Monday, October 4, 2010

Why here? Blame it on the furry sow

Milan: often torrid and humid in the summer and frigid and humid in the winter. So—to take up the topic begun on August 18, 2010—why found a city here?

River-rich location aside, blame it on the furry sow....More......

According to legend, at the time of Tarquinio Prisco, Rome’s first Etruscan king (616-579 B.C.), the Celtic tribes to the north of the Alps were multiplying like rabbits, and so needed to go their separate ways. Prince Belloveso got sent to Italy with his hordes, and the Celtic moon Goddess Belisama’s white sow with a wooly strip down the middle of her back ("medio-lanum") appeared on the spot where they were to found the town called by the Romans "Mediolanum" (though if the word has echoes of ancient Sanskrit, it could mean "sacred center").


When the “podestà” (a kind of temporary purposefully foreign governor), Oldrado da Tresseno, was building the new covered market-city hall (more about him and it in other messages), which was completed in 1233, this ancient Roman fragment was uncovered during the digging of the foundations. Considered a good omen, it was set into one of the exterior arches, where it still can be viewed, today.

The sow is hard to photograph, not just because it’s set up on high and slightly tilted, but also because this side of the building is towards the north, and so I have yet to find it in a light good for photos.

I took this photo for you on September 19, 2010, at 2 P.M.

To see the needlepoint design I created out of this image, see my needlepoint blog:

1 comment:

Jeanine in Canada said...

Che bello!!
Grazie per la lezione di storia!
Jeanine in Canada

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