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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Italian Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Lidia Radi

Second Advisor

Dr. Anthony Russell

Third Advisor

Dr. Alessandra Zamperini


In his famous novel The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco tells the story of a Benedictine monastery in northern Italy where mysterious murders take place. The protagonist principal William of Baskerville, a Franciscan friar, goes for a theological dispute towards the monastery traveling under the protection of Adso of Melk, a Benedictine novice. When they arrive at the monastery, Guglielmo is asked by the abbot of the monastery, Abo di Fossanova, to investigate the recent death of the illuminator Adelmo d'Otranto. After having also investigated the other murders that occurred at the monastery, William realizes a trait in common between the dead people: they had read a mysterious manuscript. At the end of the book it turns out they were been poisoned by the pages of the missing manuscript, and in conclusion, Eco's book points out the main theme is that having too much information is dangerous. The monks, the people who had access to the manuscripts, noticed the effects of the information on others. They understood that knowledge is important therefore they continued to protect and preserve knowledge, thinking that access to knowledge must be regulated. Passion for knowledge is a human instinct, but the question raised by Eco's book concerns the danger of a villain knowledge management precisely because of the human limitations to which we are all subjected.