By Umberto Eco

It is April 1204, and Constantinople, the sumptuous capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned via the knights of the Fourth campaign. Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino saves a historian and excessive court docket respectable from convinced loss of life by the hands of the crusading warriors and proceeds to inform his personal fantastical tale.

Born an easy peasant in northern Italy, Baudolino has significant gifts--a expertise for studying languages and a ability in telling lies. whilst nonetheless a boy he meets a overseas commander within the woods, captivating him along with his speedy wit and full of life 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 couple of fearless, adventurous friends.

Spurred on by way of myths and their very own reveries, this merry band units out looking for Prester John, a mythical priest-king stated to rule over an enormous state within the East--a phantasmagorical land of wierd creatures with eyes on their shoulders and mouths on their stomachs, of eunuchs, unicorns, and beautiful maidens.

As consistently with Eco, this ample novel contains unbelievable digressions, outrageous methods, remarkable feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age. this is often Eco the storyteller at his great best.

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Extra resources for Baudolino

Sample text

Niketas half-listened to him, while at the same time his mind returned to the events of the previous days. By now, on this morning of Wednesday, 14th of April of the year of Our Lord 1204—or six thousand seven hundred and twelve since the beginning of the world, as the date was usually calculated in Byzantium—for two days the barbarians had definitively been in possession of Constantinople. The Byzantine army, so glittering with its armor and shields and helmets when on parade, and the imperial guard of English and Danish mercenaries, armed with their awful two-edged hatchets, who until Friday had fought bravely and held off the enemy, on Friday gave way, when the enemy finally breached the walls.

They knocked at a door, and someone came down; they were welcomed and fed with rough cordiality. Baudolino seemed to be at home among these people, and he promptly recommended Niketas to them. One man said: "That's easy, we'll take care of it. " He said this with such confidence that not only Baudolino but Niketas himself passed a serene night. 3. Baudolino explains to Niketas what he wrote as a boy The next morning Baudolino collected the cleverest of the Genoese: Pevere, Boiamondo, Grillo, and Taraburlo.

His hands were thick, when he held them clasped on his lap the gnarled knuckles were striking. Peasant's hands, made more for the spade than the sword. And yet he spoke fluent Greek, not spitting saliva the way foreigners usually did, and Niketas had, only briefly, heard him address some of the other invaders in a hirsute language of their own, which sounded swift and harsh; this was a man who could use it offensively. For that matter Baudolino had told him the night before that he possessed a gift: he had only to hear two people speaking any language and in no time he was able to speak as they did.

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