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Ad vetus Astrologorum in Aegypto tributum.

On the ancient tribute [paid by] astrologers in Egypt.

In nostrates medicos Prognosticorum mensularios.

On the doctors of our country, [that are] soothsayers’ money-changers.

Cum medici passim referant Prognostica[1] Galli,
Seque velint Pbariis [=Phariis] vatibus esse pares:
Cur non fatidicis indicta solaria mensis,
Atque βλακεννόμιον[2], munera iusta, luunt.

Since French doctors everywhere [or heedlessly, indiscriminately] refer to prognostications and want to put themselves on a par with the astrologers [soothsayers] of Egypt: Why do they not pay the ground-rent [that used to be] appointed for soothsayers’ stalls, and the blakennomion: a levy they deserve?


1.  In classical Latin the Prognostica were weather-forecasts, or more generally (without the capital letter) signs for the future. Referre has a multitude of meanings, which include ‘refer to’, hence perhaps, ‘consult the Almanacs’, and ‘speak of’, so perhaps ‘give diagnostic predictions’ (though in this case one would not expect the capital letter).

2.  The Greek word βλακεννόμιον is an unusual word, signifying a tax paid by astrologers at Alexandria, so called because they were believed to be fools.

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