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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B3r f11r]

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.  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’.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B1r p17]

MYLAN

Austun le porc, Bourges ha le mouton,
Aulxquelz le nom de mon pays doibt on
Nommé Mylan de my-laine, en celle eage
Terre sacrée, en vieil François langage.[1]
La fut Pallas, ou Tecle est venerée,[2]
Devant le temple à la vierge honnourée
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B1v p18]Ung porc mouton pour signe est à la porte,
Qui de-my seye, & de-my laine porte.

C’est l’Etymologie du nom de Mylan, le-
quel on dict avoir ainsi este nommé, pour à
la premiere fondation y avoir esté trouvé
ung porc biforme demy pourceau & demy
mouton couvert demy de seyes, & demy lai-
ne d’ond Mylan fut en Francois appellé, en
Latin Mediolanum. Lequel nom contient en
sa signifiance les armes de deux bonnes vil-
les en France, Cestasavoir Austun jadis pre-
miere ville des Gaules, qui porte le Porc (com
me dict L’auteur.) Et Bourges Metropolitai
ne de Berry & Guyenne, qui porte le mou-
ton, ville de ma nativite, ou le Seigneur Al-
ciat
auteur du praesent oeuvre ha par plusieurs
ans interpreté les loix à tresgrande renom-
mée, & en celle université premierement leu
en France.

Notes:

1.  mon pays, ‘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.


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