The Name of the Rose

Translations for The Name of the Rose

These are my translations of the non-English text found in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose [Il Nome della Rosa.] These are amateur translations and as such, there may still be mistakes in them. If you have any suggestions for improvements, do let me know!

The list may furthermore not be entirely complete; some parts I didn’t bother translating formally because the meaning was clear to me. I went back and added some of those bits to this list after I finished reading the book, but some are still bound to be missing. Again, if you find something lacking, don’t hesitate to send me a note.

In most cases I wrote down a fairly literal translation, without interpreting too much; this is just my personal preference. In some cases I added an interpretation in parentheses.

I owe some help with my translations from The Key to the Name of the Rose, insofar as that book was available online at Google Books.


“en me retraçant ces détails, j’en suis à me demander s’ils sont réels, ou bien si je les ai rêvés”
Trans.: in retracing these details, I ask myself whether they are real, or that I dreamt them.

“In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro.”
Trans.: I searched for quiet everywhere, and found it nowhere except in a corner with a book.


“unico homine regente”
Trans.: controlled by one man

“ad modum avis volantis”
Trans.: in the manner of a flying bird

First Day – Prime

“omnis mundi creatura
quasi liber et pictura
nobis est in speculum”
Trans.: every creature of the world is to us like a book, and a picture, and a mirror
[I think ‘in’ should actually be ‘et.’]

“siccum prope pelle ossibus adhaerente”
Trans.: with its skin adhering close to its bones

First Day – Terce

“Eris sacerdos in aeternum.”
Trans.: You will be a priest forever.

“coram monachis”
Trans.: in the presence of the monks

“Monasterium sine libris est sicut civitas sine opibus, castrum sine numeris, coquina sine suppellectili, mensa sine cibis, hortus sine herbis, pratum sine floribus, arbor sine foliis…”
Trans.: A monastery without books is like a city without resources, a fortress without numbers [i.e. troops], a kitchen without utensils, a table without food, a garden without plants, a meadow without flowers, a tree without leaves…

“Mundus senescit.”
Trans.: The world grows old.

First Day – Sext

“Arbor vitae crucifixae”
Trans.: Tree of the crucified life

“fratres et pauperes heremitae domoni Celestini”
Trans.: brothers and poor hermits of Lord Celestine

“Exivi de paradiso”
Trans.: I departed from paradise

“Ad conditorem canonum”
Trans.: To the author of canon

“Quorum primus seraphico calculo purgatus ardore celico inflammatus totum incendere videbatur. Secundus vero verbo predicationis fecundus super mundi tenebras clarius radiavit,”
Trans.: The first of which, purged by seraphic reckoning and ignited by heavenly fire, was seen to set fire to the whole [world]. The second, fertile for the true word of preaching [or prophecy], shone more brightly above the darkness of the world.

“Mors est quiest viatoris – finis est omnis laboris.”
Trans.: Death is rest for the traveller – it is the end of all labor.

First Day – Towards Nones

“Theatrum sanitatis”
Trans.: Theater of health

“De vertutibus herbarum” [in my edition this is misspelled “berbarum.”] Trans.: On the virtues of herbs

“De plantis”
Trans.: On plants

“De vegetalibus”
Trans.: On vegetables

“De causis”
Trans.: On causes

“lectio divina”
Trans.: divine reading
[A monk’s practice of reading e.g. Scripture very intently as a spiritual endeavor.]

First Day – After Nones

“De pentagono Salomonis”
Trans.: On Salomon’s pentagon

“Ars loquendi et intelligendi in lingua hebraica” [misspelled “bebraica” in my edition.] Trans.: The art of speaking and comprehending in the Hebrew language

“De rebus metallicis”
Trans.: On metallic matter

Trans.: Punic, Carthaginian

“Gesta francorum”
Trans.: The deeds of the Franks

“De laudibus sanctae crucis”
Trans.: On the praises of the holy cross

“Flavii Claudii Giordani de aetate mundi et hominis reservatis singulis litteris per singulos libros ab A usque ad Z”
Trans.: Flavius Claudius Giordanus’s On the age of the world and specific letters [citations?] preserved by that man in specific books, from A all the way to Z

“in prima graecorum”
Trans.: in the first of the Greeks

“in tertia anglorum”
Trans.: in the third of the English

“Aller wunder si geswigen,
das erder himel hât überstigen,
daz sult ir vur ein wunder wigen.

