Zanchi on the Glory of Strasbourg the “Silver City”

Argentoratum 1493

Tamesti ego ex Italia, Optimi Argentoratenses, uosque;

Relinqui ornatissimi Auditores, in hanc amplissimam atque;

Ornatissimam, & cum bonarum literarum, virtutumque;

Omnium, tum praesertim Christianae religionis, & parentem & altricem & custodem conservatricemque;

Fidelissima urbem:

(Aristotelis De Naturali Auscultatione, sue de principiis cum Praefatione Doctoris Zanchi)

Although I am from Italy, I am from the Great Argentoratum [Strasbourg] also;

Of the remaining most ornate students in her most ample;

And the most ornate, both with excellent literature and virtue;

Of all, especially of the Christian religion, both parent and step-mother, both guardian and preserving lady;

Most faithful city.

This passage is taken from Zanchi’s commentary on Aristotle’s De Principiis, on which he lectured while at the Strasbourg Gymnasium in 1553. Zanchi delivered his lectures at the same time as Vermigli’s lectures upon Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. With it’s non-violent transition from Roman dominance to the doctrines of the Protestant Reformers, and with a history of powerful Reformers like Bucer, Sturm, and Vermigli gracing her walls, it is no wonder that an ex-Roman Catholic, Italian refugee like Girolamo Zanchi would have such high praises for the city of Argentoratum, which we moderns call Strasbourg.

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