Traveloid by Through Milan, Italy

Venture forth with me and see what I see
as we explore the imaginary

Milan was once a Mediolanum (meaning “sanctuary”) founded by Insubres, a Gaulish population that settled on this side of Alps, as the area was a fertile plain, it meant abundance but also wars. They managed the abundance through an oligarchic society, in the hands of a few lords, and they traded with Scorpion Lion illustrated silver coins. Celts would often illustrate the animals on their coins, and those shown were usually the ones they respected greatly such as bears, deers and boars

According to legend, it was a vision in the mind of the Celtic chief Belloveso in which the divine directed him towards the area that was later to become today’s Milan. Upon arriving he supposedly found a mythological animal called Scrofa Semilanuta (a half-woollen boar) and, as we know, the boar being one of the most important animals in the Celtic belief system, greatly appreciated for their power, admired and representing the sacred animal, this was an obvious sign to establish a settlement.

Delving a little deeper, it was Moccus (which may have later transmogrified into Roman Mercury) and Veteris were Celtic gods who in particular were linked to the animal boar Moccus even taking the form of the animal and serving was a protector of hunters and warriors, whereas Veteris was very popular among the Roman army living in Roman Britain.

Milan was a crossroads not only of routes but also ideologies that passed through, and eventually, maybe most importantly for Roman history, it became a capital of the Western Roman Empire in the 3rd century AD. Emperor Constantine also issued the Edict of Milan which put an end to the persecutions against Christians, providing for some years prosperity and peace.


Milan, Italy
Date Winter 2017
Exploring history, Leonardo da Vinci, Minerva, The Last Supper, history, Druidic, Duomo, Renaissance, Gothic Art
Connecting Visconti, Sforza, art, gothic, ostrogoths, Atilla the Hun, Barbarossa, Constantine, Gorgon, Roman Mythology

From the 5th century until the Middle ages, Milan found itself in a whirlpool of various powers from all directions, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Attilla the Hun, in 452AD, Gothic Wars,… In the 11st century the rebellion against the German emperors happened when Milan becomes a city-state which gave it some prominence but also a target for another level of fighting for territory. Frederich I Barbarossa brought his wrath in the 12th century upon the city trying to uproot it through humiliation, destruction, famine and fire, but it bounced back because the core of a city is rarely in it’s buildings.

Sometimes the kernal of the city for centuries afterwards gets mentioned through the art that was created in it and in this case, significant for our current history was the Gothic Art that flourished in Milan during 14th century as Milan came under the control and influence of the ruling Visconti family.

The most famous example of gothic art in Italy is the Cathedral or Duomo.
Renaissance, arriving in Milan as a shift in ruling family from Visconti to Sforza was occurring. Ludovico il Moro of the Sforzas in particular had a great interest in art and wanted to concentrate the greatest minds of the time including Leonardo da Vinci and Il Bramante.

No drama is complete without mentioning Baroque art and the appearance of Caravaggio, the famous painter, who contrasted light and dark in such a way that it was illusion but was only visible upon inspection as the composition of his pieces was so powerful and convincing.

Charlie and Earling arrived to Italy in January 2018, still in their weightless body but this time feeling the heaviness of history a little bit stronger, as they learn how much blood was shed in order for the civilization to go forward.

Earling: Roman history is particularly interesting, as they absorbed from Greek and rose to a power that eventually consumed them. Every single empire has to go down and wait in the turmoil of it’s own ability to reinvent itself, until something new, fresh and flexible replaces it.

Charlie: The process is almost the one of calcification, once they slow down and become calcified, it is the beginning of the end, Romans had to be refreshed from the core of their beings and belief. As an example let’s explore the myth of Minerva. The Roman goddess of wisdom, medicine, commerce, arts, strategy, and war later.

Earling: Reminds of Athena, but they say it was the Etruscan whose goddess was named Menrva which means “to remember” who was the basis for invention of the myth of Minerva.

Charlie: She came to this world out of the head of Jupiter, fully formed and armed, ready for the challenges that the Earthly existence would present to her. She also promoted craftsmanship and was greatly esteemed as a war goddess, in fact displacing the great Mars in the Roman pantheon. Ovid called her the “goddess of a thousands works” because of her multidisciplinary abilities and noble and competent approach to so many disciplines.

Earling: Speaking of multidisciplinary abilities and impacts made in a true Renaissance way we naturally arrive to the great Leonardo Da Vinci, who actually walked these same streets of Milan for almost 20 years of his life. Paintings are only small fraction of what he did for Milan.

Charlie: The Last Supper was created in Milan, unfortunately, Leonardo experimented with materials so it is a wonder that we are able to even see it today as it started deteriorating very fast. Among the polyphony of ideas, inventions and research Leonardo da Vinci worked on were the sculptures, paintings, anatomical studies, architectural and construction solutions especially relating to water and channels of Milan.

Earling: It was Sforza family, who was the most dominant in Milan at the time, that supported Leonardo da Vinci and his genius to live, explore, create and share his work with Milan and now, and eventually as they lost control just like their predecessors Visconti, Leonardo had to leave for greener pastures.

However he left with this realization as the years spent in Milan were his years of youth:
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

Charlie: Under the patronage of the most powerful families, artists of those times were touching the divine. In a way it is no wonder that the language that they had to use was representational so that it is more easily accessible to those unprepared for the flight among the stars of the immaterial.

Earling: It may not be correct but I heard that both Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo studied the water in particular believing that elements can teach and are teaching but only if we watch close enough – they were philosophers, thinkers and intellectuals first of all, for their art would have been craft if they weren’t.

Earling: Let’s transport ourselves to the times of the Druidic interpretation of the world, the metaphysical first and then through various steps, actions/reactions representation the material reflects the invisible that came first.

Charlie: Celtic art and views into the minds that observed the world through patterns, balance and thus they found elegance while merging with the powerful forces surrounding them. At the moment I am in the area of Insubres while they face the growth of Roman Empire, a Gorgon watches

Earling: Gorgon may be watching but the beginning of 20th century was very prosperous for Italy and even though the wars were raging Artistic movement futurism arrived together with Umberto Boccioni. He summarized the phenomenon of time in the context of speed and space which was in alignment with discoveries of physics at the time. He depicted the transformation that war brings and the city in such a way that only a conception stays but the flux of material objects are dancing the eternal dance, it becomes obvious that everything is connected.

Charlie: Italy today surprisingly is the accumulation of many social movements throughout history and they have kept a very strong union, even elements of strong socialism that keeps most of the population happy, although it is always criticism that truly pushes forward change for the better.

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