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1832 Milan (Milano)

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Date: 1832 (Published) London

Dimensions: 13 x 15 inches (33 x 38.1 cm)

This interesting map of Milan was published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, also referred to as SDUK. The map shows the brilliant fortification of the land-locked city, much of which was still intact at the time the map was published.

Moats and three sets of walls protected the city from Roman times until the late 19th century. The outer walls are outlined in red and green in the map, with some inner walls also outlined in green. Some gates and remnants of moats are yet extant. The magnificent Sforza Castle, which is now a museum, is labeled ‘Piazza D’Armi, as it was being used by the military at the time. The location of the ancient amphitheater which was near the castle, and of which little remains, is depicted.  Notes in the upper right corner translate names of major features in the city. The map is embellished with miniature drawings of the city’s important architectural edifices, all named, just below the plan of the city.

Milan has a fascinating history. It is thought to have first been settled by Gauls in about 600 BCE. Celts followed the Gauls, and the modern city is built on the ruins left by these early settlers. In about 220 BCE the Roman Empire claimed the city, naming it Mediolanum, meaning ‘central place’, due to its strategic geographic location.

The city became increasingly important under Roman rule, and from the time of the reign of Emperor Augustus it was considered the second most important city in Italy. In the third century CE it became capital of the Western Roman Empire. During the Renaissance the city was home to many illustrious figures including Leonardo Da Vinci and the great architect Brabante.

Today Milan is famous for its fashion houses, its contributions to modern art, the performing arts, finance, its cuisine and its many historical sites, a perfect mixture of history and modernity in one city.

The SDUK was founded in 1828 by Henry Peter Brougham, an idealistic British nobleman. The aim of the society was to promote self-education and egalitarian sharing of knowledge by providing instruments of learning such as maps and various other publications. Despite being affiliated with London University and various major publishing houses, the Society ultimately failed to achieve its goal as the publications were too costly for the targeted middle to lower class echelons of British society. At the same time, its publications were not grand or fine enough to appeal to the aristocracy.

Condition: This map is in A condition with original outline coloring, no tears or holes and ample margins on all sides.

Inventory #12335

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