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Full text of "Natural history"

L 1 B R A R Y 

AUG - 6 1959 

THE ONTAPJO iNST!T'J^^ 
FOR STUDIES !N EDUCATION 



1 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

FOUNDED BY JAMES LOEB, LL.D. 

EDITED BY 
fT. E. PAGE, C.H., LITT.D. 

fE. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. fW. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 

L. A. POST, L.H.D. E. H. WARMINGTON, m.a., f.b.hist.soc. 



PLTXY 

NATURAL HISTORY 

V 
LIBKI XVII-XIX 



PLINY 

NATURAL HISTORY 

WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION 
IN TEN VOLUMES 

VOLUME V 
LIBRl XVIl-XIX 

BY 

H. RACKHAM, M.A. 

FtU-OW OF CHRIST'S COLLICGE, CAMURIDaE 




CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 

HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

LONDON 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD 

MCMLXX 



Reprinlrtl V.'iil 



Prinled in Grmt Britnin 



CONTENTS 

PAOE 

IXTRODUCTION V 

BOOK XVII 1 

BOOK XVIII 187 

BOOK XIX 419 

INDEX 542 



INTRODUCTION 

Tnis volume contains Books XVII, XV^III, XIX, of 
Flinvs Xaturalis Ilistoria. Book XVTI continues the 
subject of arboriculture, begun in the preceding 
Books ; Book X\II1 deals with cereal agriculture ; 
Book XIX with the cultivation of flax and other 
plants used for fabrics. and with vegetable gardening. 
PHnv's own outhne of the contents given in Book I 
will l)e found in V ohime I, pp. 80-91. 

At the time of his death Mr. Rackham was 
engaged in work on the galley proofs of this volume. 
With the exception of some parts which were re- 
written by Prof. F,. H. Warmington the translation 
is Mr. Rackham's work. Note that there is an Index 
of plants at the end of Vol. Vll. 



PLINY : 

NATURAL HLSTORY 

BOOK XVII 



PLIXII: NATURALIS HISTORIAE 
LIBER XVII 

I. Natura arborum terra marique sponte sua pru- 
venientium dicta est; restat earum quae arte et 
humanis ingeniis fiunt verius quam nascuntur. sed 
prius niirari succurrit qua retulimus paenuria pro 
indiviso possessas a feris, depugnante cum his homine 
circa caducos fructus, circa pcndentes vero et ciun 
alitibus, in tanta deliciarum pretia venisse, clarissimo, 
ut cquidem arbitror, exemplo L. Crassi atquc Cn. 
2 Domitii Ahenobarbi. Crassus orator fuit in primis 
nominis Romani ; domus ei niagnifica, sed aliquanto 
praestantior in eodem Palatio Q. CatuU qui Cimbros 
cum C. Mario fiidit, multo vero pulcerrima consensu 
omnium aetate ea in colle V^iminali C. Aquilii cquitis 
Romani clarioris illa etiam quam iuris civllis scientia, 



" Th. liattlf of the Raudine Plain, lUl B.c. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 



BOOK XVII 

I. We have now stated the natiu'e of the trees that Arbori. 
grow of their own accord on land and in the sea ; and 'yuil^^i^ 
there remain those which owe what is more truly de- '''«^^- 
>^cribed as their foi-mation than their birth to art and 
to the ingenioas devices of mankind. But it is in place 
first to express surprise at the way in which the trees 
that, under the niggardly system that we have 
recorded, were held in common ownersliip by the wild 
animals, with man doing battle with them for the fruit 
that fell to the ground and also with the birds for that 
which still hung on the tree, have come to command 
such high prices as articles of luxury — the most famous 
instance, in my judgement, being the aifair of Lucius 
Crassus and Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus. Crassus 
was one of the leading Roman orators ; he owned a 
splendid mansion, but it was considerablv surpassed 
by another that was also on the Palatine Ilill, be- 
longing to Quintus Catulus, the coUeague of Gaius 
Marius in the defeat" of the Cimbrians ; while by far 
the tinest house of that period was by universal agree- 
ment the one on the Viminal Hill owned by Gaius 
Aquilius, Knight of Rome, who was even more cele- 
brated for this property than he was for his knowledge 
of civil law, although nevertheless in the case of 

3 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

3 cum ^ tamen obiecta Crasso sua est. nobilissimarum 
gentium ambo censuram post consulatus simul 
gessere anno cunditae urliis dclxii frequentem iur«;iis 
propter dissiinilitudinem morum. tum Cn. Domitiu»». 
ut erat vehemens natura, praeterea accensus odio, 
quod ex aemulatione acidissimum - est, graviter in- 
crepuit tanti censorem habitare, m hs pro domo eius 

4 identidem promittens ; et Crassus, ut praesens ingenio 
semper et ^ faceto lepore sollers, addicere se re- 
spondit exceptis sex arboribiLS. ac ne uno quidem 
denario si adimerentur emptam volente Domitio 
Crassus ' Utrumne igitur ego sum,' inquit, ' quaeso, 
Domiti,exemplo gra\is et ipsa mea censura notandus 
qui domo quae mihi hereditate ol)venit comiter 

5 habitem, an tu cjui sex arbores m aestimes?' hae 
fuere lotoe patula ramorum opacitate lascivae, 
Caecina Largo e proceribus crebro iuventa nostra 
eas in domo sua ostentante, duraveruntque, quo- 
niam et de longissimo aevo arborum diximus, ad 
Neronis principis incendia [quibus creraavit urbem 
annis postea] * cultu virides iuvenesque, ni princeps 

6 ille adcelerasset etiam arborum mortem. ac ne 
quis vilem de cetero Crassi domum nihilque in ea 

^ tum? Mai/hoff. 

* acidissimum V Mai/hoff: avidissimuin n«/ audissimum. 

' Rackhnm {ita': Warmington) : ut. 

' Serl. Dethfxeii. 



BOOK XVII. I. 2-6 

Crassus his mansion was considered a reproach to him. 
Crassus and Domitius both belonged to famiHes of high 
distinction, and they were colleagues as consuls and 
afterwards, in 92 b.c, as censors : owing to their 
dissimilarity of oharacter their tenure of the censorship 
was fiUed with quarrels between theni. On the oc- 
casion referred to, Gnaeus Domitius, being a man of 
hasty temper and moreover inflamed by that par- 
ticularly sour kind of hatred which springs out of 
rivalry, gave Crassus a severe rebuke for hving on so 
expensive a scale when holding the ofKce of censor, 
and repeatedly declared that he would give a milHon 
sesterces for his mansion ; and Crassus, who ahvays had 
a ready wit and was good at clever repartees, repHed 
that he accepted the bid, with the reservation of half 
a dozen trees. Domitius dccHned to buy the place 
even for a shiUing without the timber. ' WeH then,' 
said Crassus,' teH me pray,Domitius,am I the onewho 
is setting a bad example and who deserves a mark of 
censure from the very ofFice which I am m}'self 
occupying — I, who Hve quite unpretentiously in the 
house that came to me by inheritance, or is it you, 
who price six trees at a miHion sesterces ? ' The trees 
referred to were nettle-trees, with an exuberance of 
spreading, shady branches ; Caecina Largus, one 
of the great gentlemen of Rome, in our young days 
used frequently to point them out in the mansion, of 
which he was then the owner, and they lasted — as we 
have already also spoken of the Hmits of longevity in xvi. 234 
trees — down to the Emperor Nero's conflagration, '^-^ ^^ 
thanks to careful tendance stiH verdant and vigorous, 
had not the emperor mentioned hastened the death 
even of trees. And let nobody suppose that Crassus's 
inansion was in other respects a poo. affair, and that it 

5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

iurganti Doniitio fuisse licendum ^ praeter arbores 
iudicct, iam columnas vi - Hymettii marnioris aedili- 
tatis gratia ad scenam ornandam advectas in atrio 
eius domus statuerat, cum in publico nondum essent 
ullae marmoreae : tam recens estopulentia ! tantoque 
timc i>lus lionoris arbores domibus adferebant ut 
sine illis ne inimicitiarum quidem pretium servaverit 
Domitius. 

7 Fuere ab his et cognomina antiqui>^ : Frondicio 
militi illi qui praeclara facinora \'olturnum transna- 
tans frondc inposita adversus Hannibalem cdidit, 
Stolonum Liciniae genti : ita appellatur in ipsis 
arboribus fruticatio inutilis, unde et pampinatio 
inventa primo Stoloni dcdit nomon. fuit ct arborum 
cura lcgibus priscis, cautumque est .\n tabulis ut qui 
iniuria cecidisset alienas lueret in singulas aeris x.w, 
quid existimamus, venturasne eas credidisse ad 
supra dictam aestimationem illos qui vtl frugifcras 

8 tanti taxaverant ? nec minus miraculum iii pomo cst 

multarum circa suburbana fructu annuo addicto binis 

milibus nummum, maiore singularum reditu quam 

erat apud antiquos pracdioruni. ob hoc insita et 

arborum quoque adulteria excogitata sunt, ut nec 

' Mayhojf : diconfluni. 

» Urlichs(cf. XXXVI. 7): iv. 



BOOK XVII. I. 6-8 

contained nnthing beside trees to attract this pro- 
voking bid from Domitius ; on the contrary, he liad 
already erected for decorative purposes in the court of 
thc niansion six pillars of marble from Mt. Hymettus, 
which in view of his aedileship he had imported to em- 
belHsh the staffc of the theatre — and this althouffh 
hitherto there were no marble pillars in any public 
place : of so recent a date is luxurious wealth ! And 
at that date so much greater distinction was added to 
mansions by trees that Domitius actually would not 
keep to the price suggested by a quarrel without the 
timber in question being thrown in. 

In forraer generations people even got their surnames Meii's names 
from trees ; for instance Frondicius, the soldier ^yho •^''^"* ""^*^*" 
performed such remarkable exploits against Hanni- 
hal, swimming across the Volturno with a screen of 
fohage on his head, and the Licinian family of the 
Stolones — stolo being the word for the useless suckers 
growing on the actual trees, on account of which the 
first Stolo received the name from his invention of a 
process of trimming vines. In early daj-s trees cven 
werc protected by the law, and the Twelve Tables 
provided that anybody wrongfuUy felhng another 
man's trees should be fined 25 ass^s for each tree. 
What are we to think ? That people of old who rated 
even fruit-trees so highlv beUeved that trees woukl 
rise to the value mentioncd above ? And in the Vaimbie 
rnatter of fruit-trees no less marvellous are many of •^''""""'*^*' 
those in the districts surrounding the city, the produce 
of which is every year knocked down to bids of 2000 
sesterces per tree, a single tree yielding a larger return 
than farms used to do in old days. It was on this 
account that grafting, and the practice of adultery 
even by trees, was devised, so that not even fruit 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

9 ponia pauperibus nascercntur. nunc ergo dicemus 
quonani maxinio modo tantum ex his vectiffal 
contingat, veram colendi rationem absolutamque 
prodituri, et ideo non volgata tractabimus nec quae 
cmistarc animo advertimus, sed incerta atque dubia 
in quibus maxime fallitur vita ; nam diliffcntiam 
supcrvacuis adfcctare non nostrum est. antc omnia 
autcm [in universum et] ^ quac ad cuncta arborum 
genera prrtinent in commune de caelo terraque 
diccmus. 

10 II. Aquilone maxime gaudent, densiores ab adHatu 
eius laetiorcsque et materie firmiores. qua in re 
pleriquc falluntur, cum in vineis pedamenta non sint 
a vento eo opponenda et id tantum a septentrione 
scrvandum. quin immo tempcstiva frigora pluri- 
mum arborum firmitati confcrunt et sic optime 
germinant, alioqui, si blandiantur austri, defeti- 

11 sccntcs, ac magis ctiam in florc. nam si cum de- 
florucrc protinus scquantur imbrcs, in totum poma 
dcpcrcunt, adeo ut amygdalnc et piri, etiam si 
omnino nubilum fuit austrinusvc flatus, amittant 
fetus. circa vcrgilias quidem pluere inimicissimum 
viti ct olcac, quoniam tum coitus cst carum ; hoc 
cst illud quadriduum olcis decretorium, hic articulus 
austrinus nubili spurci quod diximus. fruges quoque 
peius maturescunt austrinis diebus, sed celerius. 

» Secl. Mayhoff. 

• Thifl comes from Tbeophrafitus and is applicable to Greece, 
not Ttaly. 

* At thf ond of spring. 



BOOK XVII. I. S-ii. II 

should grow for the poor. We will now therefore 
statc in what manner it chiefly comes about that such a 
large revenue is dcrived from thesc trees, going on to 
set forth the genuine and pcrfect method of cultiva- 
tion, and for that purpose we sliall not treat of the 
commonly known facts and those which we observe to 
be established, but of uncertain and doubtful points 
on which practical conduct chiefly goes wrong ; as it is 
not our plan to give carcful attcntion to superfluities. 
But first of all we will spcak about matters of climate 
and soil that concern all kinds of trees in common. 

II. Trees are specially fond of anorth-east "aspect, Effcctoj 
wind in that quarter rendering their foliage denser "/^3«^." 
and more abundant and their timber stronger. This 
is a point on which most people make a mistake, as the 
props in a vineyard ought not to be placed so as to 
shelter the stems froni wind in that quarter, and this 
precaution should only be taken against a north wind. 
What is more, exposure to cold at the proper season 
contributes verv- greatly to the strength of the trees, 
and they bud best under those circumstances, as 
otherwise, if exposed to the caresscs of the winds from 
the south-west, they languish, and especially when in 
blossom. In fact if the fall of the blossom is followed 
immediately by rain, the fruit is entirely ruined — so 
much so that almonds and pears lose their crop of fruit 
If the weather should be only cloudy or a south-west 
wind prevail. Rain at the rising of the Pleiads ^* indeed 
is extremely unfavourable for the vine and the olive, 
becaase that is their fertilizing season ; this is the four- 
day period that decides the fate of thc olives, this is the 
critical point when a south wind brings the dirty clouds 
we spoke of. AIso cereals ripen worse on days when xvi. 109. 
the wind is in the south-west, though they ripen faster. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

12 illa sunt noxia fi*igora quae septentrionibus aut prae- 
posteris fiunt horis ; hiemem quidem aquiloniam 
esse omnibus satis utiHssimum. imbres vcro tum 
expetoiidi cvidens causa est, quoniam arborcs fctu 
exinanitas et foliorum quoque amissione ^ languidas» 
naturale est aAidc esurirc, cibus autem carum imbcr. 

13 quarc tepidam esse hiemem, ut al)sumpto partu 
arborum scquatur protinus conceptus, id est gcr- 
minatio, ac dcinde alia florescendi exinanitio, inutilis- 
shnum experimcntis creditur. quin immo si plures 
ita continucntur anni, etiam ipsac moriantur - arbores, 
quando ncmini dubia poena est in famc laborantium ; 
crgo (jui dixit hiemes serenas optandas non pro 

14 arboribus vota fecit. nec per solstitia imbrcs vitibus 
conducunt. hibcrno quidem pulvcrc lactiorcs fieri 
mcsses luxiu-iantis ingcnii fcrtilitatc dictimi est ; 
ahoqui vota arborum frugumque communia sunt 
nivcs diutinas sedcre. caasa non sohnn quia animam 
terrae evanescentcm exhalationc inckidunt ct con- 
j)rimunt rctroquc agunt in vires frugum atquc 
radices, verum quod ct liquorcm scnsim pracbent, 
purum practerca levissimiimquc, tjuando aquarum 

15 caelestium spuma pruina est.^ ergo umor ex his non 
universus ingurgitans diluensque, sed quomodo sititur 

^ Edd. : einissionc. 

* moriiintur edd. 

' liarkhnvi : Bpuma est (pruina est cd. Par. Lat. 6795). 

" Virgil, Georgics I. 100 hiemes orate serenae. 

* A fragment of primitive versc prescrved by Macrobius 
Siitum. V. 20 runs : 

Hibemo pulvere, venio Into 
Grandia farra, Camille, metofi. 
' Perhaps: 'thanks to a natural tcndenry to abundant 
growth '. 



BOOK XVII. 11. 12-15 

Cold weather onlv does damage when it comes with 
northerly winds, or not at the proper seasons ; indeed 
for a north-east wind to prevail in winter is most bene- 
ficial for all crops. But there is an obvious reason for 
desiring rain in that season, because it is natural for 
the trees when exhausted by bearing fruit and also by 
the loss of their leaves to be famished with hunger, 
and rain is a food for them. Consequently experience 
iiispires the belief that a mild winter, causing the trees 
the moment thev have finished bearing to conceive, 
that is to bud, again, this l)eing followed by another 
exhausting period of blossoming, is an extremely 
detrimental thing. Indeed if several years in suc- 
cession should take this course, even the trees them- 
selves may die, since no one can doubt the punishment 
they suffer from putting forth their strength when in 
a hungry condition ; conscquently the poet who told 
us to pray for finer winters * was not framing a Htany 
for the benefit of trees. Nor yet is wet weather over 
midsummer good for vines. It has indeed been said,'' Treesbene. 
thanks to the fertility of a vivid imagination,-^ tliat dust ^'^'^ bysmw. 
in winter makes more abundant harvests; but, quite 
apart from this, it is the prayer of trees and crops in 
common that snow may he a long time. The reason 
is not only because snow shuts in and imprisons the 
earth's breath when it is disappearing by evaporation, 
and drives it back into the roots of the vegetation to 
make strength, but because it also affords a gradual 
supply of moisture, and this moreover of a pure and 
extremely hght quality, owing to the fact that rime is 
the foam of the waters of heaven. Consequently the 
moisture from snow, not inundating and drenching 
everything all at once,but shedding drops as from a 
breast in proportion to the thirst felt, nourishes all 



PLINY: NATUUAL IIISTORY 

destillans vi-Iut ex ubere, alit oiiinia cjuia ^ non 
inundat. tellus quoque illo modo fermentescit, et 
sui plena,^ lactesccntibus satis non effeta, cum tempus 
aperiit ' tepidis adridet horis. ita maxime frumenta 
pinguescunt. praeterquani ubi calidu*^ semper aer 
est, ut in Aesjvj^to : continuatio tnim et ipsa consue- 
tudo idem quod modus aliubi eHicit ; plurimumque 

ICi prodcst ubicumque iion esse quod noceat. in maiore 
parte orbis, rum praecoces excurrere genninationes 
cvocatae indulgcntia caeli, secutis frigoribus exur- 
untur. qua de causa serotinae hiemes noxiae, sil- 
vestribus quoque, quae magis etiam dolent urgucnte 
umbra sua nec adiuvante medicina, quando vestire 
teneras intorto stramento in silvestribus non est. 

17 ergo tempestivae aquae hibernis primum imbribus. 
dein germinationem antecedentibus ; tcrlium tcmpus 
est cum educant poma, nec pnttinus scd iam valido 
fetu. quac fructus suos diutius contincnt longiores- 
quc dcsidcrant cilxjs, liis et serotinae aquac utilcs, ut 
viti, olcae, punicis. hae tamen * pluviae generis 
cuiusque arboribus diverso modo desiderantur, aliis 
alio temporc maturanlibus ; quaproptcr eisdcm 
iiiibribu^ aIi(|Ma lacdi vidcas, ali(]ua iuvari ctiain in 

' Maifhoff: (\\\i\o. - JJetlefsen : i^lciiji a. 

• Hnrhham : ji]icrit. * Mayhoff: iaiii. 



BOOK XVII. n. 15-17 

vegetation for the vevy reason that it does not dchijre 
it. In this \vav the earth also is niade to ferment, 
and is filled w ith her own substance, not exhausted by 
seeds sown in her trying to suck her milk, and when 
lapse of time has removed her covei'ing she greets the 
mild hours with a smile. This is the method to make 
corn crops fatten most abundantly — except in coun- 
tries where the atmosphere is always warm, for in- 
stance Egypt : for there the unvarying temperature 
and the mere force of habit produce the same efFect 
as management produces elscwhere ; and in any place 
it is of the greatest benefit for there to be nothing to 
cause harm. In the greater part of the world, when 
at the summons of heaven's indulgence the buds have 
hurried out too early, if cold weather foHows they 
arc shrivelled up. This is why late winters are inju- 
rious, even to forest trees as well, which actually suffer 
worse, because they are weighed down by tlieir own 
shade, and because remedial mcasures cannot help 
them, to clothe the tender plants with wisps of straw 
not being possible in the case of forest trees. Con- Ejjectsoj 
sequently rain is favourable first at the period of '"'""• 
the winter storms, and next with thc wet weather 
coming before the l)udding period ; and a third season 
is when the trees are forming their fruit, though not 
at the first stage but when the growth has become 
strong and healthy. Trees that hold back their fruit 
later and necd more prolonged nourishment also 
receive benefit from late rains, for instance the vine, 
the olive and the pomegranate. These rains, however, 
are required in a different manner for each kind of 
tree, as they come to niaturity at diffei-ent times ; con- 
sequently you may see the same storm of rain causing 
damage to some trees and benefiting others even 

13 



PLINY : XATUUAL HLSTORY 

eodem genere, sicut in piris alio die hil)erna quaerunt 
pluvias. alio vero praecocia, ut pariter quidem omnia 
desiderent hibernum tempus ^ ante gcrminationem. 

18 quae aquilonem austro utiliorem facit ratio eadem 
mediterranea maritimis praefert — sunt enini plerum- 
que frigidiora — et montuosa planis et nocturnos 
imbres diurnis : magis fruuntur aquis sata non 
statim auferente eas sole. 

19 Conexa et situs vinearum arbustorum()ue ratio est, 
quas in horas debeant spectare. \'ergilius ad occa- 
sus seri damna\-it, aliqui sic maluere quam in exortu, 
a pluribus meridiem probari adverto ; nec arbitror 
perpetuum quicquam in hoc praecipi posse — ad soli 
naturam, ad loci ingenium, ad caeH cuiusque mores 

20 dirigcnda sollertia est. in Africa meridiem vinaes 
spectare et viti inutile et colono insalubre est, quoniam 
ipsa meridianae subiacet phigae, quapropter ibi qui 
in occasum aut septentriones conseret optime misce- 
bit solum caelo. cum Vergilius occasus improbet, 
nec de septentrione r^^linqui dubitatio videtur; 
atqui in subalpina ^ Italia magna ex parte vineis 
ita positis compertum est nullas esse fertiliores. 

21 rnultum rationis optinent et venti. in Narbonensi 
provincia atque Liguria et parte Etruriae contra 

• lan : tempus est (tempus set Mayhojf). 

* aubalpina ? Mayhojf : cisalpina (cisalpina Gallia S(rack). 

" I.e. the trees up which the vines are trained. 
14 



BOOK XVII. II. 17-21 

in the same class of trees, as for example among pears, 
winter varieties require rain on one day and early 
pcars on another, although thcy all alikc nced a period 
of wintry wcather beforc budding. The same cause 
that makcs a north-west wind more beneficial than 
a south-west wind also rcnders inland regions supcrior 
to placcs on thc coast — the rcason bcing that they are 
iisually coolcr — and mountain districts superior to 
plains, and rain in the night prcfcrable to rain by day, 
vegctation gctting more enjoyment from the water 
whcn the sun docs not immcdiately make it evaporatc. 

Connectcd with this subject is also the theory oi Effcctsoj 
the situation for vincyards and trees " — what aspcct ^,^gf "" 
they should face. Virgil condemned their being 
planted looking wcst, but some have prefcrred that ceorg. 11, 
aspect to an easterly position, while most authori- ^^^- 
ties, I notice, approve the south; and I do not 
think that any hard and fast rule can be laid down 
on this point — skilled attention must be paid to the 
nature of the soil, the character of the locality and 
the fcatures of the particular climate. In Africa 
for \incyards to face south is bad for the vine and 
also unhealthy for the growcr, because thc country 
itsclf lics under the southern quartcr of the sky, 
and consequently he who there chooses a westcrly 
or northcrn aspcct for planting will achieve the 
best blending of soil with climate. When Virgil 
condemns a western aspcct, there seems no doifbt 
that he condemns a northern aspect also, although in 
Italy bclow the Alps it has generally been expcri- 
enced that no vineyards bear better than thosc so 
situated. The wind also forms a great consideration. 
In the province of Narbonne and in Liguria and part of 
Tuscany it is thought to be a mistake to plant vines 

15 



rLlNY: NATURAL HISTORY 

circium screre iniperitia existimatur, eundemque 
oblicum accipere providentia ; is namque acstatcs 
ibi teniperat, sed tanta plerumcpie violentia ut 
'22 aufcrat tocta. quidam caelum terrae parere cogunt 
ut quae in siccis serantur orientem ac septen- 
triones spectent, quae in umidis meridiem. nec 
non ex ipsis vitibus ^ causas mutuantur, in frijjidis 
praccoces serendo, ut maturitas antecedat algorem, 
quae poma vitesque rorem oderint, contra ortus, ut 
statim auferat sol, quae ament, ad occasus vel etiam 

23 ad septentriones, ut diutius eo fruantur. cetcri 
fere rationem naturae secuti in aquilonem obversas 
vites et arbores poni suasere : odoratiorem etiam 
fieri talem fructum Democritus putat. Aquilonis 
situm ventorumque reliquorum diximus secundo 
volumine, dicemusque proximo plura caelestia. 
interim manifestum videtur salubritatis argumentum 
quoniam in meridicm ctiam spcctantium semper 
antc dccidant folia. similis et in maritimis causa : 

24 quibusdam locis adflatus maris noxii, in plurimis idem 
alunt, quibusdam satis e longinquo aspicere maria 
iucundum, propius admoveri salis halitum inutilc. 
siniilis et fluminum stagnorumque ratio : ncbulis 
aduruut aut acstuantia rcfrigcrant. opacitatc atque 

• vitis Dellefsen. 
i6 



BOOK XVII. II. 21-24 

in a position directly facing a west-north-west wind, 
but at thc same time to be a wise arrangement to let 
them catch the wind from that quarter sideways, 
because it moderates the heat of summer in those 
regions, although it usually blows with such violence as 
to carrj' away the roofs of houses. Some people make 
the question of aspect depend on the nature of the 
soil, letting ^ines planted in dry situations face east 
and north and those in a damp one south. Moreover, 
they borrow rules from the vines themselves, by plant- 
ing early varieties in cold situations, so that their 
ripening mav come before the cold w eather, and fruit- 
trees and vines that dislike dew, \vith an eastern 
aspect, so that the sun may carry off the moisture at 
once,but those that Uke dew, facing west or even north, 
so that they may enjoy it for a longer time. But the 
rest, virtually following Nature's system, have recom- 
mended that vines and trees should be placed so as to 
face north-east ; and Democritus is of opinion that 
the fruit so grown also has more scent. We have 
dealt in Book Two with positions facing north-east and il. 119. 
the other quarters, and we shall give more meteoro- 
logical details in the next Book. In the meantime f ^ii- 
a clear test of the healthiness of the aspect seems to "' 
lie in the fact that trees facing south are alwavs the 
first to shed their leaves. A similar influence also 
operates in maritinie districts : sea breezes are in- 
jurious in sonie places, wliile at the same tinie in most 
places they encourage growth ; and some plants like 
having a distant view of the sea but are not benefited 
by being moved nearer to its sahne exhalations. A 
similar principle applies also to rivers and marshes : 
they shrivel up vegetation by their mists or else they 
serve to coul excessively hot districts. The trees 

17 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

etiani rigore gaudent quae dixiums. quare experi- 
mentis optime creditur. 

25 III. A caelo proximum est terrae dixisse rationem, 
haud faciliore tractatu, quippe non eadem arboribus 
convenit et frugibus plerumque, nec puUa qualem 
habet Campania ubique optima vitibus, aut quae 
tenues exhalat nebulas, nec rubrica multis laudata. 
cretam in Albensium Pompeianorum agro et argillam 
cunctis ad vineas generibus anteponunt, quamquam 
praepingues,^ quod excipitur in eo genere. invicem 
sabulum album in Ticiniensi multisque in locis 
nigrum itemque rubrum, etiam pingui terrae per- 

26 mixtum, infecundum est. argumenta quoque iudi- 
cantium saepe fallunt. non utique laetum solum 
est in quo procerae arbores nitent praeterquam illis 
arboribus ; quid enim abiete procerius ? at quae 
vixisse possit alia in loco eodem ? nec luxuriosa 
pabula pinguis soli semper indicimii habent : nam 
quid laudatius Germaniae pabuhs ? at ^ statim subest 

27 harena tenuissinio caespitum corio. nec semper 
aquosa est terra cui proceritas herbarum, n<in, Her- 
cules, magis quam pinguis adhaerens digitis, quod in 
argillis arguitur. sc robcs quidem regesta in eosdem ^ 
nulla * conplet, ut dcnsa atque rar.a ad hunc modum 
deprehendi possit ; ferroque omnis ruljiginem obducit. 

' praepingue est Detlefsen. * Mayhoff : et. 

' Rackhtim: eos. ♦ nulla<non> ? Wai-mxngton. 

" The writer is here contradicting Virgil, who says in 
Georgics II. 217-237 that a steamy soil which sucks up moisturo 
and is always covcrcd with grass, and which does not make 
iron rust, is good for vincs trained up elni-trees, for olives, and 
for grazing and ploughland ; and as a method of testing the 
quality of the soil he suggests digging a hole and then tilling 
it in again, when if the earth does nnt coniplftcly fdl the holc 

i8 



trees, 
nd 

XVI. 74. 



BOOK XVII. 11. 24-111. 27 

that we liave specified like shade and even cold. 
Consequently the best course is to rely on experiment. 

III. It comes next after the heavens to give an soiu favcnir- 
account of the earth, a subject no easier to deal with, "^lfYj^and 
inasmuch as the same land is not as a rule suited for cTCf:' 
trees and for crops, and the black earth of the kind 
that exists in Campania is not the best soil for vines 
evervwhere, nor is a soil that emits thin clouds of 
vapour, nor the red earth that many writers have 
praised. The chalky soil in the territory of Alba 
Pompeia and a clay soil are preferred to all the other 
kinds for vines, although they are very rich,a quality 
to which exception is made in the case of that class of 
plants. Conversely the white sand in the Ticino dis- 
trict, and the black sand found in many places, and 
likewise red sand, even when intermingled with rich 
soil, are unproductive. The signs adduced in judging 
soil are often misleading. A soil in which lofty trees 
do brilUantly is not invariably favourable except for 
those trees : for what grows higher than a silver fir ? 
yet what other tree could have lived in the same 
place ? Nor do luxuriant pastures always indicate a 
rich soil : for what is more famous than the pastures of 
Germany ? but immediately underneath a very thin 
skin of turf there is sand. And land where plants grow 
high is not always damp, any more, I protest, than 
soil that sticks to the fingers is always rich — a fact that 
is proved in the case of clay soils. In point of fact no 
soil when put back into the holes out of which it is dug 
completely fills them, so as to make it possible to 
detect a close soil and a loose soil in this manner; 
and all soil covers iron with rust." Nor can a heavy 

the land will be suitable for grazing and for vineyards, but 
if it raore than GIls it the soil will do for heavy arable land. 

19 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

nec pravis aut levior iusto deprehenditur pondere : 
quod «'iiini pondus terrae iustuni intellegi potest ? 
neque Huminibus adgesta semper laudabilis, quando 

28 senescant sata quaedam aquosa sede ^; neque illa 
quae laudatur diu praeterquam salici iitilis sentitur. 
inter arjLTunicnta stipulae crassitudo est, tanta alioqui 
in Leborino Campaniae nobili campo ut ligni vice 
utantur; sed id solum ubicumque arduum operc, 
difficili cultu ^ bonis suis acrius paene quam vitiis 

2'J posset adfligit agricolam. et carbunculus, quae terra 
ita vocatur,^ emendari marga * vidotur : nam tofus 
naturae ^ friabilis expetitur quoque ab auctoribus. 
\'ergilius et quae filicem ferat non inprobat vitibus ; 
salsaeque terrae multa melius creduntur, tutiora a 
vitiis innascentium animalium. nec colles opere 
nudantiu" si quis perite fodiat, nec campi omnes 
minus solis atque perflatus qiiam opus sit accipiunt ; 
et quasdam pruinis ac nebulis pasci dixinms vites. 
omniuin rerum sunt (juaedam in alto sccreta et suo 

3t» cuiquc corde pervidenda. qiiid (piod niutantur 
saepe iudicata quoque et diu conperta ? ^ in Thes- 
salia circa Larisam emisso lacu frigidior facta ea 
regio est, oleaeque desierunt quae prias fuerant, 

* Rackhnm: aqua scd (aquae sedo ? Mayhojf). 
^ [difficili cultul ? Rnrkham 

* [qnac . . . vocatiir| ? Rackhnm. 

* marjza Usener: videmacra el alia (intcnta cnra Mai/hoff). 
' Mayhoff : natura Detlefscn: scaber natura edd. vetl.: 

scabcr ac iSillig : satura ac aut satur ac. 

* Oehn. : comprcssa. 



Hcd Randstone. 



BOOK XVir. III. 27-30 

or a light soil be detected bv a standard of weight, 
for what can be understood to be the standard weight 
of earth ? Nor is alluvial soil deposited by rivers 
always to be recommended, seeing that some plants 
do not flourish in a damp situation ; nor does that 
much praised alluvial soil prove in experience to be 
beneficial for a longperiod,except for a willow. One of 
the signs of a good soil is the thickness of the stalk in 
corn, which incidentally in the famous Leborine plain 
in Campania is so large that they use it as a substitute 
for wood ; but this cuiss of soil is every where hard to 
work, and owing to this difliculty of cultivation puts 
ahnost a heavier burden on the farmcr because of its 
merits than it could possibly inflict by reason of 
defects. Also the soil designated glo^\ing-coal earth " 
appears to be improved bv marl ; and in fact tufa of a 
pliable consistency is actually hcld by the authorities to 
be a desideratum. For vines Virgil actually does not 
disapprove of a soil in which ferns grow ; and many fg^"* ' 
plants are improved by being entrusted to salt land, 
as they are better protected against damage from 
creatures breeding in the ground. Ilillsides are not 
denuded of their soil bv cuUivation if the digging is 
done skilfully, and not all level ground gets less than 
the necessary amount of sun and air; and some 
varieties of vine, as we have said, draw nourishment xiv. 23. 
from frosts and clouds. AU matters contain some 
deeply hidden mysterics, which each pcrson must use 
his own intelligence to penetrate. What of the fact 
that changes often occur cven in things that have been 
investigated and ascertained long ago? In the 
district of Larisa in Thessaly the emptying of a lake 
has lowered the temperature of the district, and olives 
which used to grow there before have disappeared, 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

item vites aduri, quod non antca, . . J Aenos sensit 
admoto Hebro, et circa Philippos cultura siccata 
reo;io mutavit caeli habitum. at in Syracusano ajijro 
advena cultor elapidato solo perdidit fruges luto, 
doncc regessit lapides. in Syria levem tenui sulco 
inprimunt vomerem, quia subest saxum exurens 
aestate semina. 

31 lam in quibusdam locis similis aestus inmodici et 
frigorum efFectas. est fertihs frugum Thracia ' 
ri^orc, aestiVnis Africa et Acfjyptus. in Chalcia 
Rhodiorum insula locus quidam est in tantum 
fecundiLs ut suo tempore satum demetant hordcum 
sublatoque ' protinus serant et cum ahis frugibus 
metant. glareosum oleis sohim aptissimum in 
Venafrano, pinguissimum in Baetica. Pucina vina 
in saxo cocuntur, Caccubae vites in Pomtinis palu- 
dibus madcnt. tanta est argumentorum ac soH 

.32 varietas ac differentia. Caesar Vopiscus cum causam 
apud censorcs ageret campos Rosiae dixit Itahae 
sumcn esse, in quibus pcrticas pridie rchctas gramen 
operiret ; sed non nisi ad pabuhnn probantur. non 
tamen indociles natura nos esse voluit, et vitia confessa 

' Piiitianits : coepcrunt, contra calorem augcri) Urlichs. 
^ frugum Thracia ? Mayhoff : Thracia frugum. 
' Rackham : sublatumque. 

" The MS. text spcms to give ' olives . . . have disappeared ; 
aleo thc city of Aenos has seen its vines nipped, which did not 
occ\ir before, since the rivor Maritza . . .' The paasage has 
been conjecturaliy expanded to conform with Theophraetus 
on which it is based. 

* East of Aquileia. 
22 



BOOK XVII. iii. 30-32 

also the vines have begun to be nipped, which did not 
occur before ; while on the other hand the city of 
Aenos, since the river Maritza was brought near to it, 
has experienced an increase of warmth " and the district 
round Philippi altered its cUmate when its land under 
cultivation was drained. On the other hand on land 
belonging to Syracuse a farmer who was a newcomer to 
the district by removing the stones from the soil caused 
his crops to be ruined by mud, until he carried the 
stones back again. In Syria they use a hglit plough- 
share that cuts a narrow furrow, because the sub- 
soil is rock which causes the seeds to be scorched 
in summer. 

Again, immoderate heat and cold have a similar sot/ anJ 
effect in certain places. Thrace owes its fertility in "* 
corn to cold, Africa and Egypt to heat. There is one 
place in the ishmd of Chalcia belonging to Rhodes 
which is so fertile that they reap barley sown at its 
proper time and after carrving it at once sow the field 
again and reap a second crop of barley with the other 
harvest. In the district of Venafrum a gravel soil is 
found to be most suitable for ohves, but in Baetica a 
very rich soil. The vines of Pucinum * are scorched on 
rock, whereas those of Caecubum grow in the damp 
ground of the Pontine Marshes. So much variety 
and diversitv obtains in the evidence of experience 
and in soil. Vopiscus Caesar when appearing 
in a case before the Censors spoke of the plains of 
Rosia as ' the paps of Italy ', where stakes left 
lying on the ground the day before were hidden 
with grass ; but these plains are only valued for 
pasture. Nevertlieless Nature did not wish that we 
should be iminstructed, and has caused errors to be 
fully admitted even where she had not given clear 

23 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fecit etiani ubi bona certa non fecerat : quaniobrem 
primuni crimina dicemus. 

33 Terram aniaram [probaverim] ^ demonstrant eius ^ 
atrae degeneresque herbae, frigidam autem retor- 
ride nata, item uliginosam tristia, rubricam oculi 
argillamquc, operi difficillimas quaeque rastros aut 
vomcres ingentibus glaebis onerent, quamquam non 
quod operi lioc et fructui adversum ; item e contrario 
cineraceam et sabulum album ; nam sterilis denso 
callo facile deprehenditur vel uno ictu cuspidis. 

34 Cato breviter atque ex suo more vitia determinat : 
' Terram cariosam cave neve plaustro neve pecore 
inpellas.' quid putamus hac appellatione ab eo 
tantopere reformidari ut paene vestigiis quoque 
intcrdicat? redigamas ad ligni cariem, et invcnie- 
mus illa quae in tantum abominatur vitia aridae, 
fistulosae, scabrae, canentis, exesae, pumicosae. 

3") plus dixit una significatione quam possit ulla copia 
sermonis enarrari. est enini interpretalione vitio- 
rum quaedam non aetate, quae nulla in ea intellegi 
potest, sed natura sua anilis,^ terra, et ideo infecunda 

36 ad omnia atque inbecilla. idem agrum optimum 
iudicat ab radice montium planitie in meridiem 
excurrentem,* qui est totius Italiae situs, terram vero 
teneram quae vocetur pulla ; erit igitur haec optima 

* Secl. Mai/hoff {vel proltaturia). 

* Mayhoff: eas. 

* Mayhoff: anus. 

* Rarkham : excurrente. 

• De Agri Cvdlura (in early printed editions De Re Ruslica) 
V. 6. 
'- Jbid., I. 3. CLI. 2. 

24 



BOOK XVII. III. 32-36 

information as to the good points ; and accordingly 
\ve viiW first speak about soil defects. 

A bitter soil is indicated by its black undergrown Varieiieso/ 
plants ; shrivelled shoots indicate a cold soil, and 
drooping growths show a damp soil ; red earth and 
damp clay are noted by the eye — they are very 
difficult to work, and Hable to burden the rakes or 
ploughshares with huge clods — although what is an 
obstacle to working the soil is not also a handicap to 
its productivity : and similarly the eye can discern the 
opposite, an ash-coloured soil and a white sand ; while 
a barren soil with its hard surface is easily detected 
by even a single stroke of a prong. Cato " defines 
defects of soil briefly and in his customary style : 
' Take care when the soil is rotten not to dent it 
either with a waggon or bv driving cattle over it '. 
VVhat do we infer from this designation to have been 
the thing that so much alarmed him that he almost 
prohibits even setting foot on it ? Lct us compare it 
with rottenness in wood, and we shall find that the 
faults of soil which he hokls in such aversion consist in 
being dry, porous, rough, white, full of holes and 
Hke pumice-stone. He has said more by one striking 
word than could be fully recounted by any quantity 
of talk. For some soil exists which analysis of its 
vices shows to be not old in age, a term which 
conveys no meaning in the case of earth, but old in its 
own nature, and consequently infertile and powerless 
for everv purpose. The same authoritv ^ gives the 
view that the best land is that extending in a level 
plain from the base of a mountain range in a southerly 
direction, this being the conformation of the whole of 
Italy, and that the soil called ' dark ' is ' tender '; 
consequently this will be the best land both for 

25 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

et operi et satis. intellegere modo libeat dictam 
mira signiticatione teneram, et quidqnid optari debet 

37 in co vocabulo invenictur. illa tcmperatae ubertatis, 
illa mollis facilisque culturae, nec madida nec sitiens, 
illa post vomcrem nitescens, qualem fons ingenionmi 
Homerus in armis a deo ^ caelatam dixit addiditque 
miraculum nigrescentis, quamvis fieret ex auro; 
illa quam recentem exquirunt inprobae alites vome- 
rem comitantes corvique aratoris vestigia ipsa 
rodentes. 

38 Reddatur hoc in loco luxuriae quoque sententia 
aliqua et ^ in propositum certe. Cicero,' lux 
doctrinarum altera, ' Meliora,' inquit, ' unguenta 
sunt quac terram quam quae crocum sapiunt ' — hoc 
enim maluit dixisse quam ' redolent.' ita est pro- 

39 fecto, illa erit optima quae unguenta sapiet. quod 
si admonendi sumus qualis sit terrae odor ille qui 
quaeritur, contingit saepe ctiam quiescente ea sub 
occasum solis, in quo loco arcus caelestes deiecere 
capita sua, et cum a siccitate continua immaduit 
imbre. tunc emittit illum suum halitum divinum 
ex sole conceptum, cui conparari suavitas nulla 
possit. is edi * commota debcbit, rcpcrtusque nemi- 
nem fallct ; ac de terra odor optime iudicabit. 

' Hennolaun : ab eo. 

' Warmington: et alioqui ? Mayhoff: etaliqua (Italica 
SillUj). 

* propositum. Certe Cicero vel propositum certe citatida. 
Cicero con^. Warmington. 

* Warmington: ease. 

» Iliad XVIII. 541 fiF. 
* Dt Oratore III. 99. 
26 



BOOK XVII. III. 36-39 

workiiig and for the crops. We need only try to see 
the meaning of this remarkably significant expression 
' tender ', and we shall discover that the term com- 
priscs every desideratum. ' Tender ' soil is soil of 
moderate richness, a soft and easily worked soil, 
neither damp nor parched; it is soil that shines 
behind the ploughshare, Uke the field which Homer, 
the fountain-head of all genius,has described** as re- 
presented bv a divine artist in a carving on a shield, 
and he has added the niarvellous touch about the 
furrow showing black although the material used 
to represent it was gold ; it is the soil that when 
freshly turned attracts the rascally birds which ac- 
company the ploughshare and thc tribe of crows 
which peck the very footprints of the ploughman. 

In this place moreover mav be quoted a dictum soiu dU- 
as to luxury tliat is also undoubtedly to the point. '^y^l]!^ 
Cicero, that other luminary of learning, says * * Un- smeii. 
guents with an earthy taste are better than those 
with the flavour of saffron ' — he preferred the word 
' taste ' to ' smell '. It is certainly the case that a soil 
which has a taste of perfume will be the best soil. 
And if we need an explanation as to what is the 
nature of this odour of the soil that is desiderated, it 
is that which often occurs even when the ground is 
not being turned up, just towards sunset, at the place 
where the ends of rainbows have come down to earth, 
and when the soil has been drenched with rain follow- 
ing a long period of drought. The earth thcn sends 
out that divine breath of hers, of quite incomparable 
sweetness, which she has conceived from the sun. This 
is the odour which ought to be emitted when the earth 
is turned up, and when found it will deceive no one ; 
and the scent of the soil will be the best criterion of its 

27 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

talis fere est in novalibus caesa vetere silva, quae 

40 conscnsu laudatur. et in frugibus quidem ferendis 
eadem terra utilior intellegitur quotiens intermissa 
cultura quievit, quod in vineis non fit ; eoque est dili- 
gentius eligenda, ne vera existat opinio eorum qui 

41 iam Italiae terram existimavere lassam, operis 
quidem fjicultas ^ in aliis generibus constat et caelo, 
nec potest arari post imbres aliqua, ubertatis vitio 
lentesccns : contra in Byzacio Africae illum centena 
quinquagena fruge fertilem campum nullis, cum 
siccum est, arabilem tauris, post imbres vili asello 
et a parte altera iugi anu vomerem trahcnte vidimus 
scindi. terram enim terra emendandi,' ut aliqui 
praecipiunt, super tenuem pingui iniecta aut gracili 
bibuLique super umidam ac praepinguem, dementis ^ 
operae est : quid potest sperare qui colit talem ? 

42 IV'. Alia est ratio, quam Britanniae et Galliae 
invenere, alendi eam ipsa, genusque quod * vocant 
margam : spissior ubcrtas in ca intellegitur ct quidam 
terrae adipes ac velut glandia in corporibus, ibi 
densante se pinguitudinis nucleo. non omisere et 
hoc Graeci — quid enim intemptatum illis ? leuc- 

* facilitas Mayhoff. 

* emendandi ■ ratio') ? Warmington, sed cf. Tac. Ann. 
XIII. 26. XV. o. 

' lan {rf. II. 85) : dementia. 

* [quodj T Mayhoff. 

38 



BOOK XVII. iii. 39-iv. 42 

qualitA'. This is the kind of earth usuallv found in land 
newlv jiloughed where an old forest has been felled, 
earth that is unanimously spoken highly of. And in 
the matter of bearing cereals the same eax-th is under- 
stood to be more fertile the more often cultivation 
has been suspended and it has lain fallow ; but this 
is not done in the case of vineyards, and consequently 
the greater care must be exercised in the selection of 
their site, so as not to justify the opinion of those who 
have formed the view that the land of Italy has by 
this time been exhausted. In other kinds of soil, it is 
true, ease of cultivation depends also on the weather, 
and some land cannot be ploughed after rain, as owing 
to excessive richness it becomes sticky ; but on the 
other hand in the African district of Bvzacium, that 
fertile phiin which yields an increase of one hundred 
and fiftv fold, land which in dry weather no bulls can 
plough, after a spell of rain we have seen being broken 
bv a plough drawn by a wretched little donkey and an 
old woman at the other end of the yoke. The plan of 
impruving one soil by means of another, as some pre- 
scribe, throwing a rich earth on the top of a poor one 
or a Hght porous soil on one that is moist and too lush, 
is an insane procedure : what can a man possibly 
hope for who farms land of that sort ? 

IV'. There is another method, discovered by the vseofmarU 
provinces of Britain and those of Gaul, the method ^'^ """"""*■ 
of feeding the earth by means of itself, and the kind 
of soil called marl : this is understood to contain a 
more closely packed quality of richness and a kind of 
earthy fatness, and growths corresponding to the 
glands in the body, in which a kernel of fat solidifies. 
This also has not been overlooked by the Greeks — 
indeed what have they left untested ? They give the 

29 



PLINY : XATFRAL IIISTORY 

argillon vocant candidam argillani qua in Megarico 
agro utuntur, sed tantum in umida frigidaque terra. 

43 illam Gallias Britanniasque locupletantem cum cura 
dici convenit. 

Duo genera fuerant, plura nuper exerceri coepta 
proficientibus ingeniis : est cnim alba, rufa, colum- 
bina, argillacea, tofacea, harenacca. natura duplex, 
aspera aut pinguis : experimenta utriusque in manu. 
usus aeque ^ geminus, ut fruges tantum alant aut 

44 eaedem et pabulum. fruges alit tofacea, albatjue 
si inter fontes reperta est, ad infinitum fertilis, verum 
aspera tractatu ; si nimia iniecta est, exurit solum. 
proxima est rufa, quae vocatur acaunumarga, intcr- 
mixto lapide terrae minutae, harenosae. lapis con- 
tunditur in ipso campo, primisquo annis stipula 
difficultcr caeditur propter lapides. inpcndio tamen 
minima levitate dimidio minoris quam ceterae 
invchitur. inspergitur rara; sale eam misceri 
putant. utrumque hoc genus semel iniectum in 
L annos valet et frugum et pabuli ubcrtate. 

4r> Quae pingues esse sentiuntur, ex his praecipua alba. 
plura eius genera : mordacissimum quod supra dixi- 
mus. alterum genus albae creta argentaria est ; 
petitur ex alto, in centcnos pedes actis plerumque 

^ JJellefsen : manus usaeque aut sim. 

* Celtic agaunum, ' stone *. 
30 



BOOK XVII. IV. 42-45 

name of leucargillum to a white clay that they use on 
the land at Megara, biit only where the soil is damp 
and chilly. The other substance brings wealth to 
the provinces of Gaul and Britain, and may suitably 
receive a careful description. 

There had previously been two kinds of marl, but 
recentlv with the progress of discoveries a larger 
number have begun to be worked : there is white marl, 
red marl, dove-coloured marl, argillaceous marl, tufa 
marl and sand marl. It has a two-fold consistency, 
rough or greasy, each of which can be detected by its 
feel in the hand. Its use is correspondingly double, 
to feed cereals only or to feed pasture-land as well. 
Tufa marl nourishes grain, and white marl, if it is found 
where springs rise, has unlimited fertiHzing properties, 
but it is rough to handle, and if it is scattered in ex- 
cessive quantities it scorches up the soil. The next 
kind is the red marl, which is known as acaunumarga,'* 
consistincr of stone minffled with a thin, sandv earth. 
The stone is crushed on the land itself, and in the 
earHest years of its employment the fragments make 
the comstalks difficult to cut ; however, as it is ex- 
tremely Hght it can be carried for only half of the 
cost charged for the other varieties. It is scattered 
on the land thinly ; it is thought to contain a mixture 
of salt. With both of these kinds a single scatter- 
ing serves for fifty years to fertiHze either crops or 
pasture. 

Of the marls that are greasy to the touch the chief 
one is the white. It has several varieties, the most 
pungent being the one mentioned above. Another §§ 43-44. 
variety of white niarl is the chalk used for cleaning 
silver; this is obtained from a considerable depth in 
the ground, usually from pits made 100 feet deep, with 

31 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

puteis. ore angustiore,^ intus ut in metallis spatiante 
vena. hac maxime Britannia utitur. durat annis 
Lxxx, neque est exemplum ullius qui bis in vita hanc 
4C eidem iniecerit. tertium genus candidae glisomar- 
gam vocant ; est autem creta fullonia mixta pingui 
terra, pabuli quam frugum fertilior, ita ut messe 
sublata ante sementem alteram laetissimum secetur ; 
dum fruges,- nuUum aliud gramen emittit. durat 
XXX annis ; densior iusto Signini modo strangulat 
solum. columbinam Galliae suo nomine eglecopalam 
appellant ; glaebis excitatur lapidum modo, sole et 
gelatione ita solvitur ut tenuissimas bratteas faciat. 

47 haec ex aequo fertilis. harenacea utuntur si alia non 
sit, in uliginosis vero et si alia sit. Ubios gentium 
solos novimus qui fertilissinmm agrum colentes 
quacumque terra infra pedes tres eftbssa et pedali 
crassitudine inieeta laetificent ; sed ea non diutius 
annis x prodest. Aedui et Pictones calce uberrimos 
fecere agros, quae sane et oleis vitibusque utilissima 

48 reperitur. omnis autem marga arato inicienda est, 
ut medicamentum rapiatur ; et fimum desiderat 
quantulumcumque, primo plus aspera et quae in 
herbas non effunditur : alioquin noWtatc quaecumque 

' angusto (angustiore ?) Mayhojf: angustur cd. \'at. Lat. 
3861, m. 1 : angustatur rell. 

* Mayhoff : dura in fruge eat (in frugem exit ./. MuelUr). 

32 



BOOK XVII. IV. 45-48 

a narrower mouth but with the shaft expanding in the 
interior, as is the practice in mines. This chalk is 
chiefly used in Britain. Its efFect lasts for 80 years, 
and there is no case of anybody having scattcred it on 
the same land twice in his lifetime. A third kind of 
white marl is called g/;*o;nrtrga ; this is fullers' chalk 
intermixed with a greasy carth, and it is a more etfec- 
tive dressing for pasture than for corn, so that, when 
a crop of corn has been carried, before the next 
sowing a very abundant crop of hay can be cut, 
although while growing corn the land does not produce 
any other plant. Its effect lasts 30 years ; but if it 
is scattered too thickly it chokes the soil just as 
Segni plaster does. For dove-coloured marl the 
GaUic provinccs have a name in their own language, 
eglecopala ; it is taken up in blocks hke stone, and is 
split by the action of sun and frost so as to form ex- 
tremely thin plates. This kind of marl is equally 
beneficial for corn and grass. Farmers use sandy 
marl if no other is available ; but they use it on damp 
soils even if another sort is available. The Ubii are 
the onlv race known to us who while cultivating 
extrcmely fertile land enrich it by digging up any 
sort of earth below three fcet and tlirowing it on 
the land in a layer a foot thick ; but the benefit of 
this top-dressing does not last longer than ten years. 
The Aedui and the Pictones have made their arable 
land extremcly fertile by means of chalk, which is 
indeed also found most aseful for olives and vines. 
But all niarl shoukl be thrown on the hind after it has 
been ploughed, in order that its medicinal properties 
niav bf absorbed at once ; and it requires a moderate 
amount of dung, as at first it is too rough and is 
not ditfused into vegetation ; otherwise whatever 

33 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fuerit solum laedet, ne sic quidem primo anno fertilis. 
interest et quali solo quaeratur; sicca enim umido 
melior, arido pinguis ; temperato alterutra, creta vel 
columbina, convenit. 

49 V. Transpadanis cineris usus adeo placet ut ante- 
ponant fimo, iumentorumque, quod levissimum est, 
ob id exurant. utroque tamen pariter non utuntur 
in eodem arvo, nec in arbustis cinere, nec quasdam ad 
fruges, ut dicemus. sunt qui pulvere quoque uvas ali 
iudicent pubescentesque pulverent et vitium arborum- 
que radicibus adspergant, quod certum est, Nar- 
bonensi provinciae et vindemias circius sic coquit, 
plusque ^ pulvis ibi quam sol confert. 

