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Tag Archives: Milan

Manius Papirius Lentulus. Progress so far

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Venus Verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Venus Verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882). Via Wikipedia. Click for attribution. Venus was also called Verticordia by the Romans since she was capable of 'changing human hearts'. Verticordia had a temple on the Via Salaria

As for the adventures of Manius Papirius Lentulus in Ancient Britannia [Misce Sultitiam Consiliis: Add Folly to Wisdom] I’ve not been idle.

At present:

1) I am translating all that has been written so far into decent enough Italian (harder than I thought)

2) as for the new chapters (like the latest and the one in preparation) I first write in Italian and later only I translate all into English. It is quicker and at this point I need it.

3) I am inserting Andy’s editing into my English text. Andy, this extremely nice English blogger I just met face to face in Milan, is very respectful of my weird English. He just corrects evident mistakes.

4) I got new ideas in Milan about how one can write in two languages at the same time. I in fact there met Christian Floquet face to face, ie a half French half Italian extremely nice person (his Italian half is Calcagni-Negroni, so he, well, is my cousin – I told you blogs are also great for meeting people in real life, wow). Ok. Now Christian (who lives both in Paris and in Milan) happens to teach translation at the Milan University.

He told me of this writer who, while writing novels in two languages at the same time, lost his vein at a certain point (if I recall well). So what he did he began to learn another language in order to get his inspiration back. Amazing. Not that I feel I’m a writer, no, but since, well, I write, such examples are inspiring (and consoling). Merci Christian!

A fifth point will soon appear, ie the categories (or lexicon) I have conceived for the Manius / Massimo etc. soap, which may provide an idea of where I’m aiming at and of the mixture of stultitia (folly) and consilium (wisdom) I am planning.

Clivus Scauri, that connects the Caelium hill with the Palatine hill

Clivus Scauri, and ancient Roman alley not far from Giorgio's home. Click for attribution and to enlarge. M. A. Scaurus (163 – 89 BCE), one of greatest politicians of the Republic at the time of Caius Marius (Caesar's uncle) used it to reach the Palatine & Forum area

Note. Misce stultitiam consiliis is meant to mean ‘mix folly with wisdom’ although sapientia is the right word for wisdom

The thing is the poem by Horace I took it from is too beautiful (read too how the notion is discussed over at the MoR)

Misce stultitiam sapientiae? We will see. Sapientia (wisdom in all its ancient & modern, philosophical & theological, meanings) is in fact – as Cicero put it (I, Off. c. 43) – congnitio rerum omnium (knowledge of all things), tum humanorum, tum divinarum (those that are human, and those that are divine).

Big deal thing, I know.

Milan l’è un gran Milan

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Il duomo di Milano. Click for attribution and a larger view

Leaving in a couple of hours for Milan, Lombardia, Italia. I will be back to Rome next Monday evening.

I confess I don’t quite understand the Milanese language (also called Meneghìn).

Milanese and Italian are distinct Romance languages and are not mutually intelligible (wikipedia).

Milanese is part of Gallo- (ie Celtic-) Italic languages, which are a subset of the Gallo-Romance languages that also include French, Occitan (langue d’oc) and Franco-Provençal.


It seems that the Celts (and Manius Papirius Lentulus) are haunting me wherever I go.

By the way, a new Manius chapter has been written in Italian. All I need is to translate it into English and post tutti e due, ie tous les deux.


O mia bela Madunina

The most popular canzone or song in the Milanese language:

O mia bela Madunina

A disen la cansun la nass a Napuli
e certament g’han minga tutti i tort.
Surriento, Mergellina, tutt’i popoli
i avran cantà almen un miliun de volt.
Mi speri che se offendera nissun
se parlom un cicin anca de num.

O mia bela Madunina
che te brilet de luntan,
tuta dora e piscinina
ti te dominet Milan.
Sota ti se viv la vita,
se sta mai cuj man in man.
Canten tüti “Lontan de Napoli se moeur”
ma po vegnen chi a Milan.

Ades ghè la cansun de Roma magica,
de Nina, er Cupolone e Rugantin,
se sbaten in del Tever, roba tragica,
esageren, me par, un cicinin.
Sperem che vegna minga la mania
de metes a cantà “Melano mia”

O mia bela Madunina
che te brilet de luntan,
tuta dora e piscinina
ti te dominet Milan.
Si, vegnii senza paura,
num ve slungaremm la man.
Tut el mund a l’è paes, a semm d’accord,
ma Milan l’è un gran Milan!


I like this video also because for each song word – Napuli (Naples), Madunina (little Madonna), Milan, Roma etc. – it provides images or a movie illustrating it.


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