Erd ob un himel unter,
das sult ir hân besunder
vür aller wunder ein wunder.”

Trans.: All miracles be kept quiet about,
the earth has risen above the sky,
this you should take for a miracle.

Earth above and sky below,
this especially you shall regard
as a miracle before all miracles.

[These lines of verse are in a medieval form of German, which I can only read very poorly. The translation was in part pieced together via this Italian translation which I in turn received generous help with from Sara Orpheu. My translation necessarily remains an approximation.

Update: I finally managed to track down the source of the verse, which turns out to be a thirteenth-century work called Leich by Reinmar von Zweter. As a side note, the topsy-turvy images described by Malachi right below these lines (arriving on a blue goose, etc.) are also taken from work by the same author. See Donald McGrady, “Poetry by Reinmar von Zweter in Eco’s Il nome della rosa,The Italianist, 17(1), pp. 117–121.]

“Verba vana aut risui apta non loqui.”
Trans.: Do not speak words that are vain or give rise to laughter.

“Libellus de Antichristo”
Trans.: Little book on the Antichrist

First Day – Vespers

“Oculi de vitro cum capsula”
Trans.: Eyes of glass with a box

First Day – Compline

Trans.: Speak well

“Edent pauperes”
Trans.: The poor shall eat

“Tu autem Domine miserere nobis”
Trans.: But have mercy on us, Lord

“Adiutorum nostrum in nomine Domini, qui fecit coelum et terram.”
Trans.: Our help [is] in the name of the Lord, who created heaven and earth.

Second Day – Matins

“Benedicamus Domino”
Trans.: Let us praise the Lord

“Deo gratias”
Trans.: God be thanked

“Domine labia mea aperies et os meum annuntiabis laudem tuam.”
Trans.: Lord, thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall speak thy praise.

“Venite exultemus”
Trans.: Let us rejoice

“Deus qui est sanctorum splendor mirabilis”
Trans.: God, who is the admirable brightness of the saints

“Iam lucis orto sidere”
Trans.: Now, with the risen star of light [i.e. now that the sun has risen]

“Credo in unum Deum”
Trans.: I believe in one God

Second Day – Prime

“Est domus in terris, clara quae voce resultat.
Ipsa domus resonat, tacitus sed non sonat hospes.
Ambo tamen currunt, hospes simul et domus una.”
Trans.: There is a home on earth which echoes with a clear voice.
The home itself resounds, but its silent guest does not make a sound.
Yet they run on together, guest and home as one.

Second Day – Terce

“fabulas poetae a fando nominaverunt, quia non sunt res factae sed tantum loquendo fictae…”
Trans.: The poets named fables after fando [the verb ‘to speak’] because they are not things done, but only created with words…

“Stultus in risu exaltat vocem suam.”
Trans.: The fool raises his voice in laughter.

“Scurrilitates vero vel verba otosia et risum moventia aeterna clausura in omnibus locis damnamus, et ad talia eloquia discipulum aperire os non permittitur.”
Trans.: We damn buffoonery or words that are idle or start laughter in all places with an eternal ban, and we do not permit the disciple to open his mouth for such discourse.

“spiritualiter salsa”
Trans.: spiritually witty

“De habitu et conversatione monachorum”
Trans.: On the habits and behavior of monks

“Admittenda tibi ioca sunt post seria quaedam, sed tamen et dignis et ipsa gerenda modis.”
Trans.: It is necessary for you to allow jokes after some serious [things], but still to carry also these in a dignified manner.
[I think the second ‘et’ is a mistake; it seems spurious.]

“Tu es petrus”
Trans.: You are my rock

“Speculum stultorum”
Trans.: Mirror of fools
[A satirical 12th century book about a donkey who goes on a quest to have his tail lengthened.]

Trans.: genitals

“Tum podex carmen extulit horridulum.”
Trans.: Then his butt let out a vulgar song.

