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MEDIOLANUM.

Milan

Emblema. 2.

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] animalque 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.

Notes:

1. ápatriae 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. áThe 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. áLaniger 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’.


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Mylan.

Ottava rhima.

Austun ha el puerco, y Bourges el carnero á[M]
De aqui se harÓ el origen de mi tierra[1]
Mylan llamada en su nombre grosero,
Que en el Franšes lenguaje se enšierra.
Donde aora Thecla estÓ, fue de primero
En grande honor la diosa de la guerra.[2] á[M]
Y un puerco Ó Mylan es divisa anciana,
Que el medio sedas es, y el Medio-lana. á[M]

[Marginalia - link to text]Cibdades nobles de Francia

[Marginalia - link to text]Pallas

[Marginalia - link to text]Mylan en Latin Mediolanum

Notes:

1. ámi tierra, ‘my home country’. Alciato was born near Milan, and wrote a history of the city and the surrounding area.

2. áThe name of Pallas/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.


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