Winter 1327 / 20 florins

Exclusive Interview with William of Baskerville

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Brother William of Baskerville

Q: So, you are Brother William of Baskerville?

William: Yes, I am.

Q: Rumor has it that you are a disciple of Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon, and Aristotle.

W: Yes, I am indeed.

Q: Don’t some of those methods contradict your Christian faith?

W: Not at all. In fact, I find the methods of those esteemed philosophers are very useful in exploring the world around me and discerning Almighty God at work.

Q: Tell us more about how these methods help you.

W: Well, as Adso and I were approaching the abbey, we ran into a distressed monk looking for a horse. By putting together clues from what I’d seen, I was able to name and describe the horse as well as tell him where it could be found.

Q: How?

W: I noticed signs as we went along of a horse moving along the path, and put the clues together. I effectively discerned that he had taken the righthand path along the cliff down towards the dung heap.

Q: And the description?

W: I knew that they would all have read Isidore of Seville, who talks about what the beauty of a horse requires, so they would assume that the abbot’s horse would have those characteristics.

Q: How did you know it was the abbot’s horse and how did you know it’s name?

W: The monk out searching was the cellarer himself, so I knew that it had to be the most important horse they had, and I knew that the horse’s name was Brunellus because that is what Buridan, the rector of Paris, always names horses Brunellus in his logical examples.

Q: Fascinating. Why were you and Adso going to the abbey?

W: My mission at the abbey was twofold. Firstly, I was sent to lay the groundwork for the meeting between Bertrand Gui and the Pope’s men, and Michael of Cessna and the Minorites. My second mission was to investigate the death of the monk Adelmo and the subsequent deaths.

Q: What were Bertrand and Michael meeting about?

W: They were meeting to discuss the poverty of Christ, which the Minorites swore by and the Pope had declared was heretical.

Q: Which side did you favor?

W: I favored the Minorites, my brother Franciscans. The Pope, John XXII was a lying, heretical simoniac. He bought the office from the previous emperor and broke many of his vows. There were some who even claimed he was a heresiarch, a leader of a heretical sect, though I would never go hat far.

Q: How many monks died before you figured out what was going on

W: Seven. They were Adelmo, a copyist; Venantius, another copyist; Berengar, the assistant librarian; Severinus, the herbalist; Malachi, the head librarian; Abo, the abbot; and Jorge, a blind old monk who turned out to be behind it all.

Q: How did they die?

W: Adelmo jumped off the wall and committed suicide, Venantius was poisoned and then dumped into a vat of hog’s blood, Berengar drowned in the bath, Severinus was bludgeoned with an armillary sphere, Malachi was poisoned, Abo suffocated in a burning passageway, and Jorge poisoned himself.

Q: Why would Jorge do that?

W: He was trying to protect a book by Aristotle about how the laughter and comedy turn the world on its head and make a mockery of religion. He felt that the book would destroy what little virtue the abbey had left.

Q: And he was willing to risk the damnation of his soul for one book?

W: Yes, he considered that book infinitely more dangerous than you can possibly imagine.

Q: That’s all we have time for. Thank you for the interview, Brother William of Baskerville.

W: You are welcome. Go in peace and may God bless you always.

Image: William (

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