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Set in the year 1327 in a remote Italian monastery, Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" weaves a tale that resonates with several of the things that interest me about I2P.

The monastery houses a library with one of the largest collections of books in Europe for that period of time. But access to the library is carefully controlled by a select few senior monks.

The Library itself is housed in a labrynth. Trespassers who might try to gain access to the library will find foreboding biblical warnings such as:

"Obscuratus est sol et aer"
... ... ...
... It Darkens the Sun and Air

There are other traps and devices to confound any interlopers.

But the tight grip on control of the information is itself setting forces into play that will unravel the monastery.

Brother William of Baskerville (played by Sean Connery in the Movie version) is asked to investigate the death of one of the monks. Brother William's foundations in education and science contrast sharply with the Monks who have interpreted their duty to God to control the information in the library.

The Middle Ages have not yet yielded to the enlightenment of the Renaissance. But the story that unfolds fortells several of the fault lines that will eventually bring Europe out its 1,000 year period of darkness.


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