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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[F1v p82]

Epidemiae potior caussa

The cause of the epidemic is better

Ad Ioannem Baptistam Razarium.[1]

Tetram nimis describit, ac luem gravem
GraiugenŻm proceres trahentem amarulenter, &
Exercitum in dies magis voracibus
Faucibus, atque odio prementem Homerus optimus.[2]
Apollo nam infestus suis radiis potest
Inficere aŽrias plagas, nocere plurimým.
Est medicus & simul solet depellere
Noxia, cým libuit, salutis auctor integer.
Sed quod cadebant bestiae primým solo,
Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[F2r p83]Tardius atque homines sensere tabem post malam,
Erectior quia ambulat, nec spiritus
Pestiferos subitÚ traxere terrae in intima.
Coelo haec Achivis poena venerat,
Dum nimium cupidi videntur ultionibus.
Sed nos Deum precemur, avertat malum hoc,
Et meritos gravius, monere leniter velit.

All too realistically Homer, the greatest poet, describes the ugly, great sickness which took in bitterness the leaders of the sons of Hellas, and with voracious jaws and hatred oppressed the army, more violently with each passing day. Apollo, if angered, knows with his rays how to infect the heavenly regions, and do very great harm. He is a doctor and also frequently drives off harmful things; when he wishes, he is the good author of health. But because the animals fell first to earth, the men noticed later, after (they caught) the cruel sickness, for man walks taller, nor does he immediately draw the plaguey vapours of the earth into their innards. This punishment came for the Achaeans from the sky, while they seemed too intent on revenge. But let us pray to God that he avert this evil, and warn us, who deserve worse, more lightly.


1.Giovanni Battista Rasario: philosopher, professor of Greek in Pavia and Venice (d. 1578).

2.The plague which strikes the Achaean camp is from the Iliad, book 1.

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