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Think You Have a Lot Going on? Take a Look at Leonardo da Vinci's To-Do List

Near the top of the list? Casually, "draw Milan."
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My to-do lists are hardly revolutionary. The line items typically found on post-its strewn across my kitchen counter—reminders about laundry, grocery lists, bills—are rather mundane, especially when I compare my list with that of Leonardo da Vinci.

The genius artist's notes (above) are written in mirror script, so NPR's Robert Krulwich had it directly translated, revealing the tasks da Vinci was planning to tackle over the course of one week (or month) in the early 1490s.

Let's just say he didn't plan to go grocery shopping.

"[Calculate] the measurement of Milan and Suburbs," starts the register, with brackets indicating Kruwich's amendments to the direct translation.

It continues:

[Find] a book that treats of Milan and its churches, which is to be had at the stationer's on the way to Cordusio

[Discover] the measurement of Corte Vecchio (the courtyard in the Duke's palace).

[Discover] the measurement of the castello (the Duke's palace itself)

Get the master of arithmetic (probably an accountant) to show you how to square a triangle.

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

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

[Talk to] Giannino, the Bombardier, re. the means by which the tower of Ferrara is walled without loopholes (?!?)

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

Draw Milan

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

[Examine] the Crossbow of Mastro Giannetto

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

[Ask about] the measurement of the sun promised me by Maestro Giovanni Francese

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

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For more on da Vinci's notebooks, including a gorgeous illustration by Wendy MacNaughton of his to do list, head over to NPR.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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