“Ecco il fico” — Barbarossa, the fig, the bite, the thumb, and the mule

The phrase “Ecco il fico” has a particularly ripe meaning, writes Rob Chirico in the Strong Language blog: The year was 1162 when he returned and easily subdued the revolt. According to the chronicler Giambattista Gelli, Frederick [Frederick the First, Holy Roman emperor, also known as “Barbarossa”] got them back for the mule debacle, and then […]

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