50 V'I. Fimi plures differentiae, ipsa res antiqua : 
iam apud Homerum regius senex agrum ita laeti- 
ficans suis manibus reperitur. Augeas rex in 
Graecia excogitasse traditur, divulgasse vcro Her- 
cules in Italia, quae regi suo Stercuto Fauni filio 
ob hoc inventum inmortalitatem tribuit. M. Varro 
principatum dat turdorum fimo ex aviariis, quod 
etiam pabulo boum suumque magnificat, neque alio 
cibo celerius pinguescere adseverat. de nostrls 
moribus bene sperare est si tanta apud maiores fuere 

* plus quia Dellefsen. 

" The trecB on which the vines are trained. 

" Od. XXIV. 225. 

' From slercus, ' dung '. 

* De Re Rtutlica I. 38. 2. 

34 



BOOK XVII. IV. 48 VI. 50 

sort of marl is ixsed it will injure the soil by its novelty, 
as even with dung it does not promote fertility in 
the first year. It also makes a difference what sort of 
soil the marl is required for, as the dry kind is better 
for a damp soil and the greasy kind for a dry soil, 
while either sort suits land of medium quality, either 
chalk-marl or dove-marl. 

V. Farmers north of the Po are so fond of employ- other 
ing ash that they prefer it to dung, and they burn """'"'"" 
stable dung, which is the Hghtest kind, in order to 

get the ash. Nevertheless they do not use both 
kinds of manure indifferently in the same field, and 
do not use ashes in plantations of shrubs, nor for 
some kinds of crops, as we shall explain later. Some 
are of the opinion that dust helps the growth of grapes, 
and they sprinkle it on the fruit when it is forming and 
scatter it on the roots of the vines and the trees." 
It is certainly the case that in the Province of Nar- 
bonne a wind from west-north-west ripens vintage 
grapes, and in that district dust contributes more 
than sunshine. 

VI. There are several varieties of dung, and its Dung. 
actual employment dates a long way back ; as far 
back as Homer,'' an aged king in the poem is found 
thus enriching his land with his own hands. The 
invention of this procedure is traditionally ascribed to 
King Augeas in Greece, and its introduction in Italy 

to Hercules,though Italy has immortalized Stercutus * 
son of Faunus on account of this invention. Marcus 
Varro ^ gives the first rank to thrushes' droppings 
from aviaries, which he also extols for fodder of cattle 
and swine, declaring that no other fodder fattens them 
more quickly. If our ancestors had such large 
aviaries that they supplied manure for the fields, it is 

35 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

51 a\naria ut ex his agri stercorarentur. primum ^ 
Columella e' columbariis, mox ex' gallinariis facit, 
natantium alitum damnato. ceteri auctores consensu 
humanas dapes ad hoc inprimis advocant ; alii ex his 
praeferunt potus hominum in coriariorum officinis pilo 
madefacto, alii per sese aqua iterum largiusque etiam 
quam cum bibitur admixta : quippe plus ibi mali 
domandum est cum ad virus illud vini homo accesserit. 
haec sunt certamina ; invicemque ad tellurem quoque 

52 alendam utuntur * homine.^ proxime spurcitias 
suum hiudant, Columella solus damnat. alii cuius- 
cumque quadripedis ex cytiso, aHqui columbaria 
praeferunt. proximum deinde caprarum est, ab hoc 
ovium, dein boum, novissimum iumentorum. 

53 Hae fuere apud priscos differentiae, simulque 
praecepta non invenio recentia ' utendi, quando et 
hic vetustas utilior; visumque iam est apud quosdam 
provincialium in tantum abundante geniali copia 
pecudum farinae vice cribris supcrinici, faetore 
aspcctuque temporis viribus in quandam etiam 
gratiam mutato. (Nuper repertum oleas gaudere 

54 maxime cinere e calcariis fornacibus.) Varro prae- 

' Pintianiis e Colitm. : proximum. 

* e (ex Fivtianiin) : v.l. om. 
' ex add. Pnrkliam. 

* aluntur: Mai/hoff. 

* Vrlirhs : homincs. 

* Rarkham (recenti Mayhoff) : rcttuli fnon invenio .<>erL 
Vrlicha). 

' I.e. the preaent-day Bupply of poultry is not a sign of 
eitreme luxurj'. 
» n. 14. 1. 

* The RomanB always drank their wine mixed with water. 
' II. 14. 4. 

* This remark seems to belong to the middle of § 49. 

36 



BOOK XVII. VI. 50-54 

possible to be hopeful about our own morals.** But 
Columella * puts manure from dovecots first, and next 
manure from the poultry-yard, condemning the drop- 
pings of water birds entirely. The rest of the author- 
itics advocate the residue of human banquets as one of 
the best manures, and some of them place even higher 
the residue of men's drink, with hair found in curriers' 
shops soaked in it, while others recommend this Hquor 
by itself, after water has been again mixed with it and 
even in larger quantity than when the wine is bcing 
drunk " ; the fact being that a larger amount of bad- 
ness has to be overcome in the Hquor when to the 
original poison of the wine the human factor has been 
added. These are contested questions ; and they 
use man even for nourishing soil. Next to this 
kind of manure the dung of swine is highly com- 
tnended Columella "^ alone condemning it. Others 
recommend the dung of any quadruped that feeds 
on cytisus, but some prefer pigeons' droppings. 
Next comes the dung of goats, after that sheeps' 
dung, then cow-dung and last of all that of beasts 
of burden. 

These distinctions were recognized in early days, 
and at the same time I do not find modern rules for 
the use of dung, since in this matter also old times 
are more serviceable ; and before now in some parts 
of the provinces there has been so large and valuable 
a supply of beasts that the practice has been seen 
of passing dung through a sieve, Hke flour, the 
stench and look of it being transformed by the action 
of time into something actually attractive. (It has 
lately been found that oHves particularly thrive on 
ashes from a Hme kiln.)< To the rules given Varro/ 

1. xxxviii. 3. 

37 



PLIXY : NATURAL HISTORY 

ceptis adicit equino quod sit levissimum segetes alendi, 
prata voro graviore ^ quod ex hordeo fiat multasque 
gignat lierbas. quidam etiam bubulo iumentorum 
praeferunt o^-illumque caprino, omnibus vero asini- 
num, qutmiam lentissime mandant ; e contrario usus 
adversus utrumque pronuntiat. inter omnes autem 
constat nihil esse utiHus hipini segete priusquam 
sihquetur aratro vel bidentibus versa manipuhsve 
desectae circa radices arborum ac vitium obrutis ; et 
ubi non sit pecus, culmo ipso vel etiam fihce 
stercorare arbitrantur. 

55 Cato : ' Stercus unde facias, stramenta, lupiniun, 
paleas, fabalia ac frondis iligneam, querneam. ex 
segete eveUito ebulum, cicutam, et circum sahcta 
herbam aham ulvamque ; eam substernito ovibus, 
bubusque frondem putidam.' — ' \'inea si macra erit, 
sarmenta sua comburito et indidem inarato.' idem- 
que : ' Ubi saturus eris fnmientum, oves ibi 
delectato.' 

56 VII. Nec non et satis quibusdam ipsis pasci terram 
dicit : ' Segetem stercorant fruges, hipinum, faba, 
vicia ' ; sicut e contrario : ' Cicer, quia vehitur et 
quia salsum est, hordeum, fenum Graecum, ervum, 
haec omnia segetem exurunt* et omnia quae veUuntur. 
nucleos in segetem ne indideris.' — \'ergihus et hno 
segetem exuri et avena et papavere arbitratur. 

' Jiarkham : graviore et. 
• exsugunt Cato. 



' XXXVII. 2. XXX. 
» XXXVII. 2. 1. 

' (ato haa ' suck up ' or ' drain '. 
' Especially olives. 

.38 



BOOK XVII. VI. 54-vii. 56 

adds the empli)yment of the lightest kind of horse- 
dung for manuring cornfields, but for meadowland the 
heavier manure produced by fceding barley to horses, 
which produces an abundant growth of grass. Some 
people cven prefer stable-manure to cowdung and 
sheeps' droppings to goats', but they rate asses' dung 
above all othcr manures, because asses chew their 
fodder ver}- slowly ; but experience on the contrary 
pronounces against each of these. It is however 
universally agreed that no manure is more beneficial 
than a crop of lupine turned in by the plough or with 
forks before the plants form pods, or else bundles of 
lupine after it has been cut, dug in round the roots of 
trees and vines ; and in places where there are no 
cattle they believe in using the stubble itself or even 
bracken for manure. 

Cato says " : ' You can make manure of stable-Htter, 
lupines, chaff, bean-stalks and holm-oakor oak leaves. 
Pull up the dane-wort and hemlock out of the crop, 
and the high grass and sedge growing round osier 
beds ; use this as Htter for sheep, and rotten leaves 
for oxen.' — ' If a vine is making poor growth, make a 
bonfire of its shoots and plough in the ashes there- 
from.' He also says : ' Where you are going to sow 
corn, give your sheep a free run on the land.' 

\'II. Moreover Catoalsosays* thattherearecertain cropsthai 
crops which themselves nourish the land : ' Cornland f^'^'^"- 
is manured by grain, hipine, beans and vetches ' ; just 
as on the contrary : ' Chick-pea, because it is pulled up 
bv the roots and because it is salt, barley,fenugreek, 
bitter vetch, — these all scorch up "^ a cornland, as do all 
plants that are pulled up by the roots. Do not plant 
stone-fruit "^ in corn-land.' — Virgil holds the opinion Oeorg.i.n. 
that cornland is also scorchcd by flax, oats and poppies. 

39 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

57 \'III. l*"imeta sub diu concavo loco et qui uniorem 
colligat, stramento intecta ne in sole arescant, palo e 
robore depacto fieri iubcnt : ita fore ne innascantur 
his serpentes. fimum inicere terrae plurimum rcfert 
favonio flante ac luna sitiente ^ ; id plerique prave 
intellegunt a favonii ortu faciendum ac Februario 
mense tantum, cum id pleraque sata et - aliis postulcnt 
mcnsibus. quocumque tempore facere libeat, curan- 
dum ut ab occasu aequinoctiali flante vento fiat luna- 
quc decrescente ac sicca. mirum in modum augetur 
ubertas efFectusque eius observatione tali. 

58 IX. Et abunde pracdicta ratione caeli ac terrae 
nunc dc iis arboribus diccmus quae cura hominum 
atque arte proveniunt. nec pauciora prope sunt 
genera, tam benigne naturae gratiam retuHmus ; aut 
enim seminc proveniunt aut plantis radicis aut 
propagine niit avolsione aut surculo aut insito in "^ 
consccto arboris trunco. nam folia palmarum apud 
Babylonios seri atque ita arborem provcnire Trogum 
credidisse demiror. quacdam autem pluribus generi- 
bus seruntur, quacdam omnibus. 

59 X. Ac pleraque ex his natura ipsa docuit et in 
primi^ seraen serere, cum decidens exceptumque terra 

* silente Pintianua e Catone XXIX. 
' et add. Rackham. 
» V.l. aut. 

" Palnis c;in bc propagatcd b_v shofits from the loaves. 
40 



BOOK XVII. viii. 57-x. 59 

VIII. Thev rccommend makinjj dung-heaps in the season/or 
opcn air in a hole in the ground made so as to coUect """'"""^- 
moisture, and covering the heaps with straw to prevent 

their drying up in the sun, after driving a hard-oak 
stake into the ground, which will keep snakes from 
brecding in the dung. It pays extremely well to 
throw the manure on the ground whcn a west wind is 
blowing and during a dry moon ; niost people mis- 
understand this and think that it should be done when 
the west wind is just setting in, and only in February, 
whereas most crops require manuring in other months 
also. Whatever time is chosen for the operation, care 
must be taken to do it when the wind is due west and 
the moon on the wane and accompanied by dry 
weather. Such precautions increase the fertilizing 
efFect of manure to a surprising degree. 

IX. Havingbegunbvstatingatconsiderablelength propaqniio 
the principles of climate and soil, we will now describc |!{riX?' 
the trees that are produced by the care and skill ot methods. 
mankind. There are almost as many varieties of 

these as there are of those that grow wild, so bounti- 
fuUy have we repaid our debt of gratitude to Nature ; 
for they are produced either from seed or from root- 
cuttings or by lavcring or tearing oflT a slip or from 
a cutting or by grafting in an incision in the trunk of 
a tree. As for the story that at Babylon they plant 
palm-leaves and produce a tree in that way, I am sur- 
priscd that Trogus beUevcd it." Some trees however 
can be grown by several of the above methods, and 
some by all of them. 

X. And the majority of these methods wcre taught orowmg 
us by Nature herself, in particular that of sowing a [''g^^^'''"" 
seed, because when a seed fell from a tree and was 
received into the earth it came to life again. Indeed 

41 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

revivesceret.^ sed quaedam non aliter proveniunt, 
ut castaneae, iuglandes, caeduis dumtaxat exceptis ; 
et semine autem, quamquam dissimili,^ ea quoque 
quae aliis modis seruntur, ut vites et mala atque pira ; 
namque his pro semine nucleus, non ut supra dictis 
fructus ipse. et mespila semine nasci possunt. 
omnia haec tarda provcntu ac degenerantia et insito 
restituenda, interdumque etiam castaneae. 

60 XI. Quibu^^damcontra natura^omnino nondegene- 
randi quoquo modo seruntur, ut cupressis, palmac, 
lauris — namque et laurus pluribus modis seritur. 
genera eius diximus. ex his Augusta et bacalis ct 
tinus simili raodo seruntur: bacae mense lanuario 
aquilonis adflatu siccatae leguntur expandunturque 
rarae, ne calefiant acervo ; postea quidam fimo ad 

ni satum praeparatas urina madefaciunt ; alii in qualo 
pedibus in profluente deculcant donec auferatur cutis, 
quae alioqui uHgine infestatur neo patitur partum.* 
in sulco repastinato palmi altitudine \icenae fere 
acervatim seruntur,^ mense Martio. eaedem et 

82 propagine, triumphalis talea tantum. myrti genera 
omnia in Campania bacis seruntur, Romae propagine. 

* Wartnlnglon : vivesceret. 
' dissimilia Detlefsen. 

* contra natura ? Mayhoff : natura contra, 

* partum (an parturire ?) add. Mayltoff. 
' seruntur hic Mayhoff : post propagine. 

42 



BOOK XVII. X. 59-xi. 62 

there are some trees that are not grown in any 
other way, for instance chestnuts and walnuts, with 
the exception, that is, of those intended for fclling; 
but also some grown in other ways are gro^vn 
from seed as well, though a difFerent Idnd of seed — 
for instance vines and apples and pears — as with 
these a pip serves as a seed, and not the actual fruit, 
as in the case of the trees mentioned above. Also 
medlars can be grown from seed. All of these trees 
are slow in coming on, and hable to degenerate so 
as to have to be restored by grafting ; and some- 
times this happens even with chestnuts. 

XI. Some trees on the other hand have the pro- 
perty of not degenerating at all in whatever way they 
are propagated, for instance cypresses, the palm and 
laurels — for the laurel also can be propagated in a 
variety of ways. We have stated the various kinds xv. 127 u. 
of laurel. Of these the Augusta, the berry laurel and 
the laurustinus are propagated in a similar manner: 
their berries are picked in January, after they have 
been dried by a spell of north-east wind, and are 
spread out separately, so as not to ferment by lying 
in a heap ; afterwards some people treat tliem with 
dung in preparation for sowing and soak them with 
urine, but others put them in running water in a wicker 
basket, and stamp on them till the skin is washed 
away, which otherwise is attacked by stagnant 
moisture and does not allow them to bear. They 
are planted in a freshly dug trench a hand's breadth 
deep, about twenty in a cluster ; this is done in March. 
These laurels can also be propagated by layering, 
but the laurel worn in triumphal processions can only 
be grown from a cutting. Myrtles of all varieties 
are grown from berries in Campania, but at Rome 

43 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

Tarentinam Democritus et alio modo seri docet, 
grandissimisbacarum tusis leviter,negranafrangantur 
. . .^ eaque intrita restem ^ circumlini atque ita seri ; 
parietem fore mirae ' densitatis, ex quo virgulae 
differantur. sic et spinas saepis causa serunt tomice 
moris spinarum circumlita. pilas autem laurus et 
myrti inopia * a trimatu tempestivom est transferre. 

63 Inter ea quae semine seruntur Mago in nucibus 
operosus est. amvgdalam in argilla molli meridiem 
spectante seri iubet ; gaudere et dura calidaque terra, 
in pingui aut imiida mori aut stcrilescere ; serendas 
quam maxime falcatas et e novella fimoque diluto 
maceratas per triduum aut pridie quam serantur aqua 
mulsa ; mucrone defigi, aciem lateris in aquilonem 
spectare ; temas simul serendas triangula ratione 
palmam inter se distantes ; denis dicbus adaquari 

64 donec grandescant. iuglandes nuces porrectae serun- 
tur commissuris iacentibus, pineae nucleis septenis 
fere in ollas perforatas abditis aut ut laurus quae bacis 
seritur. citrea grano et propagine, sorba semine et 

' Lacunam (<ex aqua farinam misceri) 7) Mayhoff. 

* KraxmitJi (ed. Raa.) : reste. 

* mirae add. Dalec. 

* myrti in sua loca vel in suum solum coU. 66, 75 Warm- 
ington. 

* A gap in the Latin text may pcrhaps be filled up thus. 

* But possibly the meaning i.s 'hiurcls and myrtles are 
ready for transplanting with a bali of soil round the roots at 
the end of thrce years'. The sentenco would then belong 
rathcr to § 75 or 77 or §§ 79-8;j. 

44 



BOOK XVII. XI. 62-64 

by layering. Democritus tells us that the Taranto 
myrtle is also grown in another way : the largest 
berries are taken, and after being crushed lightly so 
as not to break the pips <(are mixed into a paste with 
water)" and this is pounded up and smeared on a rope, 
which is then put in the ground ; from this, he says, 
will grow up a remarkably thick hedge, from which 
slips can be transplanted. They also grow brambles 
for hedges in the same way, by smeai'ing a rope of 
rushes ^\-ith blackberries. In case of scarcity,* laurel 
and myrtle seeds are ready for transfer at the end of 
three years. 

Among the trees that are grown from seed, Mago 
deals elaborately with those of the nut class. He 
says that the almond should be sown in soft clav soil 
with a south aspect, but that it also does well in hard 
warm ground, but in a rich or damp soil it dies or 
does not bear. He recommends choosing for sowing 
almonds shaped as much as possible like a sickle, and 
picked from a young tree, and says they shoukl be 
soaked for three days in diluted manure, or else on 
the day before sowing in water sweetened wth 
honey ; and that thcy shoukl be put in the ground 
with their point downward and with their sharp edge 
facing north-east ; that they should be sown in groups 
of three, placcd four inches apart from each othcr in 
a triangular formation ; and that thev shoukl be 
watered every ten days, until they begin to swell, 
Walnuts are sown lying on their sides with the join of 
the shell downward ; and pine-cones are pkaiitcd in 
groups of about seven, contained in pots with a hole in 
the bottom, or else in the same way as a laurel that 
is being grown from berries. The citron is grown 
from pips and from layers, and the sorb from seed or 

45 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

a radice planta et avolsione proveniunt, sed illa in 
calidis, sorba in frigidis et umidis. 

65 XII. Xatura et plantaria demonstravit multarum 
arborum ^ radicibus pullulante subole densa et paricnte 
matre quas necet : eius quippe umbra turba indigesta 
premitur, ut in lauris, punicis, platanis, cerasis, prunis ; 
paucarum in hoc genere rami parcunt suboli, ut 
ulmorum palmarumque. nullis vero tales pulluli 
proveniunt nisi quarum radices amore solis atque 

66 imbrLs in summa tellure spatiantur. omnia ea non 
statim moris est in suo solo ^ locari sed prius nutrici 
dari atque in seminariis adolescere iterumque 
migrare, qui transitus mirum in modum mitigat etiam 
silvestres, sive arborum quoque ut hominum natura 
novitatis ac peregrinationis avida est, sive discedentes 
virus relincunt dum radici avellitur planta,' man- 
suescuntque tractatu ceu ferae. 

XIII. Et aliud genus simile monstravit, avolsique 

67 arboribus stolones vixere ; quo in genere et cum 
perna sua avelluntur partemque alicjuam e matris 
quoque corpore auferunt secum fimbriato corpore. 
hoc modo plantantur punicae, coryli, mali, sorbi. 
mespilae, fraxini, fici in primisque vites ; cotoneum 
ita satum degenerat. ex eodem inventum est 

' arborum add. Rackham. 
* 8UO <8olo> ? Mayhoff : suo aut sua. 
' dum . . . planta Aic ? Mayhoff: jionl ferae. 
46 



BOOK XVII. XI. 64-.\iii. 67 

from a cutting from the root or from a slip ; but the 
citron needs a warm situation. whereas the sorb re- 
quires a cool and damp one. 

XII. Nature has also taught the art of making Tree 
nurseries, as from the roots of many trees there shoots """«^*- 
up a teeming cluster of progeny, and the mothcr tree 
bears offspring destined to be killed by herself, inas- 
much as her shadow stifles the disorderly throng — as 

in the case of laurels, pomegranates, planes, cherries 
and plums ; although with a few trees in this class, for 
instance elms and palms, the branches spare the young 
suckers. But young shoots of this nature are only 
produced by trees whose roots are led by their love 
of sun and rain to move about on the surface of the 
ground. All of these it is customary not to put in 
their own ground at once, but first to give them to a 
foster-mother and let them grow up in seed-plots, 
and then change their habitation again, this removal 
having a marvellously civiHzing effect even on wild 
trees, whether it be the case that, Hke human beings, 
trees also have a nature that is greedy for novelty 
and travel, or whether on going away they leave 
their venom bchind when the plant is torn up from 
the root, and Hke animals are tamed by handHiig. 

XIII. Also Nature demonstrated another kind o( Growing 
propaffation resembHnff thc previous one, and suckers ■''''"'" "''^' 

rr^o »1 ana sucker. 

torn away irom trees continued to Hve ; in tiiis 
procedure the sHps are torn away with their haunch as 
well, and carry off with them some portion also from 
their mother's body with its fibrous substance. This 
is a method used in striking pomegranates, hazels, 
apples, sorbs, medlars, ash plants, figs, and above all 
vines ; but the quince if struck in this way deteriorates 
in quaHty. From the same method a way was 

47 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

68 surculos abscisos serere : hoc primo saepis causa 
factum sabucis, cotoneis,^ rubis depactis, mox et 
culturae, ut populis, alnis, salici, quae vel inverso 
surculo seritur. iam hae ibi disponuntur ubi Ubeat 
esse eas. quamquam ' seminarii curam ante convenit 
dici quam traaseatur ad alia genera. 

69 XIV. Namque ad id praecipuum eUgi solum refert, 
quoniam nutricem indulgentiorem esse quam matrem 
saepe convenit. sit ergo siccum sucosumque, bipalio 
subactum. advenis hospitale, et quam simillimum 
terrae ei ^ in quam transferendae sint, ante uinnia 
elapidatum munitumque ab incursu etiam gallinaeei 
generis, quam minime rimosum, ne penetrans sol 

70 exurat fibras. intervallo scsquipedum seri — nam si 
inter se contingant, praeter alia vitia etiam vemiinosa 
fiunt * — , sariri convenit saepius herbasque evelli, 
praeterea semina ipsa fruticantia supputare ac falcem 

71 pati consuescere. Cato et furcis crates inponi iubet 
altitudine hominis ad solem recipiendum atque integi 
culmo ad frigora arcenda ; sic pirorum malorumque 
semina nutriri, sic pineas nuces, sic cupressos semine 

72 satas et ipsas. minimis id granis constat, vix ut 

' Jl'irUi(jia : cotoneo et. 

* qiiaaiobrem e</t/. 

* ei ndd. Mnijhaff. 

* \' .1. fiiiiit, ideo. 

48 



BOOK XVII. XIII. 67-xiv. 72 

discovered ot" ciitting off slips and planting these, 
a plan first adopted with elders, qiiinces and 
brambles, whicli were planted for the purpose of 
niakini( a hedgc, but later it was also introduced as a 
wav of growing trees, for instance poplars, alders, 
and willow, whicli last is evcn planted with the cutting 
upside down. Suckers are planted out at once in the 
place chosen for theni to occupy ; however, before 
going on to other classes of plants it is desirable to 
speak of the management of a nursery. 

XIV^. For, with a view to a nursery it pays to chose Mamgnnent 
soil of the highest quahty, since it often comes about a^^"l,j""'' 
that a nurse is more ready to humour young things /'"<"" «'^*''- 
than a mother. Consequently the soil shouki be dry 
and sappy, and well worked «ith a double mattock so 
as to be hospitable to the new arrivals, and it shoukl 
resemble as elosely as possiblc tlie earth into which 
they are to be transplanted ; and before all the plot 
must be cleared of stones, and fenced in well enough 
to protect it even from the inroads of poultry ; and it 
should be as free from cracks as possible, so that the 
sun may not penetrate into it and scorch tlie roots. 
The seeds should be sown eighteen inches apart, as if 
the plants touch one another, besides other defects they 
get worm-eaten ; and it pays to hoe them and weed 
them fairly often, and also to prune the seedhngs tlicm- 
selves when they branch and accustom them to endure 
the knife. Cato also recommends erecting hurdles XLViir.2,3. 
supported on forked sticks, the height of a man, to 
catch the sun, and thatching these with straw to keep 
off the cold ; and he says that this is the method for 
rearing pear and apple seeds, and pine cones, and also 
cypresses, as cven they can be grown from seed. 
Cypress seed consists of very smail grains, some of 

49 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

perspici quaedam possint, non omittendo naturae 
miraculo e tam parvo gigni arbores tanto maiore 
tritici et hordei grano, ne quis fabam reputet. quid 
simile origini suae habent malorum pirorumque 
semina ? his principiis respuentem secures materiem 
nasci, indomita ponderibus inmensis prela, arbores 
velis, turribus murisque inpellendis arietes ! haec est 
naturae vis,^ haec potentia. super omnia erit e 
lacrima nasci aliquid, ut suo loco diccmus. 

73 lirgo e cupresso femina — mas enim, ut diximus, 
non gignit — pilulae collectae quibus docuimus ^ 
mensibus siccantur sole, ruptaeque emittunt semen 
formicis mire expetitum, ampliato etiam miraculo 
tantuli animalis cibo absumi natalem tantaruni 
arborum. seritur Aprili mense, area aequata 
cylindris aut paviculis,"* densum, terraque cribris 

74 superincernitur pollicis crassitudine : contra maius 
pondus attollere se non valet torqueturque sub 
terram ; * ob lioc et pavitur vestigiis. leniter ^ rigatur 
a solis occasu in trinis diebus, ut aequaliter bibat, 
donec erumpant. difTeruntur j^ost annum dodrantali 
filo, custodita temperie ut viridi caelo seranlur ac 
sine aura. mirumque dictu, periculum eo tantum 



* Cacsuriiui : natura cius. 

* doc\iimu8 ? Mai/liiijf: docui. 

' Vrlichs : vnlviculis Mayhoff: uuluoalifl aut uulgo ali^ 
mtt uulgiualis. 

* Rackham : terra. 
' Kdd. : leviter. 

50 



BOOK XVII. xiv. 72-74 

them scarcely perceptible, and \\e mnst not fail to 
remark on Nature's miracle of producing trees from so 
small a seed when a grain of wheat or barley is so much 
larger, not to reckon a bcan. WTiat resemblance have 
apple seeds and pear seeds to their source of origin ? 
To think that from these beginnings is born the 
tiraber that contemptuously rebuffs the axe, presses 
that are not overcome by immense weights, masts for 
sails, battering rams for demolishing towers and walls ! 
Such is the force and such the potency of Nature. But 
the crowning marvel will be that there is something 
that derives its origin from a tear-drop, as we shall xix. I62, 
mention in the proper place. ^-^^- -■*• 

Well then, in the months that we have specified, the § eo. 
tinv seed-balls are gathered from the female cypress — - 
for the male tree, as we have said, is barren — and ai'e xvi. 211. 
put to dry in the sun ; and they burst open and emit 
their secd, which has a remarkable attraction for ants. 
a fact that actually increases the marvel, for the germ 
of such huge trees to be consumed for the food of such 
a small animal ! The seed is sown in April, after the 
earth has been levelled by means of rollers or ram- 
mers ; it is scattered thickly and a layer of earth a 
thumb deep is sprinkled upon it from sieves : it is not 
strong enough to rise up against a greater weight, 
and it t^nsts back under the ground ; on this account 
another method is merely to tread it into the earth. 
Every three days it is given a light watering, after 
sunset so as to soak in the moisture even, until 
the plants break out from the earth. They are 
transplanted after a year, when the seedHng is nine 
inches long, regard being paid to the weather so 
that they may be planted under a bright sky and 
when there is no wind. And wonderful to say, on 

51 



PLLVi' : NATURAL HISTORY 

die est si roravit quantulumcunique imbrem aut si 
adflavit; de reliquo tutae sunt perpetua securitate, 

75 aquasque postea odere. et ziziplia grano seruntur 
Aprili mense. tuberes melius imeruntur in pruno 
silvestri et malo cotoneo et in calabrice : ea est spina 
silvestris. quaecumque optime et myxas recipit, 
utiliter et sorbos. 

Plantas ex seminario transferre in aliud priusquam 
suo loco ponantur operosc praecipi arbitror, licet 
translatione folia latiora fieri spondcant. 

76 W. Ulmorum, priusquam foliis vestiantur, samara 
coUigenda est circa Martias kalendas, cum flavescere 
incipit. dein biduo in umbra siccata serenda densa 
in refracto, terra super minuta incribrata, crassitudinc 
qua in cupressis ; pluviae si non adiuvent, rigandum. 
differendae ex arearum venis post annum in ulmaria 

77 iiitcrvallo pedali in Cjuamque partem. Atinias ^ 
ulmos autumno serere utilius, quia carentes semine* 
plantis seruntur. in arbustum quinquennes sub urbe 
transferantur ^ aut, ut quibusdam placet, quae 
vicenum pedum esse coeperunt. serantur* sulco qui 
novenarius dicitur altitudine pedum trium, pari 

* Atinias roll. XVI 108 Mai/hoff: marita3. 

- Mnyhoff: scmine nam (uitl non) ut c (semine ncmut 
Warminglon). 

* Rackham : transfcrunt (-untur cd. Chiffl.). 

* serantur add. Rackham. 



" Identifiration uncertain. 
* A tall variftv. 



5« 



BOOK XVII. xiv. 74-xv. 77 

that day and that day oiily it is danfrerous for them 
if there is the sniallest spriiikle of raiii or a breath 
of wind ; whereas for the future the plants are 
continually safe aiid sccure, and later on tliey have 
a dishke for humidity. .Juiube-trees are also grown 
from seed sown in A[)ril. Tubcr-apples are better 
grafted on the wild plum, tlie quince or tlie buck- 
thorn bush," the last being a wild thorn. Any thorn 
also takes grafts of the sebesten-plum extremely 
well, and also takes the sorb-plum salisfactorily. 

As for the recommendation to transfer plants from 
the nursery to some other place before they are 
planted out in the place assigned to them, 1 consider 
that this causes unnecessary trouble, albeit this 
process does guarantee the growth of leaves of a 
larger size. 

X\'. Elm-seed should be collected about the fn-st omwingand 
of March, before the tree isclothed with foliage, when 'fi^t^^^^^opiar^ 
the seed is beginning to turn yellow. Thcn it should undash-treti. 
bc lcft in the shadc to dry for two days, and after- 
wards thickly sown in ground that has been broken up, 
and a layer of earth sifted fine in a sieve should bc 
sprinkled on it, of the thickness recommended in the §73. 
case of cypresses ; and if no rain comes to your assist- 
ance, it must be watered. A year afterwards the 
plants should be removed from the rows of the beds 
to the clm-grounds and planted at a distance of a foot 
apart each way. Atinian elms '' it pays better to plant 
in autumn, becausc they are irrown from cuttings, 
having noseed. Fora grove in the neighbourhood of 
the city they should be transplanted when thcy are 
five yearsoId,or, assome hold, when they have reached 
a hcight of twenty feet. Tliey should be set in what 
is called a ' nine-squarefoot ' trencli, 3 ft. deep and 

53 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

latitudine et eo amplius. circa positas pedes terni 
undique e solido adaggcrantur : arulas id vocant in 
Canipania. intervalla cx loci natura sumantur ^ : 
rariores screndas in campcstribus convenit. populos 

78 et fraxinos, quia festinantius germinant, disponi 
quoque maturius convenit, hoc est ab idibus Februariis, 
plantis et ipsas nascentes. in disponendis arboribus 
arbustisque ac vineis (puncuncialis ordinum ratio 
vulgata et necessaria, non perflatu modo utilis verum 
et aspectu grata, quoquo modo intucare in ordinem 
se porrigentc versu. pcipulos cadcm ratio semine 
quae ulmos serendi, transferendi (jiio(iue e seminariis 
eadcm et silvis. 

79 X\T. Ante omnia igitur in similem transferri 
terram aut meliorem oportet, nec ex tepidis aut 
praecocibus in frigid(Ts aut serotinos situs, ut neque 
ex his in illos, ct * praefodere scrobes antc aliquanto'' 
— si ficri possit, tanto prius donec pingui caespite 

80 obducantur. Mago ante annum iubct, ut solcni 
pluviasque conbibant, aut, si id condicio largita non 
sit, ignes in mediis fieri antc mcnses duos, ncc nisi 
post imbrcs in his scri, altitudincm corum in argilloso 
aut duro solo triimi cubitoruni csse in quamquc 
partem, in pronis palmo aniplius, iubet(]ue* caminata 

' Rackham : sumuntur. 
' et add. Rackham. 

* aliquanto add. ? Mayhoff. 

* Mayhaff : et ul)i(iue. 



Thus: — ^ ^ ^. .;/. ^ 

* * ->:- * 

* * -X- -X- * 

* -x- * * 

* * * -X- ■)(• 



54 



BOOK XVII. XV. 77-xvT. 80 

3 ft. broad aiul even larger. Wheii tliey have been 
planted, mouiids 3 ft. higli froin the «^round level 
should be heapcd round them — the name for these 
mounds in Campania is ' little altars '. The spacing 
must be settled according to the nature of the place : 
in level country it is suitable to plaiit the yoiing trees 
wider apart. It is also proper to plant out poplars and 
ashes earlier,because they bud more quickly — that is, 
planting should start on the 13lh of February : these 
treesalsogrowingfronicuttings. Inspacingout trees 
and plantations and planning vineyards the diagonal 
arrangement " of rows is commonly adopted and is 
essential, being not only advantageous in allowing the 
passage of air, but also agreeable in appearance, as in 
whatever direction you look at the plantation a row of 
trees strctches out in a straight line. In the case of 
poplars the same method of growing them from seed 
is used as with elms, and also the same inethod of 
transplanting theni from nurseries or forests. 

XVI. It is consequcntly of the first importance for Trampiani- 
shoots to be transplanted into similar or better soil, '"*' 
and not moved from warm or early ripening positions 
into cold or backward ones, nor yet from the latter to 
the former cither ; and to dig the trenches soine time 
in advance — if possible, long enough before to allow 
the holes to get covered over with thick turf. Mago 
advises a year in advance, so as to let the holes absorb 
the sunshine and rain, or, if circumstanees do not 
allow of this, he recommends making fires in the 
middle of the holes two months before, and only 
planting the seedlings in the holes so prepared just 
after rain has fallen. He says that in a clay soil or a 
hard soil the pits should measure 4 ft. 6 in. each way, 
or 4: inches more on sloping sites, and he prescribes 

55 



PLINY : NATUKAL HISTORY 

fossura orc conpressiore esse ; in ^ nigra vero terra duo 
cubita et palmum qiiadratis i>ni,'ulis eadem mensura. 
Graeci auctores consciitiunt non altiores quino 
semipcdc cssc dehcre ncc latiores duobus pedibus, 
nusquan) vcro semisquipede minus altos. quoniam 
in umido solo ad vicina aquae perveniatur,' Cato, si 
locus aquosus sit, latos pcdes ternos in faucibus 

sl imosquc palmum ct pedem, altitudine quattuor 
pcdum, cos lapidr consterni aut. si non sit, perticis 
salignis viridibus, si nci|uc hae sint,sarnientis, ita ut in 
altitudinem semipcs detrahatur. nobis adicicndum 
videtur ex praedicla arborum natura ut ahius 
demittantur ea quac summa tellure gaudent, tam- 
quam fraxinus, olea ; haec ct simiha ciuatcmos pedes 
oportet demitti : ceteris aUitudinis pedcs temi 
sutfccerint. et cst iinioxium adradi partcs quae se 
nudavcrint. ' Excidc radiccm,' inquit, ' istam,' Pa- 
pirius Cursor imperator, ad terrorem Pracnestinorum 

S2 praetoris dcstringi sccuri iussa. testas aliqui, alii ^ 
lapidcs rotundos subici malunt qui et contineant 
umorcni ct transmittant, non itcni planos faccre et a 
tcrreno arcere radiccm existimantes. glarea sub- 
strata inter utramque sententiani fuerit. 

h:1 Arborcm nec minorem bima nec maiorcm trima 
Iransferre (juidam praccipiunt, aHi cum nianum 

' Maif/ioff: comprcsHiores sint. 

* Mayluiff: perveniat. 

* alii add. Rackham (aliqui lan). 

' XLIII. 1. 

* To tako it oiit of the fa.tcin or bundle of rods in which it 
waa carric<l. 

56 



BOOK XVII. XM. 80-83 

their being dug like an oven, narrower at the orifice ; 
while in black earth lie advises a hole 3 ft. 4 in. deep, 
in the forni of a square of the same dimensions. The 
Greek authorities agree that the holes ought not to be 
more than 2h ft. deep or 2 ft. wide, but nowhere less 
than 18 in. deep. Because of the foct that in danip 
ground one gets through to the neighbourhood of 
water, Cato " advises that if the place is damp the 
holes should be a yard wide at the orifice and 16 
inches wide at the bottom, and 4 ft. deep, and that 
they should be Hoored with stones, or, if stones are 
not available, with stakes of green willow, or, if these 
are also not available, with brushwood, so as to reduce 
their dcpth by six inches. To us. after what has been 
said as to the nature of trees, it apj)ears proper to add 
that those which are fond of the surface of the ground, 
for instance the ash and the ohve, must be sunk dceper 
in ; these and similar trees should be sunk four feet 
down, but for the others a depth of three feet will be 
enough. And there is no harm in trimming the parts 
that have become exposed : ' Lop clear that root 
there,' said General Papirius Cursor when to intimi- 
date the chief magistrate of Palestrina he ordered 
the hctor to draw his axe.* Some persons recom- 
mend putting at the bottom a layer of potsherds — 
others prefer round stones — in order to hokl in the 
moisture and also let some throujjh, thinkinjj that 
flat stones do not act in the same way and prevent 
the root from reaching the eartli. A middle course 
between the two opinions woukl be to pave the 
bottom w ith a layer of gravek 

Some people recommend transplanting a tree when 1'recautwn.i 
it is not less than two years okl and not more than pianiing. 
three, others when it is large enough round to fill the ';^'j"l^°^ 

57 

VOL. V. C 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

conpleat, Cato crassiorem quinque digitis. non 
omisisset idem, si attineret, meridianam caeli partem 
signare in cortice, ut translatae isdem et adsuetis 
statueretUur lioris, ne aquiloniae meridianis oppositae 
solibus finderentur et algcrent meridianae aquilonibas. 

84 quod e diverso adfectant etiam quidam in vite ficoque, 
permutantes in contrarium ; densiores enim folio ita 
fieri magisque protegere fructuni et niinus amittere, 
ficumque sic etiam scansilem fieri. plerique id 
demum cavent ut plaga deputati cacuminis mcridiem 

85 spectet,ignari fissuris nimii vaporis opponi ; idquidem 
in horam diei quintam vel octavam spectare maluerim. 
aeque latet non neglegendum ne radices mora 
inarescant neve a septentrionibus aut ab ea parte 
caeli usiiue ad exortuin hrumalem vento flante 
effodiantur arbores, aut certe non adversae his ventis 
radiccs praebeantur, propter quod emoriuntur ignaris 

8G causae agricoHs. Cato omnes ventos et imbrem 
quoque in tota translationc damnat. et ad hacc 
proderit quam plurimum terrae in qua vixerint 
radicibus cohaerere ac totas caespite ^ circumHgari, 

' totas cum caespite {vel totos caespitesT) Mayhoff. 



" XXVIII. 2. 

* I.e. for thp purpose of picking the figs. 

' XXVIII. 1. 

58 



BOOK XVII. XVI. 83-86 

hand; Cato's vieM'" is that it ought to be more than 
five inches thick. The same authority would not have 
omitted, if it were important, to recommcnd making 
a mark in the bark on the south side, so that when 
trees were ti*ansplanted they might be set in the same 
directions as regards the seasons as those to which 
they were accustomed, to prevent their north sides 
from being split if set facing the midday sun and 
their south sides from being nipped if facing the 
north wind. Some people also foUow the contrary 
plan in the case of a vinc or a fig, replanting 
them turned the other way round, from the view 
that this makes them grow thicker foliage and 
afford better shelter to their fruit and be less liable 
to lose it, and that a fig-tree so treated also be- 
comes strong enough to be climbed.* Most pcople 
only take care to make the wound left where the 
end of a branch has been lopped face south, not being 
aware that this exposes it to cracks caused by exces- 
sive heat ; I should prefer to let a lopped end point 
somewhat east of south or somewhat west of south. It 
is equally Httle known that care should be taken not 
to let the roots become dry owing to delay in re- 
planting, and not to dig up trees when thc wind is in 
the north or in any quarter between north and south- 
east, or at all events not to leave the roots exposed to 
the wind in these quarters ; such exposure causes trees 
to die without thc growers knowing the cause. Cato'^ 
disapproves of wind in any quarter and of rain also 
during all the time while transplantation is going on. 
It will be a good precaution against wind and rain to 
leave as much as possible of the earth in which the 
trees have been living clinging to their roots, and to 
bind them all rouiid wilh turf. though for this purpose 

59 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cum ob id Cato in corbibus transferri iubeat, jirocul 
dubio utilissime, (^ui idcm ^ summam terrani contcntus 
est subdi. (juidam punicis malis substrato lapide non 
rumpi jKimum in arboribus tradunt. radices inflexas 
poni melius ; arborem ipsam ita locari ut media sit 

87 totius scrobis necessarium. ficus si in scilla — 
bulborum hoc genus est — seratur, ocissime ferre 
traditur pomum ncque vermiculationi obnoxium, quo 
vitio carent reliqua poma similiter sata. radicum 
filis ^ magnam adliibcndam curam, ut exemjitas 
aj)j)areat, non evolsas, (juis dubitet ? qua ratione et 
reli(jua confessa omittimus, sicuti tt^rram circa radices 
festuca conspissandam, (juod Cato primum in ea re 
esse censet, j)lagam (juo(jue a trunco oblini fimo et 
foliis praeligari praccijiiens. 

88 XVII. Huius loci pars est ad intervalla pertinens. 
tjuidam punicas et myrtos et lauros densiores seri 
iasscrunt, in pedibus tantum^ novonis,malos amplius 
paulo, vel magis etiam piros magisque amygdalas et 
ficos ; quamquam * optime id ^ diiudicabit ramorum 
amplitudinis ratio locorum(jue, et umbrae cuiasque 
arboris, quoniam has quoque observari oportet : breves 
sunt quamvis magnarum arborum cum ® ramos in 

* Pintinnus : (qui quidem Mayhoff) : quidem. 

* filis Mayhoff : eius. 

' tantiim ? Mai/hoff : tamen. 

* Mayhoff : qm aut qub. 
=• id add. ? Mayhoff. 

* cum atld. Mayhoff. 



" XXVITT. I, 2. 

' .V.W III. 2. Cato advises that trees more than 5 fingers 
thick Khoiild be lopiH?d bcfore being transplanted, and the 
tops phutered over and bandaged. 

6o 



BOOK XVII. XVI. 86-xvii. 88 

Cato " dirccts conveyin<r tlie trees to the fresh place in 
baskets, no doubt niost useful advice ; and moreover 
he thinks it satisfactory for the top layer of soil to be 
put at the bottom of the hole. Some writers say that 
with pomcgranates to lay stones at the l)ottom of 
the hole will prevent the fruit from bursting open on 
fhe tree. It is better to plant the roots in a bent 
position ; and it is essential for the tree itself to be so 
placed as to be exactly in the middle of the hole. It 
is said that if a fi^-tree is planted stuck iii a squill — 
this is a kind of bulb — it bears fruit very quickl}', and 
is not liable to attacks of worm, a defect from which 
all other kinds of fruit trees planted in a similar way 
are exempt. Who can doubt tliat great care ought to 
be taken with thc fibres of the roots, so that they may 
appear to have been taken, not torn, out of the 
ground ? On this account we omit the remaining rules 
that are admitted, for instance that the earth round 
the roots should be rammed tight with a light mallet, 
which Cato '' thinks of primary importance in this 
matter, also advising that a wound made on the trunk 
should be plastered over with dung and bandaged 
with leaves. 

XVII. A part of this topic is the question of the svacingoj 
spaces between the trces. Some people have advised '^^"' 
planting pomegranates, myrtles, and laurels rather 
close together, only three yards apart, apples a Uttle 
wider apart, pears still wider, and almonds and figs 
wider again ; althougli this matter will best be de- 
cided by taking account of the length of the branches 
and the dimensions of the places concerned, as well 
as of the shadow of each particular tree, since these 
too must be considered : even large trees throw only 
small bhadows when their branches curve round into 

6i 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

orbem circinant, ut in maiis pirisque, eaedem enormes 
cerasis, lauris. 
S9 X\TII. lam quaedam umbrarum proprictas. 
iuglandum jjravis et noxia etiam capiti humano 
omnibusquc iuxta satis ; necat gramina et pinus ; 
sed vcntis utraque resistit, quoniam et proiecta ' 
vinearuin ratione tegunt.* stilicidia pinus, quercus, 
ilicis pondcrosissima, nuUum cupressi, umbra minima 
et in se convoluta ; Hcorum levis, quamvis sparsa, 

90 ideoque inter vineas seri non vetentur. ulmorum 
lenis, etiam nutricns quaecumque ^ opacat : Attico 
haec quoque videtur e gravissimis, nec dubito si 
emittantur in ramos : constrictae quidem illius 
noxiam esse non arbitror. iucunda ct platani, 
quamquam crassa : licet gramini credere non sub * 
alia laetius operienti toros. populo nuUa ludentibus 

91 foliis ; pinguis alno, sed pascens sata. vitis sil)i 
sufficit, mobili folio iactatuque crebro solem umbra 
temperans, eodem gravi protegens in imbre. omnium 
fere levis umbra quorum pediculi longi. 

' Dalec. : prot«cta (c/. XVI 35). 

* liackham : aegent (egent cd. Par. Lal. 6797). 
' Rackhum : quacumque. 

* Mayhoff : non soii. 

" Especially the aspen. 
62 



BOOK XVII. XVII. 88-xviii. 91 

a circular sliape, as in the case of" apples aud pears, 
whereas cherries and laurels throw exceptionally 
\vide shadows. 

XVIII. We turn now to certain special properties consider. 
of the shade of different trees. That of walnut is °/'|,X! 
heavy, and even causes headache in man and injury to 
anything phinted in its vicinity ; and that of the pine- 
tree also kills grass ; but both the pine and the walnut 
withstand wind, as also their projecting branches 
shield them hke pent-houses. Very heavy raindrops 
fall from thc pine, oak and holm-oak, but none at all 
from the cypress, which throws a very small compact 
shadow around it ; and fig-trees give onlv a Hght 
shadow, however much spread out, and consequently 
it is not necessary to make it a rule not to plant them 
between vines. Elms give a gentle shade vvliich actu- 
ally promotes the gnnvth of any plants that it falls on, 
although Atticus hokls the view that also the shade of 
elms is one of the most oppressive, nor do I doubt that 
it is so if they are allowed to shoot out into branches, 
although 1 do not think that the shade of the elm does 
any harm when the tree is kept within bounds. The 
shade of the plane also though dense is agreeable, as 
we may learn from the evidence of grass, which under 
no other tree covers the banks more luxuriantly. 
The poplar" with its gaily quivering leaves gives no 
shade at all ; the shade of the alder is dense but 
permits the growth of plants. The vine gives 
enough shade for itself, as its quivering foliage 
and constant tossing tempers the sunshine with 
shadow, while by the same means it affords shelter 
in a heavy shower of rain. Nearly all trees of 
which the leaves have long stalks afford only light 
shade. 

63 



I'MNY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Non fastidienda haec quoque scientia. atque nnn in 
ultimis ponenda. quando satis quibusque umbra aut 
nutrix aut noverca est : iuglandum (|uidem pinormn- 
(juc ct piccarurn et abietis quaecumque attingere non 
dubie vcneniim. 

92 XIX. Stilicidii brevis definitio est. omnium quae 
proiectu tVondis ita detenduntur ut per ipsas non 
defluant imbres. stilla saeva est. ergo plurimum 
intercrit hac in (juaestione, terra in qua seremus in 
ipiantum ' arborcs (|uas(|ue alat. iam per se colles 
minora (^uaerunt intervalla. ventosis locis crebriores 

93 seri conducit, oleam tamen maximo intervallo, de 
(jua Catonis Italica scntentia est in xxv pedibus, 
plurimum xxx seri ; sed hoc variatur locorum natura. 
non alia maior in Baetica arbor; in Africa vero — 
(idcs pcncs auctores crit — miliarias vocari multas 
narrant a pondere olei quod ferant annuo proventu. 
idco i.xxv pedes ,\Iago intervallo dedit undique aut in 
macro solo ac duro atque ventoso, cum minimum, 

94 XLv. Baetica quidem uberrimas me.sses inter oleas 
metit. illam inscientiam pudendam esse conveniet 
adultas interlucare iasto plus et in senectam praccipi- 
tare aut, ut plcrumque ipsis qui posuere coarguentibus 

' (juantuiu <int©rvallum)> 7 MayhoJJ. 

» Vl. 1. 
64 



BOOK XVII. XVIII. 9i-.\i.\-. 94 

Even this department of knowledge is not to be 
despised, nnr put in the last class, inasmuch as to each 
kind of plant shade is either a nurse or else a step- 
mother — at all events for tlie shadow of a walnut tree 
or a stone pine or a spruce or a siher fir to touch any 
plant whatever is undoubtedly poison. 

XIX. The question of raindrops falling from trees spaeingoj 
can be settled briefly. With all tlie trees which are "'''"• 
so shielded by the spread of their foHa<re that the rain- 
water does not flow down over the tree itself tlie drip 
does cruel injury. Consequently in this enquiry it 
will make a great deal of difterence over what space 
the soil in which we are going to plant causes the 
various trees to grow. In the first place, hillsides in 
themsehes require smaller intervals between the 
trees. In places exposed to the w ind, it pays to plant 
trees closer together, but nevertheless to givc the oHve 
verv wide spacing, Cato's opinion" for Italy being that 
olives should be planted 25 or at most 30 feet apart ; 
but this varies with the nature of the sites. The oUve 
is the largest of all the trees in Andalusia ; in Africa, 
however, so it is stated — the guarantee for this state- 
ment will rest with the authorities who make it — 
there are a number of trees called ' thousand- 
pounders ', from the weight of oil that they produee 
in a year's crop. Consequently Mago has prescribed a 
space of 75 feet all round, or in thin, hard soil exposed 
to the wind, 45 feet at least. Andalusia however 
reaps most abundant crops of corn grown between 
the olives. It will be agreed that it shows shame- 
ful ignorance to thin full-grown trees more than a 
proper amount and hasten them into old age, or 
to cut them down altogether, by doing which 
the persons who planted them frequently manifest 

65 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

imperitiam suam, totas excidere. nihil est foedius 
agricoUs quam gestae rei poenitentia, multo iam ut 
praestet laxitate delinquere. 

95 XX. Quaedam autem natura tarde crescunt, et in 
primis semine tantum nascentia et longo aevo 
durantia. at quae cito occidunt velocia sunt, ut ficus 
punica, prunus, malus, pirus, myrtus, salix, et tamen 
antecedunt divitiis : in trimatu enim ferre incipiunt 
ostendentes et ante. ex his lentissima est pirus, 
ocissima omnium c^^pirus et pseudocypirus frutex ; 
protinus enim floret semenque perfert. omnia vero 
celerius adolescunt stolonibus ablatis unamque in 
stirpem redactis alimentis. 

96 XXI. Eadem natura et propagines docuit. rubi 
namque curvati gracilitate et simul proceritate nimia 
defigunt rursus in terram capita iterumque nascuntur 
ex sese repleturi omnia ni resistat cultura, prorsus 
ut possint videri homines terrae causa geniti. ita 
pessima atque execranda res propaginem tamen 
docuit ac \iviradicem. eadem autem natura et 
hederis. Cato propagari praeter vitem tradit ficum, 
oleam, punicam, malorum genera omnia, laurus, 
pruna, myrtum, nuces abellanas et Praenestinas, 
platanum. 

" Cypirus is galingale, witb of course no connection with 
pirvs, pear. 

66 



BOOK XVII. xix. 94-.\xi. 96 

their own incompetence. Nothing is more dis- 
graceful for farmers than to do a thing and then 
have to be sorry for it. so that in fact it pays much 
lictter to err by leaving too much space between 
the trees. 

XX. Some trees are by nature slow growers, and in Paceof 
particular those that only grow from seed and that ^^_ °^ 
live a long time. Those on the other hand that are 
short-Hved, for instance the fig, pomegranate, plum, 
apple, pear, myrtle and willow, grow quickly, and 
nevertheless they lead the way in producing their 
riches, for they begin to bear at three years old, 
making some show even before. Among these the 

pear is the slowest of all to bear, and the cypirus " and 
the false cypirus bush the quickest, for this group 
riowers straight away and goes on to produce its seed. 
But all trees mature more quickly if the suckers are 
removed and the nourishing juices brought back into 
a single stem. 

XXI. Nature has Hkewise also taught the art of re- Layering. 
producing from layers. Brambles curving over with 
their slender and also excessively long shoots plant 
their ends in the earth again and sprout afresh out of 
themselves, in a manner that woukl fill up the whole 
place if resistance were not ofFered by cultivation, so 

that it would be positively possible to imagine that 
mankind was created for the service of the earth. 
Thus a most evil and execrable circumstance has 
nevertheless taught the use of the layer and the 
quickset. Ivies also have the same property. Beside 
the vine, Cato gives instructions for layering the cxxxiii. 
fig, oUve, pomegranate, all kinds of apples, laurels, '' ' 
plums, myrtle, hazel and Palestrina nuts, and the 
plane. 

