Terrarum Roma Gemina de luce majistrA. Ros Missus Semper Aderit: velut incola IoseP Olim Contrito Letheo Contulit OrchO.
To read this you will see you must take the first letter of each verse: TRO, Trophemus; GAL, Galliaeorum; and APO, Apostolus. The letter H, belonging to the word Joseph, must be carried to the word Orcho, and the P must stand by itself.
Trophimus Galliarum Apostolus, ut ros missus est, ex urbe Romae rerum Dominae Gemina de luce, scilicet a Petro et Paulo, Ecclesiae luminaribus; Contrito orcho Letheo, nempe statim post Christi Passionem qua Daemonis & orchi caput contrivit, semper animos nostras nutriet, cibo illo, divinae fidei quem nobis contulit: ut alter Joseph qui olim AEgypti populum same pereuntem liberavit.
Soon after we left the town of Arles, on our way to Aix, and this city, we entered upon a most extraordinary and extensive plain; it is called the Crau, and is a principal and singular domain, belonging to and situated on the south side of that city; it is ten leagues in diameter; on which vast extent, scarce a tree, shrub, or verdure is visible; the whole spot being covered with flint stones of various sizes, and of singular shapes. Petrarch says, as Strabo, and others have said before him, that those flint stones fell from Heaven like hail, when Hercules was fighting there against the giants, who, finding he was likely to be overcome, invoked his father Jupiter, who rained this hard shower of flint stones upon his enemies, which is confirmed by AEschylus.
“Jupiter Alcidem quando
Illachrymans, Ligures saxoso perpluit imbre.”
But as this account may not be quite satisfactory to you, who I know love truth more than fable, I am inclined to think you will consider Possidonius’s manner of accounting for it more feasible: He says, that it was once a great lake, and having a bed of gravel at the bottom, those pebble stones, by a succession of ages, have grown to the size they now appear; but whether stones grow which lie upon the surface of the earth and out of their proper strata, I must leave you and other naturalists to determine, without repeating to you what Aristotle, and others, have said upon that subject; and therefore, instead of telling you either what they say, or I think, I will tell you what I know, which is, that barren as the Crau appears to be, it not only feeds, but fattens an infinite number of sheep and cattle, and produces such excellent wine too in some parts of it, that it is called Vin de Crau, by way of pre-eminence: it has a poignant quality, is very bright, and is much esteemed for its delicious flavour. The herb which fattens the sheep and feeds such quantities of cattle is a little plant