Second Day – Compline

“Secretum finis Africae”
Trans.: The secret of the end of Africa

“Graecum est, non legitur”
Trans.: It is Greek, it cannot be read. [lit. ‘it is not read’]

Second Day – Night

“Apocalypsis Iesu Christi”
Trans.: Revelation of Jesus Christ

“Super thronos viginti quatuor”
Trans.: The twenty-four upon their thrones

“Nomen illi mors”
Trans.: His name is Death

“Obscuratus est sol et aer”
Trans.: The sun and air are obscured

“Facta est grando et ignis”
Trans.: Hail and fire are produced

“Gratia vobis et pax”
Trans.: Grace and peace to you

“Tertia pars terrae combusta est”
Trans.: A third part of the earth is burnt up

“De aspectibus”
Trans.: On optics

“De oculis”
Trans.: On eyes

“De radiis stellatis”
Trans.: On starry rays

“Liber monstrorum de diversis generibus”
Trans.: Book on monsters of diverse species

Third Day – Nones

“Quod enim laicale ruditate turgescit non habet effectum nisi fortuito. Sed opera sapientiae certa lege vallantur et in fine debitum efficaciter diriguntur.”
Trans.: For what rises from the ignorance of the laity does not have any effect except by chance. But the works of wisdom are bounded by certain law and are effectually directed to their necessary end.
[Note: the text says “fine” (abl.) instead of “finem” (acc.); I’m told that in medieval Latin it was common practice to drop the -m because it was barely pronounced.]

“Secretum finis Africae manus supra idolum age primum et septimum de quatuor.”
Trans.: The secret of the end of Africa; hand above image; do the first and seventh of the four.
[Note: I translated “age” as “do,” its most basic meaning. However, it can have many meanings (pushing, pulling, performing, guiding etc.) and this adds to the mystery at this point. It’s a clever choice of word!]

Third Day – Vespers

“Practica officii inquisitionis heretice pravitatis”
Trans.: The practices (?) of the task of the inquisition into heretical depravity

“hic lapis gerit in se similitudinem coeli”
Trans.: this stone carries within itself a semblance of the sky

“Abbonis est… Vide illuc, tertius equi.”
Trans.: It’s the abbot’s… See yonder, the third of the horse.
[Salvatore means “the third horse” but mistakenly uses the genitive “equi,” which is why Adso is laughing.]

Third Day – After Compline

“Penitentiam agite, appropinquabit enim regnum coelorum.”
Trans.: Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens will approach.

“De hoc satis.”
Trans.: Enough of that.

“Idcirco, dictum Johannem vocatum fratrem Micchalem hereticum et scismaticum quo ducatur ad locum iustitie consuetum, et ibidem igne et flammis igneis accensis conremetur et comburatur, ita quod penitus moriatur et anima a corpore separetur.”
Trans.: For this reason, it is decreed that John, called brother Michael, a heretic and a schismatic, be led to the accustomed place of justice, and in that same place be burned and consumed by fire and kindled, burning flames, so that he die thoroughly and his soul be separated from his body.

“De te fabula narratur”
Trans.: About you, the story is told

“Vade retro!”
Trans.: Get back!

“vis appetitiva”
Trans.: Appetitive power [a term for someone’s desires, from an old theory on psychology]

“valde bona”
Trans.: very good

“terribilis ut castorum acies ordinata”
Trans.: terrible as the ordered battle lines of military camps
[There seems to be a typo here in my edition; castorum (of the beavers) should be castrorum (of the military camps.)]

“Pulchra sunt ubera quae paululum supereminent et tument modice.”
Trans.: Beautiful are breasts that stand out little and swell moderately.

“O sidus clarum pellarum [typo: puellarum], o porta clausa, fons hortorum, cella custos unguentorum, cella pigmentaria!”
Trans.: O clear star of maidens, o closed gate, fountain of my gardens, guarded cell of unguents, cell of pigments!”

“O langueo”
Trans.: Oh, I feel faint

“Causam languoris video nec caveo!”
Trans.: I see the cause of my faintness and I do not avoid it!

“cuncta erat bona”
Trans.: everything was good

“Omne animal triste post coitum.”
Trans.: Every animal is sad after coitus.

Fourth Day – Lauds

“nihi sequitur geminis ex particularibus unquam”
Trans.: nothing ever follows from two particulars
[i.e. from two statements that are not completely general, you cannot draw any conclusion. For example, ‘some men are bald’ and ‘Socrates is a man’ do not allow you to conclude that ‘Socrates is bald.’]