67 



PLINV: NATUUAL HISTORY 

'.n Propaginum duo genera : ramo ab arbore depresso 
in scrobem quattuor pcdum quoquo versus ^ et post 
biennium amputato flexu plantaque translata post 
trimatum, quas si longius ferre libeat, in qualis statim 
aut vasis fictilibus defodere propagines aptissimum, 

98 ut in his transfcrantur. alterum genus luxuriosius, 
in ipsa arbore radices soUicitando traiectis per vasa 
fictili.i vel qualos ramis terraquc circumfartis, atque 
hoc blandimento inpctraris radicibus inter poma ipsa 
et cacumina — in summa etenim cacumina hoc modo 
petuntur audaci ingenio ^ arborem aliam longe a 
tellure faciendi — eodem quo supra biennii spatio 
abscisa propagine et cum quasillo ' sata. Sabina herba 
propagine seritur et avolsione ; tradunt faece vini 
aut e parietibus latere tuso mire ali ; iisdem modis 
rosmarinum seritur et ramo, quoniam neutri semen, 
rhododcndrum propagine et semine. 

99 XXn. Scmine quoque inserere natura docuit, 
raptim avium fame devorato solidoque et alvi tepore 
madido cum fccundo fimi medicamine abiecto in 
mollibus arborum lecticis aut * ventis saepe translato 
in aliquas corticum rimas ; unde vidimus cerasum in 
salice, platanum in lauru, laurum in ceraso et bacas 

* vorsus (vel undiqiie) ad/l. ? Mayhnff. 
» invcnto ? {spd rf. XV 49) Ma;/lioff. 

* Rackhnm (qua.sillis Sillig: qualis illis edd. vetl.): qua illis 
(quas illis cd. Par. Lat, 6795). 

* Rackham : et. 

68 



BOOK XMI. xxi. 97-x.\n. 99 

There are two kinds of layer. A branch is bent 
down from the tree into a hole measuring four feet 
each wav, and after two years is cut oif at the bend, and 
three years later the growth is transplanted to another 
place ; if it is desired to carry layers so struck a con- 
siderable distance, it is most suitable to plant them at 
once in baskets or earthenware pots, so that thev niay 
be carried to the fresh site in these. The other 
method is more elaborate ; it is effected by inducing 
roots to grow on the tree itself by passing branches 
through earthcnware pots or baskets and packing 
them round with earth, and so enticing roots to grow 
right among the fruit and at the ends of the branches 
— as braneh-ends to form roots in this way are 
obtained at the top of the tree, by the daring device 
of creating another tree a long way ofF the ground — 
and after the same interval of two yeai-s as in the 
previous method cutting off the layer and planting it 
together with the basket. Savine is grown from a 
laver and also from a sHp ; it is said that wine-lees or 
crushed brick from walls make it grow marvellously ; 
and rosemary is reproduced by the same methods 
and also from a branch, since neither savine nor 
rosemarv has a seed; the olcander is grown both 
by lavering and from seed. 

XXII. Nature has also taught the method of graft- Orafting 
ing by means of seed ; a seed that has been hurriedly ""'^* "*'' 
swallowed whole bv a hungry bird and has become 
sodden by the warmth of its belly is deposited together 
with a fertiHzing manure of dung in a soft bed in the 
fork of a tree, or else, as often happens, is cai*ried 
by the wind into some crevice or other in the bark ; 
as a result of this we have seen a cherry tree growing 
on a willow, a plane on a laurel, a laurel on a cherry, 

69 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

simul discolores. tradunt et monedulam condentem 
semina in thensauros cavernarum eiusdem rei prae- 
bere causas. 

100 XXIII. Hinc nata inoculatio sutoriae simili fistula 
api ritndi in arbore oculum cortice exciso semenque 
includtMuli eadem fistula sublatum ex alia. in ficis 
et malis haec fuit inociilatio antiqua ; \'ergiHana 
quaerit sinum in nodo germine expulsi corticis 
gcmmamque ex aHa arbore includit. 

101 XXIV. Et hactenus natura ipsa docuit, insitionem 
autem casus, magister aHus et paene numerosior, ad 
hunc modum : agricola sedulus casam saepis nmni- 
mento cingens, quo minus putrescerent sudes Hmen 
subdidit ex hedera ; at illae vivaci morsu adprehensae 
suam ex aHcna ^ fecere vitam apparuitque truncum 
esse pro terra. aufertur ergo serra aequaHter super- 

102 ficies, levigatur falce truncas. ratio postea duplex, 
et prima inter corticem Hgnumque inserendi : time- 
bant prisci truncuni findere, mox inforare ausi medio 
ipsique in eo meduUae calamum inprimebant, unum 

' Ed. Hack. : alieno. 



• Otorgica II. 74 ff. * In the microscopic layer now called 
cambium. 

70 



BOOK XVII. XXII. 99-\xiv. 102 

and berries of ditferent colours growing together. It 
is also reported that the same thing may be caused by ' 
a jackdaw when it hides seeds in the holes that are 
its storehouses. 

XXIII. From this has bcen derived the process inocutation. 
of inoculation, consisting in opening an eye in a tree 

by cutting away the bark with a tool resembhng a 
shoemaker's punch and enclosing in it a seed that has 
been removed from another tree by means of the 
same tool. This was the method of inoculation used in 
old davs in the case of figs and apples ; but the method 
described by Virgil ° is to find a recess in a knot of bark 
burst open bv a shoot and to enclose in this a bud 
obtained from another tree. 

XXIV. And so far Nature has herself been our Gmfting; 
instructor ; but grafting was taught us by Chance, luie7for. 
another tutor and one wlio gives us perhaps more 
irequent lessons, and this was how he did it : a 
careful farmer, making a fence round his house 

to protect it, put under the posts a base made 
of ivy-wood, so as to prevent them from rotting ; 
but the posts when nipped by the bite of the still 
living ivy created life of their own from another's 
vitality, and it was found that the trunk of a tree 
was serving instead of earth. Continuing, the sur- 
face of the wood is levelled off with a saw and the 
trunk smoothed witli a pruning-knife. Afterwards 
there is a two-fold method of procedure ; and the first 
method consists of inserting the graft between * the 
bark and the wood, as people in former days were 
afraid of making a cleft in the trunk ; although sub- 
sequently they venturcd to bore right into the middle 
and adopted the plan of forcing the graft into the 
pith itself inside it, inserting only one graft as the 

71 



PLINY: NATUIIAL HISTORY 

inserentes, neque ciiiin plures capiehat nicdulla. 
suhtilior postea ratio vel senos addi ^ mortalitati 
eorum et numero, pcr mcdia trunco lcnitcr fisso 
cuncoque tenui fissuram custodiente, donec cuspi- 
datim decisus desccndat in riniam calanius. 

103 Multa in hoc scrvanda : priinuin (unnium, ([uae 
patiatur coituni talcni arhor et euius arl)i)ris. varie 
quo^pie ct non isdem in partihus suhest omnihus sucus ; 
vitihus ficisque media sieeiora ^ et e suinma parte 
conceptus, ideo illinc sureuli petuntur ; oleis circa 
media sucus, inde et surculi : caeumina sitiunt. 

104 faeillime coaleseunt quihus cadem corticis natura 
quaeque pariter florentia eiusdem horae cognationcm 
sucorumquc soeictatcm habcnt ; lenta res est quotiens 
umidis rcpugnant sicca, molUbus corticum duri, 
rehqua observatio ne fissura in nodo fiat — rcpudiat 
quippc advenam inhospitaHs duritia, ut in parte 
nitidissima, ne longior multo tribus digitis, ne obli^jua, 

105 ne tralucens. \'crgiHus e caeumine inscri vetat, 
certumque cst ab umeris arborum orientcm aestivum 
spectantihus sureulos petendos, ct a fcraeihus ct e 
germinc noveUo, nisi vetustae arbori inserantur — ii 

* Muylioff : adici. 

* Edd. : sicciore. 



" I.e. if the text is oorrect, Imtli to replace any grafts that 
died and to make a larger totai number ot liviiig gnvfts. 
* (liorgks H. 78. 

72 



BOOK XVII. XXIV. 102-105 

})ith would not take more. But subsequently a 
more elaborate method is for as many as six grafts to 
be added to rcinforce their liability to die and their 
number," a cleft being carefullv made through the 
middle of the trunk and being kept open by means 
of a thin wedge until the graft, the end of which 
has been pared into a point, goes right down into 
the crack. 

In this process a great many precautions have to be 
observed. First of all we must notice what kind of tree 
will stand grafting of this nature, and what tree it will 
take a graft from. Also the sap is variously distri- 
buted, and does not He under the bark in the same 
parts with all trees : in vines and figs the middle is 
drier, and generation starts from the top, shoots for 
grafting being consequently taken from the top of the 
tree, whereas in olives the sap is round the middle and 
grafts are also taken from there, the tops being parched 
up. Grafts and trunk grow together most easily 
when they have the same kind of bark and when they 
flower at the same time, so that they have the affinity 
of the same season and a partnership of juices ; where- 
as it is a slow business when there is incompatibiHty 
between dry tissues and damp ones, and between hard 
and soft barks. The other points to be observed are 
not to make the clcft at a knot, as the inhospitable 
hardness repudiates a new-conier; to make it at the 
shiniest place ; not to make it much more than three 
inches long, nor on a slant, nor so as to be transparent. 
Virgil'' says that grafts must not be taken from the 
top, and it is certain that the sHps should be obtained 
from the shoulders of the tree that k)ok north-cast, 
and from trees that are good bearers and from a young 
shoot, unless the tree on which they are to be grafted 

73 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

enim robustiores esse debent ; praeterea ut praeg- 
nates, hoe est gemmatione turgentes et qui parere illo 
speraverint anno, bimi utique nec tenuiores digito 

106 minimo. inseruntur autem et inversi cum id agitur 
ut minor altitudo in latitudinem se fundat. ante 
omnia gemmantes nitere conveniet : nihil usquam 
ulcerosum aut retorridum spei favebit.^ medulla 
calami commissurae in matre Ugni corticisque iung- 
atur, id enim satius quam foris cortici aequari. calami 
exacutio meduUam ne nudet, tantum tenui ^ fistula 
detegat ; fastigatio levi descendat cuneo tribus non 
ampHore digitis, quod facilHme contingit tinctum 

107 aqua radentibus. ne exacuatur in vento. ne cortex a 
ligno decedat alterutri. calamus ad corticem usque 
suum deprimatur; ne luxetur dum deprimitur neve 
cortex repHcetur in rugas. ideo lacrimantes calamos 
inseri non oportet, non, Hercules, magis quam aridos, 
quia iUo modo labat umore nimio cortex, hoc vitaH 

108 defectu non umescit neque concorporat ur. id etiam 
reHgionis servant, ut luna crescente, ut calamus 

* Rdckluim : favet. 

• tantum tenui 7 Mayhoff : tamen tenui aut tenui tamen. 



' I.e. upside down, the top of the sHp being put in the 
hole, not the cut end. *The cambium-layer. 

74 



BOOK XVII. XXIV. 105-108 

is an old one, as in that case the sHp must be stouter. 
A further point is that sHps that are going to be 
grafted must be pregnant, that is, sweUing with bud- 
formations, and in expectation of giving birth in that 
year, and they must be at all events two years old, 
and not thinner than the Httle finger. But grafts are 
also insex*ted the other way round " when the in- 
tention is for them not to grow so long but to spread 
out. Before all things it will be serviceable for them 
to have buds and to be glossy, as nothing shabby or 
shrivelled anywhere will gratify one's hopes. The 
pith of the siip grafted should be put touching the 
place * in the mother tree where the wood and the bark 
meet, for that is more satisfactory than to place it 
level with the bark outside. The process of giving a 
point to the sHp for grafting must not strip the pith 
quite bare, but only make it visible through a narrow 
aperture ; the point must slope ofF in an even wedge 
not more than three inches long, which is most easily 
achieved by dipping the sHp in water when paring 
it. It must not be exposed to wind while it is being 
pointed. The bark must not be allowed to become 
separated from the wood in either the graft or the 
trunk. The graft must be pressed right down to 
where its bark begins, but it must not be forced out 
of shape while it is being pressed home, nor have its 
bark folded back in wrinkles. Consequently shoots 
dripping with sap should not be used for grafting, no 
more, I swear, than ones that are dry, because in 
the former case excess of moisture causes the bark 
to sHp, while in the latter owing to defective 
vitaHty it makes no moisture and does not incorporate 
with the trunk. Moreover there is a reHgious rule 
that a graft must be inserted while the moon is 

75 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

utraque deprimatur manu ; et alioqui hoc in opere 
duae simul manus minus nituntur, necessario tempera- 
mento. validias demissi tardius ferunt, fortius durant, 
contrarie ^ ex diverso. ne hiscat niiiiium rima laxeque 
capiat, aut ne parum, ut ^ cxpriinat aut conpressuni 
necet ; hoc maxime cavendum in praevalide accipicntis 

109 trunco. ut ^ media * fissura relinquatur,* quidam 
vestigio fissurae falce in truncis facto salice praeligant 
marginem ipsum, postea cuneo findunt continente 
\nnculo libertatem dehisccndi. quaedam in phmtario 
insita eodem die transferuntur. si crassior truncus 
inseratur, inter corticem et lignum inseri melius, 
cuneo optime osseo cortice ne * rumpatur laxato. 

110 cerasi libro dempto finduntur. hae solae et post 
bnmiam inseruntur. dcmpto hbro habent veluti 
hiiiuginem, quae si conprehendit insitum putrcfacit. 
vinculum ' cuneo adacto ® utihssime adstringitur ; 
inserere aptissimum quam proxime terrae patiatur 
nodorum truncique ratio. eminere calami sex 
digitorum longitudine non amplius debent. 

111 Cato argillae vel cretae harenam fimumque 
bubulum admisceri ' atque ita usque ad lentorem 

* Rarkham : contraria. 

* iMhfscn : et. 

' ut Mayhojf : in. 

* modica ? Slaifhoff. 
' £dd. : relinqiiant. 

* ne a/ld. liackham (cortex ne Mayhoff). 
' Srhneider : incolume. 

* Srhneider : adactum. 

* Rackham : admiscet. 



" XL. 2f. 



76 



BOOK XVII. XXIV. 108-111 

waxing, and that both hands must be used in pressing 
it home ; and apart from that, to use both hands at 
once in this job requires less effort, as it involves 
combining their forccs. Grafts pressed in too forcibly 
are slower in bearing but last more stoutly, while the 
contrary procedure has the opposite results. The 
crack must not gape too wide and afFord a loose hold, 
nor yet not wide enough, so as to squeeze the graft out 
or to kill it by pressure ; special care must be taken 
to avoid the latter in the trunk of a tree that takes the 
graft with an excessively powerful hold. In order that 
a cleft may be left in the middle, some people make 
a Une of cleavage in the trunk with a pruning-hook 
and bandajje the actual edee of the incision with a 
withe, and afterwards force it apart ^dth a wedge, the 
bandage kecping it from gaping open too freely. 
Some slips are grafted on plants in a seed-plot 
and then are transplanted on the same day. If a 
rather thick stock is used for grafting, it is better to 
insert it between the bark and the wood, after using 
a wedge, preferably of bone, to loosen the bark, so as 
not to break it. Cherrj^-trees have their inner rind re- 
moved before the incision is made. They are the only 
trees that are grafted even after midwinter. After 
the bark has been removed they have a layer of a sort 
of down, and if this gets a hold on the graft it makes it 
decay. The most effective way of tightening the 
bandage is by driving a wedge into it ; it suits best to 
insert it as close to the ground as the formation of the 
tree and the knots allows. Grafts ought not to 
project to a length of more than six inches. 

Cato " recommends making a mixture of pounded 
while clay or chalk and cowdung and so working it 
to a sticky consistency, and putting this into the fissure 

77 



PLINY: XATURAL HISTORY 

subigi iubet idque interponi et circunilini. ex iis 
qiiae commentatus est facile apparet illa aetate inter 
lignum et corticem nec alio modo inserere solitos aut 
ultra latitudinem duum digitorum calamos demittere. 
inseri autem praecipit pira ac mala per ver et post 

112 solstitium diebus L et^ post vindemiam, oleas autem 
et ficos per ver tantum, luna sitiente,^ praeterea post 
meridiem ac sine vento austro. mirum quod non 
contentus insitum munisse ut dictimi est, et caespite 
ab imbre frigoribusque protexisse ac mollibus bifido- 
rum viminum fasciis, lingua bubula — herbae id genus 
est — insuper optegi iubet eamque inligari opertam 
stramentis : nunc abunde arbitrantur paleato luto 
fasciari ^ libro duos digitos insito exstante. 

113 \'emo inserentes tempus urguet, incitantibus se 
gemmis praeterquam in olea, cuius diutissime oculi 
parturiunt, minimimique suci habet sub cortice, qui 
nimius insitis nocet. punica vero et ficimi quaequc 

114 alia sicca sunt recrastinare minime utile. pirum vel 
florcntem inserere licet et in Maium quoque mensem 
protendere insitiones. quod si longius adferantur 
pomorum calami, rapo infixos optime custodire sucum 
arbitrantur, servari inter duos imbrices iuxta rivos vel 

' et ofhl. Hardouin. 

' Dellefsen : sitiente, hoc est sicca. 

' Enckhain {{McinTe lan); farcire. 

78 



BOOK XVII. XXIV. 111-114 

and smearing it round it. From his remarks on the 
subject it is easily seen that at that period they used 
to insert the graft between the wood and the bark 
and not otherwise, nor used they to put the slips 
more than two inches in. He advises grafting pear seasomfor 
and apples during the spring and fifty days after ?^"/""''- 
midsummer and after the vintage, but olives and figs 
only in the spring and when a cloudless moon is 
shining, and moreover in the aftemoon and not if 
there is a south wind blowing. It is remarkable 
that he is not content to have safeguarded the graft 
in the manner described, and to have protected 
it against rain and frost by means of turf and 
soft bundles of split osiers, but he says it must be 
covered with a layer of bugloss — a species of plant — 
as well, and that this should be tied on \vith a layer 
of straw ; whereas nowadays they think it is very 
adequately packed with a wrapping of mud and 
chaff, the graft projecting two inches from the bark. 
Those who do their grafting in spring are pressed 
for time, as the buds are just shooting, except in 
the case of the ohve, the eyes of which are pregnant 
for a ver>' long time, and it has a very small amount 
of sap under the bark, which when too abundant 
is injurious to the grafts. But with pomegranates 
and the fig and other trees of a dry nature it is far 
from beneficial to put off grafting till a late season. 
A pear-tree however may be grafted when actually 
in blossom, and the process may be carried forward 
even into Mav. If however cuttings of fruit trees 
have to be brought from a considerable distance, it 
is beheved that they best preserve their sap if they 
are inserted in a turnip, and it is best to store them 
near a stream or a pond, packed between two hoUow 

79 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

piscinas utrimque terra obstructos; \itium vero in 
scrobibus siccis stramento opertos ac deinde terra 
obrutos ut cacumine exstent. 

115 XXV. Cato vitem tribus modis inserit : praesectam 
fmdi iubet per medullam, in eam surculos, exacutos ut 
dictum est, addi, medullas iungi ; altero, si inter se 
vites contingant, utriusque in obliquum laterc 
contrario adraso iunctis medullis colligari ; tertium 
genus est terebrare vitem in obliquum ad medullam 
calamosque addere longos pedes binos atque ita 
ligatum insitum intritaque inlitimi operire terra 

llfi calamis subrectis. nostra aetas correxit ut Gallica 
uteretur terebra quae excavat nec urit, quoniam 
adustio omnis hebetat, atque ut gemmascere incipiens 
eligeretur calamus, nec plus quam binis ab insito 
emineret oculis,uImi . . .^ viminc alligato . . .^ bina 
circumdarcntur, . . .^ acie a duabus partibus, ut inde 
potius destillaret mucor qui maxime vites infestat, 
dein cum evaluissent flagella pedes binos, vinculum 
insiti incideretur, ubertati crassitudine permissa. 

117 vilibus inserendis tempus dedere ab aequinoctio 
autumno ad germinationis initia. sativae plantae 
silvestrium radicibus inseruntur natura spissioribus * ; 
si sativae silvestribus ' inserantur, degenerant in 

1 Lacunas Mayhojf. 

* api.ssioribus ? Mmjhoff rnll. § 121 : siccioribus. 

• siivestrium truncis coni. Warmington, vel si sativae . . . 
feritatem gloaa. Cf. Varr. R.R. I. 40. 

' XLI. 2£F. ^ MeduUa includes the unrecognised cambium- 
laycr. 

* The apparent lacunae in the text of this sentence have 
evaded oonji ctural restoration. 

8o 



BOOK XVII. XXIV. 114-X.XV. 117 

tiles blocked up at each end with earth ; but it is 
thought that vine-cuttings are best stored in dry 
ditches, under a covering of straw, with earth then 
piled over them so as to let their tops protrude. 

XXV. Cato " has three ways of grafting a vine : aTafHng 
he advises cutting the stock short and spHtting it '^"**' 
through the pith, and then inserting into it the 
shoots after sharpening them at the end in the manner 
stated above, and making the cambium ^ of the two § 106- 
meet ; the second method is, in case the vines are con- 
tiguous with one another, to pare down on a slant 
the side of each that faces the other and to tie them 
together with the cambiums joined ; and the third is to 
bore a slanting hole in the vine down to the pith 
and insert sHps a couple of feet long, and to tie the 
graft in that position and cover it up with a plaster of 
pounded earth, with the shoots upright. Our genera- 
tion has improved on this method, so as to employ a 
GalHc auger which makes a hole in the tree without 
scorching it, becaase all scorching weakens it, and 
to select a sHp that is beginning to bud, and not 
to let it protrude from the stock by more than two 
eyes, . . . of an elm . . . tied on with a withe . . . 
puttworound . . . on two sides with a knife,<^ so that 
the sHme which is the greatest enemy of vines may 
chiefly exude through them, and then when the whips 
have made two feet of growth, to cut the tie of the 
graft, aHowing its growth to make thickness. They 
have fixed the time for grafting vines from the 
autumn equinox tiH the beginning of budding. 
Cultivated plants are grafted on roots of wild 
ones, which are of a closer texture, whereas if sHps 
of cultivated plants are grafted on the trunks of 
wild ones they degenerate to the wild variety. 

8t 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

feritatem. reliqua caelo constant : aptissima insitis 
siccitas ; huius enim remedium adpositis fictilibus 
vasis modicus umor per cinerem destillans ^ ; inoculatio 
rores amat lenes. 

118 XX\'I. Emplastratio 2 et ipsa ex inoculatione nata 
videri potest, crasso autem maxime cortici convenit, 
sicut est ficis. ergo amputatis omnibus ramis ne 
sucum avocent, nitidissima in parte quaque praecipua 
cernatur hilaritas exempta scutula ita ne descendat 
ultra corticem ferrum, imprimitur ex alia ' cortex par 
cum sui germinis mamma, sic conpage densata ut 
cicatrici locus non sit et statim fiat unitas, nec umorem 
nec adflatum recipiens ; nihilominus tamen et luto 

119 munire et vinculo mcHus. hoc genus non pridem 
repertum volunt qui novis moribus favent, sed iam 
et* apud veteres Graecos invenitur et apud Catonem, 
qui oloam ficumque sic inseri iussit mensura etiam 
praefinita secundum reliquam dihgentiam suam, 
corticis scalpro excidi quattuor digitorum longitudi- 
nem et trium latitudinem atque ita coagmentari et 
ilhi sua intrita obUni, eadem ratione ut in malo. 
quidam huic generi miscuere fissuram in vitibus, 

> Ed. Uack. : destillat. 
' Hxiel : emplastri ratio. 

• nlia <arbore> ? RackJiam. 

* Mai/hoff : etiam atU etiam et. 

8a 



BOOK XVII. XXV. 117-X.XV1. 119 

The rest depends on the weather: dry weather is 
most favourable for grafts, because a remedy for its 
ill effects is to place earthenware pots of ashes on 
the stock and let a small amount of water lilter 
through the ashes ; but grafting by inoculation Ukes 
a Hght fall of dew. 

XXVI. Scutcheon grafting may itself also be scuiefienn 
thought to have sprung from grafting by inoculation, srafttng. 
but It is most suited to a thick bark, such as that of 
fig-trees. The procedure is to prune all the branches 
so that they may not attract the sap, and then, at 
the most flourishing part of the tree and where it 
displays exceptional luxuriance, to remove a scut- 
cheon, without allowing thc knife to penetrate below 
the bark ; and then to take a piece of bark of equal 
size from another tree, together with a protuberant 
bud, and press it into the place, fitting the join so 
closely that there is no room for a scar to form and a 
single substance is produced straight away, imper- 
vious to damp and to air — though all the same it is 
better to protect the splice by plastering it with mud 
and tying it with a bandage. People in favour of 
modern fashions make out that this kind of grafting 
was only recently invented, but it is found already 
in the old Greek writers and in Cato, who prescribed XLil. 
this method of grafting for the oUve and the fig, in 
conformity with his invariable precision actuaUy defin- 
ing the proper measurement : he says that a piece 
of bark four inches long and three wide should be 
cut out with a knife, and so fitted to its place and 
smeared with that pounded mixture of his described 
above, in the same way as in grafting an apple. In § m. 
the case of vines some people have combined with 
this kind of grafting the fissure method, removing a 

83 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

120 exempta cortici tessella a latere calamo adigcndo. tot 
modis insitam arborem vidimus iuxta Tiburtes tullios 
omni genere pomorum onustam, alio ramo nucibus, 
alio bacis, aliunde vite, piris, ficis, punicis malorum- 
que generibus ; sed huic brevis fuit vita. nec tamen 
omnia experimentis adsequi in natura ^ possumus ; 
quaedam enim nasci nisi sponte nullo modo queunt, 
eaque inmitibus tantum et desertis locis proveniunt. 

121 capacissima insitorum omnium ducitur platanus, 
postea robur, verum utraque sapores corrumpit. 
quaedam omni genere inseruntur, ut ficus, punicae ^ ; 
vitis non recipit emplastra, nec quibus tenuis aut 
caducus rimosusque cortex, neque inoculationem 
siccae aut umoris exigui. fcrtilissima omnium 
inoculatio, postea emplastratio, sed utraque infirmis- 
sima ; et quae cortice tantum nituntur vel lcvi 
aura ocissime deplantantur. inserere firmissimum et 
fecundius quam serere. 

122 Non est omittendararitasuniusexempli. Corellius 
eques Romanus Ateste genitus insevit castaneam 
suomet ipsam surculo in Neapolitano agro ; sic facta 
est castanea quae ab eo nomen accepit intcr laudatas. 
postea Tereus eiusdem libertus Corellianam iteruni 

* Mayhoff : adsequi naturam. 

• Sict Maylwff : ut ficus, ut punicae. 

84 



BOOK XVII. XXVI. 1 19-122 

little square of bark on the side and then forcinsf in 
the shoot. We have secn beside the Falls of Tivoli rnnotis 
a tree that has been grafted in all these ways and '"■"■''"'!'*• 
was laden with fruit of every kind, nuts on one 
branch, berries on another, vhile in other places 
hung grapes, pears, figs, pomegranates and various 
sorts of apples ; but the tree did not Hve long. And 
nevertheless it is impossible for us by our experi- 
ments to attain to all the things found in Nature, as 
some cannot possibly come into existence except 
spontaneously, and these only occur in wild and unin- 
habited places. The tree most receptive of every 
kind of graft is believed to be the plane, and next 
to it the hard-oak, but both of these spoil the flavours 
of the fruit. Some trees, for instance the fig and 
the pomegranate, can be grafted in all the different 
methods, but the vine does not admit scutcheons, 
nor do trees that have a thin bark or one that peels 
off and cracks ; nor do trees which are dry or contain 
only a little sap admit of inoculation. Inoculation 
is the most prolific of all methods of grafting, and 
grafting by scutcheon comes next, but both are 
verv subject to displacement ; and a graft that reUes 
on the support of the bark only is very speedily dis- 
lodged by even a light breeze. Grafting by inscrtion 
is the firmest, and produces more fruit than a tree 
grown from planting. 

We must not omit one extremely exceptional case. orafitaken 
In the territory of Naples a Knight of Rome named [™;;' '"'"' 
CoreUius, a native of Este, grafted a chestnut with 
a sUp cut from the tree itself, and this is how the 
celebrated varicty of chestnut tree named after 
him was produced. Subsequently his freedman 
Tereus grafted a CoreUius chestnut again. The 

85 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inse^it. haec est inter eas differentia : illa copiosior. 
haec Tereiana melior. 

1 23 XXVn. Reliqua genera casus ingenio suo excogita- 
vit ac defractos serere ramos docuit cum pah defixi 
radices cepissent. multa sic seruntur inprimisque 
ficus omnibus aUis modis nascens praeterquam talea, 
optime quidem vastiore ramo paB modo exacuto si ^ 
adigatur alte, exiguo super terram relicto capite 
eoque ipso harena cooperto. ramo seruntur et 
punica, palis laxato prius meatu,* item myrtus, 
omnium homm longitudine trium pedum, crassitudine 
minus bracchiali, cortice diligenter servato, trunco 
exacuto. 

124 XXVIII. Myrtus et talels seritur, morus talea 
tantum, quoniam in ulmo eam inseri rcHgio fulgurum 
prohibet. quapropter de talearum satu nunc dicen- 
dum est. servandum in eo ante omnia ut taleae ex 
feracibus fiant arboribus, ne curvae neve scabrae aut 
bifurcae, ne ^ tenuiores quam ut manum impleant, ne 
minores pedaHbus, ut inlibato cortice atque ut sectura 
inferior ponatur semper et quod fuerit * ab radice, 
adcumuleturque germinatio terra donec robur planta 
capiat. 

* Rackhnm : si vastiore . . . exocuto. 

* hiatu 7 Rarkham. 
' ne add. edd. 

* J. Mueller : erit. 



• I.e. the branch that is being planted 80 as to strike root 
and form the tniiik of a new tree. 

86 



BOOK XVII. xxvi. I22-XXVIII. 124 

difference between the two varieties is this : the 
former is more proUfic but the latter, the Tereus 
chestnut, of better quaHty. 

XX\'II. It is mere accident that by its own ingen- propagation 
uitv has devised the remainin<j kinds of reproduction ; >;yp^nt'»>j 

■ ' I 1 1 ,r I 1 i- 1 branches. 

it taught us to break oti branches irom trees and 
phmt them because stakes driven into the earth had 
taken root. This method is used to grow many 
trees, especially the fig, which can be grown in all 
the other ways except from a cutting ; the best plan 
indeed is to take a comparatively large branch and 
point it at the end hke a stake and drive it deep into 
the earth, leaving a small head above ground and 
covering up even this with sand. Pomegranates 
also are grown from a branch, the passage into the 
hole having first been widened with stakes ; and so 
also the myrtle ; in all of these a branch is used that 
is three feet long and not so thick as a man's arm, 
and the bark is carefully preserved and the trunk" 
sharpened to a point at the end. 

XXVIII. The myrtle is grown from cuttings as pianHno 
well as in other ways, and that is the only way used "^""'"^* 
for the mulberry, because superstitious fear of Ught- 
ning forbids its being grafted on an elm. Conse- 
quently we must now speak about the planting of 
cuttings. In this care must be taken above all that 
the cuttings are made from trees that bear weU, 
that they are not bent in shape nor scabbed or 
forked, that they are thick enough to fiU the hand 
and not less than a foot long, that they are planted 
without injury to the bark and always with the cut 
end and the part that was nearest the root downward, 
and during the process of budding the plant is kept 
heaped over with earth until it attains strength. 

87 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

125 XXIX. Quae custodienda in olearum cura Cato 
iudicavcrit, ipsius vcrbis optime praecipiemus : 
Taleas oleagineas quas in scrobe saturus eris tripe- 
daneas facito, diligenterque tractato ne liber laboret 
cum dolabis aut secabis. quas in seminario saturus 
eris pedales facito. *eas sic inserito : locus bipalio 
subactus sit beneque glutus ; cum taleam demittes, 
pede taleam opprimito ; si panim descendat, malleo 
aut mateola adigito, cavetoque ne librum scindas cum 
adiges. palo prius locum ne feceris quo taleam 
demittas, ita melius vivet. taleae ubi trimae sunt, 

126 tum denique maturae sunt,^ ubi liber se vertet. si in 
scrobibus aut in sulcis seres, temas taleas ponito 
easque divaricato. supra terram ne plus quattuor 
digitos traversos emineant,^ vel oculo servato. — 
Diligenter eximerc oleam oportet et radices quam 
plurima ^ cum terra ferre ; ubi radices bene operueris, 
calcare bene, ne quid * noceat. si quis quaerat quod 
tempus oleae serendae sit, agro sicco per sementem, 

127 agro laeto per ver. — XXX. Olivetum diebus xv ante 
aequinoctium vernum inci])ito putare, ex eo die dies 
XL recte putabis. id hoc modo putato : qua locus 
recte ferax erit, quae arida erunt et si quid ventus 
interfregerit, inde ea omnia eximito; qua locas ferax 
non erit, id plus concidito artatoque ^ bene enodatoque 
stirpesque leves facito. — Circum oleas autiimnitate 

^ Calo : tum denique curae sunt aul sint. 

* Calo : traverso scmine aut. 

' plurinia? Mayhoff : plurimaa. 

* ne uqua Cato. 

* l'ontidtra : aratoque. 

88 



BOOK XVII. XXIX. 125-xxx. 127 

XXIX. \Ve shall best convey in Cato's own words cato, XLV. 
the rules that he judged necessary to keep in looking 
after olives : ' Make the olive slips that you arc rrenimeni 
going to plant in the hole a yard long, and handle "Jjl^l^g 
them carefullv so as not to daniage the bark when 
cutting or trimming them. Make those you are 
going to plant in the nursery a foot long. Plant them 
thus : the place must be first dug over with a niattock 
and have the soil well loosened ; when you put the 
slip in, press down the slip with your foot ; if it does 
not go down far enough, drive it in with a mallet or 
a beetle, and be carcful not to break the bark while 
vou are driving it in. Do not make a hole beforehand 
with a dibble into which to put the slip : if you do not, 
it will live better. The slips do not mature till 
three vcars old, when the bark will turn. If you 
plant them in holes or in furrows, put them in groups 
of three and keep these apart. Check just by the 
eve that they do not project more than four fingers' 
breadth above the earth. — -In taking up an olive 
tree vou should use great care and carry the roots 
with as much earth as possible ; when you have well roto.Lxi. j 
covered up the roots, tread them down well, so that 
nothing may injure them. If anyone asks what is the 
time for planting an olive, the answer is, where there 
is a dry- soil, at seed-time, but where it is rich, in the 
spring. — XXX. Begin to prune an olive-yard a fort- «"ato, XLiv. 
night before the spring equinox ; the six weeks from ^' ' ' 
then onward will be the right tinie for pruning. 
Prune it in this wav : in a really fertile place, remove 
all the parts that are dry and any branches broken 
bv the wind ; in a place that is not fertile, trim awav 
more and reduce well and disentangle out and make 
the stocks smooth. — In the autumn season turn up 

89 



PLLW : NATURAL HISTORY 

oblaqueato et stercus addito. — Qui oletum saepissime 
et altissime miscebit, is tenuis<;imas radices exarabit. 
si male arabit,^ radices susimi abibunt, crassiores fient 
eo* et vires oleae abibunt. 

128 Quae genera olearuni et in quo genere terrae 
iuberet seri quoque spectare oliveta, dixinius in 
ratione olei. Mago in coUe et siccis et argilla inter 
autumnum et brumam seri iussit, in crasso aut umido 
aut subriguo solo a mcsse ad brumam ; quod praece- 
pisse cum Africae intellegatur.-' Italia quidem nunc 
vere maxime serit ; sed si et autumno libeat, post 
aequinoctium xl dicbus ad Vergiliarum occasum iiii 

129 soli dies sunt quibus seri noceat. Africae peculiare 
quod in oleastro eas * inserit quadam aetemitate,cum 
senescant proxima adoptioni virga immissa ^ atque 
Ita alia arbore ex eadem iuvencsccnte iterumque et 
quotiens opus sit, ut aevis eadem oliveta constent. 
inseritur autem oleaster calamo et inoculatione. 

130 Olea ubi qucrcus effossa est * male ponitur, quoniam 
vermes qui raucae vocantur in radice quercus 
nascuntur et transeunt. non inhumare taleas aut 
siccarc prius quam serantur utilius conpertum. vetus 

* 81 . . . arabit Calo : om. ccxld. 

* liuckham: et eo in radices codd., et in radices Cato. 
' Backhnm: intcllepitur. 

* .7. MveUer : oleastro est. 
'•" Rackham : emissa. 

* MayhoJJ : sit. 
90 



BOOK XVII. XXX. 127-130 

the earth round the oUve-trees and add dung. — 
The man who stirs over his olive-yard most often 
and deepcst, will plough up the thinnest roots. If 
he ploughs badly, the roots will spread out on the 
top of the ground and will becorae thicker, and the 
strength of the oUve-trees wiU go away into them.' 

We have already stated, in treating of oUve-oil, Seasnnsjot 
what kinds of oUve trees Cato teUs us to plant and fre^s.*"^ 
in what kind of soil, and wliat aspect he advises for x:v, 2oa. 
oUve-yards. Mago reconimends that on sloping 
ground and in dry positions and in a clay soil they 
should be planted bctween autumn and the middle 
of winter, but in heavy or damp or watery soil be- 
twcr-n harvcst and the middle of winter — though it 
must be understood that he gave this advice for 
Africa. Italy at any rate, at the present time, does 
its planting chiefly in spring, but if one chooses to 
plant in autumn as weU, there are only four days of 
the forty between the equinox and the setting of the 
Pleiads on which it injures olives to be planted. It 
is pecuUar to Africa that it grafts them on a wild 
oUve, in a sort of everlast ing sequence, as when they 
begin to get old the shoot next for engrafting is put 
in and so another young tree grows out of the same 
one and the process is repeated as often as is neces- 
sary, so that the same oUve-yards go on for genera- 
tions. The wild olive however is propagated both 
by grafting and by inoculation. 

It is bad to plant an oUve where an oak-tree has 
been dug up, because the worms callcd raucae breed 
in oak roots and go over to oUves. It has been ascer- 
tained to pay better not to bury the cuttings in the 
ground or to dry thcm before they are planted. It 
has bccn found bctter for an old oUve-yard to be 

91 



PLINY : NATURAL IIISTORY 

olivetum ab aequinoctio verno intra vergiliarum 
exortum intcrradi altcrnis annis melius inventuni, 
item muscum radi.^ circumfodi autem omnibus annis 
a solstitio duum cubitorum scrobe pcdali altitudinc, 
stercorari tertio anno. 

Mago idem amvgdalas ab occasu Arcturi ad bru- 

131 mam seri iubet, pira non eodem tempore omnia, 
quoniam neque floreant eodem, oblonga aut rotunda 
ab occasu Vergiliarum ad brumam, reliqua genera 
media hieme ab occasu Sagittae, subsolanum aut 
septentriones spectantia, laurum ab occasu Aquilae ad 

132 occasum Sagittae. conexa enim de tempore serendi 
inserendique ^ ratio est : vere et autumno id magna ex 
parte fieri decrevere ; est et alia hora circa Canis ortus, 
paucioribus nota quoniam non omnibus locis paritcr 
utilis intellegitur, sed haud omittenda nobis non 
tractus ahcuius rationem verum naturae totius 

133 indagantibus. in Cyrenaica regione sub etesiarum 
flatu conserunt, nec non et in Graecia, oleam maxime 
in Laconia. Coos insula et vites tunc serit, ceteri 
apud Graecos inoculare et inserere non dubitant, sed 
arbores non serunt. phiriinurnque in eo locorum 
natura pollet ; namque in Aegypto omni serunt 



' Mayhoff e Coliivi. : radici (circumdare radici e(W.). 
' inserendi add. J . Mneller. 



92 



BOOK XVII. XXX. 130-133 

raked over every other year between the spring 
equinox and the rising of the Pleiads, and also to 
have the moss scraped ofF the trees, but for theni 
to be dug round every year just after midsummer 
with a hole a vard across and a foot deep, and to 
be manured with dung every third year. 

Mago also tells us to plant almonds between the 
rising of Arcturus and the shortest day, and not to 
plant all kinds of pears at the same time, as they do 
not bk)ssom at the same time either ; he says that 
those with oblong or round fruit should be planted 
between the setting of the Pleiads and the shortest 
dav, but the remaining kinds in midwinter after the 
setting of the Arrow, with an eastern or northerly 
aspect ; and a laurel between the setting of the Eagle 
and the setting of the Arrow. For the rule as to the 
time for planting and that for grafting are con- 
nected : the authorities have decided that for the 
greater part grafting should be done in spring and 
autumn, but there is also another suitable season, 
about the rising of the Dogstar, known to fewer 
people because it is understood not to be equally 
advantageous for all localities, but as we are enquiring 
into the proper method not for a particular region 
but for the whole of nature we must not omit it. In 
the district of Cyrene they plant when the yearly 
winds are blowing, as they also do in Greece, and 
particularly the olive in Laconia. The island of Cos 
also plants vincs at that season, but the rest of the 
farmers in (ireece, though they do not hesitate to 
inoculate and to graft trees at that season, do not 
plant trees then. And the natural qualities of the 
localitics carry very great weight in this matter; 
for in Kgypt they plant in every month, and so in 

93 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

mense et ubicumque imbres aestivi sunt,^ at ^ in 
India et Aethiopia nescessario post haec autumno 

134 seruntur arbores. ergo tria tcmpora eadem ger- 
minationis, ver et Canis Arcturicjue ortus. neque enim 
animalium tantura est ad coitus aviditas, sed multo 
maior est terrae ac satorum omnium hbido, qua 
tempestive uti plurimum interest conceptus pecuhar- 
iterque ' in insitis, cum sit mutua cupiditas utrique 

135 coeundi. qui ver probant ab aequinoctio statini 
admittunt, praedicantes germina parturire, ideo faciles 
corticum esse conplexus ; qui praeferunt autumnuni 
ab arcturi ortu, quoniam statim radicem quandam 
capiant et ad ver parata veniant atque non protinus 
germinatio auferat vires. quaedam tamen statutum 
tempus anni habent ubique, ut cerasi et amvgdahie 
circa brumam serendi vel inserendi ; de phiribu»^ 
locorum situs optime iudicabit : frigida enim et aquosa 
verno conseri oportet, sicca et cahda autunmo. 

136 communis quidem Itahae ratio tempora ad hunc 
modum distribuit : moro ab idibus Februariis in 
aeciuinoctium, piro autumnum ita ut brumam xv ne 
minus diebus antecedat,* mahs aestivis et cotoneis. 
item sorbis, prunis, post mediam hiemem in idus 
Februarias, siHquae Graecae et persicis ante brumam 
per autumnum,nucibus iuglandi et pineae et abellanae 

' <non> sunt Hardouin. 

* at lan : et. 

' Rackham : peculiare utique. 

* Rackham : antecedant. 

94 



BOOK XVII. XXX. 133-136 

every country that has a summer rainfall, but in 
India and Ethiopia trees are necessarily plantcd later, 
in autumn. Consequently there are three regular 
periods for germination, spring and the rise of the 
Dogstar and that of Arcturus. For in fact not only 
do animals possess a strong appetite for copulation, 
but the earth and all vegetable growths have a much 
greater desire, the indulgence of which at the proper 
season is of the greatest importance for conception, 
and pecuUarly so in the case of grafts, as both graft and 
stock share a mutual eagerness to unite. Those who 
approve of spring for grafting begin it immediately 
after the equinox, stating that the buds are just 
coming out, which faciUtates the joining of the barks ; 
but those who prefer autumn begin at the rising of 
Arcturus, because the grafts at once so to speak take 
root and are prepared when they reach springtime, 
and do not have their strength taken away immedi- 
ately bv budding. Some kinds of trees however 
have a fixed time of year everyAvhere, for instance 
cherries and almonds, which have to be planted or 
grafted about midwinter ; but as to the greater 
number of trees the Ue of the land v.ill make the best 
decision, as cold and damp lands must be planted in 
spring, but dry and warm sites in autumn. The 
svstem general in Italy at all events assigns the 
times for planting in the foUowing manner : for a 
mulberry from February 13 to the spring equinox ; 
for a pear the autumn, providcd it is not less than a 
fortnight before the shortest day ; for summer apples 
and quinces, and also sorbs and plums, from mid- 
wintcr to February 13; for the Greek carob and for 
peaches, right through autumn tiU midwinter ; for 
the nuts, walnut and pine-cone and hazel and almond 

95 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

et Graecae atque castaneae a kal. Martiis ad idu'; 
ea.sdem, salici et genistae circa Martias kal. hanc in 
siccis serainej illam in umidis virga seri diximus. 

137 Est etiamnum nova inserendi ratio, ne quid 
sciens quidem praeteream quod usquam invenerini. 
Columellae excogitata, ut adfirmat ipse, qua vel 
diversae insociabilesque arborum naturae copulentur, 
ut fici atque oleae. iuxta hanc seri ficum iubct non 
ampliore intervallo quam ut contingi large possit 
ramo oleae quam niaxime sequaci atque oboedituro, 
eumque omni intcrim tempore edomari meditatione 

138 curvandi ; postea fico adepta vires, quod evenire 
trimae aut utique quinquennii, detruncata superficie 
ipsum quoque deputatum et, ut dictum est, adraso 
caoumine defigi in crure fici, custoditum vinculis ne 
curvatura fugiat. ita quodam propaginum insitorum- 
que temperamento triennio communem ^ inter duas 
matres coalescere, quarto anno abscisum totum 
adoptantis esse, nondum vulgata ratione aut mihi 
certe satis conperta. 

139 XXXL Cetero eadem illa de calidis frigidisque et 
umidis aut siccis supra dicta ratio et scrobes fodere 
monstravit. in aouosis enim neque amplos neque 

' Mayliojf : communi cd. Par. Lat. 6797 : commune reU. 

• V. 11. 13; de Arb. xxy\, 2. 
96 



BOOK XVII. xxx. 136 -xxxi. 130 

and chestnut, from March 1 to March 15 ; for the 
willow and broom about March 1. The broom is 
grown from secd in dry places and the willow from 
a slip in damp localities, as we have statcd. xiv. 74, 77. 

There is moreover a new method of grafting — so arajnngby 
that I may not wittingly pass over anything that I '"^'^'''"^- 
have anvwhere discovered — devised by Columella." 
as he himself states. for the purpose of effecting a 
union even between trees of different natures and 
not easily combined. for example figs and oHves. He 
gives instructions to plaiit a fig-tree near to an oHve, 
with not too wide a space between for the fig at fuU 
spread to touch a branch of the olive, the most supple 
and pHant branch possible being chosen, and all the 
time during the process it must be trained by prac- 
tice in curving : and afterwards, when the fig has 
gained full strength, which he says is a matter of 
three or at most five years, the top of it is cut otf 
and the branch of the oHve is itself also pruned 
and with its head shaved to a point in the way that 
has been stated is inserted in the shank of the fig, § 115. 
after having been secured with ties to prevent its 
escaping because of the bend in it. In this way, he 
says, by a sort of combination of layering and graft- 
ing, in three years the brancli shared between the 
two mother trees grows together, and in the fourth 
year it is cut away and belongs entirely to the tree 
that has adopted it ; this method however is not yet 
generally known, or at all events I have not yet 
obtained a complete account of it. 

XXXI. I""or the rest, the same account that has rrcncMng 
becn given above about warm and cold and damp ^°""'' "'''" 
and dry substances has also demonstrated the method 
of trenching. In watery soils it will be suitable to 

97 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

altos facere expediet, aliter in aestivoso et sicco, ut 
quam maxime accipiant aquara contineantque. haec 
et veteres arbores colendi ratio est ; ferventibus enim 
locis adcumulant aestate radices operiuntque, ne solis 

140 ardor exurat. aliubi ablaqueant perHatusque admit- 
tunt, iidem hieme cumulis a gelu vindicant; contra 
illi hieme aperiunt umoremque sitiontibus quaerunt. 
ubicumque circumfodiendi ratio * pedes in orbem 
temos, neque id in pratis, quoniam amore solis 
umorisque in summa teHure oberrant. — Et de 
arboribus quidem fructus gratia serendis inserendisque 
in universum sint dicta haec. 

141 XXXII. Restat earum ratio quae propter alias 
seruntur ac vineas maxime, caeduo ligno. principatum 
in his optinent salices, quas serunt ^ loco madido. 
tamen refosso pedes duos et semipedem, talea 
sesquipedali vel pertica, quae utilior quo plcnior. 

142 inter\'allo esse debent pedes seni. trimae pedibus 
binis a terra putatione coercentur, ut sc in latitudinem 
fundant ac sine scalis tondeantur ; salix enim fecundior 
quo terrae propior. has (juoque omnibus annis 

143 confodi iubcnt mense Aprili. haec est viminalium 
cultura. perticalis et virga et talea seritur, fossura 

• Mayhojf : circumfodiendi arbores ratio in circuitum. 
- J. Muelhr : salicea quarum. 

93 



BOOK XVII. XXXI. 139-xxxn. 143 

make trenches neither broad nor deep, but the con- 
trary in warni and drv ground, so that they may 
receive and retain water as niuch as possible. This 
is the method used in cultivating old trees as well, 
as in very warm locaHties growers heap earth over 
the roots in summer and cover them up, to prevent 
the heat of the sun from parching them. In other 
places they turn up the earth round them and give 
access to the air, but also in winter pile up earth to 
protect them from frost ; whereas growers in hot 
chmates open up the roots in winter and try to 
obtain moisture for the thirsty trees. Everywhere 
the rule is to dig a circular trench three feet in cir- 
cumference round the tree, though this is not done 
in meadowland because the roots, owing to their love 
of sun and moisture, wander about on the surfjice of 
the ground. — ^And let these be our general observa- 
tions in regard to planting and grafting trees for fruit. 

XXXII. It remains to give an account of those Tnesgrown 
which are grown as supports for other trees, particu- andfor""^' 
larlv for vines, and which are felled for timber. '""^^■■osier 

* 1 1 n 1 1 1 11 and white 

Among these the nrst place is taken by willows, wuiow, whHe 
which are planted in a damp place, but in a hole dug ches^mt'^^' 
two and a half feet deep, a truncheon or rod 18 inches (indoihers. 
long being used, the stouter the morc serviceable. 
They should be set six fect apart. When three ycars 
old they are lopped off two feet from the ground 
to make them spread out wide and to enable them 
to be cut back without using hidders ; for the willow 
is the more productive the nearer it is to the ground. 
It is advised that these trees also should be dug 
round every year, in April. This is the mode of 
cultivating the osier willow. The stake willow is 
grown both from a rod and from a truncheon, in a hole 

99 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

eadem. perticas ex ea caedi iustum est quarto fere 
anno ; et hae autem senescentium locum propagine 
sarciunt praecisa ^ post annum. salicis viminalis 
iugera singula sufficiunt x.w vineae iugeribus. 
eiusdem rei causa populus alba seritur bipedaneo 
pastinato, talea sesquipedali, biduo siccata, palmipedi 
intervallo, terra superiniecta duoruni cubitoruni 
crassitudine. 

144 XXXIII. Harundo etiam dilutiore quam hae solo 
gaudet. seritur bulbo radicis, quod alii oculum 
vocant, dodrantali scrobe, intervallo duum pedum et 
semipedis ; reficiturque ex sese vetere harundineto 
exstirpato, quod utilius rcpertum quam castrare, sicut 
antea ; namque intcr se radices serpunt mutuoque 

145 decursu necantur. tempus conserendi priusquam 
oculi harundinum intumescant, ante kal. Martias. 
crescit ad brumam usquc, desinitque cum durescere 
incipit : hoc signum tempestivam habet caesuram; 
et hanc autem quotiens et vineam fodiendam putant. 
seritur et traversa, non alte terra condita, erumpunt- 

146 que e singulis oculis totidem plantae. seritur et 
deplantata pedali sulco, binis obrutis gemmis ut 
tertius nodus terram attingat, prono cacumine ne 
rores concipiat. caeditur decrescente luna, vineis 
fumo^ siccata utilior ciuam viridis. 

' Mayhoff : pertica. * Schneider tx Qeop. : anno. 

TOO 



BOOK XVII. xxxu. 143-XXM11. 146 

of the same depth. It is proper to cut rods from it 
in about three years ; but these also fill up the place 
of trees that are growing old, by means of a layered 
new growth cut off aftcr a year. A single acre of 
osier-willow will supply enough for 25 acres of vine- 
yard. The white poplar is also grown for the same 
purpose, the hole being two fect deep and ihc cutting 
eighteen inches long and left two davs to dry ; the 
truncheonsareplantcdonc foot nine inches apart and a 
layer of earth a yard deep is thrown on the top of them. 

XXXIII. The reed Ukes an even moister soil than ^eed. 
osiers do. It is phinted by putting the bulb of the 
root, which others call thc ' eye ', in a hole nine inches 
deep, two feet six inches apart ; and it renews itself 
of its own accord when an old reed-bed has been 
rooted up, a method that has been found to pay 
bettcr than thinning out, as used to be done pre- 
viously, because the roots get twisted up together 
and are killed by their mutual inroads. The time 
to plant is before the eyes of the reeds swell up, 
which is before the first of March. It goes on grow- 
ing till midwinter, and stops when it is beginning 
to get hard, which is the indication that it is ready 
for cutting ; though it is thought that the reed also 
requires digging routid as often as the vine does. It 
is also planted in a horizontal position, not buried 
deep in the ground, and as many shoots spring up as 
there are cves. It is also grown by being planted 
out in a hole a foot deep, with two eyes buried so 
that the third knot is just touching the earth, and 
with the head bent down so as not to hold the dew. 
It is cut when the moon is on the wane. For prop- 
ping vines a reed dried in smoke is more serviceable 
than one still green. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

147 XXXIV. Castanea pedamentis omnibixs praefertur 
facilitate tractatus. perdurandi per\'icacia, reger- 
minatione caedua vel salice laetior. quacrit solum 
facile nec tamen harenosum, maximeque sabulum 
uniidum aut carbunculum vel tofi etiam farinam, 
(luamlibet opaco septentrionalique et pracfripfido situ, 
vel etiam declivi ; recusat eadem glaream, rubricam, 

I4H cretam omnemque terrae fecunditatem. seri nuce 
diximus, sed nisi ex maximis non provenit, nec nisi 
quinis acervatim satis. refringi solum debet sub ea ^ 
ex Novembri mense in Februarium, quo solutae sponte 
cadunt ex arbore atque subnascuntur. intervalla 
sint pedalia, undique sulcn dodrantali. ex hoc 
seminario transferuntur in aHud bipedali intervallo 

140 post biennium. serunt et propagine, nuUi quidem 
faciliore;^ nudata enim radice tota in sulco proster- 
nitur, tiun ex cacumine supra terram rehcto renascitur 
et alia ab radice. sed tralata nescit hospitari pavetque 
novitatem biennio forc ; postea prosilit. ideo nucibus 
pf>tius quam viviradicibus plantariacaedua implcntur. 

l.Vt cuhura non aHa (piam supra dictis, fodiendo sup- 
putandisque per biennium sequens. de cetero ipsa 

' Delhfsen : debet supra. 

