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Salus publica.

The nation’s health

Phoebigena erectis Epidaurius insedet aris,[1]
Mitis & immani conditur angue Deus.
Accurrunt aegri, veniatque salutifer orant:
Annuit, atque ratas efficit ille preces.

The Epidaurian scion of Phoebus broods on the altars built for him, and the god, all gentle, is concealed in a huge snake. The sick come running and beg him to draw near with healing. He consents and ratifies their prayers.


Gemein heil und wolfart.

Auff dem Altar steht auffgericht
Von Epidaur deß Phebi zicht
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F5r f32r] Ein freundtlicher Gott senfft und milt
Wirt verehrt undr einr Schlangen wilt
Zu im lauffen die Krancken dreng
Bitten das er in gsundtheit breng
Die sicht er gnedig an und gewehrt
Was sie von im haben begert.


1.  ‘The Epidaurian scion of Phoebus’, i.e. Aesculapius, son of Phoebus [Apollo] and god of medicine and healing. His main sanctuary and centre of healing was near Epidaurus in Greece. The god’s epiphany and symbol was a snake, and a number of sacred snakes were kept at the sanctuary. One of these was brought to Rome in 293 BC in hopes of stopping an outbreak of plague. The snake made its home on the Island in the Tiber, where a shrine and medical centre was subsequently built. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 15.626ff.

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