“aut semel aut iterum medium generaliter esto”
Trans.: either once or twice the middle must be general
[In the example above, ‘being a man’ is the ‘middle term’ and this needs to appear completely general to draw a conclusion. For example, the above conclusion would be valid if the first statement were ‘all men are bald.’]

“Darii” – a specific type of syllogism

Fourth Day – Terce

“amor est magis cognitivus quam cognitio”
Trans.: love is more cognitive than knowledge

“intus et in cute”
Trans.: inside and out [literally ‘on the skin’]

“motus in amatum”
Trans.: moved by having been loved

“agnus” – lamb
“agnoscit” – it recognises
“ovis” – sheep
“ab oblatione” – from the offering
“canes” – dog
“canor” – to sing
“vituli” – calves
“viriditas” – greenness, verdure
“virgo” – virgin

Fourth Day – Sext

“Corona regni de manu Dei”
Trans.: The crown of the kingdom, from the hand of God

“Diadema imperii de manu Petri”
Trans.: The diadem of the empire, from the hand of Peter

“taxae sacrae poenitentirae”
Trans.: holy taxes of the penitences

Fourth Day – Compline

“Cave basilischium! The rex of serpenti” etc. [Salvatore’s rambling] Trans.: Beware the basilisk! The king of serpents, so full of poison that it all shines on the outside! What am I saying, the poison; even the stink comes out and kills you! Poisons you… And it has black spots on his back, and a head like a cock, and half goes upright over the earth, and half on the ground like the other serpents. And it kills the weasel…
Oc! A very small animal, just a bit longer than the rat, and also called the musk-rat. And so the snake and the turtle. And when they bite it, the weasel runs to the fennel or the cicerbita [herbs?] and chews it, and comes back to the battle. And they say it generates through the eyes, but most say they are wrong.

Fourth Day – After Compline

“Hisperica… famina”
Trans.: Western… orations

[Note: The following two citations are not Latin, but a hybrid language called Hiberno-Latin or Hisperic Latin, invented by Irish monks. It incorporates many non-Latin words from e.g. Hebrew, Greek and Celtic languages and as such it is very difficult to translate. These translations are therefore not entirely my own, but are partially copied from other sources like Wikpedia and The Key to the Name of the Rose.]

“Hoc spumans mundanas obvallat Pelagus oras
terrestres amniosis fluctibus cudit margines.
Saxeas undosis molibus irruit avionas.
Infima bomboso vertice miscet glareas
asprifero spergit spumas sulco,
sonoreis frequenter quatitur flabris…”
Trans.: This foaming sea surrounds the worldy shores,
pounds the earthly margins with flowing waves.
It rushes into rocky coves with surging mass.
It churns the depths with its resounding crest,
scatters to the furrows of the stars gravel-filled waters,
frequently shaken by sonorous blasts.

“Primitus pantorum procerum poematorum pio potissimum paternoque presertim privilegio panegiricum poemataque passim prosatori sub polo promulgatas.”
Trans.: First, of all the lofty poems, [let us sing] to the Creator with most powerfully pious and particularly paternal privilege, a panegyric, and poems promulgated everywhere under the pole star.

“ignis, coquihaben (quia incocta coquendi habet dictionem), ardo, calax ex calore, fragon ex fragore flammae, rusin de rubore, fumaton, ustrax de urendo, vitius quia pene mortua membra suo vivificat, siluleus, quod de silice siliat, unde et silex non recte dicitur, nisi ex qua scintilla silit. And aeneon, de Aenea deo, qui in eo habitat, sive a quo dementis [typo: elementis] flatus fertur.”
Trans.: fire, coquihaben [some kind of contraction?] (because it is said to cook what must be cooked), ardo [ardor/heat], calax from heat, fragon from the roaring of the flame, rusin from redness, fumaton [smoking], ustrax from inflamed, vitius because it revives, on its own, nearly dead parts, siluleus, because it sparks from flint, whence also flint is not correctly named unless sparks do spark from it. And aeneon, from the god Aeneas, who lives in it [fire?] or from whom breath is carried to the elements.
[What does Aeneas have to do with fire?]

