The da Vinci Resume

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We promise, this isn’t like the RE: RE: FWD: RE: WOULDN’T YOU HAVE HIRED HIM? emails that three members of your family send you at the same time (because they never check the CC).  This post is about the actual resume of a 30 year-old Leonardo da Vinci, wooing a new patron: Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan.

The document has been brought to the attention of the internet by Stone, the blog for, the job board that only posts positions with 6 figure + salaries.  In addition to some job-search related commentary, Stone also provides a translation from 15th century Italian, showing that after a brief preamble the document consists of a numbered list, not of Leonardo’s achievements to that date, but of what works he might yet complete for a patron.

Playing to his audience, Leonardo’s list consists of mostly one thing: hideously effective weapons of (at the time) mass destruction.

3. If, by reason of the height of the banks, or the strength of the place and its position, it is impossible, when besieging a place, to avail oneself of the plan of bombardment, I have methods for destroying every rock or other fortress, even if it were founded on a rock, etc.

4. Again, I have kinds of mortars; most convenient and easy to carry; and with these I can fling small stones almost resembling a storm; and with the smoke of these cause great terror to the enemy, to his great detriment and confusion.

8. In case of need I will make big guns, mortars, and light ordnance of fine and useful forms, out of the common type.

9. Where the operation of bombardment might fail, I would contrive catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and other machines of marvellous efficacy and not in common use. And in short, according to the variety of cases, I can contrive various and endless means of offense and defense.

Only in the last two points on his list does he describe what he might do for the Duke in peacetime, including the boast-tacular statement that he he can paint just as good as any other living person.  But we suppose we can cut Leonardo some slack for the size of his ego.  Stone says that before he became famous as an artist, “Leonardo da Vinci was an artificer, an armorer, a maker of things that go ‘boom.'”

In light of this, Geekosystem would like to be first in suggesting a Leonardo da Vinci-Mythbusters time travel crossover.

Leonardo did win the Duke’s patronage, but conspicuously never managed to make that horse statue.  We suggest that he was perhaps too busy.

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Susana Polo
Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.