Palladii Rutilii Tauri Aemiliani Viri inlustris Opus agriculturae, De veterinaria medicina, De insitione, ed. R.H. Rodgers, Leipzig 1975 (Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana).
Although manuscripts often transmit the Carmen de insitione independently, the poem actually constitutes the final section (Book 15) of Palladius’ Opus agriculturae. In this regard the work follows the model of Columella, who composed the tenth book of his De re rustica in hexameter.
At the head of this short elegiac poem is a prefatory epistle addressed to the dedicatee of the entire work, a certain Pasiphilus. Although Palladius’ calls him vir doctissimus, he is otherwise unknown. The epistle tells us that he hired Palladius to prepare a copy of the agricultural treatise, but that a copyist’s tardiness prevented the task being completed on time; the author subsequently offered the De insitione as the interest that had accrued in the interim (usura temporis) - a metaphor that he continues at the end of the short epistle by valuing his verses (called nugae, in imitation of Catullus) at asses. The poem can thus be counted by Pasiphilus as a profit, albeit a small one. The carmen follows Vergil in its description of grafting as an ars that the gods gave to mankind: the act of insitio functions as an honor that binds the human race together with the poli rector by allowing us to create a nova natura.
From a linguistic viewpoint, Palladius offers a mixed bag: his prose epistle contains elements that diverge greatly from literary Latin, whereas his Carmen adheres to the expectations of its genre and more closely observes the language of auctores, often drawing on the great models of didactic and georgic poetry. [A. Borgna; tr. C. L. Caterine].