Leonardo Da Vinci’s To Do List Is Much Cooler Than Yours

Today we get a look at Leonardo da Vinci’s to-do list. The only trouble is that Da Vinci wrote everything in mirror script, so NPR‘s Robert Krulwich had it directly translated, using information found in a new book, Da Vinci’s Ghost: Genius, Obsession, and How Leonardo Created the World in His Own Image, by Toby Lester.

1. Calculate the measurement of Milan and Suburbs

2. Find a book that treats of Milan and its churches, which is to be had at the stationer’s on the way to Cordusio

3. Discover the measurement of Corte Vecchio (the courtyard in the duke’s palace)

4. Discover the measurement of the castello (the duke’s palace itself)

5. Get the master of arithmetic to show you how to square a triangle

6. Get Messer Fazio (a professor of medicine and law in Pavia) to show you about proportion

7. Get the Brera Friar (at the Benedictine Monastery to Milan) to show you De Ponderibus (a medieval text on mechanics)

8. Talk to]Giannino, the Bombardier, re. the means by which the tower of Ferrara is walled without loopholes (no one really knows what Da Vinci meant by this)

9. Ask Benedetto Potinari (A Florentine Merchant) by what means they go on ice in Flanders

10. Draw Milan

11. Ask Maestro Antonio how mortars are positioned on bastions by day or night

12. Examine the Crossbow of Mastro Giannetto

13. Find a master of hydraulics and get him to tell you how to repair a lock, canal and mill in the Lombard manner

14. Try to get Vitolone (the medieval author of a text on optics), which is in the Library at Pavia, which deals with the mathematics

15. Ask about the measurement of the sun promised me by Maestro Giovanni Francese


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