In Tiberis inundationem (c.1600)

This poem makes a witty prediction, based on dates of past floodings of the Tiber under popes named Clement, that Rome will undergo a similar deluge in the future pontificate of Clement IX. As Rod Lyall notes ('Kinship, kingship and Latinity', pp. 248), Halkerston states that the poem is taking place in the eighth year of the papacy of Clement VIII (r. 1592-1600), which would date this to 1600. However, the only recorded flood of the Tiber in this period took place on Christmas Eve 1598, so Halkerston may have changed the dating of this slightly to fit with the central conceit of the poem (see Gregory S. Aldrete, Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome (Baltimore, MA, 2007), p. 244, for a full chronology). Metre: elegiac couplets.

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In Tiberis inundationem

Septenum peragit Clemens dum septimus annum,
pene suis hausit nos Tiberinus aquis.
Octavo Octavi rursus Clementis in anno,
pene suis hausit nos Tiberinus aquis.
Roma cave nono Noni Clementis ab anno,
hic tibi fatalis scilicet annus erit.

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On the flooding of the Tiber

While Clement the Seventh completes his seventh year, the Tiber all but drew us into its waters. a Looking back at the eighth year of Clement the Eighth, the Tiber all but drew us into its waters. b Rome, take care regarding the ninth year of Clement the Ninth, as I suppose this year will be deadly for you. c



a: Born 1479, pope 1523-1534, and Rome flooded on 8 October 1530.

b: Born 1536, pope 1592-1605.

c: Halkerston is envisaging a future event here, as Clement IX was born in 1600 and was only pope for two years between 1667 and 1669.