“ego” – I
One could question whether the vocative of “ego” is defined at all: can one address oneself?

“cantamen” – spell/charm
The rest of these words don’t seem to mean anything, they’re just sounds.

“in nomine patris et filiae”
Trans.: in name of the father and the daughter

“Fons Adae”
Trans.: Adam’s Origin

“Speculum amoris”
Trans.: Mirror of love

“Liber continens”
Trans.: Comprehensive book [on medicine]

Fourth Day – Night

“catus” – wise

“De legibus”
Trans.: On laws

“Super illus specula”
Trans.: Upon his watchtower

Fifth Day – Prime

[The following three phrases (and quite a few elsewhere) are just the first words of papal decrees, used as titles. They therefore don’t make a great deal of sense without context.]

“Quorundam exigit”
Trans.: He drives out someone

“Cum inter nonnullos”
Trans.: When among several

“Quia quorundam”
Trans.: Because some

“inimicus pacis”
Trans.: enemy of peace

“in bonus nostris”
Trans.: in our goods
[Apparently a legal term describing some kind of right of property.]

“ius poli”
Trans.: the right of the pole [?] [Legal term denoting “natural” rights or property, which a person has because it simply stands to reason that he should.]

“ius fori”
Trans.: right of the forum
[Legal term denoting rights someone has because of an agreement.]

“Exiit qui seminat”
Trans.: He who sows has left

Fifth Day – Terce

“nomina sunt consequentia rerum”
Trans.: names are consequences of things

“nomen” – name
“nomos” = νόμος (Greek) – law
“nomina” – names

“ad placitum”
Trans.: at pleasure [i.e. such that it pleases; at will]

Fifth Day – Sext

“De plantis libri tres”
Trans.: Three books on plants

“Thesaurus herbarum”
Trans.: Collection of herbs

Fifth Day – Nones

“Sancta Romana”
Trans.: Holy Roman

“Qui non habet caballum vadat cum pede…”
Trans.: He who does not have a horse, goes by foot…

“planta Dei pullulans in radice fidei”
Trans.: a plant of God frowing from the root of faith

“Abigor, pecca pro nobis…
Amon, miserere nobis…
Samael, libera nos a bono…
Belial eleison…
Focalor, in corruptionem meam intende…
Haborym, damnamus dominum…
Zaebos, anum meum apries…
Leonard, asperge me spermate et inquinabor…”
Trans.: Abigor, sin for us…
Amon, pity us…
Samael, free us from good…
Belial, have mercy…
Focalor, focus on my corruption…
Haborym, we damn the lord…
Zaelos, open my anus…
Leonard, splatter me with your seed and I shall be stained…

“cingulum diaboli”
Trans.: devil’s girdle

Sixth Day – Matins

“Sederunt principes
et adversus me
loquebantur, iniqui
persecuti sunt me.
Adiuva me, Domine
Deus meus, salvum me
fac propter magnam misericordiam tuam.”
Trans.: Princes sat
and spoke against me,
unfairly prosecuted me.
Help me, Lord
my God, save me
through your great pity.

“vocalise” – singing using the same syllable (e.g. ‘la’) over and over
“melisma” – extending a single syllable over multiple notes
“neumae” – prolonged notes
“climacus” – three notes ascending
“porrectus” – sequence of notes going up-down-up
“torculus” – down-up-down
“salicus” – three ascending notes

Sixth Day – Prime

“niello” – a black substance used to fill in etchings

“aedicula” – a small shrine

“chryselephantine” – made of ivory and gold

“Abbas agraphicus”
Trans.: The abbot incapable of writing
[Note: I couldn’t find ‘agraphicus’ or ‘graphicus’ anywhere, but ‘γραφικός’ means ‘capable of drawing’ (or writing I suppose) so I guess this was borrowed from Greek.]

“minimas differentias odorum”
Trans.: the smallest differences of odours
[I know what this says, but what does it mean?]

Sixth Day – Terce

“Dies irae”
Trans.: Day of wrath

Trans.: they sat

“vitra ad legendum”
Trans.: glasses for reading

“nigra sed formosa”
Trans.: black but beautiful

“Pentagonum Salomonis”
Trans.: Pentagon of Salomon

“Ut cachinnis dissolvatur torqueatur rictibus!”
Trans.: That he may be dissolved in laughter, twisted into a wide-open mouth! [i.e. laughing?]