- scrunt et propagine . . . faciliore T Mayhojf : eunt et 
propagines . . . faciliores. 

• Tlip willow § 14.1 and the recd § 144. 



BOOK XVII. XXXIV. 147-150 

XXXIW The chestnut-tree is preferred to all other chestniu. 
props because of the ease with which it is worked 
and its obstinate durability, and because when cut it 
buds again even more abundantly than the willow. 
It asks for a Hght yet not sandy soil, and especially 
a damp gravel or glowing-coal earth or even a powdery 
tufa, and it will grow in a site however shady, and 
facing north and extremely cold, or even in one on a 
slope ; but at the same time it rcfuses dry gravel, red 
earth, chalk, and all rich fertile soils. We have said §59. 
that it is grown from the nut, but it will only grow 
from very large ones, and only when they are planted 
five in a heap together. The soil underneath must 
be kept broken up from November to Februarv, when 
the nuts detach themselves and fall fi-om the ti-ee and 
sprout in the ground underneath it. They should 
be planted in a hole measuring nine inches each way, 
Avith spaces of a foot between them. After two 
years they are transferred from this seed-plot to 
another and replanted two feet apart. People also 
grow them from a layer, which indeed is easier in 
their case than with any other tree : for the root is 
bared and the layer laid in thc trench at full length, 
and then it throws out a new shoot from the top left 
above the earth and another from the root. When 
transplanted howcvcr it does not know how to make 
itself at home and dreads the novelty for almost two 
years, but afterwards it puts out shoots. Conse- 
quently plantations felled for timber are replenished 
by sowing nuts rather than by planting quicksets. 
The mode of cultivation is not different from that 
used for the trees " mentioned above : it is by 
loosening the soil and pruning the lower part for 
the next two years. For the rest the tree looks 

103 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

se colit umbra stolones supervacuos enecante. 
caeditur intra septimum annum. sufficiunt peda- 
menta iugeri vicenis vinearuin iu;^eribus, quando 
etiam bifida ex stirpe fiunt, durantque ultra alteram 
silvae suae caesuram. 

151 Aesculus similiter provenit, caesura triennio serior,^ 
minus morosa nasci in quacumque terra seritur vere 
balano, sed non nisi aesculi, scrobe dodrantali, 
intervallLs duorum pedum ; saritur * leviter quater 
anno. hoc pedamentum minime putrescit caesumque 
maxime fruticat. praeter haec quae diximus sunt 
caedua ^ fraxinus, laurus, persica, corulus, malus, sed 
tardius nascimtur terramque defixa vix tolerant, non 
modo umorem. sabucus contra firmissima ad palum 
taleis seritur ut populus. nam de cuprcsso satis 
diximus. 

152 XXX\'. Lt praedictis vehit armamentis vinearum 
restat ipsarum natura praecipua tradenda cura. 

\'itium surcuHs, et quarundam arborum quibus 

fungosior intus natura, geniculati scaporum nodi 

intersaepiunt meduUam. ferulae ipsae breves et ad 

summa breviores articuHs utrimque sua* internodia 

1.53 includunt. medulla, sive illa vitalis anima est, ante 

' C'iie.sariii.<i : senior. 

^ Inn : seritur. 

' Mai/hoff : sunt caedua quae diximus. 

* Mni/hnff: iitiqne si in (aiil his in). 

104 



BOOK XVII. xxMv. i5o-.\\xv. 153 

after itself, as its shadow kills off supcrfluous suckers. 
It is lopped before the end of the sixth year. The 
props provided by one acre are enough for twenty 
ncrcs of vines, as they even grow forked in two fi-om 
the root, and they last till after the next lopping of 
the plantation thcy coine from. 

The sessile-fruited oak is grown in a similar way, utkertreeg. 
though later by three years in lopping, and lcss difficult 
to propagate in whatevcr soil it is sown ; this is done 
in spring, \nth an acorn (but only a sessile-oak is grown 
from onc) in a hole nine inches deep, with two foot 
spaces between the plants ; the ground is lightly hoed 
four times a year. A sessile-oak grown as a prop 
is least Hable to rot, and it makes new shoots when 
If)pped most of any timbcr. Timber trees in addition 
to those we have mcntioned are the ash, laurcl, 
peach, hazel, apple, but these shoot more slowly and 
whcn fixed in the ground scarcelv stand the action 
of the soil, not to mention the damp. The elder, on 
the contrary, which is very strong timber for a stake, 
is grown froni cuttings hke thc poplar. About the 
cypress we have already said cnough. xvi. 139 £f. 

XXXV. And now that a preliminarv accoimt has Thenne,Us 
been given of what may be called the rigging tliat pZnling."'"'^ 
supports the vines, it remains to give a particularly 
careful description of the natui'e of the vines 
themseh'es. 

The shoots of the vine, and of certain othcr trees 
that have a somewliat spongy inner substance, have 
stalks with knotted joints that make divisions across 
the pith. The actual lengths of cane are short, 
and get shorter towards the top, and they close up their 
pieces between the knots with joints at each end. The 
pith, or what is rcally thc life-giving soul of the 

105 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

se tendit longitudinem inplens ^ quamdiu nodi pervia 
patcnt fi^tula ; cum vero concreti ademere transitum, 
repcrcussa erumpit ab ima sui parte iuxta priorcni 
nodum altemis laterum semper inguinibus, ut dictum 
est in harundine ac ferula, quorum dexterum ab imo 
intellegitur articulo, laevum in proxinio, atque ita per 
vices. hoc vocatur in vite gemma cum ibi caespitem 
fecit, ante vero quam faciat, in concavo oculus et in 
cacumine ipso gemien. sic palmites, nepotes, uvae, 
folia, pampini gignuntur ; mirumque firmiora esse in 
dextera parte genita. 

154 Hos ergo in surculis nodos, cum seruntur, medios 
secare oportet ita ne profluat medulla. et in fico 
quidem dodrantales paxillis ^ solo patefacto seruntur 
sic ut descendant quac proxima arbori fuerint, duo 
oculi extra terram emineant (oculi autem in arborum 

156 surculis proprie vocantur unde germinantur^). hac de 
causa et in plantariis aliquando codem anno ferunt 
quos * fuere laturi fructus in arbore, cum tempestive 
sati praegnates inchoatos conccptus aliubi pariunt. 
ita satas ficos tertio anno transferre facile : hoc pro 

^ Mayhoff : inpellena. 

» lan : taxilli (paxilli cd. Vat. Lat. .38t)l. m. 2). 
' [oculi . . . germin.intur] gloss. ? Warmington. 
* Kdd. : quo. 

io6 



BOOK XVII. XXXV. 153-155 

tree, strctches forwaid filliiig up the lcngth in front 

of it, so long as the knots are opcn, with a tube that 

allows a passage ; but when they have bccomc solidi- 

fied and prevent passage, the pith is thrown back 

and bursts out at its lowest part close to the previous 

knot with a serics of alternate lateral forks, as has 

been stated in the case of thc rccd and of the ffiant „,,. ,^„ 

lennel; witli tliese the swelnng irom the bottom xiii. ii'2. 

knot can be observed on the right and that at thc 

next one on the left, and so on alternately. In the 

casc of a vinc, when this swelhng makes a knob at 

thc knot it is called a ' gem ', but bcfore it makes a 

knob, in the hoUow part it is called an ' eye ' and 

at thc actual top a ' gcrm '. This is the way in 

which the main shoots, side-slioots, grapcs, lcaves 

and tendrils are formed ; aiid it is a remarkable fact 

that those growing on thc right-hand side arc the 

stronger. 

Conscciuently when these sHps are plantcd it is propagaiion 
nccessary to cut thc knots in them across the middle, "ffio^- 
without letting the pith run out. And in the case 
of a fig nine-inch sUps are planted in holes made in 
the ground with pegs, in such a way as to have the 
parts that were nearcst to the tree sunk into the 
earth and two cyes projecting above tlic surface 
(the term ' eyes ' in slips of trces propcrly denotes 
the points from which thcy send out shoots). It is 
because of this that cvcn when beddcd out the slips 
occasionally producc in ihe same year the fruit they 
vvere going to bear on the tree if they havc been 
planted at the propcr timc when pregnant, and give 
birth in thcir othcr position to the progeny they 
had begun to conceivc. Fig-trees struck in this way 
are easily transplanted two ycars later, as this tree 

107 



PLINY: XATURAL HISTORY 

senescendi celeritate adtributum huic arbori, ut 
citissime proveniat. 

156 Vitium numerosior satus est. primum omnium 
nihil seritur ex his nisi inutile et deputatum in 
sarmenta; opputatur autem quidquid proximo tulit 
fructum. solobat capitulatus utrimque e duro surculus 
seri, eoque argumento malleolus vocatur ctiamnunc ; 
postea avelli cum sua calce coeptus est, ut in fico; 
neque est aliud vivacius. tertium genus adiectum 
etiamnum expcditius sine calce, quod sagittae 
vocantur cum intorti pangiintur, iidem ^ cum recisi 
nec intorti trigemmes. plures autem ex eodem 

157 surculo hoe modo fiunt. serere e pampinariis sterile 
est, nec nisi e fecunda^ oportet. quae raros habet 
nodos infecunda iudicatur, densitas gemmarum 
fertilitalis indicium est. quidam seri vetant nisi eos 
qui floruerint surculos. sagittas serere minas utile, 
quoniam in transferendo facile rumpitur quod 
intortum fuit. serantur ^ pcdali non breviores 
longitudine, quinque scxve nodorum : pauciores 
tribus gemmis in hac mensura esse non poterunt. 

158 inseri eodem die quo deputcntur utilissimum, si multo 
postea ncccsse sit serere custoditos, uti praccepimus, 



' Gehn. : id onim. 

* e feciinda ? Mnyhoff : fecundo. 

■' l!'irkhfiv) : seruntiir. 

io8 



BOOK XVII. XXXV. 155-158 

in compensation for the rapidity with which it 
grows old is endowed with the property of coming 
to maturity very rapidly. 

\'ines give more numerous kinds of shoots for plant- sdectvm oj 
ing. Tlie first point is that none of these are used for j^y^^ljj^^j-^j^ 
planting except useless growths lopped offfor brush- 
wood, whereas any branch that bore fruit last time is 
pruned away. It used to be the custom to plant the 
shoot with a knob of the hard wood on each side of it, 
and this explains wliv it is still called a ' mallet-slioot ' ; 
but afterwards the practice began of pulUngit ofFwith 
its own heel, as is done in the case of the fig ; and 
there is no kind of shp that grows better. A third 
kind has been added that strikes even quicker, which 
has the heel removed ; these sUps are called ' arrows ' 
when they are twisted before being set out, ' three- 
bud sUps ' when they are cut ofF and set without 
being twisted. By this method several can be ob- 
tained from the same shoot. To plant from young 
leafy shoots is unproductive, and a sUp for planting 
must f)nlv be taken from a shoot that has ah-eady 
borne fruit. A shoot that has few knots in it is 
deemed unUkelv to bear, whereas a crowd of buds 
is a sign of fertiUty. Some people say that only 
shoots that have ffowered should be planted. It 
does not pay so weU to plant arrow-sUps, because 
anytfiing tliat is twisted easily gets broken in being 
moved. Shoots chosen for planting should be not 
less than a foot long, with five or six knots ; that 
length of shoot wiU not possibly have less than three 
buds. It pays best to plant them on the same day 
as they are cut off, or if a considerable postponement 
cannot be avoided, to keep them weU protected, as 
we have instructed, or at aU events to be careful § ui. 

109 



PLIXY: NATURAL HISTORY 

caveri utique ne extra terram positi sole inarescant, 
vcnto aut frigore hebetentur. qui diutius in sicco 
fuerint priusquam serantur in aqua pluribus diebus 
revirescant. 

159 Soluni apricum et quam mollissimum ^ in semi- 
nario sive in vinea bidente pastinari deiiet ternn'^ 
pedes, bipalio aut ^ marra reici ({uatcrnum pcdum 
fennento, ita ut in pedes binos fossa procedat, fossum 
purgari et extendi, ne crudum relinquatur, verum 
exigi mensura : male pastinatum deprcndunt scannia 
inaeciualia. metienda est et ea pars quae interiacet 

160 pulvinis.' surculi seruntur et in scrobe et in sulco 
longiore, super quam tenerrima ingeritur terra, sed 
in gracili solo frustra nisi substrato pinguiore corio. 
gemmas non pauciores * quam duas integi oportet 
et proximam attingi, terram eodem * paxillo deprimi 
et spissari, interesse in plantario sesquipedes inter bina 
semina in latitudinem, in longitudinem semisses, ita 
satos malleolo'^ xxiv mense recidere ad imuni 
articulum, si * ipsi parcatur. oculorum inde matcria 
emicat, cum qua xxxvi mense viviradix transfcrtur. 

IGl Est et luxuriosa ratio vites serendi ut quattuor 
malleoli vchementi vinculo colligentur ima parte 

1 moUissimum ? Mayhoff : amplissimum. 

2 WiiritiiiKjlon : alto. Fortasse pedes bipalio altum, maria. 

* Jifirkhnin : piilvini. 

* gemmas iioii pauciores coU. § 204 add. hin. 

* autem ? Maiilmff. 

* si rd sic, ut? Muyhoff : nisi. 

IIO 



BOOK XVII. xxx\'. 1 58-161 

not to lay them down on the surface of the earth and 
let them be dried up by the sun and nipped by wind 
or frost. Shoots that have been left too long in a 
dry place should be soaked in water for several days 
to restore their freshness. 

The soil whether in a nursery or a vineyard should Treatmmt oj 
be exposed to the sun and should be as soft as possible, ^",'/^{"'^ 
and it should be turned over with a two-pronged fork 
three feet down, and thrown back with a two-spit 
spade or mattock to swell naturally in ridges four 
feet high, so that each trench goes down two feet ; 
and when dug the earth must be cleaned of weeds and 
spread out. so that no part may be left uncultivated, 
and it must be levelled accurately by measurement : 
unequal ridgcs show that the ground has been badly 
dug. The part of the groimd lying between the 
banks nmst also be measured. Shoots are planted 
either in a hole or in a longer trench. and the finest 
possible layer of earth is heaped over them, although 
in a thin soil this is of no use unless a layer of richcr 
soil is spread underneath. The earth should cover 
up not fewer than two buds and should just touch 
the third ; it must be pressed down to the same 
level and compacted with the dibble ; in the nursery 
plot there should be spaces eighteen inches broad 
and six inches longways between every two settings ; 
and the mallet-shoots so planted should after two 
years be cut back to their bottom knot, if the knot 
itself is spared. P rom this point they throw out the 
substance of eyes, with which at the end of thrce 
years the quickset is planted. 

There is also a luxury method of growing vines — otfur 
to tie four mallet-slioots together at the bottom vvith 'jll'^''tf,^g°^ 
a tight string and so pass them through the shank rinca. 

III 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

[luxuriosa] ^ atquo ita vel per ossa Vmbuli cruris vel 
per colla fictilia traiecti obruantur binis eminentibus 
gemmis. uniscunt hoc niodo recisicjue palmitem 
emittunt. postea (istula fracta radix libere capit 
vires uvaque fert omnium corporum suorum acinos. 

Ifi2 in alio genere invento ^ novicio finditur malleolus, 
meduUaque erasa in se colligantur ipsi caules ita ut 
gemmis parcatur omni modo. tum malleolus in terra 
fimo mixta seritur, et cum spargere caules coepit, 
deciditur foditurque sacpiu^. talis uvae acinos nihil 
intus Hgni liabituros Columella promittit, cum vivere 
semina ipsa pcrquam mirum sit medulla adempta. 

Iti;i Nasci surculis etiain ijuibus non sit articulatio 
arbores non omitttmdum videtur; namque buxi 
tenuissimis quinis senisve colHgatis depacti proveniunt. 
quondam in observatione erat ut dcfringercntur ex 
inputata buxo, aliter vivere non crediti ; detraxere hoc 
experimenta. 

I(U Seminarii curam sequitur vinearum ratio. quinque 
generum liae : sparsis per terram palmitibus, aut per 
se vite subrecta, vel cum amminiculo ■* sine iugo, aut 
pedatae simplici iugo, aut conpluviatae quadriplici. 

IG3 (juac pcdatae ratio,* eadem intellegctur cius quoque 

» Mu>/hoff. 

* Mai/lutfJ : inventu. 

' Kdd. : anniculo. 

^ /iin : peilata erat (p. crit cd. Pnr. Lal. 0795). 

1X2 



BOOK XVII. xxxv. 161-165 

bones of an ox or else through earthenware pipes, 
and tlien burv them in the earth, leaving two buds 
protruding. Tliis niakcs the shoots grow into one, 
and whcn thcv have been cut back thcy throw out 
a ncw shoot. Afterwards the pipe is broken and 
the root is left frce to acquire strength and the vine 
bears grapes on all its constitucnt shoots. Under 
anothcr method recently discovered a mallet-slioot 
is spHt down thc middle and after the pith has bcen 
scraped out the actual lengths of stalk arc ticd to- 
gether, every precaution bcing takcn to avoid hurting 
the buds. The mallet-shoot is then planted in a 
mixtui*e of earth and dung, and when it begins to 
throw out stalks, it is cut down and dug round several 
times. Columella guarantees that a vine so grown de Arb. 9. 
will bear grapes with no stones in them, although it 
is extremely surprising that the plantcd slips them- 
selves will Hve after being dcprivcd of their pith. 

I think I ought not to omit to mcntion that trees 
will grow even from slips that havc no joint in them ; 
for instance box-trees come up if plantcd with five or 
six extremely slender slips tied togcthcr. It was 
formerly the practice to break off thcsc sHps from a 
box tree that had not becn pruncd, as it was believed 
that otherwise they would not live ; Ijut experience 
has done away with that notion. 

After the management of the nursery follows the Arrangemmi 
arrangement of tlie vineyards. Tliese are of five %remses^.^' 
kinds — with the branches spreading about on the 
ground, or with the vine standing up of its own 
accord, or else with a stay but without a cross-bar, 
or propped with a single cross-bar, or trellised with 
four bars in a rectangle. It will be imderstood that 
the same system that belongs to a propped vine 

113 



PLIN\': XATURAL HISTORY 

in qua sine amminiculo vitis per se stabit ; id enini 
non fit nisi pedamenti inopia. simplici iugo constat 
porrecto ordine quem canterium appellant; melior 
ea \ino, quoniam sibi ipsa non obumbrat adsiduoque 
sole coquitur et adflatum magis sentit, celcrius rorem 
dimittit, pampinationi quoque et occationi omnique 

166 operi facilior ; super cetera deflorcscit utilius. iugum 
fit pertica aut harundine, aut crine funiculovc ut in 
Hispania Brundisique. conpluviata copiosior vino est, 
[dicta a cavis aedium conpluviis] ^ ; dividitur in quater- 
nas partes totidem iugis. liuius serendi ratio dicetur, 
eadem valitura in omni genere, in hoc vero numero- 
sior tantum. 

III ^ vero seritur modis : optime in pastinato 

167 proximeinsulco,novissimeinscrobe. depastinatione, 
dictum est ; sulco latitudo palae satis est, scrobibus 
ternorum pcdum in ([uanujue partem. altitudo in 
(|uocum(jue gcnere tripedalis, ideo nec vitis minor 
transferri debet, exstatura etiamnum duabus gemmis. 

168 emoUiri terram minutis in scrobe imo sulcis fimoque 
misceri necessarium. clivosa altiores scrobes poscunt, 

' Warmington. 
^ IIX add. Sillig. 



' This explanation looks like an interpolated note, belonging 
to the end of § 164. 

114 



BOOK XVII. XXXV. 165-168 

is that of one in which the vinc is left to stand by 
itself without a stay, for this is only done when 
there is a shortage of props. A vineyard with the 
single cross-bar is arranged in a straight row which 
is called a canterhis ; this is better for wine, as the 
vine so grown does not overshadow itself and is 
ripened by constant sunshine, and is more exposed 
to currents of air and so gets rid of dew more quickly, 
and also is easier for trimming and for havrowing the 
soil and all operations ; and above all it sheds its 
blossoms in a more beneficial manner. The cross- 
bar is made of a stake or a reed, or else of a rope of 
hair or hemp, as in Spain and at Brindisi. More wine 
is produced by a rectangle-frame vineyard (the name 
is taken from the rectangular openings in the roofs 
of the courts of houses) ° ; this is divided into compart- 
ments of four by the same number of cross-bai-s. 
The method of growing vines with this frame will 
be described, and the same account will hokl good 
in the case of every sort of frame, the only difference 
being that in this case it is more complicated. 

There are in fact three wavs of planting a vinc ; prepnration 
the best is to use ground that has been dug over, the %'Jl/'J^""T^ 
next best to plant in a furi-ow. and the last to plant piauHiig. 
in a hole. The method of digging over has been 
described ; for a furrow a spade's breadth is enough, § 159. 
and for holes the breadth of a yard each way. In 
each method the depth must be a yard, and con- 
sequently the vine transplanted mast be not less 
than a yard long, even so allowing two buds to be 
above the surface. It is essential to soften the earth 
by making very small furrows at thc bottom of tlie 
hole and to mix dung witli it. Sloping ground 
requires deeper holes, with their edges on the lower 

"5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

praeterea pulvinatis a devexitate labris. qui ex his 
longiores fient, ut \-ites binas accipiant e diverso, alvei 
vocabuntur. esse vitis radicem in medio scrobe 
oportet, sed ipsam innixam solido in orientcm 
aequinoctialem spectare, adminicula prima e calamo 

169 accipere ; vineas limitari decumano .wiii pedum 
latitudinis ad contrarios vehiculorum transitus, 
aliisque traversis limitibus denum pedum distingui 
per media iugera, aut, si maior modus sit, totidem 
pedum cardine quot decumano Umitari, semper vero 
quintanis scmitari, hoc est ut quinto quoque palo 
singulae iugo paginae includantur ; solo spisso non 
nisi repastinato nec nisi viviradicem seri, tenero et 

170 soluto vel malleolum sulco vel scrube. in colles 
sulcos agere traversos meUus quam pastinare, ut 
defluvia transtris eorum contineantur ; aquoso caelo 
vel sicco solo mallcolos sercre autumno. nisi si tractus 
ratio mutabit^ : siccus enim etcalidus autuinno poscet, 
umidus frigidusque etiam veris exitu. in arido solo 
viviradix quoquc frustra seritur, male et in siccis 
malleolus, nisi post imbrem, at in riguis vel frondcns 
vitis ct usque ad solstitiuin recte, ut in Hispania. 

* Delhjitn : mutavit. 



" pagina, the trade term for four rows of vines joined 
togethcr in a square bv their trellises. 

* \\i- sliould say ' t-verv fourtli '. Each pagina has four 
pali. To the Komans 5 wus the (ifth number after I, 2 being 
secujuliis, ' the foilowing number'. 

1x6 



BOOK XVII. x.wv. 168-170 

side banked up as well. Some of these holes Avill 
be made longer, so as to take two vines at opposite 
ends, and these will be called beds. The root of the 
vine should be in the middle of the hole, but the 
slip itself, bedded in firm soil, should be pointing 
due east, and at tirst it should be given supports 
made of reed. Vineyards should be bisected by a 
main path running east and west, six vards wide so 
as to allow the passage of carts going in opposite 
directions ; and they should be intersectcd by other 
cross-paths ten feet wide running through the middle 
of each acre, or, if the vineyard is a specially large 
one, it should have a main cross-path north and south 
as many feet wide as the one east and west, but 
always be divided up by fifth-row cross-paths — that 
is, so that each square " of vines may be encloscd by 
every fifth * stay. Where the soil is heavy it should 
only be planted after being dug over several times, 
and only quickset shoukl be planted, but in a thin, 
loose soil even a mallct-shoot may be set in a hole 
or a furrow. On hill-sides it is better to drive furrows 
across the slope than to dig up the soil, so that the 
falHng away of earth may be hekl up by t)ie cross- 
banks formed by the furrows. In rainy conditions or 
dry soil when the weather is wet mallet-shoots are best 
planted in autumn, unless the character of the particu- 
lar area requires otherwise : a dry and hot soil will call 
for autumn planting, but a damp and cold soil will need 
it as late as the end of spring. It is no good pLanting 
a quickset either in dry soil, nor is it much use to 
plant a mallet-shoot in dry soils either, except after 
rain, but in well watered soils a vine may properly 
be pLinted evcn when it is producing leaves, and right 
on to midsummcr, as is the practicc in Spain. It is 

117 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quiescere ventos sationis die iitilissimum ; plerique 
austros optant, Cato abdicat. 

171 Interesse medio temperamento inter binas vites 
oportet pedes quinos, minimum autem laeto solo 
pedes quaternos, tenui plurimum octonos — Umbri et 
Marsi ad vicenos intermittunt arationis gratia in 
his quae vocant porculeta ; pluvioso ^ et caliginoso 

172 tractu rariores poni, sicco densiores. subtilitas parsi- 
moniae conpendia invenit, cum vinea in pastinato 
seratur, obiter seminarium faciendi, ut et viviradix 
loco suo et malleolus qui transferatur inter et ^ vites 
et ordines seratur, quae ratio in iugero circiter 3m 
vi\iradicum donat ; interest autem biennium fructus, 
quo tardiiis in sato provenit quam in tralato. 

173 \'iveradix posita in vinea post annum resecatur 
usqiie ad terram, ut unus tantum emineat oculus, 
adminiculo iuxta adfixo et fimo addito. simili modo 
et secuTido anno rcciditur viresque concipit et intra 
se pascit suffecturas oneri. alias festinatione pariendi 
gracilis atque eiuncida, ni cohibeatur castigatione 
tali, in fetum exeat tota. nihil avidius nascitur ac, 
nisi ad paricndum vires servcntur, tota fit fetus.' 

' Rackham : pluvio. 

' et ad'!. Rackham. 

' [nihil . . . fetus] ? Warmington. 

ii8 



BOOK X\II. XXXV. 170-173 

inost advantageous if there is no wind on the day for 
planting, and though many growers like a south 
wind, Cato disapproves of this. xl. 1. 

The space between every two vines in a soil of spadng. 
medium density should be five feet, and in a rich 
soil four feet at least, and in a thin soil eight feet at 
most — growers in Umbria and Marsia leave a space 
of up to twenty feet to allow of ploughing between 
the rows, in the case of the vineyards for Mhich the 
local name is ' ridged fields ' ; vines should be planted 
further apart in a rainy and misty district but closer 
together in a dry one. Elaborate econorny has dis- 
covered a way of saving space, whcn planting a vine- 
yard on ground that has been well dug over, by 
making a nursery-bed at the same time, so that while 
the quickset is planted in the place it is to occupy, 
the mallet-shoot is also planted, so that it may be 
transplanted between the vines as well as between 
the rows of props ; this plan gives about 16,000 quick- 
sets in an acre of ground, while it makes a difference 
of two years' fruit, as a planted quickset bcars two 
years later than a transplanted mallet-shoot. 

A quicksct placed in a vineyard after tvvo years is Qukkset!' 
cut back right down to the ground, leaving only one 
eye above the surface ; a stake is fixed close to the 
plant, and dung is added. In the foUowing year also 
it is again loppcd in a similar way, and it acquires and 
fosters within it sufiicient strength to bear the burden 
of reproduction. Otherwise in its hurry to bear it 
would slioot up sHm and meagre like a buh'ush and 
unless it wcre rcstrained with the pruning described 
would spend itself entirely on growth. No tree sprouts 
more eagerly than the vine, and unless its strength 
is kept for bearing, it turns cntircly into growth. 

119 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

1"4 Pedamenta optunia quae dixiinus aut ridicac e 
robori' oleaque, si non sint, pali e iunipero, cupresso, 
laburno,^ sabuco. reliquorum generum sudcs omni- 
bus annis recidantur.^ saluberrima in iugo harundo 
conexa fasciculis durat annis quinis. cum breviores 
palmites sarmento iunguntur inter se funium modo, 
ex hoc arcus ' funeta dicuntur. 

175 Tertius \ineae annus palmitem velocem robastum- 
que emittit et quem faciat aetas \item ; hic in iugum 
insilit. aliqui tum excaecant eum suj)ina falce 
auferendo oculos, ut longius evocent, noxia iniuria : 
utilior enim consuetudo pariendi, satiusque pampinos 
adiugatae detergere usque quo placeat roborari eam. 

176 sunt qui vetant tangi proximo anno quam tralata sit, 
neque ante lx mensem falce curari. tunc autom ad tres 
gemmas recidi. alii et proximo quidem anno recidunt, 
sed ut temos quatemosve singulis annis adiciant 
articulos, quarto demimr» perducant ad iugum. fit * 
utrim(jue fructu tarduni, praeterea retorridiun et 
nodosum pumilionum incremento. optimum autem 
matrem esse firmam, postea fetum audacem. nec 
tutum est quod cicatricosum, magno imperitiae errore: 

177 quidquid est tale plagis nascitur, non e matre. totas 

' Hcrmolavs (launi ? coU. Colum. Mayhoff): alba populo 
Warminfjton coll. § 143: albumo. 

* Backhain : reciduntur. 

* arcus <facti> ? Rackham : <fiuiit> qui vd <f.> quae Warm- 
inglon. 

* fit? Mayhoff (ideo edd.) : id. 

" Viz. cspeciaUy chestnut wood, § 147 ff. 

* A eonjectiire — or perhaps read ' laurel ' or ' white poplar '. 
I20 



BOOK XVII. xxw. 174-177 

Tlie best props for vine are those of which we have Pmpsand 
spoken," or else stakes from hard-oak and oHve or if "■"**■''«"• 
they are not available, props obtained from the 
jiiniper, cvpress, laburnum *" or ekler. Staves of all 
olher kinds must be cut back every year. For the 
cross-bar, reeds tied togethcr in bundles are best for 
the growth of the vine, and they last five years. 
When shorter branches are tied together with brush- 
wood so as to make a sort of rope, the arcades 
madc of them are called ropc-trelHses. 

In its third year a vine sends out a quick-growing Pmning, 
strong sprig (which in time becomes a tree) ; and this [',nu%)'ng. 
leaps up to the cross-bar. Thereupon some growers 
' bHnd ' it by removing the eyes witli a pruning- 
knifc turned upward, with the object of making it 
grow longer — a most damaging practice, as the tree's 
habit of putting out shoots is more profilablc, and it 
is better to trim off leafv shoots from tlie plant tied 
to the cross-bar to the point wliere it is dccided 
to let it make strength. Some peo])le forbid touching 
it in the year after it is transplantcd, and do not aUow 
it to be trimnied with a pruning-knife tiH after 5 
vears, but then advise cutting it back to three buds. 
Others prune it back even the next year, but so as 
to let it add threc or four new joints every year, 
and finally bring it up to the level of the cross-bar 
in the fourth year. Both methods make the tree 
slow to fruit, and also shrivellcd and knotty, with the 
growth natural to dwarfs. But it is best for the 
mother to be strong and for tlic new growth to strike 
out boldly. Also thcre is no safety in a shoot covered 
with scars — that idea is a great mistake, due to 
inexperience : any growth of that sort arises from 
a blow, it is not duc to tlu* mothcr vine. She should 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

habeat illa vires dum roboratur, et annuos accipiet ' 
tota fetus cum peniiis^^um fuerit nasci : nihil natura 
portionibus parit. quae excreverit satis firma protinus 
in iugo collocari debebit, si etiamnum infirmior erit, 

178 sub ipso iugo hospitari recisa. viribus, non aetate 
decernitur : temcrarium est ante crassitudinem 
pollicarem viti impcrare. sequente anno palmites 
educentur ^ pro viribus matris singuli aut gemini ; 
iidem et secuto si coget infirmitas nutriantur, tertio- 
quc demum duo adiciantur ; nec sunt plures quaternis 
umquam permittendi, bre\iterque non indulgendum 
et semper inhibenda fecunditas. et ea est natura 
ut parere malit quam vivere — quidquid materiae 
adimitur fructui accedit ; illa se mavult ^ quam 
fructum gigni, quoniam fructus caduca res est ; sic 
perniciose luxuriat, nec ampliat se sed egerit. 

179 Dabit consiUum et soh natura: in macro, etiamsi 
vircs habebit, recisa intra iugum moretur, ut omnis 
fetura sub eo exeat. minimum id esse debcbit intcr- 

llum, ut attingat iugum speretque,* non teneat, 
ideo ^ non recumbat in eo nec deHcate se spargat. ita 



^ Jilnt/ftoff : accipit. 

^ M(ii//i<tff (salvcntiir Ifardouin : alii alia) : salutentur. 

' hetlejscn : semina niavult cd. Far. Lat. 6797 : s. vult rdl. 

* dflen. : superetque. 

•'■ ideo T Mayhoff : adeo. 



BOOK XVII. vwv. 177-179 

posscss her fuU strength while the new shoot is grow- 
ing sturdy, and she will weleomc her yearly progeny 
with her whole substance when it is perniitted to be 
born : Nature engenders nothing piecemeal. Whcn 
the new growth has beeome stroniif enouijh it will 
have to be put in position on a cross-bar at once, 
but if it is still rather weak it must be pruned back 
and put in a sheltered position direetly under the 
bar. It is the strength of the stem and not its age 
that decides ; it is rash to put a vine under control 
before it has reached the thickness of one's thumb. 
In the following year one branch or two according to 
the strength of the parent vine should be brought on, 
and the same shoots niust b(; nurscd in the foHowing 
year also if lack of strength makes this necessary, 
and only in the third year shoukl two niore be added ; 
nor should more than four branches ever be allowed 
to grow — in short no indulgence shoukl be shown, 
and fertility should always be kept in cheek. Also 
Nature is such that she wants to produce oft- 
spring more than she wants to Hve — all that is 
subtraeted from a plant's wood is added to the 
fruit ; the vine on the contrary prefers its own 
growth to the production of fruit, because fruit is 
a perishable article ; thus it luxuriates ruinously, and 
does not fill itself out but exhausts itself. 

The nature of the soil wiil also provide advice : in 
a thin soil, even if the vine possesses strength, it must 
be pruned back and kept within the cross-bar, so that 
all its young growth may shoot underneath the bar. 
The gaps between \\\\\ have to be very small, so that 
the vine may just touch the bar and hope to grasp 
it but not actually do so, and consequently may not 
recline upon it and sprcad itself out luxuriously. 

123 



PIJNY: NATURAL HISTORY 

temperetur hic raodus ut crescere etiamnum malit 
quam parere. 

180 Palmes duas tresve gemmas habere sub iugo debet 
ex quibus materia nascalur, tunc per iugum erigi 
alhgarique, ut sustineatur iugo, non pendeat, vinculo 
mox adstrictius a tertia gemma alligari, quoniam et 
sic coercetur impetus materiae densioresque citra 
pampini exultant ; cacumen rehgari vetant. natura 
haec est : deiecta pars aut praeHgata fructum dat, 
plurimumque ipsa curvatura ; quod citra est materiem 
emittit ^ offensante, credo, spiritu et illa quam 
diximus meduUa. quae ita emicuerit materia tVuctum 

181 dabit aniio sequente. sic duo genera palmitum : 
quod e duro exit materiamque in proximum annum 
promittit pampinarium vocatur aut ubi ^ supra 
cicatricem est fructuarium, alterum ex anniculo 
palmite semper fructuarium. rehnquitur sub iugo et 
qui vocatur custos — hic est novellus palmcs, non 
longior tribus gemmis, proximo anno materiam 
daturus si vitis luxuria se consumpserit — et aHas iuxta 
eum, verrucae magnit udine, qui furunculus appellatur, 
si forte custos falhit. 

182 Mtis antc-quam septumum annum a surculo con- 
pleat evocata ad fructum eiuncescit ac moritur. nec 

* Mayhoff : mittit. 

* V.U. aut ai, aut uti. 

• Or .slock-branch. 
124 



BOOK XVII. XXXV. 179-182 

This restriction must be so carefully managed that 
the vine may still want to grow rather than to bear. 

The main brancli should have two or three buds 
below the cross-bar from which wood may be pro- 
duced, and thcn it should be stretched out along 
the bar and tied to it, so as to be held up by il, not 
to hang down from it, and then after the third bud 
it should be fastcned more tightly to it by means of 
a tie, because that also has the effect of resti-aining 
the outgrowth of the wood and causing a more 
abundant outburst of shoots short of the tie ; but it 
is forbiddcn to tie the end of the main branch. The 
nature of the vine is that the part hanging down or 
bound with a Hgature yields fruit, and most of all 
the actual curve of the branch, but that which is 
short of the hgature makes wood, I suppose because 
the \-ital spirit and the pith mentioned above §§ 152-15."> 
meets an obstacle. The woody shoot so produced 
will bear fruit in the following year. Thus there 
are two kinds of main branches ; the shoot which 
comes out of the hard timber and promises wood for 
the next year is called a leafy slioot " or else when 
it is above the scar a fruit-bcaring shoot, whereas 
thc other kind of shoot that springs from a year-old 
hranch is ahvays a fruit-bearer. There is also left 
undemeath the cross-bar a shoot called the keeper — 
this is a young branch, not longer than three buds, 
which will provide wood next year if the vine's 
luxurious growth has used itself up — and another 
shoot next to it, the size of a wart, called the pilferer, 
is also left, in case the keeper-shoot should fail. 

A vine called on to produce fruit before it com- 
pletes seven years from being planted as a shp 
turns into a rush-Uke growth and dies. Nor is it 

125 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

veterem placet palmitem in longum et ad quartum 
usque pedamentum emitti, ut quos ^ alii dracones alii 
funiculos vocant, ut faciat ^ quae masculeta appellant 
cuni induruit vitis, pessimum in vinea traducere. 

183 quinto anno et ipsi palmites intorquentur singulaeque 
singulis materiae emittuntur ac deinde proximis, 
prioresque amputantur. semper custodem relinqui 
melius, sed is proximus viti esse debet, nec longior 
quam dictum est, et si luxuriaverint palmites, intor- 
queri, ut quattuor materias, vel duas si uniiuga erit 
vinea, emittat. 

184 Si per se vitis ordinabitur sine pedamento, quale- 
cumque initio adminiculum desiderabit, dum stare 
condiscat et recta surgere, cetera a primordio eadem, 
dixidi nutcm putatione pollices in aequali examine 
undique, ne praegravet frnctus parte aliqua. obiter 
idem deprimens prohibebit in excelsum emicare. 
huic vineae trium pedum altitudo excelsior nutat, 
cetcris a quinto, dum ne excedat hominis longitudinem 

185 iastam. iis quoque quae sparguntur in terra breves 
ad hmitandum ' caveas circumdant, scrobibus per 
ambitum factis, ne vagi palmites inter se pugnent 
occursantes ; maiorque pars terrarum ita supinam in 

* Backham : ut quod aut quod (ut quod cd. Vat. Lat. 3861, 
m. 2). 

'' Rackham : faciant. 
^ Inn : imitandum. 

126 



BOOK XVII. XXXV. ] 82-185 

thought proper to allow an old main branch to shoot 
out to a great length and as far as a fourth prop, 
Uke the old growths called by some ' snake-branches ' 
and by others ' cables ', so as to make what are named 
' male growths '. When a vine has bccome hard, 
it is very bad to bring it across on a trellis. When 
a vine is four years old the main branches them- 
selves also are twisted over, and each throws out one 
growth of wood, first one and then the next ones, 
and the earlier shoots are pruned a^ay. It is always 
better to leave a keeper-shoot, but this should be 
one next the vine, and not longer than the lcngth 
that was stated ; and if the main branches shoot too § w. 
luxuriantly, to twist them back, so that the vine 
may produce only four growths of wood, or even 
only tAvo if it is trained on a single cross-bar. 

If the vine is to be trained by itself without a prop, vinesgrown 
at the beginning it will want some sort of support ^tuppuTis. 
until it learns to stand and to rise up straight, 
while in all other respects it will necd the same treat- 
mcnt from the start, except that it will need to have 
the pruned stumps distributed by pruni ng in a regular 
cluster all round, so that the fruit may not overload 
one side of the tree. Incidcntally, the fruit weighing 
down the bough will prevent it from shooting right 
up high. With this vine a height of above a yard 
begins to bend over, but all the others start bending 
at five feet, only the height must not be allowed to 
exceed the average height of a man, Growers also 
put low cages round the vines that spread out on 
the ground, to restrict their spread, with trenches 
made round them, so that the straggHng branches 
may not meet each other and fight ; and the greater 
part of the world lets its vintage grapes Ije on the 

127 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

telluretn vindemiani mittit, siquidem et in Africa et in 
Aegypto Syriaque ac tota Asia et multis locis Europae 

186 hic mos praevalet. ibi ergo iuxta terram conprimi 
debet vitis, eodem niodo et tempore nutrita radice 
qui> in iuijata vinea, ut semper poUices tantum 
relinquantur, fertili solo cum ternis ^ gemmis, 
graciliorcque binis,^ praestatque multos esse quam 
longos. quae de natura soli diximus tanto potentiora 
sentientur quanto propior fuerit uva terrae. 

187 Genera separari ac singulis conseri tractus utilissi- 
mum — mixtura enim generum etiam in vino, non 
modo in musto discors — aut si misceantur, non alia 
quam pariter maturescentia iungi necessarium. iuga 
altiora quo laetior ager et quo planior, item roscido, 
nebuloso minusque ventoso conveniunt, contra 
humiliora graciH et arido et aestuoso ventisque ex- 
posito. iuga ad pedamentum quam artissimo nodo 
vinciri oportet, vitem leni^ contineri. quac gcuera 
vitium et in (luali solo caeloque essent conserenda 
cum enumeraremus naturas eanmi et vinoruni 
docuimus. 

188 De reHquo cultu vehementer ambigitur. plericjue 
aestate tota post singulos rores confodi iubcnt vineam, 

* temis ? Mayhoff : tribus. 

* graciliore binis e Colum. Pintianus (-que add. ? Mayhoff): 
graciliore quinis. 

» leni ? Mayhcff: leve (levi cd. Par. Lal. 6797). 

126 



BOOK XVri. xxxv. 185-188 

ground in this manner, inasmuch as this custom 
prevails both in Africa and in Egypt and Syria and 
the whole of Asia and at many places in Europe. 
In these vineyards therefore the vine ought to be 
kept down close to the ground, nourishment being 
given to the root in the same way and at the same 
time as in the case of a vine trained on a cross-bar, 
care being ahvays takcn to leave merely the pruned 
stum})s, with threc buds on cach in fertile land and 
two where the soil is thinner, and it pays better to 
have many of them than to have long ones. The 
properties of soil that we have spoken of will make 
themselves felt more powerfuUy the nearer the 
bunches of grapes are to the ground. 

It pays best to keep the difFerent kinds of vine iHsinbutwn 
separate and plant each plot with only one sort, for oy*^^'''" 
a mixture of ditferent varicties spoils the flavour 
even in the wine and not only in the must ; or if 
they are mixed, it is essential not to combine any 
but those that ripcn at the same time. The riclier 
the soil and the more level the ground the greater 
the height of the cross-bars required,and high cross- 
bars also suit land liable to dew and fog and where 
there is comparatively Httle wind, whereas k)wer bars 
suit thin, drv and parched land and places exposed 
to the wind. The cross-bars should be ticd to the 
prop as tiglitly as possible, but the vine should be 
kept together with an easy tie. We stated what xiv. 20 ti. 
kinds of vines should be grown and in what sort of 
soil and with what aspect when we were enumerat- 
ing the natures of the various vines and wines. 

The remaining points connected with the cultiva- oihfrpoints 
tion of the Vine are vehemently debated. The '^owingT 
majority of writers recommend digging over the i^^ous 

129 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

alii vetant gemmantem, decuti enim oculos tractuque 
intrantium deteri, et ob id arcenduni procul omne 
quidem pecas, sed maxime lanatxmi, quoniam facillime 
auferat gemmas ; inimicos et pubescente uva rastros, 
satisque esse vineam ter anno confodi, ab aequinoctio 
vemo ad vergiliarum exortum et canis ortu et 

189 nigrescente acino. quidam ita determinant : veterem 
semel a ^indemia ante brumam (cum alii ablaqueare 
et stercorare satis putent), iterum ab idibus Aprilibus, 
antequam concipiat, hoc est in vi idus Maias, dein 
prius quam florere incipiat, et cum defloruerit, et 
variante se uva ; peritiores adfirmant, si iusto saepius 
fodiatur, in tantum tenerescere acinos ut rumpantur. 
quae fodiantur ante fer\'entes horas diei fodicndas 
convenit, sicuti lutum neque arare neque fodere, 
fossione pulverem excitatum contra soles nebulasque 
prodesse. 

190 Pampinatio vema in confesso est ab idibus Maiis 
intra dies x, utique antequam florere incipiat, et ea ' 
infra iugum debere fieri. de sequente variant sen- 
tentiae : cum defloruerit aliqui pampinandum putant, 

' eam edd. 



BOOK XVII. XXXV. 188-190 

vineyard aftei' every fall of dew throughout the 
wholc of the summer, but others forbid this while 
the vines are in bud, becausc the eyes get knocked 
ofF or rubbed by the drag of people going bctween 
the rows, and for this rcason it is necessary to 
kecp away all cattle, but especially sheep, as their 
fleeces most easily remove buds ; they also say that 
raking does harm whilc bunches of grapes are forming; 
that it is enough for a vineyard to bc dug over 
three times in a year, between the spring equinox 
and the rising of the Plciads, at the rise of the 
Dogstar, and when the grapes are turning black. 
Some people give the following rules : to dig over 
an old vineyard once between vintage and midwinter 
(though others think it is enough to loosen the soil 
round the roots and manure it), a second time after 
April 13 but bcforc the vines bud, that is before 
May 10, and then before the vine begins to blossom, 
and aftcr it lias shcd its blossom, and when the bunch 
is changing colour ; but more expert growers declare 
that if the ground is dug more often than necessary 
the grapes bccome so thin-skinned that they burst. 
It is agreed that when vincyards are dug it should be 
done before the hottest part of the day, and likcwise 
that a mud-Iike wet soil ought not to be either ploughed 
or dug ; and that thc dust raised by digging is bene- 
ficial to the vine as a protection against sun and fog. 

It is agreed that the spring trimming of foliagc a.and^ 
should take place within ten days from May 15, at "^'"'"♦'^?- 
all events before the vine begins to blossom, and that 
it should be done below the level of the cross-bar. 
As to the subsequent trimming opinions vary : some 
people think that it should takc place when the vine 
has shed its blossom, others when the grapes are 

131 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

alii sub ipsa muturitate. sed de his Catonis prae- 
cepta decernent ; namque et putationum tradcnda 
ratio est. 

191 Protinus hanc a vindemia, ubi caeli tepor indulget, 
adoriuntur ; sed et ^ in hoc ficri numquam debet 
ratione naturae ante exortum aquilae, ut in siderum 
causis docebimus proximo volumine, immo vero 
favonio, quoniam anceps culpa est ^ praeproperae 
festinationis. si saucias recenti mcdicina mordeat 
quaedam hiemis ruminatio, certum est gemmas 
earum frigore hebetari plagasque findi et caeli vitio 
exuri oculos lacrima destillante; nam gclu fragiles fieri 

192 quis nescit ? operarum ista conputatio est in lali- 
fundiis. non lcgitima naturae festinatio. quo matu- 
rius putantur aptis diebus, eo plus materiae fundunt, 
quo serius, eo fructum uberiorem. quare macras pri- 
us conveniet putare, validas novissime. plagam omnem 
obliquam fieri ut facile decidant imbres, et ad terram 
verti quam lcvissima cicatrice acie falcis exacuta 
plagaque conlevata,' recidi autem semper inter duas 

193 gemmas, ne sit vulnus oculis in recisa parte. nigram 
esse eam noxium * existimant et doncc ad sincera 
veniatur recidendam, quoniani e vitioso materia utilis 
non exeat. si macra vitis idoneos palmites non ha- 

' et add. J. Mueller. 
2 est 7 Mayhoff : ait. 

* Pintianus : convelata. 

* noxium add. T MayhojJ. 



BOOK XVII. xxxv. 190-193 

just beginning to ripen. liut on this point the 
instructions of Cato shall dccide ; for we also have 
to describe the propcr method of pruning. § 197. 

This is set about dircctly after the vintage when Prunino. 
the warmth of the weathcr allows ; but even in warra 
weather on natural principles it never ouglit to be 
done l)cforc the rise of the Eagle, as we shall show xviii. 283. 
when dealing with astronomical considerations in the 
following vohune, nor yet v/hen the wind is in the 
west — inasmuch as excessive haste involves a double 
possibilitv of error. If a \ate snap of wintry weather 
should nip the vines while still sutfering from wounds 
intHcted by reccnt treatment, it is certain that their 
buds will be benumbed by the cold and tlic v.Dunds 
will open, and the eyes, owing to the juice dripping 
from them, will be nipped by the inclemency of the 
weather ; for who does not know that frost makes them 
brittle ? All tliis depends on calculations regarding 
labour on large estates, not on the legitimate accelcra- 
tion of Nature's processes. Given suitable weather, 
the earlier vines are pruned, the larger amount of wood 
they make, and the later they are pruned, the more 
abimdant supply of fruit. Consequently it will be 
proper to prune meagre vines earUer and strong ones 
last ; and always to make the cut on a slant, so that 
rain may fall off easily, and turned towards the 
ground, with the lightest possible scar, using a 
j)runing-knife with a well sharpened edge and giving 
a smooth cut ; but always to prune between two buds, 
so as not to wound the eycs in the part of the shoot 
cut back. Thev think it a sign of damagc for this 
to be black, and that it should be cut back till one 
comes to the sound part, since useful wood will not 
shoot from a bad stock. If a meagre vine has not 

^33 



PLINV: XATIRAL IIISIORY 

beat, ad terram recidi eam novosque elici utilissimum, 
in pampinatione non hos detrahere pampinos qui cum 
uva sint, id enim et uvas supplantat praeterquam in 
novella vinea. inutiles iudicantur in latere nati, non 
ab oculo, quippe etiam uva quae nascatur (• dun» 

194 rigescente ut nisi ferro detrahi non possit. pedamen- 
tum quidam intcr duas vites utilius putant statui, et 
facilius ablaqueantur ita, meliusque est uniiugae 
vineae, si tamen et ipsi iusjo sint viros nec flatu infesta 
regio. in quadripertita quam proximum oneri admini- 
cukim esse debet, ne tamen inpedimentum sentiat 
ablaqueatio, cubito abcsse non ampHus ; ablaqueari 
autem prius quam putari iubent. 

195 Cato de omni cultura vitium ita praecipit : ' Quam 
altissimam vineam facito alligatoque recte, dum ne 
nimium constringas. hoc modo eam curato : capita 
vitium per somentem ablaqueato ; vineam ^ putatam 
circumfodito, arare incipito ; ultro citroque sulcos 
perpetuos ducito ; vites teneras (juam primum 
propagato, sic occato.^ veteres (luam niinimum 
castrato ; potius, si opus erit, deicito bicnni<tquc po^^t 
praecidito. vitem novellam resecari tum erit tcmpus 

19G ubi valebit. si vinea ab vite calvata erit, sulcos 

' per . . . viiieam «(/</. e Cat. PinUanua. 
* 8ic occato e Cat. Sillig : cato. 



« XXXIII, 4. 

134 



BOOK XVII. xxxv. 193-196 

got suitable branches, it is a very good plan to cut it 
back to the ground and get it to put out new branches, 
and in trinuning it pavs not to remove the shoots 
growing with a cluster of grapes, for that dislodges 
the grapes also, except in a newlv planted vine. 
Shoots springing on the side of the branch and not 
from an eye are judged to be of no use, since moreover 
a bunch of grapes that springs from a hard branch is 
so stiff that the bunch can only be renioved with a 
knife. Some people considcr that it pays better for 
a prop to be set between two vines, and that method 
does make it easier to turn up the earth round them, 
and it is better for a vine on a single cross-bar, provided, 
that is, that the treUis itself is a strong one and the 
locality is not exposed to high winds. In the case of 
a vine supported by four cross-rails the stay ought to 
be as close as possible to the load, although to avoid 
interfering with digging over the soil it ought to be 
18 inches away, not more ; but they advise digging 
over before pruning. 

The following are the instructions given by Cato " Cato on vine- 
on the whole subject of vine growing: ' Make the ^""""^" 
vine grow as high as possiblc, and tie it up well, only 
not binding it too tight. Treat it in the foUowing 
manner : turn over the earth round the base of 
the vines during seed-time ; after pruning a vine dig 
round it and begin to plough ; drive continuous 
furrows to and fro ; plant layers of young vines as 
soon as possible, and then harrow the ground. Prune 
old vincs as little as possiblc ; preferably, if necessary, 
layer thcm on the ground and cut off the layers two 
years later. The time for cutting back a young vine 
wiU be when it has gained strength. If a vineyard 
has become bare of vines, make furrows between the 

135 



1M,INV: NATUUAL HISrOlJY 

int(r|)()uit() il)i([ue vivain radicem serito; umbram a 
sulcis rcmoveto, ci*ebroque fodito. in vinea vetere 
serito ocinum si macra erit^ — quod granum capit ni 
serito — et circum capita addito stercus, paleas, 

197 vinaceas, alifjuid horumce.^ ubi vinea frondere coe- 
pcrit, pampinato. vineas novcUas alligato crebro, ne 
caules pracfringantur ;^ ct quae iam in pcrticamibit 
cius pampinos teneros alligato lcviter porrigitoque uti 
recte stent. ubi uva varia fieri coeperit, vites subli- 

liiS gato."* vitis insitio una est per ver, altera cum uva 
Horct ; ea optima est. vineam veterem si in alium 
locum transferre voles, dumtaxat bracchium crassam 
htebit. primum deputato ; binas gcmmas ne am- 
phus rehnquito. ex radicibus bene exfodito, et cave 
radices ne saucies. ita uti fuerit ponito in scrobc 
aut in sulco operitoquc et bene occulcato ; eodemque 
modo vineam statuito, aUigato flcxatoque uti fucrit ; 
crcbroquu fodito.' — Ocinuni, cjuod in vinca seri iubet, 
antiqui appelhibant jKibiihnii iinil)r;u' patiens, (juod 
celerrime proveniat. 

