Italian author and literary critic Umberto Eco died at his home Friday, according to his family. He was 84.
Eco was best known for his 1980 novel "The Name of the Rose," a murder mystery set in a medieval abbey that interweaves literary and symbol analysis as plot elements. A 1986 film adaptation of the book starred Sean Connery as protagonist William of Baskerville.
In addition to authoring several books, Eco was also a premiere intellectual in the field of semiotics, a branch of communication theory that studies meaning within signs and symbols.
In academia, Eco founded the media studies department at the University of Santa Marino and was later chairman of the humanities school at the University of Bologna.
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