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decomposition

1478

May 17

on Friday

At about 20 in the evening (4 p.m.), some boys disinterred it (the body of Messer Jacopo) a second time, and dragged it through Florence by the piece of rope that was still round its neck; and when they came to the door of his house, they tied the rope to the door-bell, saying: "Knock at the door!" and they made great sport all through the town. And when they grew tired and did not know what more to do with it, they went to the Ponte al Rubiconte and threw it into the river.(1) And they sang a song with certain rhymes, amongst others this line: "Messer Jacopo is floating away down the Arno." And it was considered an extraordinary thing, first because children are usually afraid of dead bodies, and secondly because the stench was so bad that it was impossible to go near it; one may imagine what it was like, from the 27th April till the 17th May! And they must have had to touch with with their hands to throw it into the Arno. And as it floated down the river, always keeping above the surface, the bridges were crowded with people to watch it pass. And another day, down towards Brozzi, the boys pulled it out of the water again, and hung it on a willow, and then the beat it, and threw it back into the Arno. And it is said that it was seen to pass under the bridges of Pisa, always above the surface.

(1) History says that the magistrates had the body thrown into the Arno, to put a stop to the boys' treatment of it. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:51 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.
Sunrise in Arno was at 5:51 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 5:51 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.
Sunrise in Brozzi was at 5:51 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

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