“Lacrimosa dies illa
qua resurget ex favilla
iudicando homo reus
huic ergo parce deus!
Pie Iesu domine
dona eis requiem.”
Trans.: Tearful is that day
when from the embers will rise again
the guilty man who must be judged:
therefore spare him, God!
Pious lord Jesus,
give them rest.

Sixth Day – After Terce

“Coena Cypriani”
Trans.: Feast of Cyprian

“ioca monachorum”
Trans.: jokes of monks

Sixth Day – Sext

“ar. de dictis cuiusdam stulti”
Trans.: (arabic) on the words of someone foolish

“syr. libellus alchemicus aegypt.”
Trans.: (syriac) little Egyptian alchemical book

“Expositio Magistri Alcofribae de coena beati Cypriani Cartaginensis Episcopi”
Trans.: Exposition of Master Alcofriba on the feast of the happy Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage

“Liber acephalus de stupris virginum et meretricum amoribus”
Trans.: Headless [i.e. untitled?] book on the defilement of virgins and the loves of prostitutes

“Firma cautela”
Trans.: Firm caution

Sixth Day – Nones

“vox, flatus, pulsus”
Trans.: voice, breath, pulse
[These define three classes of musical instrument: the human voice; instruments you blow into; and instruments you strike (percussion and strings.)]

Sixth Day – After Compline

“suppositio materialis”
Trans.: substitution of the material
[This term is used to signify the use of a word to describe itself, as for example in “ ‘horse’ is a five-letter word.”]

“de dicto… de re”
Trans.: of the word… of the thing

Seventh Day – Night

“de toto corpore fecerat linguam”
Trans.: made a speech from his entire body [i.e. expressed himself with animated gestures, etc.]

“hic sunt leones”
Trans.: here be lions

Seventh Day – Night (pt. 2)

“Er muoz gelîchesame die leiter abewerfen, sô er an ir ufgestigen.”
Trans.: He must, so to speak, cast off the ladder, as soon as he has ascended it.

“Non in commotione, non in commotione Dominus.”
Trans.: Not in chaos, the Lord is not in chaos.

Last Page

“res nullius”
Trans.: things belonging to no one

“disiecta membra”
Trans.: scattered parts

“Tolle et lege”
Trans.: Take up and read

“Est ubi gloria nunc Babyloniae?”
Trans.: Where is the glory of Babylon now?

“O quam salubre, quam iucundum et suave est sedere in solitudine et tacere et loqui cum Deo!”
Trans.: O, how healthful, how pleasant and sweet it is to sit in solitude and to be silent and speak with god!

“Gott ist ein lauter Nichts, ihn rührt kein Nun noch Hier.”
Trans.: God is a pure nothing, neither Now nor Here touches Him.

“stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.”
Trans.: the original rose remains [only] in its name, we hold [only] bare names.

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  1. Mike Sutton

    Thanks, I found this extremely useful

  2. Sean O'Connor

    Thanks so much! I’m rereading The Name of the Rose again and saw your translations just as I was beginning the Prologue. Christmas came early this year!

  3. Andrew Sedgwick

    Thank you Marco – just started reading this book so this is very helpful.

    best wishes, Andrew

  4. Szabo Istvan

    Thanks for the translations !

  5. Brian Forbes

    I read this book about 15 years ago and just finished re-reading it about 5 minutes ago. Having the translations so readily available throughout the re-reading added so much to the experience. Thank you.

  6. Kaye Williams

    I can’t thank you enough! I read this many years ago and even with a smattering of three languages I couldn’t get through the Latin and German (it didn’t help that I was raised Protestant so even the ecclesiastical terms were obscure) . I ended up reading the book for the story and history (and my interest in heresy) but felt as tho I was eating fast food while sitting before a banquet In my retirement, I decided to read it again and look up every phrase. In the intervening years, the internet has made things easier – thanks to you I am now certain I will be able to read the missing pieces before I, like Adso, lay my pen down!! Thanks for you hard work and your willingness to share you knowledge. KW

    • I’m very glad you found my efforts helpful! I cannot stand being unable to understand bits of what I’m reading; if there are foreign languages involved, I simply have to get them translated. When I got through this book I had such a list of translated phrases that I figured they must be useful beyond my own reading, and the appreciation of other readers like yourself was exactly what I was hoping for! Thanks for leaving a note!