199 Sequitur arbusti ratio mirum in modum damnata 
Sasernae patri filio(]ue, cclcbrata Scrofae, vetustissi- 
mis post Catoncm peritissimis(}ue, ac ne a Scrofa 
quidcm nisi Italiae concessa, cum tam longo iudicctur 
aevo nobilia vina non nisi in arbustis gigni et in his 

* horum quo rectius valeat e Cat. Sillig. 

* Calo : caulis perfriiigatur. 

* lacunam liic lan (nubiigato, pampinato uvasque expellito, 
circum capita sarito Cato). 

" From oiKv^, 'swift'. 
136 



BOOK XVII. xxxv. 196-199 

vines and plant a quickset in eacli ; prevent any 
shade froni talling on the furrows, and dig them over 
frequently. Plant ocimim " clover in an old vineyard 
if the soil is nieagre — forbear to sow anything that 
niakes seed — and put dung, chatf and grape husks 
or soniething of that sort round the feet. When 
a vine begins to show leaves, trim it. Fasten young 
viiies with several ties, so that the stems may not get 
l)roken ; and as soon as a vine begins to run out into 
a rod, tie down its young shoots hghtly and stretch 
them out so as to be in the right position. Wheii the 
grapes begin to become mottled, tie up the vines below. 
One season for grafting a vine is during spring, and 
another when the bunch bk)ssoms : the kitter is the 
best. If you want to transphmt an okl vine, you will 
only be able to do so if it is of the thickness of an arm. 
I- irst prune it ; do not leave niore than two buds on 
tlie stem. Dig it well up from the i-oots, and be 
careful not to injure the roots. Phice it in the hole 
or furrow just as it was before, and cover it up and 
tread it down well ; and set up the vine and tie it 
and bend it over in the same direction as it was 
before ; and dig the ground frequently.' — Ocimun, 
which Cato recommends planting in a vineyard, was 
the old name for a fodder-plant capable of standing 
shade, and refers to its rapid growth. 

There follows the method of growing vines on a armnnq 
tree, which was condemned in a remarkable way by ^rm ■"uUr- 
Saserna the elder and by his son, but highly spoken tionujtrees, 
of by Scrofa — these are the oldest writers 011 agri- meniT" ""^ 
culture after Cato, and are very great authorities ; 
and even Scrofa only allows it in Italv, although so 
long a period of time gives the verdict that high-class 
wines can only be produced from vines on trees, and 

137 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

quoque laudatiora summis sicut uberiora imis : adeo 

200 excelsitate proficitur. hac ratione et arbores eligun- 
tur : prima omiiiuiii ulmus, excepta propter nimiam 
frondem Atinia, dein populus nigra, eadem de causa, 
minus densa folio ; non spernunt plerique et fraxinimi 
ficumque, etiam oleam si non sit umbrosa ramis. 
harum satus cultusque abunde tractatus est. ante 
XXXVI mensem attingi falce vetantur ; alterna servan- 
tur bracchia, alternis putantur annis, sexto anno 

201 maritantur. Transpadana Italia praeter supra dictas 
cornu, opulo, tilia, acere, orno, carpino, quercu 
arbustat agros, Venetia salice propter uliginem soli. 
et ulmus detruncata media in tria ramorum scamna 
digeritur, nulla fere viginti pedum altiore arbore. 
tabulata earum ab octavo pede altitudinis dilatantur 
in collibus siccisque agris, a duodecumo in campestri- 

202 bus et umidis. meridianum solem spectare palmae 
debent, rami a proiectu digitorum modo subrigi, 
tonsili in his tenuium quoque virgultorum barba, ne 
obumbrent. intervallum iustum arborum, si aretur 
solum, quadrageni pedes in terga frontemque, in latera 
viceni ; si non aretur, hoc in omnis partes. singulis 
denas saepe adnutriunt vites, damnato agricola 

138 



BOOK XVII. XXXV. 199-202 

that even so the choicer wines are made from the 
grapes at the top of the trees, while those lowest 
down give a large quantity : so beneficial is the effect 
of height. It is on this principle also that trees are 
selected : first of all the elm (excepting the Atinian 
variety because it has too many leaves), then the 
black poplar, for the same reason, it having less 
dense foUage ; also the ash and the fig are not 
despised by most growers, and even the oUve 
if it has not shady branches. The planting and 
cultivation of these trees has been abundantly xii. 22 a. 
treated. It is proliibited to touch them with the ^Xv^.'^v 
pruning-kniie beiore tney are three years old ; 
alternate branches are kept, they are pruned every 
other year, and in their sixth year they are wedded 
to the vines. Italy north of the Po beside the 
trees mentioned above plants its vineyards with 
cornel, guelder rose, Ume, maple, rowan, hornbeam, 
and oak, but the Venezia uses willow because of the 
dam])ness of the soil. Also the elm is lopped of its 
top and has its middle branches spread out on three 
levels, no tree as a rule being left more than twenty 
feet high. On hills and in dry lands the stages of 
the elms are spread out at a height of eight feet, 
and on plains and in damp locaUties at twelve feet. 
The branching of the trunk shoukl face south, and the 
boughs sliould spread up from the foi'k like fingers 
on the hand, and also have their shaggy growtli of 
thin twigs shaved off, so as not to give too much 
shade. The proper space bctween the trees, if the 
soil is to be ploughed, is forty feet behind and in front 
and twcnty at the sides, but if it is not to be ploughed, 
twenty feet every way. Growers often grow ten vines 
against each tree, great fault being found with a 

139 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

203 miniis ternis. maritare nisi validas inimicum,enecante 
veloci vitium incremento. serere tripedaneo scrobe 
necessarium distantes inter sese arboreraque singulis 
pedibus ; niliil ibi malleoli atque pastinationis,^ nullu 
fodiendi inpendia, utpote cum arbusti ratio haec 
peculiari dote praestet qiiod ab eodem solo ferri ^ 
fruges et vitibus prodest, supcrque quod vindicans se 
altitudo non, ut in vinea, ad arcendas animalium 
iniurias pariete vel saepe vel fossarum utique inpendio 
muniri se cogit. 

204 In arbusto e praedictis sola viveradicum ratio, item 
propaginum, et haec gemina, ut diximus: qualorum 
ex ' ipso tabulato maxime probata, quoniam a pecore 
tutissima est, altera deflexa \ite vel palmite iuxta 
suam arborem aut circa proximam caelibem. quod 
supra terram est a matre radi iubetur ne fruticet ; in 
terra non pauciores quattuor gemmae obruuntur ad 
radicem capiendam, extra in capite binae relincuntur. 

205 vitis in arbusto cjuattuor pedes longo constat * sulco, 
tres lato, alto duos cum semipede. post annum 
propago inciditur ad raedullam, ut paulatim radicibus 
suis adsuescat, caulis a capite ad duas gemmas 
reciditur ; tertio totus mergus absciditur repetiturque 

* Mayhoff : pastinationi. 

* Mut/lir,ff : seri. 
» Maylujff: et. 

* Mayhoff : iii longo constat omnis. 

140 



BOOK XMI. .\x.\v. 202-205 

farmer who trains less than three on each. It 
damages anv but strong trecs to wed vines to tliem, 
as the rapid growth of the vines kills them off. It is 
essential to plant the vines in a trench three feet 
deep, with a space of a foot betwecn them and the 
tree ; this saves the nced of a mallet-shoot and of 
tuming over the ground and the expense of digging, 
inasmuch as this method of using a tree has the 
special advantage that for the samc ground to cariy 
corn actuallv benefits the vincs, and moreover that 
the height of the vine looks after itself, and does not 
make it necessary, as in a vincAard, to guard it with a 
wall or hedge, or at all events by going to the expense 
of ditches, so as to protect it from injury by animals. 

In growing vines on a tree the only method used Lnyering of 
among those already dcscribed is that of quicksets or ^unlr^sT"^ 
of layers ; and of layering there are two varieties, as 
we have said : that of using baskets projecting from §97. 
the actual staging of the tree, the most approved 
method, as it is safest from cattle, and the other one 
by bending down a vine or a main braneh at the side 
of its own tree or round the nearest to it not occupied. 
It is recommcnded that the part of the parent tree 
above the ground shoukl be scraped, to prevent it 
from making shoots ; and not less than four buds are 
covered up in the ground so as to take root, while 
two are left above ground on the head. A vine grown 
on a tree is set in a trench four feet long, three broad 
and two and a half deep. Aftcr a year a cut is made 
in the layer down to the cambium, so that it may grad- 
ually get used to its roots, and the stem is pruned back 
at its end down to two buds from the ground ; and 
at the end of two years the layer is completely cut 
off from the stock and is put back deeper into the 

141 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

altius in terram, ne ex reciso frondeat. toUi viveradix 
a vindemia protinus debet. 

2(>ri Nuper repcrtum draconcm serere iuxta arbdrem — 
ita appellamus palmitem emeritum pluribusque in- 
duratum annis. hunc praecisum quam maxima 
amplitudine, tribus partibus longitudinis deraso 
cortice quatenus obruatur — unde et rasilem vocant — 
deprimere sulco, reliqua parte ad arborem erecta, 
ocissimum in vite est.^ si gracilis sit vitis aut terra, 
usitatum est quain proxime solum decidi, donec 
firmetur radix, sicuti neque roscidam seri neque a 
septentrionis flatu ; vites acjuilonem spectare debent 
ipsae, palmites autem earum meridiem. 

207 Non est festinandum aJ putationem novellae, sed 
primo in circulos materies coUigenda, nec nisi validae 
putatio admovenda, seriore anno fere ad fructum 
arbusta vite quam iugata; sunt qui omnino putari 
vetent priusquam arborcm longitudine aequaverit. 
prima falce sex pedes a terra recidatur, flagello infra 
relicto et nasci coacto incur\'atione materiae. tres ei 

2'i8 gemmae, non amplius, deputato supersint. ex his 
emissi palmites proximo anno imis digerantur scamnis 

' ©8t add. ? Mayhoff. 
142 



BOOK XVII. XXXV. 205-208 

ground, so that it may not shoot from the place where 
it was cut off. As for a quickset, it should be removed 
immediately after the vintage. 

A plan has recently been invented of planting a 
snake-branch near the tree — that is our name for 
a veteran main branch that has grown hard with 
manv years' service. The quickcst plan in the case 
of a vine is to cut this old branch off as long as pos- 
sible and scrape the bark off three-quarters of its 
length, down to the point to which it is to be buried 
in the ground — for this reason it is also called a 
' scraped ' shoot — and then to press it down in the 
furrow, with the remaiiiing part standing straight up 
against the tree. If the vine be meagre or the soil 
thin, it is customary to cut down the plant as ck)se 
to the ground as possible, until the root gets strong, 
and likewise not to plant it when there is dew on it, 
nor in a place exposed to a north wind ; the vines 
themselves ought to face north-east, but their young 
shoots should have a southerly aspect. 

There must be no hurry to prune a young vine, but Ppming 
at first the growth shoukl bc collected together into ,Vf"l 
circular shapes, and no pruning should be appHed 
except to a strong plant, a vine trained on a trce being 
about a year later in bearing fruit than one trained 
on a cross-bar. Some people forbid pruning al- 
together until the vine equals the tree in height. 
At the first pruning it should be cut back six feet 
from the ground, a shoot being left below and en- 
couraged to grow by bending over the wood. It 
should have three buds and not more left when it 
has been pruned. In the foUowing year the branches 
sent out from these should be spread out on the 
lowest stages of the trees and allowed to chmb to 

143 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ac per singiilos annos ad superiora scandant, relicto 
semper duramcnto in singulis tabulatis et emissario 
uno qui subeat usque quo placuerit. de cetcro 
putalione omnia ^ flagella quae proxime tulerint 
recidantur. iiova circumcisis undique capreolis spar- 
gantur in tabulatis. vernacula putatio deiectis per 
raraos vitium crinibus circumvestit arborem crinesque 
ipsos uvis, Gallica in traduces porrigitur, Aemiliae 
viae in ridicas Atiniarum ambitu, frondem earum 
fugiens. 

209 Lst quorundam inpcritia sub ramo vitem vinculo 
suspendendi, suffocante iniuria : contineri debet 
vimine, non artari (quin immo etiam quibus salices 
supersunt molliore hoc ^nnculo facere nialunt herba- 
que SicuH quam vocant ampelodesmon, Graecia vero 
univcrsa iunco, cvpero, ulva), liberata quoque vinculo * 
per aHquot dios vagari et incondita spargi atquc in 
terra quam per totum annum spectaverit recumbere ; 

210 namque ut veterina a iugo et canis a cursu volutatio 
iuvat, ita tum et vitium porrigi lumbos ; arbor quoque 
ipsa gaudet adsiduo levata onere, similis respiranti, 
nihilque est in opere Naturae quod non cxemplo 
dierum noctiumque aliquas vices feriarum velit. ob id 



* Mayhoff t Colum. : omni. 

* \inculo <volt> ? Muyhoff. 



144 



BOOK XVII. xxxv. 208-210 

the next higher level everv vear, one hard growth 
beinjT ahvavs left at each stage, and one growing shnot 
left to mount np as high as it pleases. In addition, 
all the whips that havc borne fruit last time should 
be cut back by pruning, and fresh shoots should have 
their ten(h-ils cut away all round and be spread out 
011 the stages. Our Italian method of pruning drapes 
the tree with tresses of vines festooned along the 
branches and clothes the tresses themsclves with 
bunches C)f grapes, but the GalHc method spreads out 
into growths passing from tree to tree, while the 
method used on tlie Aeniilian Road spreads over 
supports consisting of Atinian elms, twining round 
them but avoiding their foliage. 

An ignorant way of some growers is to suspend the /nsiruciio 
vine by means of a tie bencath a bough of the tree, ,%,'/,l"^ 
a damaging procedure which stiflcs it, as it ought to 
be held back with an osier withe, not tied tightly 
(indeed even people who have plenty of willows prefer 
to do it with a tie softer than the one which these 
supplv, namely with the plant whieh the Sicilians call 
by the Greek name ' vine-tie ', while the whole of 
Greece uses rush,galingale and sedge) ; also it ought 
to be released from its tie for some days and allowed to 
stray about and sprcad in disorder and lie down on the 
ground which it has been gazing at all the year 
through ; for jiist as draft cattle when unyoked and 
dogs after a run likc to i'oll on the ground, so even the 
vines' loins like a stretch when released ; also the tree 
itself enjoys being relieved of the continual weight, 
like a man rccovering his breath, and therc is nothing 
in Nature's handiwork that does not desire some 
alternations of holiday, after the pattern of the 
days and nights. On this account pruning the 

145 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

protinus a vindemia putari et lassas etiamnum fructu 
edito inprobatur. putatae rursus alligentur alio 
loco, namque orbitas unculi sentiunt vexatione non 
dubia. 

211 Traduces Gallicae culturae ^ bini utrimque e^ 
lateribus, si par' quadrageno distet spatio, quaterni, 
si viceno, inter se obvii miscentur alliganturque una 
conciliati, virgultorum comitatu obiter rigorati qua 
deficiant, aut si brevitas non patiatur ipsorum, 
adalligato protenduntur in viduam arborem unco. 
traducem bimum praecidere solebant — onerat * enim 
vetustate ; melius donare tempus ut rasilem^ faciant, 
si ' largiatur crassitudo ; alias utile toros futuri 
draconis pasci. 

212 Unum etiamnum genus est medium inter hoc et 
propaginem, totas supplantandi in tcrram vites 
cuneisque findendi et in sulcos plures simul ex una 
propagandi, gracilitate singularum firmata circum- 
ligatis hastilibus, nec recisis qui a lateribus excurrant 
pampinis. Ncvariensis agricola, traducum turba non 
contentus nec copia ramorum, inpositis etiamnum 
patibulis palmites circumvolvit ; itaque praeter soli 

213 vitia cultura quoque torva fiunt vina. alia culpa 

* Mayhoff (Gallica e cultura Sillig) : cultura. 

* e ndd. Mayhoff. 

* Mayhoff: pars. * oneratur ? Warminglon. 
' Urlichs : transilem. • Edd. : ni. 

146 



BOOK XVII. XXXV. 210-213 

vines directly after vintage and when they are still 
weary from producing fruit is disapproved of. When 
they have been pruned they must be tied to the tree 
ajjain in anothcr place, for unquestionably they feel 
annovance at the marks made round them by the tie. 

The cross-shoots of the GalHc method of growing rreatment of 
— two from each side if the pair of vincs are forty '"'''-"^°''- 
feet apart. but four if twenty — when they mcet are 
intertwined with each other and tied together in a 
single clustcr, during the process being stiffened 
with the aid of wooden rods where they fail, or if 
the shoots themselves are too short to allow of this, 
they are stretched out to reach an unoccupied tree 
by means of a hook tied to them. It used to 
be the custom to prune these cross-shoots every two 
years, as they make too heavy a weight when they 
grow old ; but it is better to give them time to make 
a ' scraped ' shoot, if their thickness is sufficient ; § 206. 
otherwise it pays to supply nourishment to the knobs 
of the snake-branch about to form. 

There is still one other method intermediate Layenngof 
between this one and propagation by layering — that precautions 
of throwing down the wholc vine on the earth and /■="■ P"'"'"^- 
spHtting it with wedges, and leading the shoots from 
a single vine into several trenches, reinforcing the 
slenderness of each shoot by tying it to a rod, and 
not lopping off the branches which run out from the 
sides. A farmer at Novara, not content with a 
multitude of shoots carried from tree to tree nor with 
an abundance of branches, also twines the main 
branches round forked props set in the ground ; and 
thus beside the faults of the soil the wines are also 
made harsh by the method of cultivation. Another 
mistake is made with the vines near the city of 

147 



PLINY: NATUllAL HISTORY 

iuxta urbem Aricinis,quae alternis putantur annis, non 
quia id viti conducat sed quia vilitate reditum inpendia 
exuperent. medium temperamentuin in Carsulano 
secuntur, cariosasque tantum vitis partes incipientes- 
que inarescere deputando, ceteris ad uvam relictis 
detracto onere supervacuo, pro nutrimento omni est 
raritas volneris ; sed nisi pingui solo talis cultura 
degenerat in labruscam. 

214 Arbusta arari quam altissime desiderant, tametsi ^ 
frumenti ratio non exigit. pampinari ea non est 
moris, et hoc conpendium operae. deputantur cum 
vite pariter interlucata densitate ramoi-um qui sint 
supervacui et absumant alimenta. plagas ad septen- 
triones aut ad meridiem spectare vetuimus ; melius 
si neque in occasus solis ; diu dolent talia quoque * 
ulcera et difficile sancscunt algendo nimis aestuandove ; 
non eadcm ut^ in vite libertas, quoniam certa latera, 
sed facilius abscondere et dctorquere quo velis vitis* 
plagas. in arborum tonsura supino ore * vclut calices 
faciendi, ne consistat umor. 

215 XXXVL Viti adminicula addenda quae scandat 
adprehensa si maiora sint. vitium generosarum 

* Pinlianus : tanta ost. 
^ [qnoquf] Wanninglon. 

* ut adri. MiiyJwff. 

* vitis add. Warmington, 
' Jan : supiniore. 

148 



BOOK X^'II. xxxv 213-XXW1. 215 

La Riccia, which are pruned every other ycar, not 
because that is bcneticial for a vine but because 
owing to the low price at which the wine sells the 
expenses might exceed the return. In the Casigliano 
district they follow an intermediate compromise, 
and by the plan of pruning away only the decayed 
parts of the vine and those begiuning to wither, and 
leaving the rest to bear grapes reUeved of superfluous 
weight, the scantiness of the injury infiicted serves • 
instead of all nutriment ; but except in a rich soil 
this method of cultivation degenerates into a wild 
vine. 

The trees for training vines on require the ground jreaiment of 
to be ploughed as deep as possible, although the ',^^7-^0^*."' 
svstem of growing corn there does not need this. It 
is not customary for them to be trimmed of leaves, and 
this economizes labour. They are pruned togetlier 
with the vine, light being let through the density of 
branches that are superfluous and consume nutriment. 
We have given the rule against leaving lopped ends § 84. 
facing north or south, and it is better not to let them 
face west either, as wounds facing in those directions 
too suffer for a long time and heal witli difficulty, 
because of undergoing excessive cold or heat ; tiiere 
is not the same freedom as in the case of the vine, 
since trecs have fixed aspects, but it is easicr to liide 
away the wounds of a vine and twist them in any 
direction you like. In pruning trees cuplikc hollows 
should be made with a mouth sloping downwards, to 
prevent water from lodging in them. 

XXXVI. Props should be placed against a vine srasomfor 
which it may catch hold of and climb up if they are vruning,etc. 
taller than it is. It is said that esj)aliers for vines of 
high (juaHty should be cut about March 19tli-23rd, 

149 



PLINY: NATIJRAL HISTORY 

pergulas quinquatrihus putandas et, (luaruni servare 
uvas libeat, deorescente luna tradunt, quae vero 
interlunio sint putatae nuUis animalium obnoxias esse. 
alia ratione plena luna noctu tondendas, cum sit ea in 
leone, scor]iione, sagittario, tauro. atque in totum 
serendas plena aut crescente utique censent. sufficiunt 
• in Italia cultores deni in centena iufjera vinearum. 

216 XXXVII. Et abunde satu cultucpie arboruni 
tractato, quoniam de jialmis et cytiso in peregrinis 
arboribus adfatim diximus, ne quid desit, indicanda 
reliqua natura est magno opere pertinens ad omnia ea. 
infestantur namque et arbores morbis— quid enim 
genitum caret his malis ? set ^ silvestrium quidem 
perniciosos negant esse vexarique tantum grandine 
in germinatione aut flore, aduri quoque fervore aut 
flatu frigidiore praepostero die, nam ^ suo frigora 

217 etiam prosunt, ut diximus. ' Quid ergo ? non et 
vites algore intercunt ? ' hoc (juidem est quo 
deprehendatur soli vitium, quoniam non evenit nisi in 
firigido. itaque per hiemes caeli rigorem probamus, 
non soli. nec infirmissimae arbores gehi periclitantur, 
sed maximae, vexatisque ita cacumina prima inare- 
scunt, quoniam praestrictus non potuit eo pervenire 
umor. 

* set 7 Mayhojf : et. 

* Mayhoff : quoniam (7eZ£7i. : quam. 



BOOK XVII. x.wvi. 215-.xx.xv11. 217 

and, if it is intended to keep the grapes for raisins, 
when the moon is on the wanc, but that those cut 
between thc old moon and the new are immune from 
all kinds of insects. Another theory hokls the opinion 
that vines should be pruned by night at full moon when 
the moon is in the Lion or Scurpion or Archer or 
Bull ; and in general that they should be planted 
when the moon is at full, or at all events is waxing. 
In Italy a gang of ten farmhands is enough for a 
hundred acres of vineyard. 

XXXVII. And having treated of the planting and nueasesof 
cultivation of trees with sufhcient fullness, since we 'o/"'os^.^^'^''' 
have said enouch about palms and tree-medick amonsr xiii. 26, 

1 3U ff 

foreign trees, in order that nothing may be lacking 
a statement must be given of the other natural 
features of great importance in relation to all these 
raatters. For even trees are liable to attacks of 
disease — since what created object is exempt from 
these evils ? But forest trees at all events are said 
not to have any deadly diseases and only to be liable 
to damage by hail when they are budding or in flower, 
and also to be nipped by heat or exceptionally cold 
wind coming out of scason, for cold weather in its 
proper season actually docs them good, as we have 
stated. ' What then ? ' it will be said. ' Does not frost § lo- 
kill even vines ?' VVell, that is how a fault of soil is 
detected, because it only happens on chilly ground. 
And consequently we approve of cold in winter time 
that is due to the climate and not to the soik And 
it is not the weakest trees that are endangered by 
frost, but the largest ones, and when they are thus 
attacked it is their tops that dry away first, because 
the sap has been congealed and has not been able 
to get there. 



PLINV: NAriUAL HISTORY 

218 Arbdiuni (|uul;im coi;nnunt;s niorbi, quid.ini privati 
gerKTum. communis vermiculatio et sidcratio ac 
dolor membrorum, unde partium debilitas, societate 
nominum quoque cuni hominis miseriis : trunca 
dicimus ccrte corpura et oculos gcrminum exustos ac 

21 y multa simili sorte. itaque laborant et fame et 
cruditate, quae fiunt unioris quantitate, ali^iua ^ vcri) 
et obesitate, ut omnia quae resinam ferunt niniia 
pinguitudine in taedani mutantur et, cuni radices 
quoque pinguescere coepere, intereunt ut animalia 
nimio adipe, aliquando et pestilentia pcr genera, 
bicut inter homines nunc servitia nunc plebes url>;ina 
vel rustica. 

22n Vermiculantur magis minusve quaedam. uinnes 
tamen fere, idque aves cavi corticis sono expcriuntur. 
iam (piidcm et hoc in luxuria esse coepit, praegrandes- 
que ruborum d.-licatiore sunt in cibo — cosses^ vocant — 
atqu<; ctiam farina saginati hi ^ quocpie altilcs Hunt. 

221 maxime autem arboruin iioc sentiunt piri, mali, tici, 
minus qu;ic am;irae sunt et odoratae. eoruni qui in 
ficis existunt alii nascuntur ex ipsis, alios parit qui 
vocatur cerastes, omnes tamen in cerasten figurantur 
sonumque edunt parvoH stridoris. et sorbus arbur 

* Maylioff : aliquae. 

• C0SS08 vd. fossoa eoa cuni. Warminrjton coll. XI. 113; of 
XXX. 15. 

» [hij 7 MayhofJ. 



BOOK XVII. x.wvii. 2I8-22I 
Some diseases are common to all trees and some Miiicties 

,. , •ii-i /^' , 11 comman to all 

are peculiar to special kinds. Common to all are trees. 
damago by worms and star-bli<;ht and pain in 
the limbs, resulting in debiUty of the various parts 
— maladies sharing even their names with those of 
mankind : we certainly speak of trees boing muti- 
lated and having the eyes of tlieir buds burnt out 
and many misfortunes of a kind rcsembling our own. 
Accordingly they suffer both from hunger and from 
indigestion, maladies due to the amount of moisture 
in thcm, and some even from obesity, for instance all 
which produce resin owing to excessive fatness are 
converted into torch-wood, and when the roots also 
have begun to get fat, dic Hke animals from excessive 
adipose deposit ; and sometimcs also they die of 
epidemics prevaiUng in eertain classes of tree, just as 
among mankind diseases somctimes attack the slaves 
and sometimes the urban or the rural lower classes. 

Particular trees are attacked by worm in a greater Damaqehy 
or smaller degree, but nearly all are Hable, and birds insecis'.' 
detect worm-eaten wood by the hoUow sound wlien 
they tap the bark. Nowadays indced even this has 
begun to be classed as a luxury, and specially large 
wood-maggots found in oakwood — the name for these 
is cosses — figure in the menu as a special deHcacy, 
and actually even these creatures are fed with flour 
to fatten them for the table. The trces most Hable 
to be worm-eaten are pears, apples, and figs ; those 
that have a bittcr taste and a scent are less Hable. 
Of the maggots found in fig-trecs sonie brecd in the 
trees themsclves, but othcrs are produccd by the 
insect called in Greek the horned insect ; all of 
thcm howcvcr assume the shapc nf that insect, and 
emit a Httlc buzzing sound. Also the scrvice-ti'ee is 

153 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

infestatur vermiculis rufis ac pilosis, atque ita emori- 
tur ; mespila quoque in senecta obnoxia ei morbo 
est. 

222 Sideratio tota e caelo constat ; quapropter et grando 
in his causis intellegi debet et earbunculatio et quod 
pruinarum iniuria evenit. haec enim vcrno tepore ^ 
invitatis et erumpere audentil)us satis mollibus insidens 
adurit lactescentes germinum oculos, quod in flore 
carbunculum vocant. pruinae perniciosior natura, 
quoniam lapsa persidit gclatque ac ne aura quidem 
ulla depcllitur, quia non fit nisi inmoto aere et sereno. 
proprium tamen siderationis est sub ortu canis sicci- 
tatum vapor, cum insita ac novellae arbores moriuntur, 
praecipue ficus et vitis. 

223 Olea praeter vermiculationem, quam aeque ac ficus 
sentit, clavum etiam patitur, sive fungum placet dici 
vel patellam ; haec est solis exustio. nocere tradit 
Cato et muscum rubrum. nocet plerumque vitibus 
atque oleis et niniia fertilitas. scabies communis 
omnium est. inpotigo ct quae adgnasci solcnt 
cocleae peculiaria ficorum vitia. nec ubicjue — sunt 
enim quaedam aegritudines et locorum. 

224 \'erum ut homini nervorum cruciatas sic et arbori, 
ac duobus aeque modis : aut enim in pedes, hoc est 
radices, inrimipit vis morbi, aut in articulos, hoc est 
cacumimmi digitos, qui longissime a toto corpore 
exeunt ; sunt apud Graecos sua nomina utrique 

' Gelrn. : tempore. 
'54 



BOOK XVII. xxxvii. 221-224 

infected with red. hairy caterpillars, which eventually 
kill it ; and the inedlar as well is liable to the same 
disease when it grows old. 

Star-bli<jht dcpcnds entirely on the heavens, and star-blighc, 
consequentlv we must includc among these causes o^fArr"" 
of injury hail and carbuncle-bUglit, and also damage ""'^'"'«« 
due to frost. The formcr whcn the phmts are tempted <iamage. 
by the Avarmth of spring to venture to burst out 
settles on them while they are fairly soft and 
scorches the milky eyes of the buds, the part which in 
the flower is called the carbuncle. Frost is of a more 
damaging nature, because when it has fallen it 
settles down and freezes, and is not dispelled even 
by any sHght breeze, because it only occurs when 
the air is motionless and cahn. A peculiarity how- 
ever of star-bhght at the rising of the Dog-star is a 
parching heat, when grafts and sapUngs die, especi- 
allv figs and vines. 

The oUve besides suffering from worm, to which it 
is as Uable as is the fig, is also affected by wai-t, or, 
as some prefer to caU it, fungus or ' platter ' ; this is 
a scorch caused by the sun. Cato states that redde^^r. = 
scale is also injurious to the olive. Excessive ^'•''" ^^* * 
fertiUty also usually injm'es vines and olive. Scab 
is common to all trees. Eruption and epidermic 
growths on the bark called ' snails ' are maladies 
pecuUar to figs, and that not in aU districts — for some 
diseases belong to particular locaUties. 

But just as man is subject to affliction of the 
sinews, so also is a tree, and in two ways, as is the case 
with man : for the force of the disease either attacks 
its feet, that is the roots, or its knuckles, that is the 
fingers of tho tnp branches, wliich project farthest 
from thc whole body ; with thc (jreeks there are 

155 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

225 vitio.^ nigrescunt ^ crgo, et undique primo dolor, mox 
et macies earum partium fragilis, postremo tabes 
mors([ue, non intrante suco aut non perveniente ; 
maximeque id fici sentiunt, caprificus omnibus 
immunis est quae adhuc diximus. scabies gignitur 
roribus lentis post vergilias ; nam si largiores ^ fuere, 
perfundunt bene * arborem, non scalpunt scabie at 
grossi^ cadunt ; si vero * imbres niniii fuere, alio 
modo ficus laborat radicibas madidis. 

226 Vitibus praeter vermiculationem et siderationem 
morbus peculiaris articulatio tribus de causis : una vi 
tempestatium germinibus ablatis, altera, ut notavit 
Theophrastus, in supinum excisis, tertia culturae 
imperitia laesis ; omnes enim earum iniuriae in 
articulis sentiuntur. siderationis genus est uvis ' 
deflorescentibus roratio, aut cum acini priusquam 
crescant decocuntur in callum. aegrotant et cum 
alscre, laesis uredine attonsarum oculis. et calore hoc 
evenit intempestivo, quoniam omnia modo constant 

227 certoquc temperamento. fiunt et culpa colentiuni 
vitia,® cum praestringuntur, ut dictum est, aut circuni- 

■ sunt . . . vitio hicl Mat/hoff: i nfra posl ergo et. 
- K Theophr. Dalec. : inarcscunt. 
' Didec. : rariores. 

* perfundunt bene Rackham (p. beoigne ? Mayhoff) : per- 
funduntne. 

' et (at ? M'n/h'ijf) grossi ed. Hack. : eteros si. 

• si vero ? Mnyh^iff: sive. 

' C. F. W. Mueller : et his aut in his. 

' Maylioff : vitium (vitia cd. Par. LcU. 6796) colentia. 



BOOK XVII. xxxvii. 224-227 

special nanies for each of these diseases. Conse- 
quently thcy turn black, and first there is pain all over 
and thcn the parts mentioned also become emaciated 
and brittle, and lastly comes wasting consumption and 
death, the sap not cntering or not permeating the 
parts affected. Figs are extremely liable to this 
disease, but the wild fig is immune from all the 
maladies we have so far specified. Scab is caused 
by gentle falls of dew occurring after the rising of 
the Pleiads ; for if the dew has been more copious 
it gives the tree a good drenching, and does not 
streak it with scab, although the green figs fall off ; 
but if there has been excessive rain a fig-tree is 
liable to another malady due to dampness of the 
roots. 

In addition to worm-disease and star-bhght vines 
suffer from a disease of the joints that is pecuUar to 
them ; it is due to three causes — first, loss of buds 
owing to stormy weather, second, as noted by Theo- <'f.Theophr., 
phrastus, pruning done with an upward cut, and 14 g^ 
third, damage caused by lack of skill in their culti- 
vation ; for all injuries to which vines are Uable are 
felt in their joints. One kind of star-bUght is dew- 
disea.se, when the grape-vines shed their blossoms, 
or when the grapes shrivel up into a hard lump before 
they grow big. Vines are also sickly when they have 
been nippcd by cold, the eyes being injured by frost- 
bite after the branches have been pruned. This also 
happens owing to unseasonable hot weather, since 
everything depends on measure and on a fixed pro- 
portion. Defccts may also be caused by the fault of 
the vine-dressers, when the vines are tied too tight, 
as has been said, or else when the digger trenching § 209. 
round them has injured them with a damaging blow, 

157 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fossor iniurioso ictu verberavit, vel etiani subarator 
inprudens luxavit radices corpusve desquamavit ; est 
et quaedam contusio falcis hebetioris. quibus omni- 
bus causis difficilius tolerant frigora aut aestus, 
quoniani in ulcus penetrat iniuria omnis a foris. 
infirmissima vero malus, maxime quaequae dulcis est. 

228 quibusdam debilitas sterilitatem, non necem adfert, 
ut si quis pino cacimien auferat vel palmae ; sterile- 
scunt enim nec moriuntur. aegrotant aliquando et 
poma ipsa per se sine arboi-e, si necessariis temporibus 
imbres aut tepores vel adflatus defuere aut contra 
abundavere ; decidunt enim aut deteriora fiunt. 
pessimum est inter omnia cum deflorescentem vitem 
et oleam percussit imber, quoniam simul defluit 
fructus. 

229 Sunt ex eadem causa nascentes et urucae, dirum 
animal, eroduntque frondem, aliae florem quoque, 
olivarum,^ ut in Mileto, ac depastam arborem turpi 
facie relinquunt. nascitur hoc malum tepore umido 
et lento ; fit aHud ex eodem si sol acrior insecutus 
inussit ipsum vitium ideoque mutavit. est etiamnum 
pecuHare oUvis et vitibus — araneum vocant — eum 

230 veluti tclae invoh-unt fructum et absumunt. adurunt 
et flatus quidam eas maxime, sed et alios fructus. 
nam vermiculationem et poma ipsa per se quibusdam * 



' Urlichs : olivaruin (imxjue. 
• Mayhojf : quibusdam annis. 



BOOK XVII. xxxvii. 227-2;,o 

or even vheii a careless person ploughing underneath 
them has displaced the roots or scalcd thc bark off the 
trunk ; also a contusion niay be caused by pruning 
w ith too bhint a knife. AU of these causes make it 
inore difficult for a vine to bear cold or hot weather, 
since every harmful influcnce from outside inakes 
its way into the sore. But the most delicate of 
all trees is the apple, and pai-ticularly any kind 
that bears sweet fruit. With some trees weakness 
causes barrenness but does not kill them, as is the 
case with a pine or a palm if you lop off their top, as 
they cease to bear but do not die. Sometimes also 
the fruit by itself is attacked by disease but not the 
tree, if there has been a lack of rain or of warm 
weather or wind at the times whcn they are needed, 
or if on the contrary thev have been too plentiful, 
for the fruit falls otf or deterioi-ates. The worst 
among all kinds of daniage is when a vine or oUve 
has been struck by heavy rain when shedding its 
blossom, as the fruit is waslied off at the same time. 

Heavy rain also breeds catcrpillars, noxious Caierpuiarj 
creatures that gnaw away the foHage of oHves, and andihe^"' 
others the flower too, as at Miletus, and leave the weather. 
half-eatcn tree shamefully disfigured. This pesti- 
lence is bred by damp sticky heat ; and another one 
due to the same cause occurs if too keen a sun foHows, 
and burns in the damage done by the damp and so 
alters its nature. There is in addition a malady 
pecuHar to oHves and vines, cafled cobweb, when the 
fruit gets wrapped up in a sort of webbing which 
stifles it. Tliere are also certain currents of air which 
are specially bHghting to oHves, though they dry up 
other fruit as well. As to worni, in some trees even 
the fruits of themselves suiFer from it — apples, pears, 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sentiunt, niala, pira, mespila, punica ; in oliva ancipiti 
eventu, quando sub cute innati ^ fructum adimunt, 
augent si in ipso nucleo fuere erodentes eum. gigni 
illos prohibent pluviae quae fiunt post Arcturum ; 
eaedem si austrinae fuere, generant druppis quoque, 

231 quae maturescentes tum sunt praecipuecaducae. id 
riguis magis evenit, etiamsi non cecidere fastidiendis. 
sunt et culicum genera aliquis molesta, ut glandibus, 
fico, qui videntur ex umore nasci tum dulci subdito 
corticibus ; et aegrotatio quidem fere in his est. 

232 Quaedam temporum causae aut locorum non proprie 
dicniilur niorbi (juoniam protinus necant, sicut tabes 
cum invasit arborem aut uredo vel flatus alicuius 
regionis proprius, ut est in Apulia atabulus, in Euboea 
Olympias ; hic cnim si flavit circa brumam, frigore 
exurit arcfaciens, ut nulHs postea sohbus recreari 
possint. hoc genere convalles et adposita fluminibus 

233 hnborant, praecipueque vitis, olea, ficus ; quod cum 
evenit,* detegitur statim in germinatione, in oHva 
tardius. sed in omnibus signum est revivescendi si 
foHa amisere ; aHoqui quas putes praevaluisse 
moriuntur. nonnumqum inarescunt foHa eademque 

^ Mayhoff : subeunti nati. * C. F. W. Mueiler : venit. 



• Probably ' honey-dew ' secreted by, not eateii by, aphides. 
l6o 



BOOK XVII. xxxvn. 230-233 

medlars and pomegranates ; but in the case of the 
oHve an attack of worm has a two-fold result, inas- 
much as if they breed under the skin they destroy 
the fruit, while if they have been in the actual stone, 
gnawing it away, they make the fruit larger. Rain 
following the rising of Arcturus prevents their 
breeding ; and also if this rain is accompanied by a 
south wind it breeds worms in half-ri])e oHves as well, 
which are then particularlv liable to fall off when 
ripening. This happens particularly with oHves in 
damp localities, making them very unattractive even 
if they do not drop otf. There is also a kind of gnat 
troublesome to some fruits, for instance acorns and 
figs, which appears to be bred froni the sweet juice" 
secreted underneath the bark at that season ; and 
indeed these trees are usually sickly. 

Some influences of seasons or localities cannot windbUght. 
properly be called diseases, since they caase instan- 
taneous death, for instance when a tree is attacked 
by wasting or blast, or by the effect of a special 
wind prevaiUng in a particuhir district, like the 
sirocco in Apulia or the Olympias wind in Euboea, 
which if it blows about midwinter shrivels up trees 
with dry cold so that no amount of subsequent sun- 
shine can revive them. This kind of blight infests 
narrow valleys and trees growing by rivers, and 
particularly vines, ohve and figs ; and when this has 
uccurred, it is at once detected at the budding season, 
though rather later in the case of ohves. But it is a 
sign of recovery in all of them if they lose their 
leaves ; failing that, the trees which one would 
suppose to have been strong enough to resist the 
attack die. Sometimes however the leaves dry on 
the tree and then come to hfe again. Otlier trees 

161 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

revive^cunt. alia in terris septentrionalibvis, ut Ponto, 
Thracia, frigore aut gelu laborant si post briunani 
continuavere xl diebus ; et ibi autem et in reliquis 
partibus, si protinus editis fructibus gelatio magna 
consecuta est, etiam paucis diebas necat. 

234 Quae iniuria hominum constant secundum vim ^ 
habent causas. pix, oleum, adeps inimica praecipue 
novellis. cortice in orbem detracto necantur, excepto 
subere, quod sic etiam iuvatur, crassescens enim 
praestringit et strangulat ; nec andrachle ofFenditur si 
non simul incidatur et corjius. alioqui et cerasus et 
tilia et vitis corticem amittunt,* sed non vitalem nec 
proximum corpori. verum eum qui subnascente alio 

23.5 expellitur. quarundam natura rimosus cortex, ut 
platanis. tiHae renascitur paulo niiniis quam totus. 
ergo his quarum cicatricem trahit medentur luto 
fimoque et aliquando prosunt, si non vehementior 
frigorum aut calorum vis secuta est ; quaedam tardias 
ita moriuntur, ut robora et quercus. refert et tempus 
anni ; abieti enim et pino si quis detraxerit sole 
taurum vel geminos transeunte, cum germinant, 
statim moriuntur, eandem iniuriam hieme passae 

236 diutius tolerant ; simiHter ilex et robur quercasque. 

' vim add. Dellefaen. * amittunt? Mayhoff: mittunt. 

" It would kil] the cork-tree likewise. 
' Arbutus Andrachne. 
162 



BOOK XVII. xx.v\ii. 233-235 

in the northern countries Uke the provincc of Pontus 
and Thrace sufFer from cold or frost if they go on for 
six weeks after midwinter without a break ; but both 
in that region and in the remaining parts of the 
world, a heavy frost coming immediately after the 
trees have produced their fruit kills them even in a 
few days. 

Kinds of damage due to injury done by man have Effects of 
effects proportionate to their violence. Pitch, oil ^^"^*fy ^^, 
and grease are particularly detriniental to young '""■*• 
trees. To strip off the bark all round trees kills 
them, except" in the case of the cork tree, which is 
actually benefited by this treatment, because the 
bark thickening stifles and suffocates the tree ; nor 
does it do anv harm to andrachne ** if care is taken not 
to cut into the body of the plant as well. Beside 
this, the clierry, the vine and the lime shed some 
bark, though not the layer next to the body which 
is essential to life, but the laver that is forced out- 
ward as another forms underneath it. The bark of 
some trees, for instance planes, is fissured by nature. 
That of the Hme after it is stripped grows again 
almost in its entirety. Consequently with trees the 
bark of which forms a scar, the scars are treated with 
mud and dung, and sometimes they do the tree good, 
if the stripping is not foUowed by a period of excep- 
tionally cold or hot weather. But some trees, for 
instance hai-d oaks and common oaks, die, but rather 
slowly, under tliis treatment. The time of year also 
matters ; for instance if a fir or a pine is stripped of 
its bark while the sun is passing through the Bull or 
tlie Twins, when they are budding, they die at once, 
whereas if they undergo the same injury in winter 
they endure it longer ; and simihirlv the holm oak, 

163 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

si anjTusta decorticatiu fuit, nihil nocet ut ^ supra dictis, 
infirmioribus quidem et in solo gracili vel ab una 
tantum parte detractus interemit. similem et deca- 
cuminatio rationem habet piceae, cedri, cupressi — 
hae enim detracto cacumine aut ignibus adusto 

237 intereunt — similem et depastio animaUum. oleam 
quidem etiam si lambat capra sterilescere auctor est 
Varro, ut diximus. quaedam hac iniuria moriuntur, 
aliqua deteriora tantuin fiunt, ut amygdahie — ex 
dulcibus enim transfigurantur in amaras, — aH(jua vero 
etiam utiliora, ut aput Chios pirus quam Phocida 

238 appellant. nam detruncatio diximus quibus prodesset, 
intereunt pleraque et fissa stirpe, exceptis vite, malo, 
fico, punicis, (juaedam vel ab ulcere tantum ; pinus - 
hanc iniuriam spernit et omnia quae resinam gignunt. 
radicibus amputatis mori minime mirum est ; plerae- 
que etiam ^ non omnibus sed maximis aut quae sunt 
intcr illas vitalcs abscisis moriuntur. 

239 Necant invicem inter sese umbra vel dcnsitate 
atque alimenti rapina ; necat et hedera vinciens, nec 
viscum prodest, et cytisus necat,* necantur ^ eo quod 
lialinion vocant Graeci. quorundam nalura non necat 
(luidem sed laedit odorum aut suci mixtura, ut 
raphanus et laurus vitem ; olfactatrix enim esse • 

* V.l. nocetur. 

^ Bodaeus : ficus. 
' Mai/hoff: tamen. 

* nccat ojld. ? Mai/lioff. 

'" Jiackhuvi (nccatur Hardouin) : nec aureo. 
" esse add. Rackhum. 

164 



BOOK XVII. xx.wii. 336-239 

the hard oak and the common oak. If only a narrow 
band of bark is removed, it causes no harm, as with 
the trees above mentioned, aUhough with weaker § 234. 
trees at all events and in a thin soil to reniove the 
bark even from only one part kills the tree. A 
siniilar efFect is also produced by lopping the top of a 
spruce, pricklv ccdar or cypress, for to remove the top 
or to scorch it with fire is fatal to these trees ; and 
the ctrect of being gnawn by animals is also similar. 
Indeed, according^ to Varro, as we have stated, an viir. 204, 

TV ^4 

oUve goes barren if merelv Ucked by a she-goat. ' ' 
Certain trees die of this injury, but some only de- 
teriorate, for instance almonds, the fruit of which is 
changed from sw^eet to bitter, but others are actuaUy 
improved, for instance the pear caUed the Phocian 
pear in Chios. For we have mentioned trees that xiii. 36. 
are actuaUy benefited by having the top lopped ofF. 
Most trees die also when the trunk is spUt, excepting 
the vine, apple, fig and pomegranates, and some 
merely from a wound, though the pine and aU the 
resinous trees despise this injury. For a tree to die 
when its roots are cut oif is not at aU surprising; 
most trees die even when deprived not of aU their 
roots but of the largest ones or those among them 
that are essential to Ufe. 

Trees kiU one another by their shade or the thick- Damcu^e by 
ness of their foliage and by robbing each other (^^"anJbyZtheT 
nutriment ; they are also kiUed by ivy binding them pianta. 
round, and mistletoe does them no good, and cytisus 
kiU'; them, and thev are kiUed by the plant caUed 
halimon by the Greeks. The nature of some plants 
though not actuaUy deadly is injurious owing to its 
blend of scents or of juice — for instance the radish 
and the laurel are harmful to the vine ; for the vine 

165 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

intellegitur et tingui odore miruni in iiioduin, ideo, 
cum iuxta sit, averti et recedere saporemque inimicuni 

240 fugere. hinc sumpsit Androcvdes medicinam contra 
ebrietates,raphanum mandi praecipiens. odit et cau- 
lem et olus omne, odit et corylum, ni procul absint, 
tristis atque aegra ; nitrum quidem et alumen, marina 
aqua calida et fabae putamina vel ervi viti ^ ultima 
venena sunt. 

241 XXX\ III. Inter vitia arborum est et prodigiis 
locus. invenimus ficos suh fohis natas, vitem et 
malum punicam stiq^e fructum tulisse, non palmite 
aut ramis, vitem uvas sine foHis, oleas quoque amisisse 
foHa bacis haerentibus. sunt et ^ miracula fortuita : 
nam et oHva in totum ambusta revixit, et in Boeotia 

242 derosae locust is fici regerminavere. mutantur arbores 
et colore fiuntque ex nigris candidae, non semper 
prodigio, sed eae maxime quae ex semine nascuntur; 
et populas alba in nigram transit. quidam et sorbum 
si in caHdiora loca venerit sterilescere putant. prodigio 
autem fiunt ex dulcibus acerba poma aut dulcia ex 
acerbis, e caprifico fici aut contra, gravi ostento cum 
in deteriora mutantur, ex olea in oleastrum, ex 



* viti aM. Sackham. 
' et «</'/. e'/'/. 



i66 



BOOK XVII. xxAvii. 239-xAxviii. 242 

can be inferred to possess a sense of smell, and to be 
affected by odours in a marvellous degree, and con- 
sequently when an evil-smelling plant is near it to 
turn away and withdraw, and to avoid an unfriendly 
tang. This supphed Androcydes with an antidote 
against intoxication, for which he recommended chew- 
ing a radish. The vine also abhors cabbage and all 
sorts of garden vegetables, as well as hazel, and these 
unless a long way off make it aiUng and sickly ; 
indeed nitre and alum and warm sea-water and the 
pods of beans or bitter vetch are to a vine the dircst 
poisons. 

XXXVni. Among the maladies of trees it is in rortentous 
place to speak also of prodigies. We find that figs f;i~"'^ 
have grown underneath the leaves of the tree, a 
vine and a pomegranate have borne fruit on their 
trunk, not on a shoot or a branch, a vine has borne 
grapes without having any leaves, and also olives 
have lost their leaves while the fruit remained on the 
tree. There are also marvels connected with acci- 
dent : an olive has come to Hfe again after being 
completely burnt up, also tig-trees in Boeotia gnawed 
down by locusts have budded afresh. Trees also 
change their colour and turn from black to white, 
not always with portentous meaning, but chiefly those 
that grow from seed ; and the white poplar turns 
into a black jjoplar. Some people also think that the 
ser\ice-tree goes barren if transplanted to warmer 
locaUties. But it is a portent when sour fruits grow 
on sweet fruit-trees and sweet on sour, and figs on a 
wild fig-tree or the contrary, and it is a serious mani- 
festation when trees turn into other trees of an 
inferior kind, from an oUve into a wild oUve or from 
a white grape or green fig into a black grape or a 

167 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

candkla uva et fico in ni<i:ras, aiit ut Laodiciae Xerxis 

243 adventu platano in oleani nmtata. qualibus ostentis 
Aristaiidri apud Graecos volumen scatet, ne in 
infinituni abcanius, apud nos vero C. Kpidii conimen- 
tarii, in quibus arbores locutae quoque reperiuntur. 
subsedit in Cumano arbor gravi ostento paulo ante 
Pompei Magni bella civilia paucis ramis emiiiontibus ; 
inventum Sibyllinis libris intcrnicionem hominum forc, 
tantoquc eam maiorem quanto propius ab urbe 
portentum factum ^ esset. 

244 Sunt prodigia et cum alienis locis enascuntur, ut in 
capitibas statuarum vel aris, et cum in arboribus ipsis 
alicnae. ficas in lauro nata est Cyzici ante obsidio- 
nem ; simili modo Trallibus palma in basi Caesaris 
dictatoris circa bella civilia eius. nec non et Romae 
in Capitolio in ara lovis^ bello Persei enata palma 
victoriam triumphosque portendit ; hac tempestati- 
bus prostrata eodem loco ficus enata est M. Messalae 
C. Cassii censorum lustro, a quo tempore pudicitiam 

245 subvcrsam Piso gravis auctor prodidit. supcr onmia 
quae umquam audita sunt erit prodigium in nostro 
aevo Neronis principis ruina factum in agro Marru- 
cino, Vettii Marcelli e primis equestris ordinis oHveto 

' Rackham : urbe postea facta. 

* in ara lovis cd. Vat. Lat. 3801, m. 2: in capita bis rell.: 
in capite lovis quidam apud Dalec. 

' Presumably noisy flocks of starliiif^s roosting in trees 
produced this impression, as they do even in London now. 
» Bv Mithridates, 75 B.c. 
' 171-168 B.c. 
-* 154 B.c. 

i68 



BOOK X\'II. xx.wiii. 242-245 

black fig, or as when a plane-tree at Laodicea changed 
into an olive on tlie arrival of Xerxes. Not to launch 
out into an absolutelv boundloss subject, the volume 
by Aristander teems with portents of this nature 
in Greece, as do the Notes of Gaius Epidius in our 
own country, including cases of trees that talked." 
An alarming portent occurred a httle before the 
civil wars of Pompey the Great, when a tree in the 
territory of Cumae sank into the ground leaving a 
few branches projecting ; and a statement was found 
in the SibvlUne Books that this portended a slaughter 
of human beings, and that the nearer to the city 
the portent had occurred the greater the slaughter 
would be. 

Another class of portent is when trees grow in the 
wrong places, as on the heads of statues or on altars, 
and when different kinds of trees grow on trees 
themselves. At Cyzicus bcfore the siege * a fig-tree 
grew on a laurel ; and similarly at Trallcs about the 
time of Caesar's civil wars a palm grew up on the 
pedestal of the dictator's statue. Moreover at Rome 
during the war with Perseus "^ a palm-tree grew up on 
the altar of Jove on the Capitol, portending victory 
and triumphal processions ; and after this tree had 
been brought down by storms, a fig-tree sprang up in 
the same p]acc,this occurring during the censorship ^' 
of Marcus Messala and Gaius Cassius, a period which 
according to so wcighty an authority as Piso dates 
the overthrow of the sense of honour. A portent 
that will eclipse all those ever heard of occurred in 
our own day in the territory of the Marrucini, at the 
fall of the emperor Nero : an oHve grove belonging 
to a leading member of the equestrian order named 
V^ettius Marcellus bodily crossed the public highway, 

169 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

universo viam publicam transgresso arvisque inde e 
contrario in locum oliveti profectis. 

246 XXXIX. Nune expositis arborum morbis con- 
sentaneum est dicere et remedia. ex his quaedam 
sunt communia omnium, quaedam pn>]>ria (juarun- 
dam. communia ablaqueatio, adcumulatio, adflari 
radiccs aut cooperiri, riguus ^ dato potu vel ablato, 
fimuni suco refectis, putatio levatis onere, itcm suco 
emisso (juaedam veluti dctractio sanguinis, circum- 
rasio corticis, vitium extenuatio et domitura palmi- 
tum, gemmarum, si frigus retorridas hirtasque fecerit, 

247 repumicatio et quaedam politura. arborum his aliae 
magis aliae minas gaudent, veluti cuprcssus et aquam 
aspernatur ct fimum et circumfossuram amputatio- 
nemque et oninia remedia odit, (}uin etiam necatur 
riguis, vitis et punicae praecipue aluntur. ficus 
arbor ipsa riguis alitur, pomum vero eius marccscit. 

