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On Agriculture, Volume I

On Agriculture, Volume I

Books 1–4

Columella

Translated by Harrison Boyd Ash

ISBN 9780674993983

Publication date: 01/01/1941

A Roman farmer on farming.

Columella (Lucius Iunius Moderatus) of Gades (Cadiz) lived in the reigns of the first emperors to about AD 70. He moved early in life to Italy where he owned farms and lived near Rome. It is probable that he did military service in Syria and Cilicia and that he died at Tarentum.

Columella’s On Agriculture (De re rustica) is the most comprehensive, systematic, and detailed of Roman agricultural works. Book 1 covers choice of farming site; water supply; buildings; staff. 2: Plowing; fertilizing; care of crops. 3–5: Cultivation, grafting, and pruning of fruit trees, vines, and olives. 6: Acquisition, breeding, and rearing of oxen, horses, and mules; veterinary medicine. 7: Sheep, goats, pigs, and dogs. 8: Poultry; fish ponds. 9: Bee-keeping. 10 (in hexameter poetry): Gardening. 11: Duties of the overseer of a farm; calendar for farm work; more on gardening. 12: Duties of the overseer’s wife; manufacture of wines; pickling; preserving. There is also a separate treatise, Trees (De arboribus), on vines and olives and various trees, perhaps part of an otherwise lost work written before On Agriculture.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of Columella is in three volumes.

Author

  • Harrison Boyd Ash (1891–1944) was Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Book Details

  • 496 pages
  • 4-1/4 x 6-3/8 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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