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Dicomano

1479

April 18

on Friday

The plague had increased to such an extent that I went away to my villa at Dicomano with all my family; leaving my apprentices to attend to the shop.

At this time Count Carlo came to Florence, and was appointed a Capitano, and two separate camps were formed, he going into the Perugian territory and defeating the papal troops, which departed utterly routed. And after this the ducal forces(1) could have been broken up; but through the fault of our Capitano, the Duke of Ferrara, and through the dissensions amongst the citizens, no action was taken, or else the enemy would certainly have been conquered. The Duke of Calabria pitched his camp before Colle. People continually deceive us, and we cannot be victorious, as God punishes us for our sins.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Perugia was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Colle di Buggiano was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1482

August 27

on Sunday

3 years, 4 months, 12 days later

Many people here saw fiery flames in the air above Florence, towards the west, at about one o'clock (9 p.m.); and they were also seen at Dicomano and elsewhere.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:57 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:57 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.

1491

January 17

on Saturday

8 years, 4 months, 25 days later

This night there began, and continued until the 18th, a certain fine rain, which froze whilst it fell, and made icicles upon the trees. There was such a quantity of it, that the weight bowed the trees down to the ground and broke the branches. Note, by the way, that this was on the hills. For about half a mile near the river it did no injury. It began at Fiesole, and extended to the Mugello; and at San Godenzo and Dicomano it did much harm. On my land at Dicomano it tore from the roots several chestnut-trees and oak-trees, and broke nearly all the branches of the olive-trees and every other kind of wood, so that at one of my farms the branches alone made twenty piles of wood; and some of the broken limbs of the chestnuts were more than two feet thick, such as was never seen before. Those who chanced to be in the woods, thought that the world was coming to an end, when they heard everything cracking, and the deafening noise overhead. There was such a heap of grass that it weighed several pounds; and the stubble of the corn in the fields looked like organ-pipes. The stacks appeared to be roofed with glass, and it was too dangerous for anyone to walk in the country. The farms were ruined for many years, the fruit-trees not bearing fruit, the olives remaining like suckers, and the oak-trees being all spoilt. It was incredible, but true.

The Arno rose very high, and ruined the mill of the Ponte a Rubiconte, next to Santa Maria delle Grazie, and a porter was drowned there. The mill was a spinning-mill. The river overflowed its banks in several places.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Mugello was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.
Sunrise in Fiesole was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.
Sunrise in Arno was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.

1493

January 20

on Friday

2 years, 4 days later

The Day of San Bastiano (St. Sebastian); there was the severest snowstorm in Florence that the oldest people living could remember. And amongst other extraordinary things, it was accompanied by such a violent wind that for the whole day it was impossible to open the shops, or the doors and windows. It last from the Ave Maria one morning to the Ave Maria the next morning, twenty-four hours, without ceasing for a minute, and without the wind abating, so that there was not the slightest crack or a hole, however small, that did not let a heap of snow into the house. In fact there was not a house so hermetically sealed as not to become so full of snow that it took several days to clear it out. All along the streets one saw heaps of snow, so that in many places neither men nor beasts could pass. There was such a quantity that it took a long time to melt away, as sometimes when boys make a snow-lion. In fact, these mountains lasted a week. It is difficult to believe without having seen it. And the same thing happened in my villa at Dicomano. I sent Benedetto to clear the house, and he found as much snow inside as if it had been roofless; and this was after a week. So it was everywhere alike.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.

1494

November 24

on Saturday

1 year, 10 months, 8 days later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