248 amygdahie si colantur fnssione florem amittunt. nec 
insitas circumfodcre oportet prius(]uam validae ferre 
coeperint poma. plurimae autem amputari sibi 
volunt onerosa ac supervacua, sicut nos ungues et 
capillurn. reciduntur veteres totae ac rursus a 
stolonc aH^juo resurgunt, sed non omnes, nec nisi 
quariun naturam pati diximus. 

' lan coll. § 250 : rignap. 



BOOK XVII. xxxviii. 245-x\xi.\. 248 

and the ci'ops growing on the other side passed over 
in the opposite direction to take the place of the 
olive grove. 

XXXIX. Now that we have set out the diseases Rnnedu» for 
of trees it is suitable also to state the remedies for treesf^' 
them. Some of these are common to all trees and MsUkesof 
some peciiliar to some of them. Remedies common 
to all are loosening the soil, banking it up, admitting 
air to the roots or covering them up, making a 
channel to give them water or to drain it away, 
dung refreshing them with its juice, pruning to 
relieve them of weight, also letting out the sap Uke 
a surgical blood-letting, scraping a ring of bark, 
stretching out the vine-sprays andchecking the shoots, 
trimming off and as it were polishing up the buds if 
they have been shrivelled and roughened by cold 
weather. Some trees Hke these treatments more 
and others less, for example the cypress scorns both 
water and dung and hates being dug round and 
pruned and all kinds of nursing, in fact irrigation 
kills it, whereas it is exceptionally nourishing for 
vines and pomegranates. In the case of the fig 
irrigation nourishes the tree itself but makes the 
fruit decay. Almond-trees lose their blossom if the 
ground round them is made clean by being dug 
over. Also trces that have been grafted must not 
be dug round before they are strong and begin 
to bear fruit. Most trees however want to have 
their burdensome and superfluous growth pruned 
away, just as we have our nails and hair cut. Old 
trees are cut down entirely and spring up again 
from some sucker, but thcy will not all do this but 
only those whose nature we have stated to allow x;vi. 123, 
or ir. 241. 

171 



PLIXY: NATURAL HISTORY 

249 XL. Rigua aestivis vaporibus utilia, hieme inimica, 
autumno varie et e nat\ira soli, quippe ciun vindemiator 
Hispuninrum stagnante solo uvas demetat, cetero 
maiore in parte orbis etiam pluvias autumni aquas 
derivare conveniat.^ circa canis ortum rigua maxime 
prosunt, ac ne tum quidem nimia, quoniam inebriatis 
radicibus nocent. et aetas modum temperat ; 
novellae enim minus sitiunt. desiderant auteni 
maxime rigari quae adsuevere, contra siccis locis 
genita non expetunt umorem nisi necessarium. 

250 XLI. Asperiora vina rigari utique cupiunt in 
Sulnionense Italiae agro, pago Fabiano, ubi et arva 
rigant ; mirumque, hcrbae aqua illa necnntur, fruges 
aluntur et riguus pro sarculo est. in eodem agro 
bruma, tanto magis si nives iaceant geletve, ne frigus 
vites adurat, circumfundunt riguis, quod ibi tepidare 
vocant, memorabili natura in amne solis, eodem 
aestate vix tolerandi rigoris. 

251 XLII. Carbunculi nc robiginum remedia demon- 
strabimus voluniine proximo. interim est et scari- 
phatio quacdam in remediis, cum macie corticis ex 
aegritudine adstringente se iustoque plus vitalia 

^ Rackham : convenit. 

* Sagrus, now the Sangro. 
172 



BOOK X\'II. xL. 24C)-.\Lii. 251 

XL. Irrigation is good for trees in the heat of imgatwn 0/ 
snmmer but bad for them in winter ; in the autumn "'^"* 
its effect varies and depends on the nature of the 
soil, inasmuch as in the Spanish provinces the vin- 
tager picks the grapcs when the ground is imder 
water, whereas in thc greater part of the world it 
pays to drain off the rain water even in autumn. 
Irriffation is most beneficial about tlie risinjj of the 
Dogstar, and even then not too much of it, because 
it hurts the roots when they are soaked to the 
point of intoxication. The age of the tree also 
controls the due amount ; young sapHngs are not 
so thirsty. But those that require most watering 
are those that have been used to it, whereas those 
which have sprung up in dry places only need a 
bare minimimi of moistiu"e. 

XLI. The harsher vines need to be watered, at all 
events in the Fabii district of the territory of Sulmo 
in Italy, where they irrigate even the plough-land; 
and it is a remarkable fact that in that partof the coun- 
try water kills herbaceous plants but nourishes corn, 
and irrigation takes the place of a hoe for weeding. 
In the same district they irrigate the land round the 
vines at midwinter to prevent their suffering from 
cold, the more so if snow is hing or there is a frost ; 
this process is there called ' warming ' the vines, 
owing to the remarkable influence of the sun on the 
river," which in sumrner is ahiiost unbearably cold. 

XLII. We sliall point out the remedies for fflowini;- xviir. 
coal-bhght and mildew in the next Book. In the ' 
meantime the Ust of remedies includes a sort of Scarificaiim 
scarification. The bark when rendcred meagre by ""meUtsjor 
disease shrinks up and exerts an undue amount of ""««• 
compression on the vital parts of the tree ; for this 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

arboruin conprimente exacutani ^ falcis aciem utraque 
manu inprimentes perpetuis incisuris deducunt ac 
veluti cutem laxant. salutare id fuisse arguniento 
sunt dilatatae cicatrices et internato corj^ore expletae ; 

252 XLIII. magnaque ex parte similis hominum medicina 
et arborum est, quando earum quoque terebrantur 
ossa. amygdalae ex amaris dulces fiunt si circumfosso 
stipite et ab ima parte circmiiforato defluens pituita 
abstergeatur. et ulmis detrahitur sucus inutilis supra 
terram foratis usque ad medullam, in senecta aut cum 

253 alimentonimioabundare sentiuntur. idem et ficorum 
turgido cortice incisuris in oblicum levibus emittiturt 
ita fit nc dccidant fructus. pomiferis cjuae germinant 
nec ferunt fructum fissa i adice inditur la])is fertilesque 
fiunt, hoc idem in amygdalis e robore cuneo adacto, 
in piris sorbisque e taeda, ac cinere et terra cooperto. 

254 etiam radices circumcidisse prodest vitium luxurian- 
tium ficorumque et circumcisis cinerem addidisse. 
fici serotinae fiunt si primae grossi cum fabae magni- 
tudinem excessere detrahantur; subnascuntur enim 
quae serius maturescunt. eaedem cum ^ frondere 
incipiunt si cacumina rami cuiusque detrahantur 

* Urlichs : exactam. 
^ cum add. edd. 



" The comparison is with the operation for removinp 
carious bone in nian. 

174 



BOOK XMI. xLii. 251-XL111. 254 

the vine-dressers holding a pruning knife with a very 
sharp edge in both hands press it into the trunk and 
make long incisions do\vmvards,and as it were loosen 
its skin. It proves that this treatment has been 
beneficial if the scars Avidcn out and fill up with new 
wood growing between their edges ; XLIII. and to 
a large extent the medical treatment of trees re- 
sembles that of human beings, as the bones of trees 
also are treated by j^erforation." Bitter almonds are 
made into sweet ones if the stem of the tree has the 
earth dug away round it and a ring of holes pierced 
in it at the bottom, and then the gum exuding is 
wipcd off. Also elms can be reUeved of useless sap 
by having holes picrced in them above the level of the 
earth right into the cambium when they are getting 
old, or when they are observed to be receiving exces- 
sive nourishmcnt. The sap is also discharged from 
the bark of figs when swollen by means of light cuts 
made on a slant ; this treatment prevents the fruit 
from falling off. Fruit-trees that make buds but pro- 
duce no fruit are treated by making a cleft in the 
root and inserting a stone in it, and this makes them 
bear ; and the same result is produced in almonds by 
driving in a wedge of hard oak, and in pears and 
service-berries by means of a wedge of stone pine, 
and covering up the hole with ashes and earth. It 
also pays to cut round the roots of vines and figs 
when over-luxuriant and to put ashes on the cut 
parts. Late figs are produced if those of the first 
crop are picked off the tree still unripe, when they 
are a httle largcr than a bean, as a sccond crop 
grows which ripens later. Also fig-trees are made 
stronger and more productive if the tips of all the 
branches are docked when they begin to make 

175 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

firmiores fertilioresque fiunt. nam caprificatio ma- 
turat. 

255 XLI\'. In ea culices nasci e grossis manifestum, 
quoniam cum evolavere non inveniuntur intus grana. 
quae in eos versa apparet ; exeundi tanta est aviditas 
ut plerique aut pede relicto aut pinnae parte erum- 
pant. est et aliud «renus culicum quos vocant 
centrinas, fucis apium similes ignavia malitiaque cimi 
pernicie verorum et utilium ; interemunt enim illos 

256 atque ipsi commoriuntur. vexant et tineae semina 
ficorum, contra quas remedium in eadem scrobe 
defodere taleam lentisci inversa parte quae fucrit a 
cacumine. uberrimas autem ficus rubrica amurca 
diluta et cum fimo infusa radicibus frondere incipi- 
entium facit. caprificorum laudantur maxime nigrac 
et in petrosis, quoniam frumenta plurima habeant, 
caprificatio ipsa post imbrcm. 

257 XLV. In primis autem cavendum ne ex remediis 
vitia fiant, quod evenit nimia aut intempestiva 
medicina. interlucatio arboribus prodest, sed om- 
nium annorum trucidatio iimtilissima. vitis tantuin 
tonsuram annuam quacrit, alternam vero myrtus, 
punicae, oleae, quia celeriter fruticescunt. ceterae 

J76 



BOOK XVII. xun. 254-xLv. 257 

toliage. The object of the proeess that employs xv. si. 
the gall-insect from the wild fig is to ripen the fruit. 

XLn'. In the gall-insect process it is clear that insects in- 
the unripe figs give birth to gnats, since when these " *' 
have flown away the fruit is found not to contain any 
seeds, which have obviouslv turned into the gnats ; 
these are so eager to escape that niost of them leave 
a foot or part of a wing behind them in forcing iheir 
way out. There is also another kind of gnat with a 
Greek name meaning ' sting-fly ' ; these resemble 
drone bees in their sloth and malice, and also in 
kilHng the genuine and serviceable insects ; for the 
sting-flies kill the real gnats and themselves die with 
them. The seeds of figs are also infested by moths, 
a remedy against them being to bury a shp of mastich 
upside down in the same hole. But the way to make 
fig-trees bear very large crops is to diUite red carth 
with the lees from an oHve-press, mix dung with it, 
and poiir the mixture on t\\v. roots of the trees when 
they are bcginning to make leaves. Of w ild figs the 
bhick ones and those growing in rocky places are the 
most highly spoken of, because thev contain the 
largest number of grains ; the best times for the 
actual process of transference of the gall-insect from 
the wild fig is said to be just after rain has fallen. 

XL\'. But it is of the first importance to avoid Over-prun- 
allowing our remedies to produce other defects, "'^' 
which results from using remedial processes to excess 
or at the wrf)ng time. To prune away branches is 
beneficial for trees, but to slaughter them every year 
without rcspite is extremely unprofitable. A vine 
only requires a yearly trimming, but myrtles, pome- 
granates and oHves one every other year, because 
tluv producc shoots with great rapidity. All other 

177 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

rarius tondeantur.^ nulla autuinno; ac ne radantur 
quideni nisi vere. putatio ne plaga sit^; vitalia sunt 
omnia (|uaecumque non supervacua. 

258 XLVI. Similis fimi ratio."' gaudent eo, sed caven- 
dum ne in fervore solis admoveatur, ne inmaturum. ne 
validius quam opus sit. urit vineas suillum nisi quin- 
qucnnio interposito, praeterquam si riguis diluatur; 
et a coriariorum sordibus nisi admixta aqua, item 
largius : iustum existlmant in denos pedes quadratos 
tres modios. id quidem soli natura decernet. 

25!) XLVII. Columbino ac suillo plagis quoque arborum 
medentur. si mala punica acida nascantur. abla- 
queatis radicil)us fimuni suillum addi iubent ; eo anno 
vinolenta, proximo dulcia futura. alii urina hominis 
aqua mixta riganda censent quater anno, singulis 
amphoris, aut cacumina spargi vino hasere diluto, si 
findantur in arbore, pediculum intorqueri, ficis utique 
amurcam adfundi, eeteris arboribus aegris faecem 

2fi0 vini, aut lupinum circum radices earum seri. aqua 
quoque hipini decocti circumfusa pomis prodest. 
fici cum Volcanahbus tonuit cadunt ; remedium 
est ut ante stipuhi hordeacea areae stringantur. 

* Mayhoff: tondentur. 

* sit add. Dellefsen (fiat cavendum ? add. MayhoJJ). 

* Gelenius : similis firmatio. 

• August 23. 
178 



BOOK XVII. xLv. 257-.\Lvii. 260 

trees should be trimmed less frequently, and none in 
autumn ; and they must not even have their trunks 
scraped except in spring. Pruning must not be 
assault and batterv : every part of the tree that is 
not actually superfluous is conducive to its vitality. 

XLVI. A similar method belongs to dung. carein 
Trees deHght in it, but care must be taken not to "'""""«i'- 
apply it while the sun is hot, or while it is too fresli, 
or stronger than is necessary. Swine dung burns the 
vines unless used at intervals of five years, except if 
it is dihited by being drenched with water ; and so will 
manure made from tanners' refuse unless water is 
mixed with it, and also if it is used too plentifully : 
the proper amount is considered to be three modii 
for every ten square feet. Anyhow that will be 
decided by the nature of the soil. 

XLVII. Pigeon and swine manure are also used ManuHng 
for dressing wounds in trees. If pomegranates pro- a!,[iuTUte. 
duce sour fruit, it is advised to dig round the roots and 
apply swine's dung ; then in that year the fruit will 
have a flavour of wine, but next year it will be sweet. 
Others are of opinion that pomegranates should be 
watered four times a year with human urine mixed 
with water, an amphoru to each tree, or that the ends 
of the branches should be spriiikled with silpliium 
diluted with wine ; and that if the fruit spUts on the 
tree, its stalk should be twisted ; and that figs in any 
case should have dregs of olivc oil poured on them, 
and other trees when ailing wine-lees, or else lupines 
should be sown round their roots. It is also good 
for the fruit to pour round the tree water in which 
lupines have been boiled. Figs are liable to fall oflp 
when it thunders at the Feast of Vulcan" ; a remedy 
is to have the ground round the trees covered with 

179 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cerasos praecoces tacit cogitque maturescere calx 
admota radicibus ; et haec auteni ut ' oniiiia poma 
intervelli melius est ut quae relicta sint grandescant. 

261 Quacdam poena emendantur aut morsu excitantur, 
ut palmae ac lentisci ; salsis enim aquis aluntur. 
salis vim et cineres sed leniorem habent, ideo ficis 
adsperguntur rutaeque,- nc flant verminosae neve 
radices putrescant. quin et vitium radicibus aquam 
salsam iubent adfundi si sint lacrimosae, si vero fructus 
earum decidant, cinerem aceto conspergi ipsasque 
inlini, aut sandaraca si putrescat uva, si vero fertiles 
non sint, aceto acri subacto cinere rigari atcjue oblini ; 

2G2 quod si fructum non maturent prius inarcscentem, 
praecisarum ad radices plagam fibrasque aceto acri et 
urina vetusta madefacere atque eo luto obrucre, 
saepe fodere. olearum, si parum promiscre fructus, 
nudatas radices hiberno frigori opponunt eaque 
castigatione proficiunt. omnia haec annua caeh 
ratione constant et aHquando serius poscuntur, 
ahquando celerius. nec non ignis aliquis prodest, ut 
harundini ; ambusta namque densior mitiorque 

26:$ resurgit.^ Cato et medicamenta quaedam conponit, 
mensurae quoque distinctione, ad maiorum arborum 
radices ainj)horam, ad minorum urnam, amurcae et 

* ut {an et ?) add. Mayhoff. 

* Dnlec. : nitaqiie. 

» resurgit? coU. § 248, XVI. 163 Mayhnff : Hurgit. 

i8o 



BOOK XVII. xLvii. 260-263 

barley straw in advance. Cherries are brought on 
and made to ripen by applying lime to the roots ; 
but with cherries also, as with all fruit, it is better 
to thiii the crop, in ordcr to make the fruit left on 
grow bigger. 

Some trces are improved by severe treatment or Medidnal 
stimulated by a pungent application — for 'm9,\ax\ce'l^neTand 
the palm and the mastich, which get nutriment "'^**- 
from salt water. Ashes also have the effect of 
salt, but it acts more gently ; consequently they 
are sprinkled on figs and on rue, to prevent their 
getting maggotty or rotting at the roots. It is also 
advised to pour salt water on the roots of vines if they 
are too full of moisture, but if their fruit falls ofF, to 
sprinkle ashes with vinegar and smear them on the 
vines themselves, or ashes with sandarach if the 
grapes rot ; but if the vines do not bear, to sprinkle 
and smear them Avith ashes mixed with strong vine- 
gar ; and if they do not ripen their fruit but let it dry 
up first, the vines should be lopped down to the roots 
and the wound and fibres of the wood drenched with 
strong vinegar and stale urine and covered up with 
the mud so produccd, and repeatcdly dug round. 
If olives give too httle promise of fruit, growci^s bare 
their roots and expose them to the winter cold, and 
the trees profit by this drastic treatment. All these 
methods depend on the state of the weather in each 
year and sometimes are required later and some- 
times more speedily. Also fire is beneficial for some 
plants, for instance recds, which when burnt ofFgrow 
up again thicker and more pliable. Cato moreover xciri- 
gives prescriptions for certain medicaments, also ^^^- 
specifying quantitv — for the roots of the bigger trees 
an amphora, for those of the smaller ones half that 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aquae portione aequa, ablaqueatis prius radicibus 
paulatim adfundi iubens, in olea hoc amplius stra- 
mentis ante circumpositis, item fico ; huius praecipue 
vere terram adaggerari radicibus, ita futurum ut non 
decidant grossi maiorque fecunditas nee scabra 

264 provcniat. siniili modo ne convolvolus fiat in vinea 
amurcae congios dun»^ decocpii in crassitudinem mellis, 
rursusque cum bituminis tertia parte et sulpuris 
quarta sub diu coqui, quoniam exardescat sub tecto; 
hoc vites circa capita ac sub bracchiis ungui : ita non 
fore convolvolum. quidam contenti sunt fumo huius 
mixturae sufl^re vineas secundo flatu continuo triduo. 

265 plerique non minus auxilii et alimenti arbitrantur in 
urina quam Cato in amurca, addita modo pari aquae 
pnrtif)ne, quoniam per se noceat.^ aHqui vohicre 
appellant animal praerodens pubescentes uvas ; quod 
ne accidat, falces cum sint exacutae fibrina pelle 
detergent atque ita putant, aut sanguinc ursino linunt 
pnst putatinnem easdem. sunt arborum pestes et 

266 formicae ; has abigunt rubrica ac pice liquida perunctis 
caudicibus, nec non et pisce sitspenso iuxta in unum 
locum congregant, aut lupino trito cum oleo radices 



' pleriqne . . . nooeat transjuinf nda in § 262 poat saepe 
fodere ? Wnrminqtnn. 



BOOK XVII. XLVH. 263-266 

measure of olive-lees and water in equal amounts, and 
his instructions are first to dig round the roots and 
then to pour the Uquid on them gradually. In the 
case of an olive it sliould be used more copiously, 
straw having first been put round the stem, and the 
same with a fig ; with a fig, especially in spring, earth 
should be heaped up round the i'oots, and this will 
ensure that the unripc fruit will not fall ofFand the tree 
will bear a larger crop and will not develop roughness 
of the bark. In a similar manner to prevent a vine 
from breeding leaf-roUing caterpillar he advises boiling 
down two gallons of lees of oli\ e-oil to the thick- 
ness of honey, and boiUng it again mixed with a third 
part of bitumen and a fourth part of sulphur, this 
second boiUng being done in the open air. because 
the mixture may catch fire indoors ; and he says 
this preparation is to be smeared round the bases 
and under the arms of the vines, and that will prevent 
caterpillar. Some growcrs are content with sub- 
mitting the vines for thrce days on end to the smoke 
from this concoction boiled to the windward of them. 
Most people think there is as much food value for 
the plants in urinc as Cato assigns to wine-lees, 
provided it is mixed with an equal (juantity of water, 
because it is injurious if used by itself. Some give 
the name of the ' fly ' to a creature that gnaws away 
the young grapes ; to prevent tliis they wipe the 
pruning-knives on a beaver skin after they have been 
sharpened and then use them for pruning, or smear 
them with bear's blood after pruning. Ants also are 
pests to trees ; these are kept away by smearing 
the trunks with a mixture of red earth and tar, and 
also people get the ants to coUect in one place by 
hanging up a fish close by, or thoy smear the roots 

183 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

linunt. multi et has et talpas amurca necant, 
- contraque urucas et mala putrescontia ^ lacerti viridis 
felle tangi cacumina iubent, privatim autem contra 
urucas ambiri arbores singulas a muliere initiante 
267 menses, nudis pedibus, recincta. item ne quod 
animal pastu malefico decerpat frondem, fimo boum 
diluto spargi folia quotiens iml)er interveniat, 
quoniam oblinatur ita virus medicaminis, mira 
quaedam excogitante soUertia humana, quippe cum 
averti grandines carmine credant plerique, cuius verba 
inserere non equidem serio ausim, quamquam a 
Catone proditis ctmtra luxata menibra iungenda 
harundinum fissurae. idem arbores rohgiosas hicos- 
que succidi permisit sacrificio prius facto, cuius 
rationem precationemque eodem volumine tradidit. 

' putrescentia ? MarjhoJJ : putrescant (mala ne putrcscaiit 
tdd.). 



Z84 



BOOK XVII. xi.vii. 266-267 

of the tree with lupin pounded with oil. Many 

people kill ants and also moles with the dregs of 

oHve oil, and to protect the tops of the trees against 

caterpillars and pests productive of decay they advise 

toucliing them with the gall of a green Uzard, but 

as a protection against caterpiHars in particuhir they 

say that a woman just beginning her monthly 

courses should walk round each of the trees with 

bare feet and her girdle undone. Also to prevent 

any creature from injuring the foHage by noxious 

nibbling they recommend sprinkHng the leaves with 

cow-dung mixed with water every time there is a 

show er of rain, as the rain smears the poison of the 

mixture over the tree : so remarkable are some of 

the devices invented by human skill, inasmuch as 

most people beUeve that hailstorms can be averted 

by means of a charm, the words of which I would 

not for my own part venture seriously to introduce 

into my book, althouoh Cato has pubHshed the words clx, 

GKXXI2 
of a charm for sprained Hmbs which have to be 

bandaged to reed splints. The same author has 

allowed the fehing of consecrated trees and groves 

after a preHminary sacrifice has been performed, the 

ritual of which and the accompanying prayer he has 

reported in the same volume. 



185 



BOOK XVIIl 



LIRER XVIII 

1 I. Sequitur natura trugiini hortorumque ac florum 
(juaequc alia praeter arbores aut frutices benigna 
tellure proveniunt, vel per se tantum herbarum 
inmensa eontemplatione, si quis aestimet varietatem, 
numerum. flores, odores coloresque et sucos ac vires 
eariim cjuas salutis aut voluptatis hominum gratia 
gignit. qua in parte primum omnium patrocinari 
terrae et adesse cunctorum parenti iuvat, quam- 

2 quam inter initia operis defensae. quoniam tameii 
ipsa materia accedimus ' ad reputationem eius- 
dem parientis et noxia, nostris eam criminibus 
urguemus nostramque culpam ilh inputamus. genuit 
venena, set quis invenit illa praeter hominem ? cavere 
ac refugere alitibus ferisque satis est. atque cum 
arbore exacuant Mmentque cornua elephanti et uri, 
saxo rhinocerotes, utroque apri dentium sicas, 
sciantque ad nocendum praeparare se animaUa, quod 
tamen eorum excepto homine et tela sua venenis 

3 tinguit ? nos et sagittas unguimus ac ferro ipsi nocen- 

* Mayhoff (inducti accedimus ? Rackham) : accedit intus. 
i88 



BOOK XVIII 



I. OcR next subject is the nature of the various cereaia>rri 
kinds of grain and of gardens and flowers and the '^i^a'r'ilcl 
other products of Earth's bounty beside trees or bonntenus 
shrubs, the study of herbaceous plants being itself of wan'" aluw 
boundless scope, if one considers the variety and "f'^- 
nuniber, the blossoms, scents and colours, and the 
juices and properties of the plants that she engenders 
for the health or the gratification of men. And in this 
section it is our pleasant duty first of all to champion 
Earth's caase and to support her as the parent of all 
things, although we have ah-eady plcaded her defence 
in the opcning part of this treatise. Nevertheless, ii. 164 a. 
now that our subject itself brings us to consider her 
also as the producer of noxious objects, they are 
our own crimes with which we charge her and our 
own faults which we impute to her. She has 
engendered poisons — but who discovered them 
except man ? Birds and beasts are content merely 
to avoid them and keep away from them. And 
although the elephant and the ure-ox sharpen and 
whet their horns on a tree and the rhinoceros on a 
rock, and boars point the poniards of their tusks 
upon both trees and rocks, and even animals know 
how to prepare themselves for inflicting injury, yet 
which of them excepting man also dips its weapons 
in poison ? A«! fnr us, we even poison our arrows 

189 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tius aliquid damus, nos et flumina inficimus et rerum 
naturae elementa, ipsumque quo vivitur in perniciem 
vertimus. neque est ut putemus ignorari ea ab 
animalibus ; quae praeparent enim ^ contra serpen- 
tium dimicationes, quae post proelium ad medendum 
excogitarint, indicavimus. nec ab uUo praeter 

4 hominem veneno pugnatur alieno. fateamur ergo 
culpam ne iis quidem quae nascuntur contenti ; 
etenim quanto ^ plura eorum genera humana manu 
fiunt ! quid ? non et hominis quidem vi ^ venena nas- 
cuntur? atra ceu ser{)entiuni lingua vibrat tabesque 
animi contacta adurit culpantium omnia ac dirarum 
alitimi modo tenebris quoque suis et ipsarum noctium 
quieti invideiitium gemitu, quae sola vox eorum est, 
ut inauspicatarum animantium vice obvii quoque 

5 vetent agere aut prodesse vitae. nec ullum aliud 
abominati spiritus praemium novere quam odisse 
omnia. verum et in hoc eadem naturae maiestas: 
quanto plures bonos genuit ut fruges ! quanto 
fertiHor in his quae iuvent alantque ! (juorum aesti- 
matione et gaudio nos quoque reHctis cxustioni suae 
istis hominum rubis pergemus excolere vitam, eoque 
constantius quo operae nobis maior quam famae 
gratia expetitur. quippe sermo circa rura est 

' enim add. Dellefsen. 
' Huel : quando. 
* Detlejsen. : ut. 

• J.e. the air. 
190 



BOOK XVIII. I. 3-5 

and add to the destructive properties of iron itself ; 
we dye even the rivers and the elemental substances 
of Nature, and turn the very means " of Ufe into a 
bane. Nor is it possible for us to suppose that 
animals do not know of these things ; for we liave viii. 
indicated the prcparations that they make to guard '"'^ ^^ 
against encounters with serpents and thc remedies 
that they have dcvised to cmploy after the battle. 
Nor does any creature save man fight with poison 
borrowed from another. Let us therefore confess 
our guilt, we who are not content even with natural 
products, inasmuch as how far more numerous 
are the varieties of them made by the human 
hand ! Why, are not even poisons actually the 
product of man's violence ? Their hvid tongue 
flickers hke the serpent's, and the corruption of their 
mind scorches the things it touches, mahgning all 
things as they do and Uke birds of evil omen violating 
even the darkness that is their own element and the 
quiet of the night itself with their groaning, the only 
sound they utter, so that Uke animals of evil omen 
whcn they even cross our path they forbid us to act 
or to be of scrvice to Hfe. And they know no other 
reward for their abhorred vitahty than to hate all 
things. But in this matter also Nature's grandeur 
is the same : how many more good men has she 
engendered as her harvest ! How much more fertile 
is she in products that give aid and nourishment ! 
We too then will continue to enrich hfe w ith the value 
we set on these things and the delight thcy give us, 
leaving those bramblcs of the human race to the 
consuming fire that is theirs, and all the more 
resohitely becnuse we achicve greater gratification 
from indu^trv than we do from renown. The subjcct 

191 



PLINV: NATURAL lllSIOin" 

agrestesque usus, sed quibus vita constet honosque 
apud priscos maximus fuerit. 
tt IL Arvorum sacerdotes Romulus in primis instituit 
seque duodecimum fratrem appellavit inter illos Acca 
Larentia nutrice sua genitos, spicea corona quae vitta 
alba colligaretur sacerdotio ei pro religiosissimo 
insigni data, quae prima apud Romanos fuit corona ; 
honr)s(jue is non nisi vita finitur et exules etiam 

7 capt()S(jue comitatur. bina tuno iugera p. R. satis 
erant, nullique maiorem modum adtribuit, quo 
servorum paulo ante princi])is Neronis contcnto huius 
spatii viridiariis? piscinas iuvat maiores habere, 
gratumque si non ali(}uem culinas. Numa instituit 
dcos fruge colere et mola salsa supplicare atque, ut 
auctor est Hemina, far torrere, quoniam tostum cibo 
salubrius esset, id uno modo consecutus, statuendo 

8 non esse purum ad rem divinam ni tostum. is et 
Fornacalia instituit farris torrendi ferias et aeque 
religiosas Terminis agrorum ; hos enim deos timi 
maxime noverant, Seiamque a serendo, Segestam 
a segetibus appellabant, quarum simulacra in 



* The twelvn Fratres Arvales who ofFered a yearly sacrifice 
to tho Larcs of the fields in ordcr to secure good harvests. 

* Propcrly far =- ador ~ {<ta Sikokko<; was Trilicum 
dicoccum two-grained or 'emmer-wheat ', not 'spelt'. Far 
waa beardless (§ 92), but most 'emmers' now have beards. 

T92 



BOOK XVIII. 1. 5-II. 8 

of our discourse is indeed the countryside and rustic 
practiccs, but it is on these that life dcpcnds and that 
the highest honour was bcstowed in early days. 

II. Ilomulus at thc outset instituted thc Pricsts EarivRoman 
of the Fields,'' and nominatcd himself as the twelfth '^''"'^"""^- 
brothcr among thcm, the others being the sons of 
his foster-mothcr Acca Larcntia ; it was to this priest- 
hood that was assigned as a most sacrcd emblcm the 
first crown ever worn at Rome, a wreath of ears of 
corn tied together with a white fillet ; and this dignity 
only ends with Hfe, and accompanies its holdcrs even 
into exile or captivity. In those days two acres 
of land each was enough for the Roman people, 
who assigned to no one a larger amount — which of 
the persons who but a httle time before wcre the 
slaves of the Empcror Nero would have been satisficd 
with an ornamental gardcn of that extent ? They 
Hke to have fishponds largcr than that, and it is a 
thing to bc thankful for if somcone docs not insist 
on kitchens covcring a greater area. Numa estab- 
lished worship of the gods with an olfering of corn 
and winning their favour with a salted cake, and, 
according to Hemina, of roasting emnier wheat* 
because it was morc wholcsome for food when 
roasted — though he could attain this only in one way, 
by estabhshing that emmer was not in a pure condition 
for a rcHffious ofFcrinff unless it had becn roasted. 
It was also Numa who cstabHshed the Feast of Ovcns, 
the hoHday when emmer is roasted, and the equally 
solemn holiday dedicated to the Boundary-marks of 
estates, thcse bounds being in those days particu- 
larly recognized as gods, with the goddcsses Seia 
named from sowing the seed and Segesta from 
reaping the harvest, whosc statues we see in the 

193 



PLINV: NATURAL HLSTOUY 

circo videmas — tertiam ex his nominare sub tecto 
religio est — ac ne degustabant quidem novas fruges 
aut vina antequam sacerdotes primitias libassent. 
9 II L lugerum ^ vocabatur quod uno iugo boum in 
die exarari posset, actus in quo boves agerentur cum 
aratro imo impetu ia^^to; hic erat cxx pcdum. 
duplicatu-sque in longitudinem iugerum facicbat. 
dona amplissjma imperatoruni ac fortium civium 
quantum quis uno die plurimum circumaravisset, 
item (juartarii farris aut heminac, conferente populo. 

10 cognomina etiam prima inde : Pihmini qui pilum 
pistrinis invenerat, Pisonis a pisendo. iam Fabiorum, 
Lentulorum, Ciceronum. ut quisque aliquod optime 
genus sereret. Iunif)rum e * famiHa Bubulcum 
nominarunt quia bubu'. optime utebatur. quin et in 
sacris nihil rcHgiosius confarreationis vinculo erat, 

1 1 novaeque nuptae farreum praeferebant. agnmi male 
colere censorium probrum iudicabatur, atque, ut 
refert Cato, cum virum ^ laudantes bonum agricolam 
bonumque colonum dixissent, amplissime laudasse 

* lugum c Varroni.s E.R. l. 10 Ursinws. 
' e (a(/< in ?) add. Mayhoff. 

* virum <bonum> c Caione Mayhoff. 



' It is not clear whether this means Segesta, including in 
the list the Termini as welJ as Seia, or whether a third 
guardian deity, TuteUna, is hinted at. 

* The term ' [ilough-gate ' might suggest the association ot 
terms indicated. 

' Actus, lit. a 'drive'; our furlong ia 5i timea as long. 
The iugerum described was 40 X 80 yards or 3200 square 
j-ards, our acre being 4840 square yards. 

■* l.r. the cognomen of thc family, which was preceded by 
the nomen of the gf.ns, and that by the praeTumien of the 
individual. 

194 



BOOK XVIII. II. 8-III. iT 

Circus — the third " of these divinities it is irreverent 
even to mention by name indoors--and people used 
not even to taste the produce of a new harvest or 
vintage before the priests had ofFered a libation of 
the first-fruits. 

III. An area of land that one yoke of oxen could Eariyms- 
plough in a day used to be called an acre/' and a i^tomencia- 
distance which oxen could be driven with a ploufjh '"'"'■««<' 

11 /• 11 1 vocabulary. 

in a single spell oi reasonablc length was called a 
furlong '^ ; this was 40 yards, and doubled longways 
this made an acre. The most lavish gifts bestowed 
on generals and valorous citizens were the largest 
area of land that a person could plough round in 
one day, and also a contribution from the whole 
people of one or two quarterns of emmer wlieat a 
head. Moreover the earHest surnames'' wei'e derived 
from agriculture : the name ' Pilumnus ' belonged to 
the inventor of the ' pestle ' for corn-mills, ' Piso ' 
came from ' pounding ' corn, and again famihes were 
named Fabius or Lentuhis or Cicero'' according as 
someone was the best grower of some particuhir crop. 
One of the Junius family received the namc of 
Bubulcus because he was very good at managing oxen. 
Moreovcr among religious rites none was invested 
with more sanctity than that of Communion in Wheat, 
and newly married brides used to carry in their hands 
an offering of wheat. Bad husbandry was judged an 
offence within the jurisdiction of the censors, and, as 
Cato/ tells us, to praise a man by saying lie was a 
good farmer and a good husbandman was thought to 

• Faba ' bean ', lens ' lentil ', cicer ' chick-pea '. The per- 
sonal names if actuaUy derived from these vegetables were 
more probablv nick-names than trade-names. 

' Prnef. 2, 3. 

195 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

existimabantur. Iiinc et locupletes dicebant loci, hoc 
est agri, plenos. pecunia ipsa a pecore appellabatur 
et etiam nunc in tabulis censoris pascua dicuntur, 
omnia ex quibiLS populus reditus habet, quia diu hoc 
solum vectigal fuerat. multatio quoque non nisi 
ovium boumque inpendio dicebatur ; nec omittenda 
priscarum legum benivolentia : cautum quippe cst ne 
bovem prius quam ovem nominaret qui indiceret 

12 multam. ludos boxun causa celebrantes Bubetios 
vocabant. Servius rex ovium boumque effigie primum 
aes signavit. frugem quidem aratro quaesitam 
furtim noctu pavisse ac secuisse puberi xii tabulis 
capital erat, suspensumque Cereri necari iubebant 
gravius quam in homicidio convictum, inpubem 
praetoris arbitratu verberari noxiamve duplionemve ^ 

13 decerni. iam distinctio honosque civitatis ipsius non 
aliunde erat. rusticae tribus laudatissimae eorum 
qui rura haberent, urbanae vero in quas transferri 
ignominia esset, desidiae probro. itaque quattuor 
solae erant a partibus urbis in quibus habitabant, 
Suburana, Palatina, ColHna, Esquilina. nundinis 
urbem revisitabant et ideo comitia nundinis habere 

* noxiamque dupUone Hardovin: noxaeve duplionem 
Lipsius: noxiamve duplione decidi Schoell. 



' Pcrhaps the text should be altered to give ' and '. 
* 'Ninth-day', or by our form of expression, 'eighth-day ', 
holidays. 

196 



BOOK XVIII. III. 11-13 

be the highest form of commendation. That is the 
sourcc of the word locnples, meaning ' wealthy ', 
' full of room ', i.e. of hmd. Our word for money 
itself was derived from pecns, ' cattle ', and even now 
in the censor's accounts all the sources of national 
revenue are termcd ' pastures ', because rent of 
pasture-land was for a k)nur time the only source of 
public income. Moreover fines were only specified 
in terms of payment of sheep and oxen ; nor must 
we omit the benevolent spirit of the law of early 
times, in that a judge imposing a fine was prohibited 
from specifying an ox before he had previously fined 
the offender a sheep. There were pubUc games in 
honour of oxen, those conducting them being called 
the Bubetii. King Servius stamped first the bronze 
coinage with the Hkeness of sheep and oxen. Indeed 
the Twelve Tables made pasturing animals by stealth 
at night on crops grown under the plough, or cutting 
it, a capital oifence for an adult, and enacted that a 
person found guilty of it should be executed by 
hanging, in reparation to Ceres, a heavier punishment 
than in a conviction for homicide ; while a minor was 
to be flogged at the discretion of the praetor or" 
sentenced to pay the amount of the damage or twice 
that amount. In fact the system of class and office 
in the state itself was derived from no other source. 
The rural tribes were the most esteemed, consisting 
of those who owned farms, whcreas the city tribes 
were tribes into which it was a disgrace to be trans- 
ferred, this stigmatizing lack of activity. Conse- 
quently the city tribcs were only four, named from 
the parts of the city in which their members re- 
sided, the Suburan, Pakitine, ColHne and Esquihiie. 
They used to resort to the city on market-days,'' and 

197 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

14 non lioebat. ne plebes nistica avocaretur. quies 
suiiiiius(iue in stramentis erat. «rloriani denique 
ipsam a farris honore adoriam appellabant. equidem 
ipsa etiam verba priscae significationis admiror : ita 
enim est in commentariis pontificum : ' Augurio 
canario agendo dies constituatur priusquam ^ tVu- 
menta vaginis exeant et antequam ^ in vagiuas 
perveniant.' 

15 I\'. Ergo his moribus non modo sutficiebant tVuges 
nulla provinciarum pascente Italiam, verum etiam 
annonae vilitas incrcdibilis erat. Manius Marcius 
aediHs plcbis primum frumentum populo in modios 
assibus datavit. L. Minucius Augurinus, (|ui Spurium 
Maelium coarguerat, farris prctiuin iu triiiis nuiidinis 
ad assem redcgit undecumus plebei tribunus, qua de 
causa statua ei extra portani trigeminam a populo 

16 stipe conlata statuta est. T. Seius in aedihtate 
assibus populo frumentum praestitit, quam ob causain 
et ei statuae in Capitolio ac Palatio dicatae sunt,ipse 
supremo die popuH umeris portatus in rogum est. 
quo verum anno Mater deum advecta Romam est, 
maiorem ea aestate messem (piam antecedentibus 

17 annis decem factam esse tradunt. M. \'arro auctor 

* postquam? Rackliam. ^ nec antequam Vrlichs. 



" Adoria, or as other copies here and elsewhere give the 
wor<l, adorea, was supposed to be derived from ador, grain of 
emnuT wheat (semen adoreum Cato, Varro), particularly its 
flonr; and to be a by-form of rjhria. 

* Perhaps the Latin should be altered to give ' after the corn 
comes out of the husk and not before ', etc. 

■■ He was co-opted as an additional tribunc and appointed 
praeftctvs annonar in a timc of faniinc, 4.39 B.i . 

■^ In 204 B.c, diiring the Sccond Punic \Var, the statue of 
Cvbele was brought from Pessinus in Galatia. , 



BOOK XVIII. III. 13-1V. 17 

consequently elections were not allowed to be liold 
on market-days, so that the common pcople of the 
comitry might not be callcd away from their homes. 
Beds of straw were ased for a siesta and for sleeping 
on. Finally the actual wox*d ' glory ' used to be 
' adory '," owing to the honour in which emmer was 
held. For my own part I admire even actual words 
ased in their old signification ; for the following 
sentence oecurs in the Memoraiida of the Priesthood : 
' Let a day be fixed for taking augury by the 
sacrifice of a dog before the corn comes out of the 
sheath and before it penetrates through into the 
sheath.''' 

IV. Aecordingly these being the customs not only Lowprue>. 
were the harvests sufficient for them without any of ^'',™'^'^ 
the provinces providing food for Italy, but even the 
market price of corn was unbeHevably low. Manius 
Mai'cius when aedile of the plebs for the first time 456 b.c. 
provided the peoplc with corn at the price of an 
as a peck. Lucius Minucius AuguriniLs, who had pro- 
cured the conviction of Spurius MaeHus, when he was 
eleventh '^ tribune of the people reduced the price 
of emmer to an as for a fortnight, and consequently 
had his statue erectcd outside the Triplets' Ciate, 
the cost being met by pubHc subscription. Titus 
Seius during his aedileship supplied the pubHc with 345 u.c. 
corn at an as a peck, on account of whieh he too 
had statues erected to him on the Capitol and the 
Palatine, and he himself at the end of his Hfe was 
carried to his crcmation on the shouklers of the 
populace. Then it is recorded that in the summer 
of the year in which the Mother of the Gods was 
carried to Rome '' there was a hirger harvest than in 
the preceding ten years. Marcus Varro states that 

199 



PLINV: NATlllAL HlSlOliY 

est, cum L. Metellus in triumpho plurimos duxit 
elephantos, assibus singulis farris modios fuisse, item 
vini congios ficique siccae pondo xxx, olei pondo x, 
carnis pondo xii. nec e latifundiis singulorum 
contingebat arcentium vicinos, quippe etiam lege 
Stolonis Licinii incluso modo quingentorum iugcrum, 
et ipso sua lege damnato cum substituta fihi persona 
amplius possideret. luxuriantis iam rei p. fuit ista 

18 mensura. Manii quidem Curii post triumphos 
inmensumque terrarum adiectum imperio nota dictio 
est pemiciosum intellegi civem cui septem iugera non 
essent satis ; haec enim ^ mensura plebei post exactos 

19 reges adsignata est. quaenam ergo tantae ubertatis 
causa erat ? ipsorum tunc manibus imperatorum 
colebantur agri, ut fas est credere, gaudente terra 
vomere laureato et triumphali aratore, sive illi eadem 
cura seniina tractabant qua bella eademque diligentia 
arva di.sj)onebant qua castra, sive honestis manibus 
omnia laetius proveniunt quoniam et curiosius fiunt. 

20 serentem invenerunt dati honores Serranum, unde ei 
et cognomen. aranti quattuor sua iugera in \'aticano, 
quae Prata Quintia appellantur, Cincinnato viator 

* Rackham : auttm. 



BOOK XVIII. IV. 17-20 

at the date when Lucius Metellus gave a proces- 150b.o. 

sion of a verv large nuniber of elephants in his 

triumph, the price of a peck of emnier wheat was 

one as, as also was that of a gallon of wine, 30 pounds 

of dried figs, 10 pounds of oil and 12 pounds of meat. 

Nor was this the result of the large estates of indi- 

viduals who ousted their neighbours, inasmuch as 

by the law of Licinius Stolo the Hmit w-as restricted 3(;8-7B.r. 

to 500 acres, and Stolo himself was convicted under 

his own law because he owned a larger amount of 

land, held under his son's name instead of his own. 

Such was the scale of prices when the state had 

already some luxury. At any rate there is a famous 

utterance of \Linius Curius, who after eelebrating 

triumphs and making a vast addition of territory to 290 b.o. 

the empire, said that a man not satisfied with seven 

acres must be deemed a dangerous citizen ; for that 

Mas the acreage assigned for commoners after the 

expulsion of the kings. What therefore was tlie 

cause of such great fertility ? The fields were tilled Agncuiiun 

in those days by the hands of generals themselves, '"""'"'■''<'• 

and we may well believe that the earth rejoiced in 

a laurel-decked ploughshare and a ploughman who 

had celebrated a triumph, whether it was that those 

farmers treated the seed with the same care as they 

managed their wars and marked out their fields with 

the same diligence as they arranged a camp, or 

whether everything prospers better under honour- 

able hands because the work is done with greater 

attention. The honours bestowed on Serranas found 257 s.o. 

him sowing seed, which was actuallv the origin of 

his surname. An apparitor brought to Cincinnatus 458 b.c. 

his commission as dictator when he was ploughing 

his four-acre property on the Vatican, tlie land now 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

attulit dictaturam et quidem, ut traditur, nudo, 
plenoque ^ nuntius morarum,- ' Vela corpus ', inquit, 
' ut perferam senatus populique Romani mandata '. 

21 tales tum etiam viatores erant, quod ipsum nomen 
inditum est subinde ex aorris senatum ducesque 
arcessentibus. at nunc eadem illa vincti pedes, 
damnatae manus inscriptique vultus exercent, non 
tam surda tellure quae parens appellatur colique 
dicitur ut ipso opere ^ ab his adsumpto non invita ea 
et indip^nante credatur id tieri. et * nos miraniur 
ergastulorum non eadem emolumenta essr quae 
fuerint imperatorum ! 

22 V. Igitur de cultura agri praecipere principale fuit 
etiam apud exteros, siquidem et reges fecere, Hiero, 
Philometor Attalus. Archelaus, et duces, Xenophon 
et Poenus etiam Mago, cui quidem tantum honorem 
senatus noster habuit Carthagine capta ut, cum regulis 
Africae bibhothecas donaret, unius eius duodetriginta 
volumina censeret in Latinam linguam transferenda, 

23 cum iam M. Cato praecepta condidisset, peritisque 
Punicae dandum negotium, in quo praecessit omnes 

' Edd. : plenosque aut plenusque. 

" nuntius morarum cd. Leid. n. VII, m. 2: nunti ac morum 
rell. \'aria docti. 

^ ipsQ Mayhoff, opere Sillig: ut onere (aut et ipsa honere 
aut alia). 

* C. F. W. Mudler : sed. 

" Vialor, ' setter on the way ' ; but the word commonly 
meant ' wayfarer '. 

' .\ play on two meanings of the word colere. 

' Hrgaslula, ' work-houses ', were private prisons kcpt on 
largo estates in which refractory slaves were made to work iu 
chaina. 

202 



BOOK XVIII. IV. 20-V. 23 

called the Quintian Meadows, and indeed it is said 
that he had stripped for the work, and the messenger 
as he continued to Unger said, ' Put on your clothes, 
so that I mav deHver the mandates of the Senate 
and People of Rome '. That was what apparitors 
were Uke even at that time, and their name itself" 
was given to tliem as summoning the senate and the 
leaders to put in an immediate appearance from 
their farms. But nowadaA'S those agricultural opera- 
tions are performed by slaves with fettered ankles 
and by the hands of malefactors with branded faces ! 
although the Earth who is addressed as our mother 
and whose cultivation is spoken of' as worship is 
not so duU that wlien we obtain even our farm-work 
from these persons one can beUeve that this is not 
done against her wiU and to her indignation. And 
we forsooth are surprised that we do not get the 
same profits from the labour of slave-gangs '" as used 
to be obtained from that of generals ! 

\'. Consequently to give instructions for agricul- Eariy 
ture was an occupation of the highest dignity even ^alHc^lwre. 
with foreign nations, inasmuch as it was actuaUy 
performed by kings such as Hiero, Attalus Philo- 
metor and Archelaus, and by generals such as 
Xenophon and also the Carthaginian Mago, on 
whom indeed our senate bestowed such great 
honour, after the taking of Carthage, that when it 
gave away the city's Ubrarics to the petty kings of 
Africa it passed a resolution that in his case alone 
his twenty-eight volumes should be translated into 
Latin, in spite of the fact that Marcus Cato had 
already compiled his book of precepts, and that the 
task should be given to persons acquainted with 
the Carthaginian language, an accompUshment in 

203 



PLhNY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vir clarissimae familiae D. Silanus. sapientiae vero 
auctores et carminibus excellentes quique alii illustres 
viri conposuissent quos sequemur praetexuimus hoc 
in volumine, non in grege nominando M. Varrone qui 
Lxxxi vitae annum agens de ea re prodendum putavit. 

24 Apud Romanos multo serius ^ vitium cultura esse 
coppit, primoque, ut necesse erat, arva tantum coluere, 
quorum a iiobis nunc ratio tractabitur non volgari 
modo verum, ut adhuc fecimus, et vetustis et postea 
inventis omni cura perquisitis causaque rerum et 
ratione simul eruta. dicemus et sidera, siderumque 
ipsorum terrestria signa dabimus indubitata, quando- 
quidem qui adhuc diHgentius ea tractavere quibusvis 
potius quam agricohs scripsisse possunt videri. 

25 VL Ac primum omnium oracuhs maiore e parte 
agemus, quae non in aHo vitae genere plura certiorave 
sunt : cur enim non videantur oracula a certissimo 
dio maximeque veridico usu profecta ? 

26 PriiKi])iuni autcm a Catone sumemus : ' Fortissimi 
viri et mihtes strciiuissimi ex agricohs gignuntur 
minimcfjue male cogitantes.' ' Praechum ne cupide 
emas.' in re rustica ' operae ne parcas, in agro 
emendo ' minime ; quod male emptum est semper 

* Backfiam : aerior. 

" Pnuf. 4; and I. I; 3. 
204 



BOOK XVIII. V. 23-vi. 26 

which Decimus Silanus, a man of most distinguished 
family, surpassed everybody. But we have given 
at the beginning a list of the philosophers of origin- voi. l. 
aHty and the eminent poets and other distinguished ''' ^^' 
authors whoni we shall follow in this volume, 
although special mention must be made of Marcus 
\'arro, who felt moved to publish a treatise on this 
subject in the eighty-first year of his life. 

Vine-growing bcffan amonff the Romans much Method 
later, and at the beginning, as of necessity, they only the^^rlsem 
practised agriculture, the theory of which we will '^-^"^y- 
now deal with, not in the common method but, as 
we have done hitherto, by making an exhaustive 
research into both ancient practiccs and subsequent 
discoveries, and at the same tinie delving into 
causes and principles. We shall also treat of astro- 207 ff. 
nomy, and shall give the indubitable signs which the 
stars themselves afford as regards the earth, inasmuch 
as authors who have hitherto handled these subjects 
with some degree of thoroughness may be thought 
to have been writing for any class of people rather 
than farmers. 

VI. And first of all we will proceed for the most 
part by the guidance of oracular precepts, which in 
no other department of life are more numerous or 
more trastworthy — for why not assign oracular value 
to precepts originating from the infallible test of time 
and the supremely truthful verdict of expericnce ? 

We will borrow a commencement from (Za.to :'* cato^sadvice 
' The agricultural class produces the bravest men, ^^e°rjes 
the most cfallant soldiers and the citizens least given «V" '"'v'"^ 

" d fQTTYl 

to evil designs.' ' In buying a farm do not be too 
eager.' In rural affairs ' do not be sparing of trouble, 
least of all in buying land ' ; a bad purchase is always 

205 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

paenitet. agrum paratiiros ante omnia intueri oportet 
' aquam, viam, vicinum '. Singula magnas interpreta- 

27 tiones habent nec dubias. Cato in conterminis hoc 
amplius aestimari iubct, quo pacto niteant ^ ; ' in bona 
enim ',inquit, ' regione bene nitent '. AtiHus Regulus 
ille Punico bello bis consul aiebat neque fecundissi- 
mis locis insalubrem agrum parandum, neque effetis 
saluberrimum. salubritas loci non semper incolarum 
colore detegitur, quoniam adsueti etiam in pestilenti- 
bus durant. praeterea sunt quaedam partibus anni 
salubria, nihil autem salutare est nisi quod toto anno 

28 salubre est. ' Malus est ager cum quo dominus 
luctatur.' Cato inter prima spectari iubet ut solum 
sua virtute valeat qua dictum est positione, ut 
operariorum copia prope sit oppidumque validum, ut 
navigiorum evectus vcl itinerum, ut bene aediHcatus 
et cultus. in quo faHi plerosque video, segnitiem enim 
prioris domini pro emptore esse arbitrant ur : nihil 
est damnosius deserto agro. itaque Cato de bono 
domino meHits emi, nec temere contemnendam 
aHenam disciplinam. agroque ut homini, quamvis 

• Caesarius e Calone : vivant edd. vett.: iubeant. 



• The First, 2(j4 241 b.c. 
'■ Columella I. iii. 



2o6 



BOOK XVIII. VI. 26-28 

repented. Those about to buy land should before 
all things give an eye to ' the water supply, the road, 
and the neighbour '. Each of these rules admits 
of an important and unquestionable interpretation. 
Cato advises that in regard to the neighbouring i- 2. 
farmers further consideration should be given to the 
(|uestion how prosperous they look ; ' for in a good 
district ', he says, ' the people look in good condition '. 
AtiUus Regulus who was twice consul during the 
Punic war " used to say that it is a mistake to buy 
unhealthy land in the most fertile districts or the 
most healthy land in districts that have been worked 
out. The healthy (juality of the district is not always 
disclosed by the complexion of the inhabitants, 
because people can carry on even in very unhealthy 
localities when they are used to them. Moreover 
some districts are healthy during portions of the 
year, but no place is really salubrious unless it is 
healthy all the year round. ' Land with which the 
owner has a continual struggle is bad land.'* Cato 
bids us as one of the first points to see that the kmd i. B- 
in the position stated above has a good quahty of xvii. 36. 
its own, that there is a supply of hibour near. and a 
thriving town, routes for carrying produce away by 
water or by road, and that the farm is furnished 
with good buildings and has been well fai*mcd — it 
is in this that I notice most people make a mistake, 
as they think that the purchaser scores from slack 
farming on the part of the prcvious landlord, whereas 
nothing is a greater source of loss than a farm that 
has been neglected. Lor this reason Cato says that 
it is better to purchase from a good landlord, and that 
the lessons to be learnt from others should not be 
despised, and that it is the samc with land as with a 

207 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

quaestuosus sit, si tamen et sumptuosus, non multum 

29 superesse. ille in ajrro quaestuosissimam iudicat 
vitem — non frustra, quoniam ante omnia de inpensae 
ratione cavit — proxime hortos irriguos. nec id falso, 
si sub oppido sint — et prata antiqui parata dixere, 
idemciue Cato interrogatus qui ^ esset certissimus 
quaestus, respondit ' Si bene pascas ', qui proximus ? 

