Switch to Dual Emblem Display

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A4r f4r]

MEDIOLANUM

Milan

Emblema ii.

Bituricis vervex, Heduis dat sucula signum:
His populis patriae debita origo meae est,[1]
Quam Mediolanum sacram dixere puellae
Terram: nam vetus hoc Gallica lingua sonat.
Culta Minerva fuit, nunc est ubi numine Tecla
Mutato, Matris virginis ante domum.[2]
Laniger huic signum sus est,[3] animálque biforme,
Acribus hinc setis, lanitio inde levi.

A ram provides the symbol for the Bituriges, a pig for the Aedui. My home country owes its origin to these peoples, a land sacred to the maiden, which they called Milan, for the ancient Gallic tongue names it so. Minerva was worshipped where now, with a change in presiding deity, Thecla is found before the house of the Virgin Mother. The city’s symbol is a woolly boar, an animal of double form, with sharp bristles at one end, smooth wool at the other.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A4v f4v]

Ex duarum Galliae urbium, nempe Biturigum &
Heduorum schematibus & Symbolis publicis,
elicit, ἔτυμον, seu notationem Mediolani. Bitu-
riges enim arietem: Hedui porcum habere di-
cuntur Alciato. Mediolano autem ideo tribu-
tum nomen, quia cùm prima eius urbis funda-
menta iacerentur, repertus est sus mediatim lana-
tus. Auctorem laudo D. Ambrosium, quondam ci-
vitatis huius Episcopum sanctissimum, doctissi-
múmque.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A5r f5r]

MILAN

Bourges a le mouton, le porc ont ceux d’Autun
Pour marques és escussons: des deux je ne fay qu’un,
En remarquant le nom de mon pays, & ville
Des nobles Milannois, polie & bien gentille.
A ces peuples devons les premiers fondemens
D’icelle attribuer, & anciens monumens,
Consacree à Pallas, Milan ell’ est nommee,
Ville ancienne, & de los & grande renommee.
Et quant est de son nom, si bien je m’apperçois,
Elle est dicte Milan, d’un terme en vieil François.
Jadis Minerve y fut pour Deesse adoree,
Au lieu où Saincte Thecle à present honoree,
Dès le temps qu’a esté faicte mutation
De l’ancien paganisme en vray’ religion.
Milan, en son escu, pour devise nous monstre
Un porc qui porte laine, ainsi qu’un double monstre,
C’est parce-que jadis le porc s’y rencontra,
Lequel dessus sa peau soye & laine porta.

Il tire l’etymologie[4] du nom de Milan,
des armoiries ou marques publiques de
deux villes de France, assavoir Bourges &
Autun. Bourges a le Mouton: Autun le Porc,
comme veult dire Alciat. Or le nom a esté
donné à Milan, pour ce que quand on jet-
toit les premiers fondemens de ceste ville,
on trouva un porc, dont la peau d’un costé
estoit demie de laine. Ce qu’a raporté sainct
Ambroise, tres-sainct & tres-docte Evesque
de ceste ville là.

Notes:

1.  patriae meae, ‘my home country’. Alciato was born near Milan, and wrote a history of the city and the surrounding area. His populis...debita origo...est, ‘owes its origin to these peoples’. In the classical period Northern Italy was occupied by Celtic tribes from Gaul. The Bituriges and Aedui were two Gallic peoples, whose language would be a form of continental Celtic. See Alciato, Historia Mediolanensis, col.1ff. Biturgia is the Latin name for the modern Bourges; Aeduorum civitas or Hedua were two of the Latin names used for modern Autun.

2.  The name of Minerva, the Roman virgin goddess, was transferred to a local Celtic divinity with some similarities. For the particular devotion of the early inhabitants to the worship of Minerva see Alciato, Historia Mediolanensis, col. 10. Tecla or Thecla was a Christian virgin martyr, supposedly a follower of St. Paul.

3.  Laniger huic signum sus est, ‘The city’s symbol is a woolly boar’. This is based on a supposed etymology of the Celtic name Mediolanum (Milan), as if from medio- ‘middle’ and lana ‘wool’, .i.e. ‘half-covered in wool’. (This is found in Claudian, Epithalamium, 180ff; Sidonius Apollinaris, Epistulae 7.17.2; Isidore, Etymologiae, 15.1.) The name probably means ‘in the middle of the plain’.

4.   Corrected from the Errata.



Iconclass Keywords

Relating to the image:

Relating to the text:


Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

 

Back to top