Protestants, Kisses, Bugs, and Excommunications: Real events or coded language?
A rather odd letter that arrived at the Medici court from Rome in the summer of 1540 should not go unnoticed. A distant relative of Duke Cosimo I, most likely a spy, reported on a series of bizarre and inconsequential events that were taking place in the Papal city. Bestiale de’ Medici (this was his name!) began his letter with news on Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (Pope Paul III Farnese’s grandson), who had just returned from Northern Europe after a successful repressive campaign against French Protestants. Bestiale then updated the duke on course of war that Rome had waged against Perugia, whose inhabitants refused to pay their taxes on salt.
All of a sudden, Bestiale’s serious narrative took an unexpected turn. A heat wave—he claimed—had hit the city to such an extent that a seasonal wardrobe change became necessary. The scorching sun, however, had also affected his wife, who seemed to be afflicted by an uncontrollable state of erotic excitement:
She and I have been making out passionately (baci sbudellati)… it seems as if a tarantula has bitten her underneath her belly-button (che habbi morso qualche tarantola sotto il bellico)…
This tropical weather did more damage. According to Bestiale, horse flies, snakes, spiders, and grasshoppers had invaded the city, damaging crops, diving into wine glasses, and floating in soups. Luckily, he concluded, this biblical-like calamity came to an end soon after Pope Paul III successfully excommunicated all of these insects and reptiles.
Our question to you is this: are these real events or is it just coded language? You can read the original document in BIA here ~~> http://bit.ly/1LYB8lP