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Albucii ad. D. Alciatum suadens,
ut de tumultibus Italicis se
subducat, et in Gallia

Sent by Albutius to Alciato urging him to withdraw from the Italian troubles and take up a teaching post in France

Quae dedit hos fructus arbor,[2] coelo advena nostro,
Venit ab eoo persidis axe prius:
Translatu facta est melior, quae noxia quondam
In patria, hic nobis dulcia poma gerit:
Fert folium linguae, fert poma simillima cordi,
Alciate hinc vitam degere disce tuam.
Tu procul ŗ patria[3] in pretio es maiore futurus,
Multým corde sapis, nec minus ore vales.

The tree that gave us these fruits, a stranger to our skies, came formerly from the eastern climes of Persia. By the transplanting it was made better. The tree that once bore harmful fruits in its native land, here bears sweet ones for us. It carries leaves like a tongue, fruits like a heart. Alciato, learn from it how to spend your life. Far from your own country, you will be held in greater esteem. You are wise in heart, and no less effective in speech.


1.This person has been identified as Aurelius Albutius, lawyer, scholar and poet, like Alciato originally from Milan. On the question of the genuineness of this ascription and a suggested date for the epigram preceding Alciato’s first removal to France in 1518, see J. KŲhler, Der ‘Emblematum liber’ von Andreas Alciatus (1492-1550) (Hildesheim: August Lax, 1986).

2.‘The tree that gave us these fruits’, i.e. the peach, with its heart-shaped fruit and tongue-shaped leaves.

3.‘Far from your own country’. Alciato had two periods in France. He was lecturing on Civil Law in Avignon from 1518-1522, then returned to Milan. He again took up his teaching post in Avignon in 1527, and then removed to Bourges, where he remained until his return to Italy (Pavia) in 1533. The ‘troubles’ mentioned could be political (there was much fighting and tumult in N. Italy), or could refer to the wrangling between rival schools of academic lawyers during Alciato’s youth.

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