It happened to walk with a friend in downtown Florence, a chat to pass the time. Maybe to cross one-third that stops and exchange a greeting and then leave. Then turn around to see his friend and whisper in his ear: “You see what you do? “It’s’ your ass’ ‘
The ciana just said does not refer to the fact that the acquaintance fell slamming his ass, but it’s a figure of speech to indicate that Florence has serious financial problems. For example, we can say that Italy “is’ your ass thanks to Europe Unita”.
That Florentine is ancient and dates back to a practice implemented in Florence and introduced after 1550, nearly 1600, paraphrasing “Frittole”.
At the time, Florence was the Florence of merchants, shopkeepers, business and it was shameful to be responsible for debts and unpaid. An infamy that could not go unnoticed, and that in the past had led many people in prison. The Stinche since the construction (beginning in 1299) has hosted countless insolvent debtors, saved from certain Buononimi the Stinche which was granted (given the great meritorious work) to choose among the prisoners for debt for people who could be released, released from captivity, with the promise to supervise whether the debts incurred by the insolvent were properly rewarded, acted as guarantors.
A less severe form of punishment, but just as humiliating was the acculata; perhaps introduced to avoid permeanze in prison they did not help some to pay off debts.
The debtor was brought at the new market, best known today as the loggia of the pig, and there in front of all the Florentines, was stripped of his trousers and pants, he grabbed firmly by the arms and legs and made banging butt naked on a stone positioned right in the middle of the lodges. The humiliation was clear, everyone would know that the punishment was insolvent and man not to be trusted.
The stone used for the acculata is still visible in the middle of the Piglet lodges, to see it is necessary to go to the night after the pews were removed. It is a series of slabs of marble, green and white, which form the shape of a wagon wheel. Very similar to the wheel used to hoist the banner of Florence before battles. This stone is called the scandal stone for the use that was made of it.
It is still in use in the Florentine parlance to say “I’m ‘on your ass” to say that you got no money.
From this same punishment could come another Florentine word, “sculo” indicating the misfortune, perhaps referring to the fact that I beat the apples on the cold marble before all was a great misfortune; sculo derived from them and how Sculati to indicate a particularly unfortunate. Obviously the word ass would result in logic sculo, that is the exact opposite, having luck. There is another thought on the etymology of the word sculo. Supposedly resulting from the translation of a sacred text, the Lord’s Prayer, written in the fourth century AD in Gothic and reports translated this verse: “jah aflet uns þatei skulans sijaima” where Skula Gothic means debtor then skulo and finally sculo to indicate the bad luck.
Maybe by this the scurrilous and irreverent Florentines came up with the acculata for debtors who in one way or another always had to do with his ass!