By Umberto Eco
It really is April 1204, and Constantinople, the luxurious capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by means of the knights of the Fourth campaign. Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino saves a historian and excessive court docket reputable from yes demise by the hands of the crusading warriors and proceeds to inform his personal fantastical story.
Born an easy peasant in northern Italy, Baudolino has significant gifts-a expertise for studying languages and a ability in telling lies. while nonetheless a boy he meets a overseas commander within the woods, fascinating him along with his speedy wit and vigorous brain. The commander-who proves to be Emperor Frederick Barbarossa-adopts Baudolino and sends him to the college in Paris, the place he makes a few fearless, adventurous friends.
Spurred on through myths and their very own reveries, this merry band units out looking for Prester John, a mythical priest-king acknowledged to rule over an enormous country within the East-a phantasmagorical land of odd creatures with eyes on their shoulders and mouths on their stomachs, of eunuchs, unicorns, and beautiful maidens.
With surprising digressions, outrageous tips, impressive feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age, this can be Eco the storyteller at his fantastic best.
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Additional info for Baudolino
66 There is no reason to list all the poems and short commentaries written in the twelfth-century for the benefit of lay patrons. One last work of Tzetzes must, however, be mentioned, because it has not yet been studied in detail and is odd enough to warrant comment. , of verses). It consists of over 12,000 fifteensyllable (“political”) verses divided into 660 sections, each covering some item from ancient history and literature, including people, events, texts, sayings, facts and words of many kinds, so a chrestomathia of sorts (assemblage of useful knowledge).
44 See Kaldellis (2006). classical scholarship in twelfth-century byzantium 19 ated a format similar to our own. Sometimes the commentary took up the bulk of the page, engulfing the few lines of primary text, and often diﬀerent commentaries were amalgamated in the preparation of a new edition (resulting in brief catenae on a single page). 45 For the most part, then, Byzantine scholia contained carefully excerpted ancient material, going in some cases as far back as the third century bc, though some scholia on individual words were copied from their etymologika entries and some scholars added original comments of their own, especially after the twelfth century.
28 anthony kaldellis the orations that she had to endure for so many long hours. Having a riposte handy for the sophists when they made an allusion would no doubt improve her standing in their eyes; an allegorical comment might even earn her praise for wisdom. 61) illustrates the scholarly demands that were sometimes placed on imperial women. “A subtle flatterer,” whom Psellos does not name, whispered the following half-verse from Homer to Constantine IX Monomachos’ concubine Maria Skleraina as she passed by: “Surely there is no blame .
Baudolino by Umberto Eco