Massimo of Bologna

Published: January 27, 2017

Our director Massimo Ciavolella‘s study of love-sickness in the Renaissance significantly influenced Umberto Eco in his novel “The Name of the Rose” who based the character Fra’ Massimo of Bologna on Professor Ciavolella. In an interview with the UCLA Daily Bruin, Massimo talks about their literary connection.

Umberto Eco, late professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, received the UCLA Medal in June 2005. Eco is the author of four novels and several works of philosophy, criticism and literary theory. His first novel, “The Name of the Rose,” was published in 1980 and has sold more than 50 million copies. The UCLA Medal is awarded only to those who have made truly extraordinary and distinguished contributions to society, their professions, higher education and to UCLA.

On January 26, the Center screened the film version of The Name of the Rose to an appreciative crowd, and on January 27, Professor Ciavolella and the Center hosted a symposium on Eco’s work and his impact on the scholarship of medieval philosophy and aesthetics.

In another interview, Professor Ciavolella is asked to “Share with us your human and professional relationship with late lamented Umberto Eco, one of the greatest Italian scholar and intellectual of all times.”