I'm trying to understand the following phrase from a text of the seventeenth century:

Immediatemente seguiranno doi monaci con le Cotte, et Torcie accese et appresso quattro coppie de Monaci Cucallati senza Lume et in ogni interstitio di quattro in quattro seguono li doi Monaci con la Cotta et torcie Accese

It's describing a procession, but I'm not sure what 'di quattro in quattro' means. Could somebody explain, either in Italian or English?

  • 1
    Could you please provide the full sentence?
    – Charo
    May 2 '15 at 13:13
  • 4
    In itself, “di quattro in quattro” could mean something like “four by four”, “in fours”, “every fourth” and the like, but your fragment of a sentence is not quite clear without some context.
    – DaG
    May 2 '15 at 15:24
  • 4
    It can also be "in groups of four", but this sentence is difficult to understand without more context. Could you please provide some more context?
    – Charo
    May 2 '15 at 15:27
  • 1
    It possibly means "in groups of four people".
    – Charo
    May 2 '15 at 17:56
  • 2
    I’m not sure that “di quattro in quattro” means “in groups of four”. “In ogni interstitio” means “in every gap”, viz. “between the afore-mentioned couples”, so it might also mean “every four of them”. The context provided is perhaps not sufficient to give a full and sure answer. May 4 '15 at 8:45

I would translate that roughly as "every four by four".

Immediately two Monks will follow with the Cotte and torches lit and afterwards four couples of Monks Cucallati without Lights (or candles or torches, maybe) and in the place every four by four (couples of Cucallati) the two monks with the Cotta and the torches lit.

Basically, the procession is, as far as I understand, as follow: 2 monks with torches, 4 couples of monks without torches, 2 monks with torches, 4 couples without, etc...

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