30 ' Si sat bene ' : summa omnium in hoc spectando fuit 
ut fructu? is maxime probaretur qui quam minimo 
inpendio constaturus esset. hoc ex locorum occasione 
aliter aUbi decemitur ; eodemque pertinet quod 

31 agricolam Cato vendacem esse oportere dixit, funduin 
in adulcscentia conserendum sine cunctatione, aedi- 
ficandum non nisi consito agro, tunc quoque cunctanter 
(optimumque est, ut volgo dixere, aliena insania frui, 
sed ita ut villarum tutela non sit oneri), eiun tamen 
qui bene hal)itet saepius ventitare in agrum — 
frontemque domini plus prodesse quam occipitium 
non mentiuntur. 

32 VII. Modus hic probatur ut- neque fundus villam 
quaerat neque villa fundum, non, ut fecere * iuxta 
diversis in ^ eadem aetate exempHs L. Lucullus et 
Q. Scaevola, cum viHa Scaevolae fructus non caperet, 

' qui ? M(i>/lioff: quis. 

* ilityltoff: fccerit. 

* Mayhoff (diversis Erasmita ed. Baa.) : diversum. 



" l.e. to buy houses built by others. 
2o8 



BOOK XVIII. VI. 28-vii. 32 

human being — it may make large profits, yet if it 
also involves large expenses, not much balance is 
left over. In Cato's opinion the most profitable 1.7. 
part of a farm is a vineyard — and not without reason, 
since above everything he has been cautious as to 
the matter of outlay of money — and next he ]iuts 
kitchen-gardens well suppHed with water; and tliis is 
true, if they are near a town — and the old word for 
' meadows ' means ' land ready to hand '. Cato more- 
over when asked what was the most reliable source 
of profit said, ' Good pasture ', and when asked what 
was the next best, said, ' Fairly good pasture ' : 
thc most important point in considering profit being 
that the crop that was going to cost the smallest out- 
lav in expenses was the crop most to be recommended. 
This is a question decided differently in different 
places, in accordance with the suitability of the 
various localities ; and the same applies to Cato's 
dictum that a farmer ought to be a good seller ; and 
that he should begin to plant his farm without delay, 
in his youth, but only build when the land is fully 
under cultivation, and even then go slowly (and the 
best course is, as the common saying was, to profit 
by the folly of other people," provided however that 
keeping up houses is not allowed to be a burden on 
your estate) ; but that the owner who is well housed 
should nevertheless keep visiting his farm rather 
frequently — and it is a true saying that ' the master's 
face does more good than the back of his head '. 

VII. The satisfactory plan is that the house shall Thefarm- 
not be inadequate to the farm nor the farm to the a"^*' *"* 
house, not as was done on adjacent estates by sUuation. 
Lucius Lucullus and Quintus Scaevola, acting 011 
opposite principles though at the same period, when 

209 



PiJNY; NATURAL FnSTORY 

villam Luculli ager, quo in genere censoria castijintio 
erat minus arare quam verrero. nec hoc sine arte 
quadam est. novissimus villam in Misenensi posuit 
C. Marius vii cos. sed peritia castra metandi, sic ut 
conparatos ei ceteros etiam Sulla Felix caecos fuisse 

33 diceret. convenit neque iuxta paludes ponendam 
esse neque adverso amne, quamquam Homerus 
omnino e ^ flumine semper antelucanas auras insalu- 
bres verissime tradidit. spectare in aestuosis locis 
septentriones debet, meridiem in frigidis, in tempe- 
ratis exortum aequinoctialem. 

34 Agri ipsius bonitas quibus argumentis iudicanda sit, 
quamquam de terrae genere optimo disserentes 
abunde dixisse possumus videri, etiamnum tamen 
traditas notas subsignabimus Catonis * maxime 
verbis : ' Ebulum vel prunus silvestris vel rubus, 
bulbus minutus, trifolium, herba pratensis, quercus, 
silvestris pirus malusque frumentarii soli notae, item 
nigra terra et cinerei coloris. omnis creta coquet nisi 
permacra, sabulumque nisi id etiam pertenue est ; 
et multo campestribus magis quam clivosis respondent 
cadem.' 

' e add. cdd. 

' Columellae Pinlianua: Magonis Klolz. 



' Mariu8'8 great enemy. 

* /.e. whetherthe river is in front ol the house or btliind it. 

Od. V. 469. AvpT] 5* (K TTOTafldV '{"^'XPV "'•'«*' Tjwdl TTpO. 

The passage quot«d does not occur in the extant writings 
of Cato. 



BOOK XMII. viT. 32-34 

Scaevola's farmhonse would not hold the produce of 
his farm and Lucullus's farm was not big enough for 
his house — a sort of extravagance that occasiont^d 
the censor's rcbuke that there was less ground to 
plough than floor-space to sweep. The proper 
arrangement requires a certain amount of technical 
skill. Quitc recently Gaius Marius, who vvas seven 
times consul, built a country house in the district of 
Miseno, but he reUed on the skill he had acquired 
in planning the lay-out of a camp,so that even Sulla" 
the Fortunate declared that all the others had been 
blind men in comparison with Marius. It is agreed 
that a country house ought not to be put near a 
marsh nor with a river in front of it — although 
Homer has stated with the greatest truth that in 
any case * there are always unhealthy currents of air 
rising from a river before dawn. In hot localities 
the house should look north, in cold ones south and 
in temperate situations due east. 

As to proofs by which the quality of the land Quaiitijof 
itself can be judged, we may possibly be thought to '""'*■ 
have spoken of these with sufficient fullness when 
discu^^sing the bcst kind of soil, but nevertheless we xvil.ioff. 
will still supplcment the indications we have given by 
some words of Cato '^ more particularly : ' The dane- 
wort or the wild plum or the bramble, the small- 
bulb, trefoil, meadow grass, oak, wild pears and wild 
apple are indications of a soil fit for corn, as also is 
black or ash-coloured earth. All chalk land will 
scorch the crop unless it is an extremely thin 
soil, and so will sand unless it also is extremely 
fine ; and the same soils answer much better for 
plantations on level ground than for those on a 
slope.' 

211 



PLINV: NATURAL HLSTORY 

35 Modum agri in primis servandum antiqui putavere, 
quippe ita censebant, satius esse minus serere et 
melius arare, qua in sententia et Vergiliuni fuisse 
video. verumque confitentibus latifundia pcrdidere 
Italiam, iam vero et provincias — sex domini semissem 
Africae possidcbant, cum interfecit eos Nero princeps 
— non fraudando magnitudine hac quoque sua Cn. 
Pompeio qui numquam agrum mercatus est conter- 
minum. agro empto domum vendendam inclementer 
atque non ex utilitate publici status Mago censuit hoc 
exordio praecepta pandere ingressus, ut tamen 
appareat adsiduitatem desideratam ab eo. 

36 Dehinc peritia viUcorum in cura hal)enda est, 
multaque de his Cato praecepit. nobus satis sit 
dixisse quam proximum domino corde esse debere et 
tamen sibimet ipsi non videri. coH rura ab ergastuHs 
pessumum est, ut quidquid agitur a desperantibus. 
temerarium videatur unam vocem antiquorum posu- 
isse, et fortassis incredibile ni ' penitus aestimetur: 
' nihil minus expedire quam agrum optinie colere.' 

37 L. Tarius Rufus infima natalium humihtate consula- 
tum militari industria meritus, antiquae alias parsi- 

* ni om, v.l, 

' Oenrfjics II. 412, Laiirlato ingentia rura, Exiguum colito. 
* R.R. V. 
' 17 B.C. 

212 



BOOK XVIII. vii. 35-37 

In old times it was thought that to observe modera- ■!>'»«« q/ farm. 
tion in the size of a farm was of priniary importance, 
inasmuch as the view was held that it was more 
satisfactory to sow less land and plough it better ; 
and I observe that Virgil " was of this opinion, And 
if the truth be confessed, large estates have been the 
ruin of Italy, and are now proving the ruin of the 
provinces too — half of Africa was owned by six land- 
lords, when the Emperor Nero put them to death ; 
though Gnaeus Pompeius must not be cheated out 
of this mark of his greatness also : he never bought 
land belonffinff to a neiffhbouringf estate. Majro's 
f)pinion that a landlord after buying a farm ought 
to sell his town house — that being the opening with 
which he begins the exposition of his instructions — 
was too rigorous, and not to the advantage of pubUc 
affairs, though nevertheless it has the effect of 
showing that he laid stress on the need for constant 
oversight. 

The next point requiring attention is the efficiency Qualifica- 
of bailifFs, and Cato has given * many instructions with baiiiff! '^" 
regard to these. Let it be enough for us to say that 
the bailiff ought to be as near as possible to his master 
in intelligence, and nevertheless not think so himself, 
Farming done by slave-gangs hired from houses of 
correction is utterly bad, as is everything else done 
by desperate men. It may appear rash to quote 
one dictum of the old writers, and perhaps it may 
be judged impossible to credit unless its value is 
closely examined — it is that nothing pays less than 
really good farming. Lucius Tarius Rufus, who, F.conomk 
though of extremely hunible birth, by his soldierly ■^""""'s'* 
efficiency won "^ a consulship, though in other respects 
a man of old-fashioned economy, spent the whole 

213 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inoniae, circiter [irf[ HS. liberalitate divi Augusti 
congestorum ^ usquc ad detrectationem heredis 
exhausit agros in Piceno coemendo colendoque in 
gloriam.2 internicionem ergo famemque censemus r 
immo, Hercules, modum iudicem rerum omnium 

38 utiHssimum. bene colere necessarium est, optime 
damnosum, praeterquam subole sua^ colono aut 
pascendis aUoqui colente. domino aliquas* messes 
colligere non expedit si conputetur inpcndium operae, 
nec temere olivam, nec quasdam terras diligenter 
colere, sicut in Sicilia tradutit, itaque decipi advenas. 

39 \"nL Quonam igitur modo utilissime colentur agri ? 
ex oraculosciHcet: 'malisbonis.' seddefendi aequum 
est abavos qui praeceptis suis prospcxere vitae; 
namque cum dicerent ' mahs ', intellegere voluere 
vilissimos. summumque providentiae illorum fuit ut 
quam minimum esset inpendii. praecipiebant eniin 
ista qui triumphales denas argenti libras in supellectile 
crimini dabant, qui mortuo viHco relinquere victorias 
et reverti in rura sua postulabant, quoruni heredia 
colenda suscipiebat res p., exercitusque ducebant 

' congestorum ? Mayhoff : congestum. 

* in gloria (ad ntqu. reUuiim) Utrmolana. 

* i.dd. : 9U0. 

* amplas ? Mayhoff. 



' The term heredium was used to denote a smali estate of 2 
ivgfra, about 1 J acres. 

214 



BOOK XVIII. VII. 37-viii. 39 

of the money he had accumulated through the 
generosity of his late Majesty Augustus, about 100 
milUon sesterces, in buying up farms in Picenum 
and farming them with the purpose of making a 
name for himself, so that his heir refused to take 
over the estate. Is it our opinion then that this 
pohcy means ruin and starvation ? Nay rather, I 
vow, it is that moderation is the most vahiable 
criterion of all things. Good farming is essential, 
but superlatively good farming spells ruin, except 
when the farmer runs the farm with his own family 
or with persons whom he is in any case bound to 
maintain. There are some crops which it does not 
pay the landlord to harvest if the cost of the labour 
is reckoned, and oUves are not easily made to 
pay ; and some lands do not repay very careful 
farming — this is said to be the case in Sicily, 
and consequently newcomers there find themselves 
deceived. 

^"111. What then will be the most profitable way aenerai 
of farming land ? Presumably to follow the oracular '/,"',„1^^,' 
dictura : Bi^ viaking good from bad. But it is only 
fair to justify our forefathers who laid down rules 
for conduct by their teachings ; for the term ' bad 
lands ' they meant to be undcrstood to mean the 
cheapest lands, and the chief point in their economy 
was to keep down expenses to the minimum. For 
the sort of instructions in question were given by men 
who though they liad headed triumphal processions 
deemed ten pounds of silver as part of one's furniture 
a criminal extravagance, who when their baiUff died 
insLsted on leaving their victories and returning to 
their farms, and the cultivation of whose cstates " was 
taken over by the government and who conmianded 

2T5 



PLIXY: NATURAL HISTORY 

40 senatu illis vilicante. inde illa reli(}ua oracula : 
' nequam agricolam esse quisquis emeret quod 
praestare ei fundus posset, malum patrem familias 
quisquis interdiu faceret quod noctu posset, nisi in 
tempestate caeli, peiorem qui profestis diebus a^eret 
quod feriatis deberet, pessinumi qui sereno die sub 

41 tecto potius operaretur quam in agro.' nequeo mihi 
temperare quominus unum exemplum antiquitatis 
adferam ex (juo intellegi possit apud populum etiani 
de culturis agendi morem fuisse, cpialiterque defendi 
soliti sint illi viri. C. Furius Chresimus e servitute 
Hberatus, cum in parvo admodum agello largiores 
multo fructus perciperet quam ex ampUssimis 
vicinitas, in invidia erat magna, ceu fruges alienas 

42 perliceret veneficiis. quamobrem ab Spurio Albino 
curuli aedile ^ die dicta metuens damnationem, cum 
in sufTragium tribus oporteret ire, instrumentum 
rusticuni onnie in forum attulit et adduxit familiam 
suam vaHdam atque, ut ait Piso, bene curatam ac 
vestitam, ferramenta egregie facta, graves Hgones, 

43 vomeres ponderosos, boves saturos. postea dixit : 
' Veneficia niea, Quirites, haec sunt, nec possum vobis 
ostendere aut in forum adducere lucubrationes meas 
vigiHasque et sudores.' omnium sententiis absolutus 
itaque est. profecto opera inpensa cultura constat 

^ aedile add. Sillig. 
2l6 



BOOK XVIII. vm. 39-43 

armies while the senate acted as their baiUff. Then 
come all those other oracular utterances : ' Whoever 
buyp what his farm could sujiply liim with is a worth- 
less fariner : whoever doos by day work that he could 
do by niglit, except during bad weather, is a bad 
head of a family, and he who does on working days 
things that he ought to do on holidays is a worse ; 
and one who works indoors on a fine day rather than 
in the field is the worst farmer of all.' I cannot re- 
frain from adducing one instance from old times 
which will show that it was customary to bring before 
the Commons even questions of agriculture, and will 
exhibit the kind of plea that men of those days 
used to relv on to defend their conduct. Gaius Furius 
Chresimus, a hberated slave, was extremely unpopular 
because he got much larger returns from a rather 
small farm than the ncighbourhood obtained from 
very large estates, and he was supposed to be asing 
magic spells to entice away other people's crops. He 
was consequently indicted by the curule aedile 
Spurius Albinus ; and as he was afraid he would be 
found guiltv, when the time came for the tribes to 
vote their verdict, he brought all his agricultural 
implements into court and produced his farm servants, 
sturdy people and also according to Piso's description 
well looked after and well clad, his iron tools of 
excellent make, heavy mattocks, ponderous plough- 
shares, and well-fed oxen. Then he said : ' These 
are my magic spells, citizens, and I am not able to 
exhibit to you or to produce in court my midnight 
hibours and early risings and my sweat and toil.' 
This procured his acquittal by a unanimous verdict. 
The fact is that husbandry depcnds on expenditure 
of labour, and this is the reason for the saying of our 

217 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

et ideo maiores fertilissimum in agro oculum domini 
esse dixerunt. 

44 Reliqua praecepta reddentur suis locis, quae 
propria generum singulorum erunt. interim com- 
munia quae succurrunt non omittemus, et in primis 
Catonis humanissimum utilissimumque, id agendum 
ut diligant te ^ vicini ; causas reddit ille, nos ex- 
istimamus nulli esse dubias. inter prima idem 
cavet ne familiae male sit. nihil sero faciendum in 
agricultura omnes censent, iterumque suo quaeque 
tempore facienda, et tertio praecepto praetermissa 
frustra revocari. de terra cariosa execratio Catonis 
abunde indicata est, quamquam praedicere non ces- 
santis : quidquid per asellum fieri potest vilissime 

4') constare. filix biennio moritur si frondem agere 
non patiaris ; id efficacissime contingit germinantibus 
ramis baculo decussis, sucus enini ex ipsa defluens 
necat radices. aiunt et circa solstitium avolsas non 
renasci nec harundine sectas aut exaratas vomeri 
harundine inposita. siniilitcr et harundinem exarari 

46 fihce vomeri inposita praecipiunt. iuncosus ager 

47 verti pala debet, ante infractus bidentibus. frutecta 
igni optime tolluntur. umidiorem agrum fossis 

' t« Urlichi : se aut om. 



" R.R. IV. ViciniB bonus esto . . . si tp li}»enter vicinitaa 
videbit. facilius tua vendes. 
» R.R. V. 2. 

2l8 



BOOK XMII. VIII. 43-47 

forefathers that on a farm the best fertilizer is the 
master's eye. 

The remaining riiles will be given in their proper xeighbour- 
places, according as they belong to tlie various kinds ^^ylatment of 
of agricultm'e. In the meantime we will not omit /'"■"» hands. 
the principlcs of general application which occur to 
us, and particularlv that most humane and most 
profitable advice of Cato," to do your best to winthe 
esteem of your neighboux's. Cato gives reasons for 
this advice, but for our part we iinagine that nobody 
can doubt what the reasons are. Also one of Cato's 
first pieces of advice ** is a warning to keep your farm 
hands in good condition. That in agriculture 
nothing must be done too late is a rule universally 
held, as is a second rule that each thing must be done 
at its own time, and a third that it is no use calHng 
back lost opportunities. The malediction uttered Keepthe 
by Cato against rotten land has been pointed out at xvil s?*' 
sufficient leng-th ; thouffh he is never tired of declar- 
ing that whatever can be done by means of an ass 
costs the least money. Bracken dies in two years if 
you do not let it make leaf, the best way to kill 
it is to knock off the stalk with a stick when 
it is budding, as the juice trickling down out of 
the fern itself kills the roots. It is also said that 
ferns plucked up about midsummer do not spring up 
again, nor do those cut with a reed or ploughed up 
with a reed placed on the ploughshare. Similarly they 
also advise ploughing up reed with bracken placed 
on the ploughshare. A field grown over with rushes 
shoukl be turned up with the spade after having 
bcen first broken with two-pronged forks. Brush- 
wood is best removed by setting fire to it. WTien inainag oj 
land is too damp it is very useful to cut ditches ''^"'^* 

219 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

concidi atque siccari utilissimum est, fossas autem 
cretosis locis apertas relinqui, in solutiore terra 
saepibus firmari vel ^ proclivibus ac ^ supinis lateribus 
procumbere ; quasdam obcaecari et in alias dirigi 
maiores patentioresque et, si sit occasio, silice vel 
glarea sterni, ora autem earum binis utrimque 
lapidibus statuminari et alio superintegi. — Silvae 
extirpandae rationem Democritus prodidit, lupini 
flore in suco cicutae uno die macerato sparsoque 
radicibus. 

48 IX. Et quoniam pracparatus est ager, nunc 
indicabitur natura frugum. sunt autem duo prima 
earum gcnera : frumenta, ut triticum, hordeum, et 
legumina, ut faba, cicer. differentia notior quam ut 
indicari deceat. 

49 X. Frumenti ipsius totidem genera per tempora 
satu divisa : hiberna, quae circa vcrgiliarum occasum 
sata terra per hiemem nutriuntur, ut triticum, 
hordeum ; aestiva, quae aestate ante vergiliarum 
exortum seruntur, ut miHum, panicum, sesama, 
horminum, irio, Italiae dumtaxat ritu : alioquin in 
Graecia et in Asia omnia a vergiHarum occasu 
seruntur, quaedam autem utroque tempore in Italia, 

50 ex his quaedam et tertio veris. aliqui verna miHum, 
panicum, lentem, cicer, aHcam appellant, sementiva 
autem triticum, hordeum, fabam, rapam. et in 

* Mayhoff : ne aut in aut ine. * Edd. : aut. 

" alica was properly groats made from far or emmer wheat ; 
by triticum PHny here means common or bread-wheats. 



BOOK XVIII. VIII. 47-x. 50 

throu^h it and drain it ; and in clayey places to 
leave the ditches open, but in looser soil to strengthen 
theni with hedges or let them have their sides 
sloping and on a slant ; and to block up some and 
make them run into other larger and wider ones, 
and, if opportunity offers, to pave them with flint 
or gravel; and to stav their mouths with two stones, 
one on each side, and roof them over with another 
stone on top. — Democritus has put forward a method 
of clearing away forest by soaking lupin-flower for 
one dav in hemlock juice and sprinkling it on the 
roots of the trees. 

IX. And now that the ground has been prepared, ciassesoj 
we shall proceed to describe the nature of the various '^'^' *' 
kinds of grain. There are two primar}^ varieties, 

the cereals, such as wheat and barley, and the 
legumina, such as the bean and chick-pea. The 
difference between thcm is too well known to need 
description. 

X. 'Jhere are also two varieties of corn itself dis- (irain^ xts 
tinguished by the different seasons at which they are l^^aw^'. "'"^ 
sown : winter grains, which are sown about the set- 

ting of the Pleiads and gct their nourishment through 
the winter from the earth, for instance wheat and 
barley, and summer grains, which are sown in summer 
before the rising of the Pleiads, for instance common 
and Italian millet, sesame, clary and hedge mustard: 
at all events this is the method of Italy. In Greece and 
Asia however all grains are sown after the setting of 
the Pleiads, wliile in Italy some are sown at both dates, 
and some of these have a third sowing, in spring. 
Some persons give the name of springgrain tocommon 
millet, Italian millet, lentils, chick-pea and groats- 
wheat, but term bread-wheat," barley, beans and 



PLINY: NATIKAL HL^TOUY 

tritici genere pars aliqua pabuli est quadripedum 
causa sati, ut farrago, et in leguminibus, ut vicia ; 
ad conimunem quadripedum hominumque usum 
lupinum. 

51 Legumina omnia singulas habent radices praeter 
fabani, easque surculosas, quia non in multas ^ 
dividuntur. altissimas autem cicer. frumenta multis 
radicantur fibris sine ramis. erumpit a primo satu 
hordeum die septimo. legumen quarto vel, cum 
tardissime, septimo, faba a xv ad xx, legumina in 
Aegvpto tertio die. ex hordeo alterum caput grani 
in radicem exit, alterum in herbam, quae et prior 
floret ; radicem crassior pars grani fundit, tenuior 
florem, ceteris seminibus eadem pars et radicem et 
florem. 

52 Frumenta hieme in herba sunt, verno tempore 
fastigantur in stipulam quae sunt hiberni generis, at 
milium et panicum in culmum geniculatum et 

5.3 concavum, sesama vero in feruhiceum. omniiim 
sativorum ^ fructus aut spicis continetur, ut tritici, 
hordei. muniturque vallo aristarum rontra aves et 
})arvas quadripedes. aut includitur siH(iuis, ut legu- 
iiiiiium. aut vascuHs, ut sesamae ac papaveris. 
iniHum et panicum tantum pro indiviso et parvis 
avibus expositum est ; indefensum ^ quippe mem- 
branis continetur.* panicum a paiiicuHs dictum. 
cacumine languide nutante, paulatim extenuato 

* multaa ? Mayhoff : multa. 

* V.ll. sativorum, saturorum. 

' Mayhoff : indcfensa. * V.l. continentur. 

" Perbaps all these numbers ehould be reduced by 1 in 
Enghsh, as the Roman idiom would describe t.g. Saturday 
as the seventli dav after Sunday, not the sixth. 



BOOK XVIII. X. 50-53 

tumip autunui-sowing grains. In the class of wheat 
one division consists of fodder sown for animals, such 
as mixed feed, and the same also in the leguminous 
plants, such as vetch ; but lupine is grown for the use 
of animals and men in common. 

AU the leguminous plants except the bean have 
a single root, whicli has a woody substance because 
it is not divided into many branches ; the chick-pea 
has the deepest root. Corn has a number of fibrous 
roots without ramifications. Barley bursts out of the 
ground seven days " after it is first sown, leguminous 
plants on the fourth day, or at latest the seventh, 
beans from fifteen to twenty days ; in Egypt legu- 
niinous plants emerge on the third day. In barley 
one end of the grain sends out a root and the other 
a blade, wliich flowers before the other corn ; and 
the root shoots out from the thicker end of the grain 
and the fiower from the thinner, whereas with all 
other seeds both root and flower comc from the same 
end. 

Corn is in the blade during winter ; in the spring 
time corn of the winter variety shoots up into a stalk, 
l)ut common and Itahan millets into a knotted hollow 
straw, and sesame into a stalk hke fennel. The fruit 
of all kinds of sown grain is either contained in ears, 
as in the case of wheat and barley, and is protected 
against birds and small animals by a fence of beard, 
or is enclosed in pods, as with leguminous plants, 
or in capsules, as with sesame and poppy. Both 
millets are accessible also to small birds, in what can 
iinly be called joint ownership with the grower, 
iiiasmuch as they are contained in thin skins, leaving 
them unprotected. Panic, named from its panicles /taiian 
or tufts, has a head that droops languidly and a '"'"^'- 

223 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

culnio paene in surculum, praedensis acer\atur granis 
cum longissima pedali phoba.^ milio comae granum 

54 complexae fimbriato capillo curvantur. sunt et 
panico genera : mammosa, e pano parvis racemata 
paniculis, et cacumine gemino ; quin et colore 
distinguntur candido, nigro. rufo, etiam purpureo. 
])anis multifariam et a milio fit, e panico rarus ; sed 
nullum ponderosius frumentum est aut quod coquendo 
magis crescat : l.\ pondo panis e modio reducunt '^ 

55 modiumque pultis ex tribus sextariis madidis. miliimi 
intra hos x annos ex India in Italiam invectum est 
nigrum colore, amplum grano, harundineum culmo. 
adolescit ad pedes altitudine vii, praegrandibus 
comis — iubas^ vocant — oniniuni frugum fertilissimum : 
ex uno grano sextarii terni gignuntur. seri dcbet in 
umidis. 

50 Frumenta quaedam in tertio genu spicam incipiunt 
concipere, quaedam in quarto, sed etiamnum 
occultam. genicula autem sunt tritico quaterna, 
farri sena. hordco octona ; sed non ante supra dictum 
geniculorum numerum conceptus est spicae, qui ut 
spem sui fecit, (piattuor aut quinque cum* tardissime 
diebus florere incipiunt totidemque aut paulo phiribus 
deflorescunt, hordea vero cum tardissime diebus 
septem. Varro quater novenis diebus fruges absolvi 
tradit et mense nono meti. 

' Tumebus : ioba llrrmolaus: obba Gelen. : obfa aut oflfa. 

* V.l. redicimt (redire dicunt Sillig). 
' V.l. lobas (phobas Sraliger). 

* cum culd. ? Mnijkoff. 



' Mostly barc varieties of the older far or emmer, includ- 
in^ also spelt and ' Kivet ' and ' poulard ' whcata. 
^- R.Ii. 1.32. 1. 

224 



BOOK XMII. X. 53-56 

stalk that tapers gradually almost into a twig ; it is 
heaped with verv closely packed grains, with a corymb 
that is at its longest a foot in length. In millet rommon 
the hairs embracing the seed curve over with a "" " 
fringcd tuft. There are also varieties of panic, for 
instance the full-breasted kind, clustered with small 
tufts growing out of the ear, and witli a double point ; 
moreover these grasses are of various colours, white, 
black, red and even purple. Bread of several kinds 
is made even from millet, but very Uttle from panic ; 
but there is no grain heavier in ^veight or that swells 
more in baking : they get sixty poimds of bread out 
of a peck, and a peck of porridge out of three-six- 
teenths of a peck soaked in water. A millet has 
been introduced into Italy from India within the last 
ten years that is of a black colour, w ith a large grain 
and a stalk like that of a reed. It grows to seven 
feet in height, with very large hairs — they are called 
the maiic — and is the most prolific of all kinds of com, 
one grain producing three-sixteenths of a peck. It 
should be sown in damp ground. 

Some kinds of fjrain begin to form the ear at the Formation 
third joint of the stalk and some at the fourth, but 
it still remains concealed. Wheat " has four articula- 
tions in each stalk, emmer six and barley eight ; but 
the ear does not begin to form before the above-men- 
tioned number of articulations is complete ; when 
this has given signs of occurring, in four or at latest 
five days they begin to blossom, and after the same 
number of days or a few^ more they finish Howering ; 
but with barlev this happens in seven days at latest. 
\'arro states * that the grains are fully formed in 
thirty-six days and are ready for reaping after eight 
months. 

225 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

57 Fabae in folia exeunt ac deinde caulem emittunt 
nullis distinctum internodiis. reliqua legumina surcu- 
losa sunt. ex his ramosacicer, ervum, lens. quorun- 
dam caules sparguntur in terram si non habeant 
adminiculum, at pisa scandunt si habuere, aut ^ 
deteriora fiunt. leguminum unicaulis faba sola, 
unus et lupino, sed <(non rectus,)^ ceteris ramosis' 

58 praetenui surculo, omnibus vero fistulosis. folium 
quaedam ab radice emittunt,* quaedam a cacumine, 
ut * frumentum et hordeum. utrumqut* ® et quidquid 
in stipula est in cacumine unum folium habet — sed 
hordeo scabra sunt, ceteris levia — multifoUa ' contra 
faba, cicer, pisum. frumentis folium harundina- 
ceum, fabae rotunda et magnae leguminum parti, 
longiora ervihae et piso, phasiolis venosa, sesamae et 

5'.i irioni sanguinea. cadunt folia lupino tantum et 
papaveri. legumina diutius florent, et ex his ervum 
ac cicer, sed diutissime faba xl diebus, non autem 
singuli scapi tamdiu, quoniam aho desinente aHus 
incipit, nec tota seges sicut frumenti pariter, siU- 
(juantur vero oninia diversis diebus et ab ima primum 
parte paulatim flore subeunte. 

60 Frumenta cum defloruere, crassescunt maturantur- 
que cum plurimum diebus xl, item faba, paucissimis 

^ at . . . aut Mayhoff: ut piscandum nisi habuere aut aul 
aUa : ut pipa scandunt aut nisi habuere Urlich.s : ut pisa ; 
prandunt pi habuorc aut Warminglon. 

* Add. Mayhnff. ' Mayhrff: ramosus. 

* Mai/hoff: mittunt. * vtt add. Mayhoff. 

* GeUn. : utrimque cdd. pler. ' Dftlejiten : muitificia, 

" A type of chick-pea or chickling vetch. 
226 



BOOK XVIII. X. 57 60 

Beans shoot out into leaves and then throw out a leavesof 
stalk which is divided by no joints. The rest of the pfZsZ"d 
leguminous plants are tough and woody . Some of them <>/ corn. 
are branching — the chick-pea, the bitter vetchand the 
lentil. In some the stems spread along the ground 
if they are not propped up, but peas chmb if given a 
prop, or else they deteriorate. The bean is the only 
one of the leguminous phints tliat has a single stem ; 
the lupine also has onlv one but it does not stand up 
straight, all the others having branches with a very 
thin woody stalk, but all of them hoUow. Some send 
out a leaf from the root, some from the top, for 
instance wheat and barley. Each of these and all 
the pUmts that make straw have one leaf at the top — 
thougli barley leaves are rough and those of the rest 
smooth — whereas the bean, the chick-pea and the pea 
are many-leaved. In corn the lcaf is like that of a 
reed ; those of the bean and a large part of the legu- 
minous plants are round ; those of the chickhng " and 
pea rather long, that of calavance veined, that of 
sesame and hedge mustard the colour of blood. Only 
the lupin and the poppy shed their leaves. Legumin- 
ous plants remain longcr in flower, and among them 
more particularly bitter vetch and chick-pea,but long- 
est of all the bean, which flow ers for forty days, though 
the single stalks do not keep their flowers so long, 
since when one goes off another begins, nor does the 
whole crop flower at the same time, as with corn, 
but all the pods form on different days, the blossom 
starting first at the bottom and rising gradually. 

When cereals have finished flowering, they grad- Timetaken 
ually swell and ripen in 40 days at most, and the same '""P"""^- 
is the case with the bean, but the chick-pea ripens in 
the fewest days, as it is completely ready in 40 days 

227 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cicer ; id enim a sementi diebus xl perficitur. milium 
et panicum et sesama et omnia aestiva xl diebus 
maturantur a flore, magna terrae caelique difFerentia ; 
in Aegj^pto enim hordeum sexto a satu mense, 
frumenta septumo metuntur, in Hellade vii hordeum, 
in Peloponneso octavo, et frumenta etiamnum 
tardius. grana in stipula crinito textu spicantur ; 
in faba leguminibusque alternis lateribus siliquantur. 
fortiora contra hiemes frumenta, legumina in cibo. 

61 Tunicae frumento plures, hordeum maxime nudum 
et arinca, set praecipue avena. calamus altior 
frumento quam hordeo, arista mordacior hordeo. in 
area exteruntur triticum et siHgo et hordeum ; sic et 
seruntur pura qualiter moluntur, quia tosta non sunt. 
e diverso far, miUum, panicum purgari nisi tosta non 
possunt ; itaque haec cuni suis foUicuUs seruntur 
cruda. et far in vaginuUs suis servant ad satus atque 
nun torrent. 

62 XI. Levissimum ex his hordeum raro excedit 
XV libras et faba xxii. ponderosius far magisque 
etiamnum triticum. farina in Aegypto ex olyra 
conficitur: tertinm genus spicae hoc ibi est. GaUiae 
quoque suuni genus farris dedere, quod iUic bracem 
vocant, apud nos scandalani,^ nitidissinii grani. est 
et alia dilferentia quod fere quaternis Ubris plus reddit 

* V.l. sandalam. 

» Siligo was chiefly eoft bread-wheat (common wheat) but 
included chib-whcat and spelt. 

* (ireek oXvpa ^ ^tia 8iVo*f/co?. A two-grained wheat. The 
word was uscd cspccially for the hulled grains. 

' Hence French brasaer, 'to brew '. 

228 



BOOK XVIII. X. 60-xi. 62 

from sowing. Millet (common and Italian) and 
sesame and all the summer grains ripen within 40 days 
of blossoming, although with considerable diircrences 
due to soil and wcathcr; for in Egypt barley is 
reaped in the sixth month after sowing and wheat in 
the seventh, while in Greece barley is cut in the 
seventh month and in the Peloponnese in the eighth, 
and wheat even later. Grains growing on a stalk 
form ears with a texture Hke a tuft of hairs ; in beans 
and leguminous plants the grains are in pods shooting 
on each side alternately. Cereals are stronger to 
withstand ^\inter, but thc leguminous plants provide 
a more substantial article of food. 

In wheat the grain has several coats, but barley Uusks. 
and good emmer wheat are largely naked, and the oat 
is especially so. Wheat has a taller stalk than barley, 
but barley has a more prickly ear. Hard wheat, coni- 
mon wheat " and barley are threshed on a threshing 
floor ; thus they are also sown without the husk, just as 
they are milled, because they are not dried first. On 
the other hand emmer wheat, and common and 
Italian niillet cannot be freed of husk until they have 
becn dried, and consequcntly these grains are sown un- 
threshed, with their husks on. People also keep ennner 
in its little husks for sowing, and do not dry it by heat. 

XI. Of these grains the Hghtest is barley, which Weighioj 
rarely exceeds fiftcen pounds to the peck, and beans ^^^' 
twenty-two pounds. I''mmcr is heavier and wheat 
hcavier still. In Egypt they make flour out of olyra,'' 
a third kind of corn that grows there. The GalUc 
provinces have also produced a special kind of emmer, 
the local name for which is brace,'" while with ils it 
is callcd scandala ; it has a very glossy grain. There 
is also another difference in that it gives about four 

229 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTOllY 

panis quani far aliud. populum Roniaiium farre 
tantum e frumento ccc annis usum Verrius tradit. 

63 XII. Tritici genera plura (juae fecere gentes. 
Italico nullum equidem comparaverim candore ac 
pondcre, quo maxime discernilur.' montanis modo 
comparetur Italiae agris externum, in quo princi- 
patum tenuit Boeotia, dein Sicilia, mox Africa. 
tertium pondus erat Thracio, S\Tio, deinde et 
Aeg^-ptio, athlctarum tum ^ decreto, quorum capaci- 
tas iumentis similis qucm diximus ordinem fccerat. 
Graecia et Ponticum laudavit, quod in Italiam non 

64 pervenit ; ex omni autem genere grani praetulit 
dracontian et strangian ^ et Sehnusium argumento 
crassissimi cahimi ; itaque pingui solo haec genera 
adsignabat. levissimum et maxime inane speudian. 
tenuissinit calami, in umidis seri iubebat, quoniam 

65 multo egeret alimento. hae fuere sententiae Alex- 

andro Magno rcgnante, cum clarissima fuit Graecia 

atque in toto orbe terrarum potentissima, ita tamen 

ut ante mortem eius annis fere cxlv Sophocles poeta 

in fabula Triptolemo frumentum Italicum ante cuncta 

huidaverit ad verbum tralata sententia : ' Kt fortuna- 

tam Itaham frumcnto canere* candido,' quae laus 

pecuHaris hodieque ItaHco est ; quo magis admiror 

' Rarkham : deceiiiitur. 

- Detlefsen : cum ([cum] vel olim vel quitlem Mayhoff). 

' Cae^ariuis : stelepan aul istelejjant. 

* V.l. serere. 

" See p. 224, note a. 

* This anfl thc foUowing were appnmitly ' poulanl ' wheats. 

* Sophocles Fr. 600 (Pearson II. p. 246). 
230 



BOOK XVIII. .XI. 62-.X11. 65 

pounds more bread per peck than other emmer 
wheats. According to \ errius enimer was the only 
corn uscd hv the Iloman nation for 300 ycars. 

XII. There are several kinds of wheat" that have ivheat,it.i 
been produced by various races. For my own part '"a/'"^*""'' 
I shoukl not rank any of them with Italian wlicat for iari,ties. 
whiteness and for weight, for which it is particularly 
di^^tinguished. Foreign whcat can onlv be conipared 
with tliat of the mountain regions of Italv ; among 
forcign kinds Boeotia has obtained the first rank, 
thcn Sicilv, and after that Africa. The third pLice 
for weight used to belong to Thracian and Sp-ian 
wheat and later also to Egyptian, by the vote of 
athletes in those days, whose capacity for cereals, 
resembHng that of cattle, had established the order 
of merit that we have stated. Greece also gave 
praise to wheat from Pontus, which did not get 
through to Italy ; but of all the varicties of grain 
Greece gave the preference to dracontias,'' strangias 
and the whcat of Sehnunte, recognized by the thick- 
ncss of the straw, because of which it used to count 
thcsc kinds as appropriate for a rich soik For sowing 
in damp soils Greece prescribed speudias, averylight 
and extremely scanty-growing grain with a very thin 
stalk, because it required a grcat deal of nourish- 
ment. These were the opinions held in the reign of 
Alexander the Great, when Greece was most famous 
and the most powerful state in the whole world, 
although nevertheless about 145 years before his 
death the poet Sophocles in his play Triptolernus 
praised Italian corn before all other kinds, in the 
phrase '^ of which a Uteral translation is : ' And that 
haj)pv Italy glows white with bright white wheat ' ; 
and also to-day the Italian whcat is espcciallv dis- 

231 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

posteros Graecorum nullam mentionem huius fecisse 
frumenti. 

66 Nunc ex iis ^ generibus quae Romam * invehuntur 
le\issimum est Gallicum atque Chersoneso advectum, 
quippc non excedunt modii \icenas libras, si quis 
granum ipsum ponderet. Sardum adicit selibram, 
Alexandrinura et trientem — hoc et Siculi pondus — . 
Baeticum totam libram addit, Africum et dodrantem. 
in transpadana Italia scio vicenas quinas libras farris 

67 modios pendere, circa Clusium et senas. lex certa 
naturae ut in quocumque genere pani militari ■^ tertia 
portio ad grani pondus accedat, sicut optumum 
frumentum esse quod in subactum congium aquae 
capiat. quibusdam gencribus per se pondus, sicut 
Baliarico modio tritici panis p. xxxv redit,* quibusdam 
non nisi ^ mixtis, ut Cyprio et Alexandrino xx per se * 

68 libras non exccdentibus. Cyprium fuscum est 
panemque nigrum facit, itaque miscetur Alexan- 
drinum candidum, redeuntque xxv pondo. The- 
baicum libram adicit. marina aqua subigi, quod 
plerique in maritimis locis faciunt occasione lucrandi 
sahs, inutilissimum : non alia de causa opportuniora 
morbis corpora existunt. GaUiae et Hispaniae 

' RarUiam : his. 

' Edd. : Koma aul Romae. 

' miliari Dellef-^en. 

* Dellefsen : reddit. 

* non nisi cd. Val. Lat. 3861, m. 2: in pinis rdl.: in binis 
Gdcn. : binis Hardouin. 

• Back/iam : xx propc. 

• A conjectural emendation gives ' of bread made from 
millet '. 

232 



BOOK XVIII. XII. 65-68 

tinguished for whiteness, which makes it more 
surprising to me that the later Greeks have made no 
mention of this corn. 

At the prcsent the Ughtest in weight among the /mported 
kinds of wlieat imported to Romc is the wheat of ];,p^" y,"J^ 
Gaul, and that brought from the Chersonese, as 
they do not exceed twenty pounds a pcck, if one 
weighs tlic grain hv itself. Sardinian grain adds 
half a poiuid to this figure, and Alexandrian a third 
of a pound more — this is also the wcight of SiciUan 
wheat— while that of Southern Spain scorcs a whole 
pound more and that of Africa a pound and three- 
quartcrs. In Italy north of the Po the peck of emmer 
to my knowledge weighs 25 pounds, and in the 
Chiusi neighbourhood even 26 pounds. It is a fixed 
law of nature that in any kind of commissariat 
bread " a third part is added in the making to the 
weight of the grain, just as that the best whcat is 
that which absorbs three quarts of Matcr into the 
pcck of grain kneaded. Some kinds of grain used 
by themselves give their full weight, for instance a 
pcck of Balearic wheat produces 35 pounds of bi'ead, 
but some only do so when blcnded — for example, 
Cyprian wheat and Alexandrian, which used by them- 
seh'es do not go beyond 20 pounds a peck. Cyprus 
wheat is of a dusky colour and makes black brcad, 
and conscquently the white Alexandrian is mixed 
with it, and that gives 25 pounds of bread to the peck. 
The wheat of the Thebaid in Egypt makes a pound 
more. To knead the flour with sea water, which they 
frequently do in seaside places for the sake of econo- 
mizing salt, is extremely inexpedient, as there is 
nothing elsc that rcndcrs the body more Uable to 
disease. WTien the corn of Gaul and Spain of the 

233 



PLINY: NATLRAL HISTORY 

frumento in potum resoluto quibus diximus generibus 
spuma ita concreta pro fernionto utuntur, qua de 

69 causa levior illis quam ceteris panis est. est diffe- 
rentia et calami, crassior quippe melioris est generis. 
plurimis tunicis Thracium triticum vestitur ob nimia 
frigora illi plagae requi^itum.^ eadem causa et 
trimenstre ^ invenit detinentibus terras nivibus quod 
tertio fere a satu mense cum et in reliquo orbe mctit ur. 
totis hoe Alpibus notum, et hiemahbus provinciis 
nullum hoc frumento laetius : unicalamum praeterea 
nec usquam capax, seriturque non nisi tenui terra. 

70 est et bimestre circa Thraciae Aenum, quod .\l die e* 
quo satum est maturescit, mirunKjue nulH frumento 
plus esse ponderis et furfuribus carere. utitur eo ct 
SiciHa et Achaia, montuosis utratjue partibus, Kuboea 
quoque circa Carystum. in tantum fallitur Columella 
(jui ne trimestri (piidem propriuni genus existimaverit 
esse, cum sit antiquissimum. Graeci setanion vocant. 
tradunt in Bactris grana tantae magnitudinis fieri ut 
singula spicas nostras aequent. 

"1 XIII. Primum ex omnibus frumentis seritur 
hordeum. dabimus et dies serendo cuique generi 
natura singulorum exposita. hordeum Indis sativuin 
et silvestre, ex quo panis apud eos praecipuus et aUca.* 

' i?(7ri7iam : exquisitum. * Z^afer. : trimestria. 

* e add. Mayhojf. * Hardouin : praecipuus Italica. 

" This of course is an absur d exaggcration, the quickest- 
growing whcat, uscd for example in Northern Canada, taking 
five nionths. 

* ZtTaviay. Here a common or a club-wheat ; but the word 
was also used for a ' poulard' whcat. 

' Theophrastus, //ly^ 1'lanl. 8. 4, '), aays as big as an olive 
fitonc. 

^* Alica wae normally groats made from two-grained wheat. 



BOOK XVIII. XII. 68-.\in. 71 

kinds we have stated is steeped to make beer the §§ 62, 67. 
foam that forms on the sm-face in the process is used 
for leaven, in consequence of which those races have 
a Hghter kind of bread than others. There is also a 
(lifFerence in the stalk, that of the better sort of grain 
being thicker. Thracian wheat is clothed witli a 
great many husks, which is necessary for that region 
because of the excessive frosts. The same reason 
has also led to the discovery of a three-month wheat, 
because the snow holds back the ground ; it is 
reaped about three months " after sowing, at the 
same time as wheat is harvested in the rest of 
the world. This wheat is known all over the Alps, 
and in the provinces with cold climates no corn 
flourishes better than this ; moreover it has a single 
stem and in no region liolds much grain, and it is 
never sown except in a thin soil. There is actually 
a two-month variety in the neighbourhood of Aenus 
in Thrace, which begins to ripen six weeks after it is 
sown ; and it is surprising that no corn weighs heavier, 
and that it produces no bran. It is also used in 
Sicily and Achaia, in both c;ises in mountain dis- 
tricts, and in Euboea in the neighbourhood of 
Carystus. So greatly is Columella mistaken in his 11. 9. 8. 
(ipinion that even three-month wheat is not a 
ciistinct variety, although it is of extrcme antiquity. 
The Greeks call it setanion.'' It is said that in 
Bactria the grains of wheat grow so large that a 
single grain is as big as our ears of corn."^ 

XIII. The one sown first of all the cereals is barley. nari^y. 
After explaining the nature of each variety we will 
also give the date for sowing. India has both culti- 
vated and wild barley, and from it the natives make 
their bcst brcad niul also porridgc' Their favourite 

235 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

maxume quidem oryza graudent, ex (jua ti^^anam 
contlciunt quam reliqui mortales ex hordeo. orvzae 
folia carnosa, porro similia sed latiora, altitudo 
cubitalis, flos purpureus, radix gemmeae ^ rotunditatis. 

72 XIV. Antiquissimum in cibis hordeum, sicut 
Atheniensium ritu Menandro auctore apparet et 
gladiatorum co^nomine qui hordearii vocabantur. 
polentam quoque Graeci non aliunde praeferunt. 
pluribus fit haec raodis : Graeci perfusum aqua 
hordeum siccant nocte una ac postero die frigunt, dein 

73 molis frangunt. sunt qui vehementius tostum rursus 
exigua aqua adspergant et siccent prius cjuam molant. 
alii vero virentibus spicis decussum hordeum recens 
purgant madidumque in pila tundunt atque in 
corbibus eluunt ac siccatum sole rursus tundunt et 
purgatum molunt. quocumque autem genere prae- 
parato vicenis hordei hbris ternas seminis Hni et 
coriandri selibram sahsque acetabulum, torrentes ante 

74 omnia, miscent in mola. qui diutius volunt servare 
cum polline ac furfuribus suis condunt noWs fictilibus. 
Italia sine perfusione tostum in subtilem farinam 
moUt, isdem additis atque etiam miho. 

XV. Panem ex hordeo antiquis usitatum vita dam- 
navit, quadripedumque fcre cibus est, cuni ti^anae 
inde usus vaHdissimus saluberrimusque tanto opere 

75 probetur: imum laudibus eius vohimen dicavit 

' V.l. : geminae. 



• A prize of barley was given to victora in the Eleusinian 
pames. 'Jhe passage referred to in Menander is not e.xtant. 

236 



BOOK XVIII. XIII. 71-XV. 75 

grain is however rice, of which they make a drlnk 
Uke the barley-water made by the rest of mankind. 
Rice leaves are fleshy, resembUng leek but broader; 
the plant is 18 inches high, with a purple blossom 
and a root of a round shape Hke a precious stone. 

XIV. Barley is the oldest among hunian foods, as Usesoj 
is proved by the Athenian ceremony" recorded by '^'^^^' 
Menander, and by the name given to ghidiators, who 
used to be called ' barley-men '. Also the Greeks 
prefer it to any other grain for porridge. There are 
several ways of making barley porridge : the Greeks 
soak some barley in water and then leave it for a 
night to dry, and next day dry it by the fire and 
then grind it in a mill. Some after roasting it more 
thoroughlv sprinkle it again with a small amount of 
water and dry it before milHng ; others however 
shake the young barley out of the ears while green, 
clean it and while it is wet pound it in a mortar, and 
wash it of luisk in baskets and then dry it in the sun 

and again pound it, clean it and grind it. But what- 
ever kind of barley is used, when it has been got 
ready, in the mill they niix in three pounds of flax 
seed, half a pound of coriander seed, and an eighth 
of a pint of salt, previously roasting them all. Those 
who want to keep it for some time in store put it 
away in new earthenware jars with fine flour and its 
own bran. ItaUans bake it without steeping it in 
water and grind it into fine meal, with the addition 
of the same ingredients and millet as welL 

XV. Barley bread was much used in earUer days, 
but has been condemned by experience, and barley is 
now mostly fed to animals, although the consumption 

of barley-water is proved so eonclusively to be very uariei/- 
conducive to strength and health : Hippocrates, one """*^' 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Ilippocrates e clarissimis medicinae scientia. tisanae 
bonitas praecipua Uticensi. in Acgypto vero est 
quae fiat ex hordeo cui sunt bini anguli. in Baetica et 
Africa genus ex quo Hat hordei glabrum appellat 
Turranius. idem olvran et oryzan eandem esse 
existimat. tisanae conficiendae volgata ratio est. 

76 XVI. Simili modo e tritici semine tragum fit, in 
Campania dumtaxat et Aegypto, XVTI. amyluni 
vero ex onmi tritico ac siligine, sed optimum e 
trimestri. inventio eius Chio insulae debetur, et 
hodie laudatissimum inde. est appellatum ab eo quod 
sine mola fiat. proximum trimcstri quod e minime 
ponderoso tritico. madescit dulci aqua in ligneis 
vasis,ita ut integatur (juinquics in die mutata, melius 
si et noctu, ita ut integatur quinquies in die mutata, 

77 meliussiet noctu,itaut misceaturpariter. emollitum, 
prius quam acescat, linteo aut sportis saccatum ' 
tegulae infunditur inlitae fermento atque ita in sole 
densatur. po.st Chium maxime laudatur Creticum, 
mox Aegyptium. probatur autem levore et levitate 
atque ut recens sit. iam et Catoni dictum apud nos. 

^ saccatum cd. Par. Lat. 6797 : aiccatum rell. 



Hee p. 2:28, noto b. 

.Sfc« p. 224, uote a; p. 228, note o. 

'AfivXov. * Ji.Ji. LXXXVII. 



238 



BOOK XVIir. XV. 75-.\vii. 77 

of the most fanious authorities on medical science, 
has devoted one wliole book to its jiraises. Utica 
barley-water is of outstanding (juality. There is a 
Idnd in Egypt niade of thc double-pointed grain. 
The kind of barley used for making this drink 
in Andalusia and Africa is called by Turranius 
smooth barley. The same authority is of opinion 
that olyra,'^ and oryza (i-ice) are the same plant. 
The recipe for making barley-water is universally 
known. 

XVI. Hulled-wheat grain is used in a similar way '"^tarch. 
for making pap, at all events in Campania and in 
Egypt ; XVII. and starch is made froni every kind of 
wheat and conimon wheat,* but the bcst from three- 
month wheat. For its discovery we are indebted to the 
islarid of Chios, and that is where the best kind comes 
froni to-dav. Its name "^ is Greek, and means ' made 
without milling '. Next to the starch made from 
three-month wheat is the kind made of the Ughtest 
sort of wheat. This is soaked with fresh water in 
woodcn tubs, with the grain completely covered, 
the water being changcd five times in the course of 
a day, and preferably in the night time as well, so 
as to get it mixed up evenly with the grain. When 
it is quite soft but before it goes sour it is strained 
through Hnen or wicker baskets and poured out on 
a tiled surface that has been smeared with leaven, 
and left to thicken in the sun. Next to the 
starch of Chios that from Crete is most highly 
spoken of; and then comes the Egyptian kind. 
The test of its qualitv is smooth consistency and 
Hght weight, and the condition of being fresh. 
It has nioreover b<en mentioned already by Cato*^ 
among ourselves. 

239 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

78 XVII 1. Hurdei farina et ad medendum utuntur, 
mirumque in usu iumentorum ignibus durato ac 
postea molito offisque humana manu demissis in 
alvum maiores eis vires torosque corporis fieri. spicae 
quaedani binos ordines habent, quaedam plures usque 
ad senos. grano ipsi aHquot differentiae : longius 
leviusque aut brevius ac ^ rotundius, candidius ni- 
griusve, cui purpura est opimo ^ ad polentam ; contra 

79 tempestates candido maxima infirmitas. hordeum 
frugum omnium mollissinium est. seri non volt nisi 
in sicca et soluta terra ac nisi laeta. palea ex optimis, 
stramento vero nullum conparatur. hordeum ex 
omni frumento minime calamitosum, quia ante 
tolHtur quam triticum occupet rubigo (itaque 
sapientes agricolae triticum cibariis tantum serunt, 
hordeum sacculo seri dicunt), propterea celerrime 

80 redit ; fertiHssiniumque est quod in Hispaniae 
Carthagine Aprili mense collectum est. hoc seritur 
eodem mcns»- in Celtiberia, eodemque anno bis 
nascitur. rapitur omne a prima statim maturitate 
fcstinantius quam cetera ; fragili enim stipula et 
tenuissima palea granum continetur. mcHorem etiam 
polcntam fieri tradunt si nun excocta maturitate 
toUatur.^ 

81 XIX. Frumenti genera non eadem ubique, nec ubi 
eadem sunt isdem nominibus. volgatissima ex liis 

' ^fai/hriff: aiit. 