      • Brian

        How beautiful that eco would do this. It is in the spirit of Borges!

        • Brian

          I meant this in reference to the Wittgenstein.

  7. Peter Chew

    Many thanks – a thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking read made even better by your help in translating important portions of the story which would have otherwise been lost to me.

  8. John Sinclair

    These translations that you have so kindly provided should have been included in the book! Either as footnotes or in an appendix. And not just in ‘The Name of the Rose’ but in every book that includes passages in a foreign or ancient language. Authors should not assume that their readers are multilingual. Thank you for your tranlations which I found extremely useful.

  9. Matthew Timmins

    Thank you so much! Your generous efforts have greatly increased my enjoyment of this wonderful book.

  10. Victor Gathaspar

    Ohhh gosh!!! I’ve just found this useful article when i got at the 7th day…now i’m thinkin about start it again!!
    Thank you so much for this great job, Marco!

  11. Latzi von Biron

    Marco, benedicite!
    I was just reading your Translations for The Name of the Rose, and found it very useful and well done. Thank you!
    One detail I wanted to contribute, and that is the correct meaning of the Benedictine greeting “Benedicite! Benedici!” as it is used in the book.
    When you visit a Greek Orthodox monastic communities e.g. on Mt. Athos, they not only use that word (Ευλογείτε! Ευλογείσον!) as a greeting, but before they start doing anything, from serious labour such as lighting the fire in the bakery ovens or putting yeast into the flower to make dough, to simplest acts like drinking a glass of water (like we’d say Cheers!), turn the key in the car engine, or light an oil-lamp… The pious Orthodox would say that not only to clergy but to each other as well. Russians, Bulgarians or Serbs do the same – Благословите! Благослови!
    The answer would be Dominus! O Κυριοσ! Господь!
    It means literally Bless! (Bless me! Give blessing!), and the answer – The Lord! (meaning – The Lord will bless, for I am unworthy.)
    Greetings, and benedicite!

    • Very interesting, Latzi! I assumed it was some sort of standard greeting, but I didn’t know it was so widely spread that it was also used in the Orthodox church!

  12. Finn

    Thanks so much Marco! This made reading the novel a much more comprehensible and pleasant experience. You’re a Godsend!

  13. Angus Stevenson

    Many, many thanks Marco. You have greatlty enriched the experience of the book for this reader, I’m so pleased you placed this work online and that I found it! I shall undoubtedly return to it when I re-read the book.

  14. Pingback: Short Book Review: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco – Worth a Read

  15. Suzanne Taylor

    Thank you so much for this. When I started reading The Name of the Rose I seriously thought I wouldn’t make it to the end, but thanks to you I did! And it was well worth it.

  16. Pingback: Traducerile expresiilor strãine din „Numele trandafirului” de Umberto Eco, cu explicaţii | dragdelectura

  17. Maureen Doyle

    What language is the seventh day night phrase about throwing away the ladder p 491?
    Thank you, Marco!

    • Hey Maureen! That’s an old-style German. It actually seems to be an anachronistic quote by Wittgenstein (“Er muss sozusagen die Leiter wegwerfen, nachdem er auf ihr hinaufgestiegen ist.”) which Eco translated into medieval German. The “mystic from your land” wasn’t actually to be born for another five centuries at the time the story takes place.

  18. Erin

    Such a help! I can’t read past a word or phrase that I don’t understand or need to translate and this made the process much simpler. Surprising their aren’t footnotes in the book, I would love an updated edition. Thank you for your hard work 🙂

  19. Linda Larsen

    In the danish translation of the book “omnis mundi creatura” is repeatadly tranlated as “enhver ting som gud har skabt/every thing that God has created” and it drives me mental, because I would never translate it as such, but I have this nagging doubt, that maybe thethe danish translation is fine, and it is just me that don’t know it.

    • It seems like a reasonable translation to me, just a bit more liberal. It neglects to incorporate “mundi”, and adds a reference to God, but the interpretation, which essentially boils down to “everything around us” (and given the setting, the assumption that all of that was created by God is not out of place) seems plausible, no?

