The etymology of Milan (Lombard: Milan \[miˈlã\]) is uncertain. One theory holds that the Latin name Mediolanum comes from the Latin words medio (in the middle) and planus (plain). However, some scholars believe lanum comes from the Celtic root lan, meaning an enclosure or demarcated territory (source of the Welsh word 'llan', meaning a sanctuary or church) in which Celtic communities used to build shrines. Hence, Mediolanum could signify the central town or sanctuary of a Celtic tribe. Indeed, the name "Mediolanum" is borne by about sixty Gallo-Roman sites in France, e.g. Saintes (Mediolanum Santonum) and Évreux (Mediolanum Aulercorum). In addition, another theory links the name to the boar sow (the Scrofa semilanuta) an ancient emblem of the city, fancifully accounted for in Andrea Alciato's Emblemata (1584), beneath a woodcut of the first raising of the city walls, where a boar is seen lifted from the excavation, and the etymology of Mediolanum given as "half-wool", explained in Latin and in French.
The foundation of Milan is credited to two Celtic peoples, the Bituriges and the Aedui, having as their emblems a ram and a boar; therefore "The city's symbol is a wool-bearing boar, an animal of double form, here with sharp bristles, there with sleek wool." Alciato credits Ambrose for his account.