Thursday, 13 February 2014

You have been warned. Don’t read this while eating your cereal.

Rome, 1492. A soldier in the service of the Governor of Rome went to the privy and noticed an object which on account of the shit and piss had not fallen into the cesspool. When he put his hand down to find out what was stuck there, he discovered that it was a piece of meat. He thought it was a piece of pork and said to himself: I am going to wash it and eat it. And rooting around some more with his hand, he found more pieces of meat, but when he took a closer look, he saw that they were pieces of a man. As it turned out, it was the cut-up body of a Florentine by the name of Alessandro who had played dice at the house of the Governor and afterwards disappeared. (Source: Stefano Infessura, Roman Diary)

Florence,1509. A Spanish charlatan sold prayers, and to prove that they were from heaven, he offered to crawl into a baker’s oven. First he threw in a piece of dough to show that the oven was hot enough to bake it, then he took off his shirt and crawled into the oven, clad only in his hose. Afterwards he lit a candle and stuck it into his mouth until it fizzled. Finally, he washed his hands in a pot of boiling oil. And so he sold all his prayers, and I say that it was the greatest miracle I have ever seen – if it was a miracle. (Source: Lucca Landucci, Florentine Diary)

Florence, 1503. The executioner who was to cut off the head of a murderer missed three times. The knight who stood by his side, slapped him twice. The people started shouting Kill him! Kill him! (meaning the executioner) and started throwing rocks. The knight and other officials ducked behind a wall, but the executioner did not escape the fury of the people and was stoned to death. (Source: Lucca Landucci)

What happened to the murderer, I wonder.

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