetic, so any Italian can understand it, but we don’t have an equivalent of that because English isn’t spelled phonetically." source Weaver intended to translate the entire book before going back to tackle the first ten pages.
Actual historical figure. Byzantine Greek historian. Wikipedia
The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, in April 1204, the Crusaders of Western Europe invaded and conquered the Christian (Eastern Orthodox) city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire). This is seen as one of the final acts in the Great Schism between the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church. Wikipedia
a harbor in the East end of Constantinople.
Like Baudolino, Eco is a native of Alessandria. Mediolanum is the Latin name of Milan.
Lacustrine means "of a lake" or "relating to a lake".
The term ultima Thule in medieval geographies denotes any distant place located beyond the "borders of the known world". Wikipedia
a minister or secretary of state in the Byzantine empire. Wikipedia
Liutprand (c. 922 – 972) was a Lombard historian and author, and Bishop of Cremona. Wikipedia His chronicle, Relatio de legatione Constantinopolitana ad Nicephorum Phocam, describes his visits to the Byzantine empire. In the full text of Relatio, one can find the goat recipe Eco repeats here.
Classic highbrow Eco humor :) Nomothete means a name-giver, sometimes used in reference to the Biblical Adam when he names the animals of the world. Eco: "Clearly we are in the presence of a motif, common to other religions and mythologies — that of the Nomothete, the name-giver, the creator of language" (“Some Remarks on Perfect Languages”, in Semiotics around the world synthesis in diversity, 1997).
Otto von Freising (Otto Frisingensis) (c. 1114 - 1158) was a German bishop and chronicler. Wikipedia Otto is most remembered for two important historical works. Chronica sive Historia de duabus civitatibus (Chronicle or history of the two cities). In the Chronica, Otto reports a meeting he had with Bishop Hugh of Jabala, who told him of a Nestorian Christian king in the east named Prester John. It was hoped this monarch would bring relief to the crusader states: this is the first documented mention of Prester John.
Otto's ;;Gesta Friderici imperatoris (Deeds of Emperor Frederick), written at the request of Frederick I, and prefaced by a letter from the emperor to the author. The Gesta is in four books, the first two of which were written by Otto, and the remaining two, or part of them, by his pupil Ragewin, or Rahewin.
Latin, "pleasant story".
Latin, "the city of Milan".
Gesta Dei per Francos
Dei gesta per Francos ("Deeds of God through the Franks") is a narrative of the First Crusade by Guibert of Nogent written between 1107 and 1108. Wikipedia
heresy of Nestor
The Church of the East, also known as the Nestorian Church, is a Christian church, part of the Syriac tradition of Eastern Christianity. Originally the church of the Persian Sassanid Empire, it quickly spread widely through Asia. Between the 9th and 14th centuries it was the world's largest Christian church in terms of geographical extent, with dioceses stretching from the Mediterranean to China and India. The Church of the East was headed by the Patriarch of the East, continuing a line that, according to tradition, stretched back to the time of the apostles. Liturgically, the church adhered to the East Syrian Rite, and theologically, it is associated with the doctrine of Nestorianism, which emphasizes the distinctness of the divine and human natures of Jesus. This doctrine and its chief proponent, Nestorius (386–451), were condemned by the First Council of Ephesus in 431, leading to the Nestorian Schism and a subsequent exodus of Nestorius' supporters to Sassanid Persia. Wikipedia