  20. Inês

    Thank you so much for the translations, I’m always glad there’s people who willingly share knowledge and feel happy when others reach for it. 🙂
    Thank you*
    From Portugal

  21. Ben

    Thank you so much! Very helpful 🙂

  22. Jean Cole

    Thanks for doing this especially organizing it to follow the chapters of the book.
    Probably wouldn’t have finished the book without it.

  23. A Bajalan

    Without your tranation, I would have missed the spirit of the book

  24. Catalin Negulescu

    Great job!
    My daughter is reading the book and found your site. She is happy, I am happier.

  25. Petar Vrvilo

    Omnis mundi creatura
    quasi liber et pictura
    nobis est in speculum

    I think it shouldn’t be “et” in place of the “in” as you said. The correct translation would be (I believe) -Every creature of the world, like a book and a picture, is our mirror image.

  26. Emilie

    Thanks so much for your work — these were very helpful and now my copy of the book is studded with notes.

  27. Lauretta

    Your translations were very helpful! Thank you for sharing them.

  28. Grace Camia

    thank you. This book has been sitting in my shelves for years. I can’t finish it because I can’t translate Latin phrases into English. Thank God I found your site.

  29. David

    Marco, not sure when you posted this, so you may have heard these comments already. I apologize if I’m repeating, but Salvatore’s “oc” means simply “yes.” It was the southern French word, thus the name of the region, Languedoc, “language of oc.” The northern word was “oïl,” and of course they eventually settled on oui. I also offer a refinement of your translation of penitentium agite… in the third day after compline: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” This was what John the Baptizer said to the people who came out to him to be baptized, and it was later repeated by Jesus. Thanks for the useful tool. It certainly is adding to my enjoyment of the book.

  30. Mark

    Many thanks. This is most helpful.

  31. Melissa

    Thank you, it was extremely helpful.

  32. KG Nair

    Just completed The ….Rose!
    Indeed, a great help. Kudos!!

  33. Louis

    Thanks a lot for this work. I was doing the translation myself and it is a great help.
    “Le nom de la rose” that I read with pleasure in french -I ‘m french- is really a master piece with such extensive knowledge and interesting reflexions.
    Please excuse my english, I’m just 16 years old.

  34. Bob Mayer

    I used your translation throughout my reading of this book that I just loved. Your translation was one more encouragement to pay careful attention to the words. I want you to know, Marco, how much I appreciate your work.



  36. Liv Bliss

    As one translator (with “small Latin and less Greek”) to another — thank you! You are enriching my experience of reading The Rose immensely. I would have missed so much without your invaluable help.









  39. Danilo

    Wonderful. It helped me so much. Thank you very much. You are great!

  40. Graham Shepherd

    Marco, Thank you for your inspiration and the effort you have put into this project. You have made this wonderful work by Umberto Eco so much more accessible, meaningful and enjoyable for the average reader like me. Congratulations.

  41. Margo

    Thanks a lot! Extremely helpful! Understandig Latin aenteces gives more understanding to reading. You can feel the story more deeply.

  42. Dan

    Very helpful. Wish I’d found your work before I finished the book. And wonder why Eco didn’t use “ou sont les neiges d’antan” instead of “where are the snows of yesteryear.” Maybe because Villon lived in the next century.

  43. Beth

    Thank you! I was wondering why I took French is school instead of Latin!! This has been MOST helpful!

  44. Stelli T

    dude ur a life saver thanks so much for this

  45. Mosel

    Hey, Marco!
    I share the main spirit of these comments above and must confess you had done a great job. Your translation was helpful and I extremely regret in absence them during my very first reading of the novel.
    Thanks to you!

  46. Carolyn Smith

    I read this book many years ago and, at the time was VERY frustrated at the Latin text as I really felt I was missing something and wondered why there was no translation in brackets after the text or at least something at the back of the book. As I am about to purchase Name of the Rose I must express my gratitude to you.

  47. Kathleen

    Rereading this favorite. So much enhanced by your careful, generous translations. I am very grateful and wish you all Gods Blessings.

  48. Janet Mueller

    Much appreciated. This book is such a gold mine.