There was much whispering amongst the people, who said suspiciously: "This king doesn't know what he wishes; he has not yet signed the agreement." And many declared that some of his counsellors were endeavouring to hinder it, as there was a certain Signore di Bre,(1) lodging in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni, who said that he had promised some people to get Piero reinstated, and to persuade the king to ask for this, but perhaps it was not true. This was, as I say, the opinion of many of the citizens, and therefore they were in great dread; still more so when it was said that the king was going this morning to dine in the Palagio with the Signori and that he had caused all the armed men to be removed from the Palagio, and he was going there with many armed men, so that everyone suspected him of evil designs. There was no one who did not take pains this morning to fill his house with bread and with weapons and with stones, and to strengthen his house as much as possible, everyone being of the mind and intention to die fighting, and to slay anyone if needful, in the manner of the Sicilian Vespers. And fear was so widespread(2) that when at the dinner hour people began to say Serra, serra! (Shut everything!), it came about that the whole of Florence locked itself in, one fleeing here and another there, without any fresh cause or disturbance, the consequence being that many of the French rushed to the Porta a San Friano and took possession of the Ponte alia Carraia. And in Borgo Ognissanti and in Via Palazzuolo, and in Borgo San Friano, so many stones were thrown from the windows that they were not able to get to the gates; and when they asked the reason of it, no one knew. Therefore the king did not go to dine in the Palagio; and, by divine permission, the French became so uneasy that it caused them to change their evil intentions towards us who only had good ones. Anyone can see that God does not abandon Florence, but we are not sufficiently grateful. At this time we heard that the French troops which had been in Romagna were passing by in the neighbourhood of Dicomano.

(1) Some Florentines historians call him di Bles, and it was Philippe de Bresse, afterwards Duke of Savoy.

(2) The greatest confusion seems to have been caused by the Swiss, who were quartered near the Porta al Prato inside and out, and who tried to force their way through Borgo Ognissanti, in order to approach the king's quarters.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.
Sunrise in Emilia-Romagna was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.

1494

November 27

on Tuesday

3 days later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

The king went out to see certain tents which had been set up on the Prato d'Ognissanti, and which had been presented to him by the Duke of Ferrara; there being one for the king himself that was really magnificent, with a sitting-room, a bedroom, and a chapel, and many other things besides. He was to have left this morning, but did not do so; the joy-bells were rung and bonfires were made. This morning more of the troops from Romagna reached Dicomano, and were quartered there, about 20 horses being put into my place even. I left my young son Benedetto there, and they nearly slew him several times, although he paid them proper respect, as I had impressed upon him. It was at a great cost to us. They were quartered everywhere, in the Val di Sieve, as far as the Ponte a Sieve and the Sieci, and then they went on along the upper valley of the Arno.(1)

(1) The king having proclaimed that all those who were with him should pay, on leaving, for everything that they had had, the Signoria, with a proclamation on this date, ordered the Florentines to be lenient in their demands, and requested anybody who thought himself overcharged to have recourse to them, threatening to cut off the hand of anyone who should offend the French. The following day they imposed the punishment of six blows of the lash upon anyone who should molest or strike the French.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Emilia-Romagna was at 5:44 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:44 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.

1494

November 29

on Thursday

2 days later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

The rest of the king's troops which were in Romagna went past here, coming from San Godenzo to Dicomano and to the Ponte a Sieve, and then going along the upper valley of the Arno, doing much damage. At Corella they slew about eleven men, and took others prisoners and placed ransoms upon them; ruining all the country like a flame of fire. The wall of my house at Dicomano was broken, and also all the locks, whilst my farm was entered forcibly, and suffered not a little, the wine and corn being consumed, and any household goods to which they took a fancy being carried off. Those whom they slew at Corella were certain old men who had come to receive them, but there was a misunderstanding. It is true that at first certain young men had come out and tried to force them back, but these old men caused the others to desist; these brutes of Frenchmen, however, struck them on the head and left them lying dead in the fields; and they committed cruelties on all sides.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Emilia-Romagna was at 5:45 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:45 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.
Sunrise in Corella was at 5:45 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.
Sunrise in Arno was at 5:45 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.

1514

July 3

on Friday

19 years, 7 months, 10 days later

Luca Landucci refers in the Florentine Diary to a terrifying storm like the one in 1456:

At midday, there was such a tempest of wind at Dicomano that it exceeded everything ever heard of ... it uprooted many walnut-trees, olive trees, and oaks, and took off nearly the whole roof of the church of Vico ... At Poggio Marino it did great damage.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Poggiomarino was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.
Sunrise in Vico was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.

Agents

Luca Landucci (1436-1516), aged 78: apothecary; diarist

Source: Primary

Pedretti, Carlo. "Leonardo: A Study in Chronology and Style," p. 21

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