A mysterious palindrome in the Florence Baptistery

A mysterious palindrome in the Florence Baptistery

Once again in the Florence Baptistery, on the floor, you can see an incredibly interesting marble plaque depicting the Zodiac. In the middle you can read a palindrome written in Latin: EN GIRO TORTE SOL CICLOS ET ROTOR IGNE, which means I, the Sun, move athwart the orbits, being moved by fire at the same time. It dates back to the XII-XIII centuries. The same inscription is to be found in Modena, in the Torre della Ghirlandina.
If you tour the Florence Baptistery, you will have the impression of walking on a rug made of inlaid marble. The floor is simply stunning..! It was inspired by the precious textiles that came from Morocco, Algeria, Spain. The Calimala Guild, composed of exceedingly powerful, wealthy Florentine merchants, used to trade in this kind of woollen cloth. It was actually the Calimala Guild who sponsored the building of the whole Baptistery (you can see the bronze eagle clawing a bale of twelve pieces of cloth, the symbol of the Calimala Guild, above the North Door of the Baptistery).
Some of these precious fabrics were from Algarve (in Portugal). In Florentine dialect the word "garbare", "to like", derives from “Algarve”, formerly known as “Garbo” in Florence: it expresses anything concerning class, good taste and refinement.

A mysterious palindrome in the Florence Baptistery