Baudolino

First edition (Italian)

2000 novel by Umberto Eco about the adventures of a man named Baudolino in the known and mythical Christian world of the 12th century.

- Baudolino

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Alessandria

City and comune in Piedmont, Italy, and the capital of the Province of Alessandria.

A legend (related in Umberto Eco's book Baudolino, and which recalls one concerning Bishop Herculanus’ successful defence of Perugia several centuries earlier) says it was saved by a quick-witted peasant, Gagliaudo: he fed his cow with the last grain remaining within the city, then took it outside the city walls until he reached the Imperial camp.

Niketas Choniates

Akominatos (Ἀκομινάτος), was a Byzantine Greek government official and historian – like his brother Michael Akominatos, whom he accompanied to Constantinople from their birthplace Chonae (from which came his nickname, "Choniates" meaning "person from Chonae").

Niketas Choniates, from a medieval manuscript

Umberto Eco's novel Baudolino is set partly at Constantinople during the Crusader conquest.

Umberto Eco

Italian medievalist, philosopher, semiotician, novelist, cultural critic and political and social commentator.

Eco in 1984
Umberto Eco in 1987.
Eco at his home in 2010
Collège de 'Pataphysique, stamp of Satrap Umberto Eco. By Jean-Max Albert Rt, 2001

Baudolino was published in 2000.

Locked-room mystery

Type of crime seen in crime and detective fiction.

Sherlock Holmes, third from left, hero of crime fiction, oversees the arrest of a criminal; the character of Holmes popularized the crime fiction genre.

Umberto Eco, in his 2000 novel Baudolino, takes the locked-room theme into medieval times.

Robert de Boron

French poet of the late 12th and early 13th centuries, notable as the reputed author of the poems Joseph of Arimathea (poem) and Merlin.

Louise-Victorine Ackermann

Robert de Boron appears as Boron in Umberto Eco's Italian novel Baudolino (2000).

William Weaver

English language translator of modern Italian literature.

The West Germanic languages

Baudolino (2002). (Baudolino, 2000.) Harvest/HBJ (ISBN: 0-15-602906-5).

Andronikos I Komnenos

Byzantine emperor from 1183 to 1185.

Miniature portrait of Andronikos I (from a 15th-century codex containing a copy of the Extracts of History by Joannes Zonaras)
A 15th century depiction of the death of Andronikos. Original in the Bibliothèque Nationale, France.

Andronikos was portrayed in the novel Baudolino by Umberto Eco, with much detail being given to his grisly end.

Prester John

Legendary Christian patriarch, presbyter, and king.

"Preste" as the Emperor of Ethiopia, enthroned on a map of East Africa. From an atlas by the Portuguese cartographer Diogo Homem for Queen Mary, c. 1555–1559. (British Library)
Prester John from Hartmann Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493
Depiction of the Keraite ruler Toghrul as "Prester John" in "Le Livre des Merveilles", 15th century
A map of Prester John's kingdom as Ethiopia
"Preste Iuan de las Indias" (Prester John of the Indies) positioned in East Africa on a 16th-century Spanish Portolan chart

Prester John and his kingdom also figure prominently in Umberto Eco's 2000 novel Baudolino, in which the titular protagonist enlists his friends to write the Letter of Prester John for his adoptive father Frederick Barbarossa, but it is stolen before they can send it out.

Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor

The Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death 35 years later.

A golden bust of Frederick I, given to his godfather Count Otto of Cappenberg in 1171. It was used as a reliquary in Cappenberg Abbey and is said in the deed of the gift to have been made "in the likeness of the emperor".
Crusaders besieging Damascus in 1148
13th-century stained glass image of Frederick I, Strasbourg Cathedral
Penny or denier with Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, struck in Nijmegen
Wax seal of Frederick I, used in the imperial residence of Pfalz Wimpfen
Frederick's so-called baptismal cup, silver, partly gilded, Aachen 1160
The Barbarossa Chandelier in Aachen Cathedral was donated by Frederick sometime after 1165 as a tribute to Charlemagne.
Frederick Barbarossa, middle, flanked by two of his children, King Henry VI (left) and Duke Frederick VI (right). From the Historia Welforum
The now secularised St Peter's Church at Petersberg Citadel, Erfurt, where Henry the Lion submitted to Barbarossa in 1181
Path of the Third Crusade, Frederick Barbarossa's path in red
Frederick Barbarossa depicted during the Third Crusade
Barbarossa drowns in the Saleph, from the Gotha Manuscript of the Saxon World Chronicle
A German expedition led by Johann Nepomuk Sepp to excavate the bones from the ruins of the Crusader Cathedral of Tyre, 1879
The Frederick Barbarossa Memorial, near Silifke in Mersin Province, southern Turkey. The text explains in Turkish and German how Frederick drowned nearby.
Frederick Barbarossa as a crusader, miniature from a copy of the Historia Hierosolymitana, 1188
Frederick sends out the boy to see whether the ravens still fly.

Umberto Eco's novel Baudolino (2000) is set partly at Frederick's court, and also deals with the mystery of Frederick's death. The imaginary hero, Baudolino, is the Emperor's adopted son and confidant.

Artsruni dynasty

Ancient noble (princely) family of Armenia.

The Expansion of the House of Artsruni

Umberto Eco introduced the character of Ardsruni, a nobleman and alchemist in Cilicia, in his fantastic novel Baudolino.