* optiino cd. Val. Lal. .18()I : ultimo rdl. 

* §§ IH-SO fortasae ita tranaponenda aunt ul caput XV (§ 74) 
anlecedanl. 

240 



BOOK XVIII. XVIII. 78-xi.\. 8i 

XVIII. Barley meal is used as a medicine, and it MoredetoUs 
is remarkable how in treating cattle pills made of it " "" "''^ 
after it has becn hardened by roasting at the fire 

and afterwards ground, sent down into the animars 
stomach by thc human hand, serve to increase the 
strength and enlarge the muscles of the body. 
Some ears of barlev have two rows of grains and 
some more, up to as many as six. In the grain itself 
there are some varieties: it is longer and smoother 
or shorter and rounder, Hghter or darker in colour, 
the kind with a purple shade being of a rich consis- 
tency for porridge ; the Hght-coloured grain ofFers 
the weakest resistance to storms. Barley is the 
softest of all the grains. It Hkes to be sown only in a 
drj^ loose soil, which must also be of rich quaHty. Its 
chaff is one of thebest,indeed for straw there is none 
that compares with it. Barley is the least Hable to 
damage of aU corn, because it is harvested before the 
wheat is attacked by mildew (and so wise farmers 
only sow wheat for the larder, whereas barley is 
sown bv the sack, as the saying is), and consequently 
it brings in a return very quickly ; and the most 
proHfic kind is the barley harvested at Carthage in 
Spain in the month of April. In Celtiberia this 
barley is sown in the same month, and there are two 
crops in the same year. All barley is cut sooner 
than any other grain, as soon as it first ripens, because 
the grain is carried on a brittle straw and contained 
in a very thin chaff. Moreover we are told that it 
makes better pearl-barley if it is Hfted before its 
ripening has been completed. 

XIX. \'arieties of wheat are not the same every- VarUUesoj 
where, and where they are the same they do not Inim«-. 
always bear the same names. The most widely 

241 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

atque pollentissinia far (quod adoreuni veteres 
appellavere), siligo, triticum : haec plurimi.s terris com- 
munia. arinca Galliarum propria copiosa et Italiae 
est ; Aegypto autem ac Syriae Ciliciaeque et Asiae ac 
Graeciae peculiares zea, <ol}Ta,) or}za (sivey tiphe. 
h2 Aegyptus similaginem conficit e tritico suo nequa- 
quam Italicae parem. qui zea utuntur non habent 
far. est et haec Italiae in Campania maxime, 
semenque appellatur ; hoc habet nomen res praeclara, 
ut mox docehimus, propter quam Homerus ^etSwpos 
apovpa dixit, non ut aliqui arbitrantur quoniam \itani 
donaret. amylum quoque ex ea fit priore crassius : 

83 haec sola differentia est. ex omni genere durissimum 
far et contra hiemes firmissimum. patitur frigidissi- 
mos locos et minus subactos vel aestuosos sitientesque. 
primus antiquo is - Latio cibus, magno argumento in 
adoriae donis, sicuti diximus. pulte autem, non pane, 
vixisse longo tempore Romanos manifestum, quoniani 

84 et pulmentaria hodieque dicuntur, et Ennius anti- 
quissimus vates obsidionis famem exprimens offam 
eripuisse plorantibus liberis patres coinmemorat. et 
hodie sacra prisca atque natalium pulte fitilla-* con- 
ficiuntur; videturque tani puls ignota Graeciae fuisse 
quam Italiae polenta. 

• <olyra,> oryza ^sive/ coW. §§ 62, 93, T^^-op^r. Hamiinglon. 

* C. F. W. Mueller : antiquLs (antiquis Latii Mai)hoff). 
' F.I. fritilla. 



* Emnier. 

* Zfia (biKOKKos) anfl 6\vpa were both varictiea of two- 
grained or 'emmer' wheat, while ruftr) — L,eia anXrj was one- 
grained or 'einkorn' wbeat (Trilicum, monococcum). The 

242 



BOOK X\III. xi.v. ST-84 

known of theni and the most prevalent are emmer 
(the old name for which was adoreum), common wlieat 
and hard wheat — these are commonto most countries. 
Arinca " wheat which is indigenous in the (iaUic 
provinces is also frequent in Italy ; wliile cea, oli/ra, 
and * rice ' or tiphe'' are only found in Egypt, Syria, 
CiUcia and Asia and Greece. Egypt makes a prime 
flour out of its own wheat, but it by no means matches 
that of Italy. The places that use zea have not got 
our emmer. Zea also is found in Italy, particulai'ly 
in Campania, and is called ' seed ' ; it has that name as 
being a remarkable thing, as we shall soon explain, §§ 112, 19^ 
which is the reason for Homer's expression zeidoros ii.u.biv 
aroura, ' the tilth that gives us zea ' — it is not on 
account of its ' bestowing life ', as some peojile think. 
Starch of a coarser quality than the kind mentioned be- 
fore but otherwise identical is made from it. Emmer 
is the most hardy of every kind and the one that 
resists winter best. It stands the coldest locali- 
ties and those that are under-cultivated or extremely 
hot and dr}'. It was the first food of the Latium of 
old times, a strong proof of this being found in the 
oiferings of adoria, as we have said. It is clear § i^. 
however that for a long time the Romans lived on 
pottage, not on bread, since even to-day foodstuffs 
are also called ' pulmentaria ', and Ennius, the oldest 
of our bards, describing a famine during a siege, re- 
calls how fathers snatched away a morsel from their 
crying children. Even nowadays primitive ritiials 
and birthday sacrifices are performed with gruel- 
pottage ; and it appears that pottage was as much 
unknown to Greece as pearl-barlev was to Rome. 

Latin far was properly ^eia Sikokkos, but Pliny mi.sses tliis 
point. 

243 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTOllY 

85 XX. Tritici semine avidius nuUum est nec quod plus 
aliinrnti traliat. siliginem proprie dixerim tritici 
delicias sive ^ candore esse sive virtute sive pondere.^ 
conveniens umidis tractibus, quales Italiae sunt 
et Galliae Comatae, sed trans Alpes in Allo- 
brogum tantum Remorumque agro pertinax, in 
ceteris ibi partibus bicnnio in triticura transit. 
remedium ut gravissima quaeque grana eius ser- 

8ti antur. e siligine lautissimus panis pistrinarumque 
opera laudatissima. praecellit in Italia si Campana 
Pisis natae misceatur: rufior illa, at Pisana can- 
didior ponderosiorque cretacea. iustum est e grano 
Campanae quam vocant castratam e modio redire 
sextarios quattuor siliginis vel e gregali sine 

m7 castratura sextarios quinque, praeterea floris semo- 
dium et cibarii, quod secundarium vocant, sextarios 
(juattuor, furfuris sextarios totidem, e Pisana autem 
siliginis sextarios quinquc, cetera paria sunt. Clusina 
Arretinaque etianumm sextarios siliginis adiciunt, in 
reliquis pares. si vero poUinem facere libeat, xvi 
pondo panis redeunt et cibarii iii furfurumque 
semodius. molae discrimine hoc constat ; nam quae 
sicca moluntur plus farinae reddunt, quae salsa aqua 
sparsa candidiorem medullam, verum plus retinent in 

88 furfure. farinam a farre dictam nomine ipso apparet. 
siligineae fiirinae modius Gallicae xx libras panis 

' aive add. Backham. 

* candore virtute pondore cd. Vat. ImI. .'1861, m. 2: caiidnr 
(candore cd. Leid. n. VII, in. 1 ) cst et sine virtiite sine pondcre 
rell. : csse pro est et Wtirmington : candore bive virtute sive 
pondere Muyhoff. 

244 



BOOK XVIII. XX. 85-88 

XX. No grain is greedier than wheat or draws Loeai 
more nourishment out of the soil. Common wheat I ,7/i"al*** "' 
may properly designate the choicest variety, whether 
in whiteness or goodness or weight. It is suitable 
for moist districts Hke those in Italy and Gallia 
Comata, but across the Alps it only keeps its char- 
acter in the territory of Savoy and Reims, while in 
the other parts of that country it changes in two 
years into ordinary wheat. The cure for this is to 
select its heaviest grains for sowing. Common wheat ficut 
flour makes bread of the highest quahty and the ^'^J^^^"^ 
most famous pastiy. The top place in Italy is taken 
by a mixture of Campanian conmion wheat flour with 
that grown at Pisa, the former being reddish but the 
chalk-hke Pisa variety whiter and heavier. A fair 
yield from the Campanian grain called ' boltcd ' is to 
give four sixteenths of fine flour to the peck, or from 
what is called common grain, not bolted, five six- 
teenths, as well as half a peck of fine flour and four 
sixteenths of the coarse meal called ' seconds ', and 
the same amount of bran ; whereas Pisa wheat 
should give four sixteenths of prime flour, while of 
the other kinds the vield is the same. The whcats 
of Chiusi and Arezzo give an additional sixteenth of 
prime flour, but in the remaining qualities they are 
on a level. If however it is wished to make special 
flour, the return is sixteen pounds of bread and three 
pecks of seconds and half a peck of bran. This 
dcpends on (Hfferent methods of milhng;- for grain 
ground when dry gives more flour, but if sprinkled 
with salt water it makes a whiter meal, but keeps 
more back in the bran. The name for flour, yanwa, 
is obvinusly derived from far, emmer. A peck 
of flour made of Galhc common wheat gives 20 

245 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

reddit, Italicae duabus tribusve amplius in artopticio 
pane : nam furnaceis binas adiciunt libras in quocum- 
que genere. 

89 Similago e tritico fit, laudatissima ex Africa. 
iu<;tum est e modiis redire semodios et pollinis sex- 
tarios quinque — ita appellant in tritico quod florem in 
siligine ; hoc aerariae officinae chartariaeque utuntur 
— praeterea secundarii sextarios quattuor furfurum- 
que tantundem, panis vero e modio similaginis p. 

90 XXII, e floris modio p. .YVi. pretium huicannona media 
in modios farinae xl asses, similagini octonis assibus 
ampHus, siligini castratae duplum. est et alia 
distinctio semeP pollinatam xvii p. panis reddere, bis 
XVIII, ter XIX cum triente et secundarii panis quinas 
sehbras, totidem cibarii, et furfurum sextarios vi. 

91 Siligo numquam maturescit pariter, nec uUa sege- 
tum minus dilationem patitur propter teneritatem 
spicis - quae maturuere protinus granum dimittenti- 
bus. sed minus quam cetera frumenta in stipula peri- 
clitatur, quoniam semper rectam habet spicam nec 

'.»2 rorem continet qui robiginem faciat. ex arinca dul- 
cissimus panis ; ipsa spissior quam far, et maior spica, 
eadem et ponderosior : raro modius grani non xvi 
libras implet. exteritur in Graecia difficulter, ob id 
iumentis dari ab Homero dicta : haec enim est quam 

' Bemel <tenuiore cribro) ? Mayhoff. 
- Rnrkham : iis. 



• Eapecially the flour from hartl bare wheata or ' macaroni ' 
wheats. Cf. p. 224, note a; p. 22S, note a. 

* lUad V. 196. 

246 



BOOK XVIII. XX. 88-92 

pounds of bread, that of the Italian kind two or three 
pounds more, in the case of bread baked in a tin— for 
loaves baked in the oven they add two pounds in 
either kind of wheat. 

' Hard ' flour" is niade from hard wheat, the most 
highly esteemed coming from Africa. A fair return is 
half a peck from a peck with five sixteenths of special 
flour — that is the name given in the case of Jiard wheat 
to what in common wlieat is called the ' flower ' ; this is 
used in copper works and paper mills — and in addi- 
tion four sixteenths of second quahty flour and the 
same amount of bran, but from a peck of ' hard ' flour 
22 pounds of bread and from a peck of flower of 
wheat 16 pounds. The price for this when the 
market rate is moderate is 40 asses a peck for flour, 
8 asses more for ' hard ' flour and twice as much for 
bolted common wheat. There is also another distinc- 
tion, that when bolted a single time it gives 17 pounds 
of bread, when twice 18, when three times 19^, and 
2^ pounds of second quality bread, the same amount 
ofshorts and six sixteenths of V)ran. 

Common wheat never ripens evenly, and yet no corn Common 
crop is less able to stand delay as, owing to its "''<""< "''^ 
delicacy of structure, the ears that have ripened 
shed their grain at once. But it is less exposed 
to danger in the straw than other cereals, because 
it always has the ear on a straiglit stalk and it 
does not hold dew to cause rust. Best emmer makes 
the sweetest bread ; the grain itself is of closer 
fibre than ordinaiy emmer and the ear is at once larger 
and heavier : a peck of the grain seldom fails to 
make 16 pounds. In Greece it is diflicult to thresh 
and consc^quentlv Homer'' speaks of it as being 
fed to cattle — for his word oli/ra mcans this grain ; 

247 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

olyram vocat ; eadem in Aegypto facilis fertilisque. 

93 far sine arista est, item sili<ro. excepta quae Laconica 
appellatur. adiciuntur his genera bromos et tragos, 
extema omnia, ab oriente invectae oryzae similia. 
tiphe et ipsa eiusdem est generis, ex qua fit in nostro 
orbe oryza. apud Graccos est et zea, traduntque 
eam ac tiphen, cum sint degeneres, redire ad frumen- 
tum, si pistae serantur, nec protinus, sed tertio anno. 

94 XXL Tritico nihil est fertihus — hoc ei Natura 
tribuit quoniam eo maxime alebat hominem — utpote 
cum e modio, si sit aptum solum quale in Byzacio 
Africae campo, centeni quinquageni modii reddantur. 
misit ex eo loco divo Augusto procurator eius ex uno 
grano — vix credibile dictu — cccc paucis minus ger- 

95 mina, exstantque de ea re epistulae. misit ct Neroni 
simiUter ccclx stipulas ex uno grano. cum centesimo 
quidem et Leontini Siciliae canipi fundunt aliique et 
tota Baetica et in primis Aegyptus. fertiHssima 
tritici genera ramosum ac quod centigranium vocant. 
inventus est iam et scapus unus centum fabis onustus. 

96 XXIL Aestiva frumenta diximus sesimam, milium, 
panicuin. sesima ab Indis venit ; ex ea et oleum 
faciunt ; colos eius candidus. huic simile est in 



" Perhaps bromos ia a variety of oats ; tragos, Tpdyos = 
oXvpa, the grain a d groata of emmer wheats. 

* For liphe etc. see pp. 242-.3. 

' Kxiiniplcs given here may include exaggerated records of 
' tillering ' or produetion of numbers of side-shoot.s by one plant. 

' A branch-eared kind of ' poulard ' wheat. 

248 



BOOK XVIII. XX. Q2-\xii. q6 

but on the other hand in Egypt it is easy to 
thresh and gives a good yield. Emmer has no beard, 
nor has common wheat, excepting the kind called 
Laconian. With these are also to be classed bromos 
and tragos," entirely foreign grains, resembhng rice 
imported from the east. Tiphe itself also belongs to 
the same class — the grain from which a rice is pro- 
duced in our part of the world. With the Greeks there 
is also zea, and according to their account that grain 
and tiphe degenerate and go back to wheat, if they 
are sown after being ground, though not at once, but 
two years later.* 

XXI. Nothing is more proHfic than wheat — Nature Fertmty oj 
having given it this attribute becaase it used to be "^''*'"' 
her principal means of nourishing man — inasmuch as 

a peck of wheat, given suitable soil hke that of the 
Byzacium plain in Africa, produces a yield of 150 
pecks. The deputy governor of that region sent to 
his late Majesty Augustus — almost incredible <^ as it 
seems — a parcel of very nearly 400 shoots obtained 
from a single grain as seed, and there are still in exist- 
ence despatches relating to the matter. He Hkewise 
sent to Nero also 300 stalks obtained from one grain. 
At all events the plains of Lentini and other districts 
in Sicily, and the whole of Andalusia, and particularly 
Egypt reproduce at the rate of a hundredfold. The 
most prohfic kinds of wheat are branched wheaf' and 
what they call hundred-grain wheat. Also a single 
beanstalk has before now been found laden with a 
hundred beans. 

XXII. We have specified sesame and common and Summer 
Itahan millets as summer grains. Sesame comes f^g"* 
from India, where it is also used for making oil; the 
colour of the grain is white. A grain that resembles 

249 



PLIXY: NATl RAL HISTORY 

Asia Graeciaque erysimum, idemque erat nisi pin- 
guius esset quod apud nos vocant irionem, medi- 
caminibus adnumerandum potius quam frugibus. 
eiusdem natm-ae et horminum Graecis dictum, sed 
cumino simile, seritur cum sesama ; hac et irione 
nullum animal vescitur virentibus. 

97 XXI n. Pistura non omnium facilis, quippe Etruria 
spicam farris tosti pisente pilo praefcrrato, fistula 
serrata et stella intus denticulata, ut, si inlenti pisant, 
concidantur grana ferrumque frangatur. maior pars 
Italiae nudo utitur pilo, rotis etiam quas a(|ua verset 
obiter et mola.^ de ipsa ratione pisendi Magonis 

98 proponemus sententiam : triticum ante perfundi aqua 
multa iubet, postea evalli, dein sole siccatum in ^ pila 
repeti, simili modo hordeum ; huius sextarios xx 
spargi duobus sextariis aquae. lentem torreri prius, 
dein cum furfuribus leviter pisi aut addito in sextarios 
,\x lateris crudi frusto et harenae semodio. erviliam 
iisdem modis quibus lentem. sesimam in calida 
maceratam exporrigi, dein confricari et frigida mergi 
ut paleae fluctuentur, iterumque exporrigi in sole 
super lintea, quod ni^i festinato peragatur, lurido 

99 colore mucescere. et ipsa autem quae evalluntur 

^ lan : molat. 

* in coll. xxxin 87 add. ilueller. 



" Winter cress. 
» Clarj'. 



250 



BOOK XVIII. \.\ii. 96-.\xiii. 99 

it in Asia and Greece is erysimum, and the grain 
called with us irio " would be identical with it were it 
not that that is more iilled out, and is to be reckoned 
as a drug rather than a cereal. Of the same nature 
is also the grain'' called in Greece horminum, though 
it resembles cuniniin ; it is sown with giiigelly. No 
animal will eat either this or irio while green. 

XXIII. Not all grains are easy to crush, in fact iiethoiUoj 
Etruria pounds the ears of emmer, after it has been "" '""■ 
roasted, with a pestle shod with iron at the end, in a 
handmill that is serrated and denticulated inside 
with grooves radiating from a centre, so that if 
people put their weight into it wliile pounding the 
grains are only sphntered up and the iron is broken. 
The greater part of Italy uses a bare pestle, and also 
wheels turned by moving water, and a millstone. 
As to the actual method of pounding corn we will 
put forward the opinion of Mago : he says that 
wheat should be steeped in a quantity of water 
beforehand, and afterwards shelled of husk and then 
dried in the sun and well pounded in a mortar ; and 
barley should be treated in a similar way ; of the 
latter, he says, 20 sixteenths should be wetted 
with two sixteenths of water. Lentils must be 
roasted first and then mixed with bran and hghtly 
pounded, or with a fragment of unbaked brick and 
half a peck of sand added to each 20 sixteenths. 
Chickhng to be treated in the same ways as lentils. 
Sesame to be steeped in warm water and spread out, 
and then rubbed well and dipped in cokl water so 
that the chaff may float to the top, and again spread 
out in the sun on a Unen sheet ; and if this is not 
done very quickly it turns musty with a Uvid colour. 
Also there are various methods of pounding the 

251 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

variam pistrinaruin rationem liabent. acus vocatur 
cum per se pisitur spica tantum, aurificum ad usus, 
si vero in area teritur cum stipula, palea, in maiore 
terrarum parte ad pabula iumentorum. milii et 
panici et sesimae purgamenta apludam vocant et 
alibi aliis nominibus. 

100 XXIV. Milio Campania praecipue gaudet pultem- 
que candidam ex eo facit ; fit et panis praedulcis. 
Sarmatarum quoque gentes hac maxime pulte 
aluntur et cruda etiam farina, equino lacte vel 
sanguine e cruris venis admixto. Aethiopes non 
aham frugem quam miUi hordeique novere. 

101 XX\'. Panico et Galliae quidem, praecipue Aquita- 
nia utitur, sed et circumpadana ItaUa addita faba sine 
aqua.i Ponticae gentes nulhim panico praeferunt 
cibuni. cetera aestiva frumenta riguis magis etiam 
quam imbribus gaudent, miUum et panicum aquis 
minime, cum in folia exeant.^ vetant ea inter vites 
arboresve frugiferas seri, terram emaciari ^ hoc satu 
exlstimantes. 

102 XXVT. MiUi praecipuus ad fermenta usus e musto 
subacti in annuum tempus. simile fit e tritici ipsius 
furfuribus minutis et optimis e musto aU)o triduo 
maceratis, subactis ac sole siccatis. inde pastiUos in 
pane faciendo dihitos cum similagine seminis ferve- 

* Detlejfien : sino qua (lacimam vel solida MayJtoJf). 
^ excant RiK-kham : exeuiit (quouiam folia exuunt T coll. 
Theophr. <f>v?<XopoXovai Mai/hojfi. 

' Hardonin : emactari aut emacerari. 



• It made a very hot small fire. 

* Italian niillet. 

' Probably the tribes at the eastern and south-eastem 
end of the Black Sea are nieanb. 

25« 



BOOK XVIII. x.Mii. 99-.\xvi. 102 

grains themselves which are cleaned of husk. \^'hpn 
only the ear is pounded by itself. to be used by 
goldsmiths," it is called tlakes, but if it is beaten out 
on a threshinff-floor toffether with the stravv it is 
called chaff; this in the larger part of the world is 
used as fodder for cattle. The rcfuse from millet, 
panic *• and sesame is called apluda, and by other 
names in other places. 

XX1V\ Millet floui-ishes particularly well in Cam- common 
pania, where it is used for making a white porridge ; miiut. 
it also makes extremely sweet bread. Moreover 
the Sarmatian tribes Hve chiefly on millet porridge, 
and even on the raw meal, mixed with mare's milk 
or with blood taken from the veins in a horse's leg. 
Millet and barley are the only grains known to the 
Ethiopians. 

XX\'. The provinces of Gaul, and particularly naiian 
Aquitaine, also use panic,'' and so also do the parts of "" 
Italy on the banks of the Po, though adding to it 
beans without water. The races of the Black Sea<^ 
prefer panic to any other food. All the other kinds 
of summer corn flourish even better in land watered 
by streams than in rainy districts, but millet and 
panic are not at all fond of water, as it makes them 
run to leaves. People advise not growing them 
among vines or fruit trees, as they beheve that this 
crop irnpoverishes the soil. 

XXVI. Millet is specially used for making leaven ; i^eaven. 
if dipped in unfermented wine and kneaded it will 
keep for a whole year. A similar leaven is obtained 
by kneading and drying in the sun the best fine bran 
of the wheat itself, after it has been steeped for 
three days in unfermented white wine. In making 
bread cakes made of this arc soaked in water and 

253 



ri-INY: NATURAL HISTORY 

taciunt atque ita farinae miscent, sic optinium panem 

103 fieri arbitrantes. Graeci in binos semodios farinae 
satis esse bessem fermenti constituere. et haec 
quidem genera vindemiis tantum fiunt, quo libeat 
vero tempore ex aqua hordeoque bilibres offae 
ferventi foco vel fictili patina torrcntur cinere et 
carbone usque dum rubeant ; postea operiuntur in 
vasis donec acescant ; hinc fermentum dihiitur. cum 
ficret autem panis hordeacius, ervi aut cicerculae 
farina ipse fermentabatur ; iustum erat duas libras* 

104 in quinos * semodios. nunc fermentum fit ex ipsa 
farina quae subigitur prius quam addatur sal, ad pultis 
modum dccocta et relicta donec accscat. vulgo vero 
nec suffcrvefaciunt, sed tantum pridie adservata 
materia utuntur; palamque est naturam ^ acore 
fermentari, sicut invalidiora * esse corpora quae 
fermentato pane alantur, quippe cum apud vcteres 
pondcrosissimo cuique tritico praecipua salubritas 
perhibita sit. 

105 XXVn. Panis ipsius varia genera persequi super- 
vacuum videtur, alias ab opsoniis appellati, ut ostrearii, 
alias a deliciis, ut artolagani. alias a festinatione, ut 
speustici,*nec non a coquendi ratione,ut furnacei vel 
artopticii aut in clibanis cocti, non pridem etiam e 

* Rackhnm : duae librao (ii libras? Mayhoff). 

* Rarkham (v Mayhoff) : quinque. 
' ^materiae^ naturam ? Rackhnin. 

* invalidiora ? Mayhoff : evalidiora. 

* Bpeustici Oelen.: sceptrice (sceptrici cd. Leid. n. VII, m. 
2) cdd.: a faetigatione, ut streptici ? coll. Athen. iii I13a 
Mayhoff. 



" An alteration of the text, baaed on Athrnaeus'^ arpfmiKios 
aproy, givcs ' frnni ite pointed shape, like twieted bread '. 

?54 



BOOK XVIII. XXVI. I02-XXVII. 105 

boiled wit h prime flour of emmer and then mixed with 
the flour, this process being thought to produce the 
best bread. The Greeks have decided that two- 
thirds of an ounce of leaven is enough for everv two 
half-pecks of flour. Morcover though thesc kinds of 
leaven can only be made in the vintage season, it is 
possible at any time one chooses to make leaven 
from water and barley, making two-pound cakes and 
baking them in ashes and charcoal on a hot hearth 
or an earthcnware dish till they turn brown, and 
afterwards keeping them shut up in vessels till they 
go sour ; then soaked in water they produce leaven. 
But when barley bread used to be made, the actual 
barlev was leavened with flour of bitter vetch or 
chickHng ; the proper amount was two pounds of 
leaven to every two and a half pecks of barley. At 
the present time leaven is made out of the floiu* 
itself, which is kneaded before salt is added to it 
and is then boiled down into a kind of porridge and 
left till it bcgins to go sour. Generally however they 
do not heat it up at all, but only use the dough kept 
over from the day before ; manifestly it is natural 
for sourness to make the dough ferment, and hkewise 
that people who Uve on fermented bread have weaker 
bodies, inasmuch as in old days outstanding whole- 
someness was ascribed to wheat the heavicr it was. 

XXVII. As for bread itsclf it appears superfluous wai/s oj 
to give an account of its various kinds — in some ^"g^"' 
places bread called after the dishes eaten with it, 
such as oyster-bread, in others from its special deli- 
cacy, as cake-bread, in others from the sliort time 
spent in niaking it, as hasty-bread," and also from 
the method of baking, as oven bread or tin loaf or 
baking-pan bread ; while not long ago there was 

255 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Parthis invecto quem aquaticum vocant quoniam aqua 
trahitur ad tenuem et spongiosam inanitatcm, alii 
Parthicum. summa hius siHginis bonitate ct cribri 
tenuitate constat. quidam ex ovis aut lacte subigunt, 
butyro vero gentes etiam pacatae, ad operis pistorii 

106 genera transeunte cura. durat sua Piceno in panis 
inventione gratia ex aUcae materia ; eum novem 
diebus maceratum decumo ad speciem tractae subi- 
gunt uvae passae suco, postea in furnis oUis inditum, 
quae rumpantur ibi, torrent. nequc est ex eo cibus 
nisi madefacto, quod fit lacte maxime vel mulso. 

107 XXVIII. Pistores Romae non fuere ad Persicum 
usque bcllum aimis ab urbe condita super dlxxx. ipsi 
panem faciebant Quirites, muherumque id opus 
maxime erat, sicut etiam imnc in plurimis gentium. 
artoptas iaiii Phiutus appelhit in fabula quam Aulu- 
lariam inscripsit, magna ob id concertatione erudi 

108 torum an is versus poetae sit illius, certumque fit Ateii 
Capitonis sententia cocos tum panem lautioribus 
coquere sohtos, pistoresque tantum eos qui far pise- 
bant nominatos ; nec cocos vero habebant in servitiis, 
eosque ex macello conducebant. cribrorum genera 
GalUae ex saetis equorum invenere, Hispania e Hno 



• The Third Maccdonian War, 171-168 B.c. 

* Plautus UBca this word for miliera, but later it meant 
hnkera. 

256 



BOOK XVIII. XXVII. 105-xxvm. 108 

even bread iinported from Parthia, called water bread 
because by means of water it is drawn out into a thin 
spongy consistency fuU of holes ; others call it just 
Parthian brcad. The highest merit depends on the 
goodness of the wheat and the fineness of the bolter. 
Some use eggs or milk in kneading the dough, while 
even butter has been used by races enjoying pcace, 
when attention can be devoted to the varieties of 
pastry-making. The Ancona country still retains 
the popularity it won in the invention of bread 
from using groats as the material ; this bread is 
steeped for nine days and on the tenth day they 
knead it up with raisin juice into the shape of a 
long roll and afterwards put it in earthenware pots 
and bake it in ovens, the pots breaking in the 
process. It is not used for food unless it has been 
soaked, for which chiefly milk or honey-water is 
employed. 

XXVIII. There were no bakers at Rome down to Bakersm 
the war with King Perseus," over 580 years after the ^amHveiy 
foundation of the city. The citizens used to make modcm. 
bread themselves, and this was especially the task of 
the women, as it is even now in most nations. Plautus 
already speaks of bakers, using the Greek word, in 
his play named Aulularia, which has caused great auHoo. 
debate among the leamed as to the authenticity of 
the Une, and it is proved by the expression occurring 
in Ateius Capito that it was in his day usual for bread 
to be baked for more luxurious people by cooks, 
and only those who ground spelt were called 
' grinders ' * ; nor used people to have cooks on their 
regular stafF of servants, but they hired them from 
the provision market. The GalHc provinces invented 
the kind of bolter made of horse-hair, while Spain 

257 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

excussoria et pollinaria, Aegyptus e papyro atque 
iunco. 

109 XXIX. Sed inter prima dicatur et alicae ratio prae- 
stantissimae saluberrimacque, qua ^ palnia frugum in- 
duhitata Italiae contigit. fit sine dubio et in Aegypto, 
sed admodum spernenda. in Italia vero pluribus locis, 
sicut Veronensi Pisanoque agro, in Campania tamen 
laudatissima. campus cst subiacens montibus nim- 

110 bosis, totus quidem xl p. planitie. terra eius, ut pro- 
tinus soli natura dicatur. pulverea summa, inferiore^ 
bibula et pumicis vice fistulosa quoque, montium 
culpa in bonum cedit ; crebros enim imbres percolat 
atque transmittit, nec dilui aut madere voluit propter 
facilitatem ' culturae, eadem acceptum umorem nullis 
fontibus reddit sed temperate concoquens intra se 

111 vice suci * continet. seritur toto anno, panico semel, 
bis farre ; et tamen vere segetes quae interquievere 
fundunt rosam odoratiorem sativa, adeo terra non 
cessat parere ; unde volgo dictum plus apud Campa- 
nos unguenti quam apudceteros olei fieri. quantum 
autem universas terras campus Campanus antecedit, 
tantum ipsum pars eius quae Leboriae vocantur, quem 
Phlegraeum Graeci appellant. finiuntur Leboriae 
via ab utroque latere consulari quae a Puteolis et quae 

* Rackham : saluberrimam quae aut sim. 
'^ Rackluim : infcrior. 

' felicitatem cdd. pler. 

* Buci cd. Par. Lal. 6797 : fusi rdl. 



" The cereal mentioned at § 50 and elsewhere, groats made 
from far = emmer wbeat. 



258 



BOOK XVIII. XXVIII. 108-XXIX. III 

made sieves and meal-sifters of flax, and Egvpt of 
papyriis and rush. 

XXIX. But among the first things let us give a Campanian 
recipe for alica," a very exccllent and hcalthy food, by "'*"■ 
means of which Italy has undoubtedly won the palm 
for cereals. It is no doubt also made in Egypt, but of a 
rather contemptible quaUty, whereas in Italy it occurs 
in a number of places, for instance in the districts of 
\'erona and Pisa, but the most highly recommended 
variety in Campania. There beneath cloud-capped 
moimtains lies a plain extending in all for about 40 
miles on the level. The ground of this plain, to begin 
by stating the nature of the soil, being dusty on the 
surface but spongy imderneath and also porous Hke 
pumice, what is a fault in mountain country turns 
into an advantage, as the earth allows the frequent 
rainfall to percolate and passes it through, and so as 
to facilitate cultivation has refused to become soaked 
or swampy, while at the same time it does not give 
back the moisture it receives by any springs, but 
warms it up inside itself to a moderate temperature 
and retains it as a kind of juice. The land is in crop 
all the year round, being sown once with Italian millet 
and twice with emmer wheat ; and yet in spring 
the fields having had an interval of rest produce a rose 
with a sweeter scent than the garden rose, so far is 
the earth never tired of giving birth ; hence there 
is a common saying that the Campanians produce 
more scent than other people do oil. But as the Cam- 
panian plain surpasses all the lands of the world, so 
in the same degree is Campania itself surpassed by 
the part of it called Leboriae, and by the Greeks the 
Phlegraean Plain. This district is bounded on either 
side by consular roads that run from PozzuoU and 

259 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

112 a Cumis Capuam ducit. — Alica fit e zea quam semen 
appellavimus. tunditur granum eius in pila lignea ne 
lapidis duritia conterat, mobili, ut notum est, pilo 
vinctorum poenali opera ; primori inest pyxis ferrea. 
excussis inde tunicis iterum isdem armamentis nudata 
conciditur medulla. ita fiunt alicae tria genera : 
niinimum ac secundarium, grandissimum vero aphae- 

113 rema appellant. nondum habent candorem suum 
quo praecellunt, iam tamen Alexandrinae praeferun- 
tur. postea — mirum dictu — admiscetur creta quae 
transit in corpus coloremque et teneritatem adfert. 

114 invenitur haec inter Puteolos et Neapolim in coUe 
Leucogeo appellato, extatque divi Augusti decretum 
quo annua ducena milia Neapolitanis pro eo numerari 
iussit e fisco suo, coloniam deducens Capuam, 
adiecitque causam adferendi,^ quoniam negassent 
Campani alicam confici sine eo metallo posse. (In 
eodem reperitur et sulpur, emicantque fontes Araxi 
oculorum claritati et volnerum medicinae dentiumque 
firmitati.) 

116 Alica adulterina fit maxime quidem e zea quae in 
Africa degenerat ; latiores eius spicae nigrioresque et 

' adserendi Slrack. 



" Tbat is, far or emmer wheat. 
360 



BOOK XVIII. \xi\-. 111-115 

from Cumae to Capua. — Alica is made from ' zea ' 
which \ve liave already called by the name of ' seed '." § 82. 
Its ^ain is pouiided in a woodcn mortar so as Reeipefor 
to avoid thc hardncss of stone grating it up, the 
motive power for the pestle, as is well known, being 
supphed bv the laboiir of convicts in chains ; on the 
end of the pestle there is a cap of iron. After 
the grain has been strippcd of its coats, the bared 
kernel is again broken up with the same implements. 
The process produccs three grades of ahca — very 
small, seconds, and the largest kind which is called 
in Grcek ' select grade '. Still these products have 
not yet got their wliiteness for which they are dis- 
tinguished, though even at this stage they are pre- 
ferable to the Alexandrian alica. In a subsequent 
process, marvellous to relate, an admixture of chalk 
is added, which passes into the substance of the grain 
and contributes colour and fineness. The chalk is 
found at a place called White Earth Hill, between 
Pozzuoli and Naples, and there is extant a decree of 
his late Majesty Augustus ordcring a yearly payment 
of 200,000 sesterces from his privy purse to the 
people of Naples as rent for this hill — the occasion 
was when he was establishing a colony at Capua ", 
and he added that his reason for importing this 
material was that the Campanians had stated that 
alica could not be made without that mineral. (In 
the same hill sulphur is also found, and the springs 
of the Araxus which issue from it are efficacious for 
improving thc sight, healing wounds and strengthen- 
ing the teeth.) 

A spurious alica is manufactured chicfly from AduiieraieU 
an inferior kind of zea growing in Africa, the ears ' 
of which are larger and blacker and on a short 

261 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

brevi stipula. pisunt cum harena et sic quoque 
difficulter deterunt utriculos, fitque dimidia nudi 
mensura, posteaque gvpsi pars quarta inspargitur 
atque, ut cohaesit, farinario cribro subcernunt. cjuae 
in eo remansit excepticia appellatur et grandissima 
est. rursus quae transiit ^ artiore cribro^ cernitur et 
secundaria vocatur, item cribraria quae simiH modo in 
tertio remansit cribro angustissimo et tantum liarenas 

116 traiismittente. alia ratio ubique adulterandi : ex 
tritico candidissima et grandissima eligunt grana ac 
semicocta in olHs postea arefaciunt sole ad dimidium ^ 
rursusque leviter adspersa aqua* moHs frangunt. e\ 
zea pulchrius quam e tritico fit tragum,^ quamvis u\ 
alicae Wtium sit ; candorem autem ei pro creta lacti>« 
incocti mixtura confert. 

117 XXX. Sequitur leguminum natura, inter quae 
maximus honos fabae, quippe ex qua temptatus sit 
etiam panis. lomentum appellatur farina ex ea,' 
adgravaturque pondus illa et omni legumine, iam vero 
et pabulo, in pane venali. fabae multiplex usus 
omni ' quadripedum generi, praecipue homini. 
frumento etiam miscetur apud plerasque gentes, et 

118 maxime panico solida aut ^ delicatius fracta. (]ain et 

* Rackham : transit. 

' cribro add. Rackham. 

* Mayhoff : ad initum cdd. pler.: ad initium cd. Par. Lat. 
6797: admittunt cd. Vat. Lat. 3861, m. 2. 

* aqua add. Rackham. 

* tragum Tumebus: granaeum ? Hardouin: gracum cdd. 
(grana cum cd. Pnr. Lat. 6795). 

* ex add. Mayhoff: eius cd. Leid. n. VTI, iii. 2. 
' Rackham : omnium. 

* Dalec. : ac. 

" Tpayof = oXvpa = shelled grainfi of emmer wheat. 
262 



BOOK XVIII. XXIX. ii5-.\.\x. ii8 

stalk. 'Hicse are mixed with saud and pounded, 
and even so there is a difticulty in rubbing otf the 
husks, and only half the quantity of naked grain is 
produced ; and afterwards a quarter thc aniount of 
Nvhite lime is sprinkled into the grain, and when this 
lias stuck together with it they bolt it through a Hour- 
sieve. The grain that stays behind in the sieve is 
called residuary and is the Uvrgest in size. That 
which goes through is sifted again in a finer sieve, 
and is called seconds, and likewise the name of sieve- 
flour is given to that Mhich in a similar manner stays 
behind in a third extremely fine sieve that only lets 
grains like sand through. There is another rnethod 
of adulteration which is everywhere used : th(?y pick 
out from wheat the wliitcst and largest grains, half 
boil them in pots and aftcrwards dry them in the sun 
to half thcir former size and then again Ughtly 
sprinkle them with watcr and crush them in a milL 
A more attractive kind of groats caUed tragum'^ is 
made from zea than from other wheat, aUhough it is 
in fact merely a spurious aUca ; but it is given whiteness 
by an admixture of milk boiled in it instead of chalk. 

XXX. The next subject is the nature of the legu- Le<;uminom 
minous plants, among which the highest place of Beana. 
honour belongs to the bean, inasmucli as the experi- 
ment has been made of using it for making bread. 
Bean meal is called lomentum, and it is used in bread 
made for sale to increase the weight, as is meal made 
from aU the leguminoas plants, and nowadays even 
cattle fodder. Beans are used in a variety of ways for 
aU kinds of beasts and especially for man. With most 
nations it is also mixed with corn, and most of all with 
panic, for this purpose it is either used whole or 
broken up rather fine. Moreover in ancient ritual 

263 



PLISY: NATURAL HISTORY 

prisco ritu puls fabata ^ suae religionis diis in sacro 
est. praevalens pulmentarii cibo set * hebetare sensus 
existimata, insomnia quoque facere, ob haec Pytha- 
goricae sententiae damnata, aut' ut alii tradidere, 
quoniam mortuorum animae sint in ea, qua de causa 

119 parentando utique adsumitur. Varro et ob haec 
flaminem ea non vesci tradit et quoniam in flore eius 
litterae lugubres reperiantur. in eadem peculiaris 
reh*gio, namque fabam utique ex frugibus referre mos 
est auspicii causa, quae ideo referiva appellatur. et 
auctionibus adhibere eam lucrosum putant. sola 
certe frugum etiam exesa repletur crescente luna. 
a(|ua marina aHave salsa non percoquitur. 

12(j Seritur ante vergiUarura occasum leguminum prima, 
ut antecedat hiemem. Vergilius eam per ver seri 
iubet circumpadanae Italiae ritu, sed maior pars 
malunt fabalia maturae sationis quam trimestrem 
fructuni ; tiu.s namque siliquae caulesque gratissimo 
sunt pabulo pecori. aquas in flore maximeconcupiscit, 
cum vero defloruit, exiguas desiderat. solum in quo 

' Mayhoff : pulsa faliaba. 
* Mayhoff : et ai// sed. 
^ aut add. Rackham. 

264 



BOOK XVIII. xx\. 1 18-120 

bean pottage has a sanctity of its own in saci*ifice to 
the gods. It occupies a high place as a dehcacy for 
the table, but it was thought to have a dulhng effect on 
the senses, and also to cause sleeplessness, and it was 
under a ban with the Pythagorean system on that 
account — or, as others have reported, because the 
souls of the dead are contained in a bean, and at all 
events it is for that reason that beans are employed 
in memorial sacrifices to dead relatives. Moreover 
according to Varro's account it is partly for these 
reasons that a priest abstains from eating beans, 
though also because certain letters of gloomy omen 
are to be found inscribed on a bean-fiower. There is 
also a special reUgious sanctity attached to the bean ; 
at all events it is the custom to bring home from 
the harvest a bean by way of an auspice, this being 
consequently called the harvest-home bean. Also 
it is supposed to bring luck at auctions if a bean 
is included in a lot for sale. It is undoubtedly 
the case that the bean is the only grain that even 
when it has been grazed down by cattle fiUs out 
again when the moon is waxing. It cannot be 
thoroughly boiled in sea water or other water with 
salt in it. 

The bean is sown first of the leguminous plants, 
before the setting of the Pleiads, so that it may get 
ahead of winter. Virgil advises sowing it all through Oeorg.i. 
the spring, as is the custom of Italy near the river Po, ' ^" 
but the majority of people prefer bcan crops of early 
sowing to the produce of three months' growth, for 
the pods and stalks of beans sown early make the 
most acceptable fodder for cattle. When the bean 
is in flower it particularly wants watcr, but when it 
has shed its blossom it only needs Uttle. It serves 

265 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sata est laetificat stercoris vice ; ideo circa Mace- 
doniam Thessaliamque, cum florere coepit. vertunt 

121 arva. nascitur et sua sponte plerisque in locis, sicut 
septentrionalis oceani insulis, quas ob id nostri 
Fabarias appellant, item in Mauretania silvestris 
passim, sed praedura et quae percoqui non possit. 
nascitur et in Aegypto spinoso caule, qua de causa 

122 crocodili oculis timentes refugiunt. longitudo scapo 
quattuor cubitorum est amplissima, crassitudo ut 
digito; ni ^ genicula abessent, molli calamo similis, 
caput papaveri, colore roseo, in eo fabae non supra 
tricenas, folia ampla, fructus ipse amarus et odore, 
sed radix perquam grata incolarum cibis, cruda et 
omnimodo cocta, harundinum radicibus similis. 
nascitur et in Syria Ciliciaque et in Toronaeo * 
Clialcidices lacu. 

123 XXXL Ex leguminibus autumno vereve seruntur 
lens et in Graecia pisum. Lens amat solum tenue 
magis quam pingue, caelum utique siccum. duo 
genera eius Aegvpto, alterum rotundius nigriusque, 
alterum sua figura, unde vario usu tralatum est in 
lenticulas nomen. invenio apud auctores aequani- 
mitatem fieri vescentibus ea. pisum in apricis seri 
debet frigorum inpatientissimum ; ideo in ItaUa et 
in austeriore caelo non nisi verno tempore terra 
facili, soluta. 



* ut digito ni ? MayhoJJ : alii alia: intoni. 
' liuckham: Toronae /an: Torone. 



266 



BOOK XVIII. xxx. I20-XXXI. 123 

instead of stable nianure to fertilize the ground it is 
grow n in ; consequently in the districts of Macedon 
and Thessaly when it begins to blossom the farmers 
jilough up the fields. It also grows wild in most 
phices, for example the islands of the North Sea, for 
which our name is consequently the Bean Islands," 
and it also grows wild all over Mauretania, though 
this bean is very hard and incapable of bcing cooked. 
It '' also grows in Egypt, where it has a thorny stalk Egyptian 
which makes the crocodiles keep away from it for ^'"*' 
fear of injui-ing their eyes. The stalk is two yards 
long at most and the thickness of a finger : if it had 
knots in it, it woukl be Uke a soft reed ; it has a head 
like a poppy, is rose-coloured, and bears not more 
than thirty beans on each stalk ; the leaves are 
large ; the actual fruit is bititer even in smell, but 
the root is a very popular article of diet with the 
natives, and is eaten raw and cooked in every sort of 
way ; it resembles the roots of reeds. The Egyptian 
l)ean also grows in Syria and CiUcia, and at the 
Lake of Torone in Chalcidice. 

XXXI. Vegetables sown in autumn or spring are LentUsand 
the lentil and in Greece the pea. The lentil Ukes ^^'"' 
a thin soil better than a rich one, and in any case a 
dry cUmate. Egypt has two kinds of lentil, one 
rounder and blacker, the other the normal shape, 
which has given the name of lenticle appUed to small 
flasks. I fmd it stated in writers that a lentil diet 
conduces to an equable temper. Peas must be sown 
in sunny places, as they stand cokl very badly ; con- 
sequently in Italy and in severer cUmates they are 
only sown in spring, in yielding soil that has been 
weU loosened. 

" Korkum in the North Sea. * Nelumbo nucifera. 

267 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

124 XXXII. Ciceris natura est gigni cum salsilagine. 
ideo solum urit nec nisi madefactum pridie seri debet. 
differentiae plures, magnitudine, colore, figura, sapore. 
est enim arietino capiti simile, unde ita appellatur, 
album nigrumque, est et columbinum quod alii 
Venerium appellant, candidum, rotundum, leve, 
arietino minus, quod religio pervigiliis adhibet. est 
et cicercula minuti ciceris, inaequalis, angulosi veluti 
pisum, dulcissimum autem id quod ervo simillimum ; 
firmiusque quod nigrum et rufum quam quod album. 

12j XXXIII. Siliquae rotundae ciceri, ceteris legumi- 
num longae et ad figuram seminis latae, piso cylindra- 
tae. passiolorum cum ipsis manduntur granis ; serere 
eos qua velis terra licet ab idibus Octobribus ^ in kal. 
Novembres. legumina cum maturescere coeperint 
rapienda sunt, quoniam cito exiliunt latentque cum 
decidere, sicut et lupinum. quamquam prius de rapis 

126 dixisse conveniat, XXXIV. (in transcursu ea attigere 
nostri, paulo diligentius Graeci, et ipsi tamen inter 
hortensia) si iustus ordo fiat, a frumento protinus aut 

' RacUiam (Octobr. Maylutff, : Octobria. 
26.S 



ROOK XVIII. xxxii. 124-XXXIV. 126 



XXXII. It is the nature of the chick-pea to contain CMek-pecui 

ard other 
varieties. 



an element of saltness, and consequently it scorches ""^"'^*^ 



the soil, and ought not to be sown vitliout having 
been soaked the day before. There are several 
varieties differing in size, colour, shape and flavour. 
One resembles a ram's head and so is called ' ram's 
chick-pea ' ; of this there is a black variety and a 
white one. There is also the dove-pea, another name 
for which is Venus's pea, bright white, round, smooth 
and smaller than the rams chick-pea; it is used 
by rehgious ritual in watch-night services. There is 
also the chickHng vetch, belonging to a diminutive 
variety of chick-pea, uneven in shape and with 
corners Hke a pea. But the chick-pea with the 
sweetest taste is one that closely resembles the bitter 
vetch ; the black and red varieties of this are 
firmer than the white. 

XXXIII. The chick-pea has round pods, whereas 
those of other leguminous plants are long, and broad 
to fit the shape of the seed ; the pod of the pea 
is cyHndrical. The pods of calavance are eaten caiavancc 
with the seeds themselves. They may be sown in 
any ground you Hkc from the middle of October to 
the beginning of November. Leguminous plants 
ought to be plucked as soon as they begin to ripen, 
because the seeds quickly jump out and when they 
have fallen on the ground cannot be found ; and the 
same as regards lupine. Nevertheless it would be 
proper to speak first about the turnip, XXXIV. Turmp. 
(authors of our nation have only touched on it in 
passing, but the Greeks have dealt with it rather 
more carefully, although even they have placcd it 
among kitchen-garden plants), if we are to follow the 
proper order, as the tumip should be mentioned di- 

269 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

certe faba dicendis, quando alius usus praestantior his 
non est. ante omnia namque cunctis animalibus 
nascuntur, nec in novissimis satiant ruris alitum 
quoque genera, magisque si decoquantur aqua. 

127 quadripedes et fronde eoruni gaudent, et homini non 
minorc rapiciorum suis horis gratia quam cymaruni. 
flavidorum quoque et in horreis enecatorum vel 
maiore quam vlrentium. ipsa vero durant et in sua 
terra servata et postea passa paene ad alium provcn- 
tum. faniemque sentiri prohibent. a vino atque 

128 messe tertius hic transpadanis fructus. terram non 
morose ehgit, paene ubi nihil aliud seri possit. nebulis 
et pruinis ac frigore ultro aluntur, ampHtudine 
mirabili : vidi xl Hbras excedentia. in cibis (juidem 
nostris pluribus modis commendantur, durantque ^ 
acetaria ^ sinapis acrimonia domita, etiam coloribus 
piota praeter suum sex aliis, purpureo quoque : neque 

12!i ahud in cibis tingui decet. genera eorum Graeci 
duo prima fecere, mascuhnum femininumque, et ea 
serendi modum ^ ex eodem semine docuere,'* densiore 
enim satu masculescerc, item in terra difficiH. semen 
praestantius quo subtiHus ; species vero omnium tres ; 

130 aut enim in latitudinem fundi, aut in rotunditatem 
globari : tertiam speciem silvestrem appellavere, in 
longitudinem radice procurrente raphani simiHtudine 

* ailuiniit()ue '.' Warminijton. 

* a<.'Ptaria ? Mai/hnff : ad alia. 

* Urlichs: vaodi. 

* docnere add. Rackham. 

270 



BOOK XVII 1. xxxiv. 126-130 

rectly after com or at all events after the bean, since 
its utility surpasses that of any othcr plant. For to 
begin with it grows as fodder for all aninials, nor is it 
the lowest in rank among herbs to satisfv the needs 
of the various kinds of birds as well, and the more so 
if it is well boiled in water. Cattle also are fond of 
its leaves, even man esteeming turnip tops when in 
season no less than cabbage sprouts, also Uking them 
when they are yellow and have been left to die in 
barns even more than when green. But turnip itself 
keeps if left in the earth where it grows, and also 
afterwards if left spread out, almost till the next crop 
comes, and it serves as a prccaution against scarcity 
of food. It ranks third after wine and corn among 
the products of the country north of the Po. It is 
not particular in its choice of soil, growing where 
almost nothing else can be grown. It actually 
thrives on mist and frost and cold, growing to a mar- 
vellous size : I have seen turnips weighing over 40 
pounds. Among our own articles of diet it is popu- 
larized by several modes of dressing, and it holds 
the field for salads when subdued by the pungency of 
mustard, and is actually stained six diifercnt colours 
beside its own, even purple : indeed that is the only 
suitable colour served at table. The Greeks liave 
produced two primary classes of turnip, the male 
and the female, and have shown a way of growing 
both from the same seed, as they turn male when 
sown more thickly, and also in difficult ground. The 
smaller the seed is the better its quality. The 
Greeks distinguish in all three kinds of turnip, as it 
either spreads out into breadth or makes a round 
ball, while a third kind they havc named wikl turnip, 
with a root running out to a great length like a 

271 



PLINY: NATLRAL HISTORY 

et folio anguloso scabroque, suco acri qui circa niessem 
exceptus oculos purget medeaturque caligini admixto 
lacte mulierum. frigore dulciora fieri existimantur et 
grandiora ; tepore in folia exeunt. palma in Nursino 
agro nascentibus — taxatio in libras sestertii singuli 
et in penuria bini — proxima in Algido natis, XXXV. 

131 napis ^ vero Amitemi. quorum eadem fere natura:^ 
gaudent aeque frigidis. seruntur et ante kalendas 
Martias, in iugero sextarii iv. diligentiores quinto 
sulco napum seri iubent, rapa quarto, utrumque 
stercorato ; rapa laetiora fieri si cum palea semen 
inaretur.' serere nudum volunt precantem sibi et 

132 vicinis serere se. satus utrique generi iustus inter 
duorum numiiiuni dies festos, Neptuni atque Volcani, 
feruntque subtili observatione, quota luna praecedente 
hieme nix prima ceciderit, si totidem luminum die 
intra praedictum temporis spatium serantur, mire 
provenire. seruntur et vere in calidis atque umidis. 

133 XXXVI. Lupini usus proximus, cum sit et homini 
et quadripediini generi ungulas habenti communis. 
remedium eius, ne metentes fugiat exiliendo, ut ab 

' napis Mnyhoff: napi. 

* V.l. natura est. 

• Mayhoff : seminaretur. 



" Ju'y 23 and August J3. 
272 



BOOK XVIII. XXXIV. 130-.XXXV1. 133 

radish, and an angular leaf witli a rough surface and 
an acid juice which if extracted at harvest time and 
mixed ^nth a woman's milk makes an eye-wash and 
a cure for dim sight. They arc bcUeved to grow 
sweeter and bigger in cold weather ; warm weather 
makes them run to leaves. The prize goes to turnip 
grown in the Norcia district — it is priced at a sestcrce 
per pound, and at two sesterces in a time of scarcity — 
and the next to those grown on Monte Compatri ; 
XXXV. but the prize for navews goes to those grown Navewand 
at San \'ettorino. Navews have almost the same """''• 
nature as turnips : they are equally fond of cold 
places. They are sown even before the first of March, 
4 sixteenths of a peck in an acre. The more careftil 
growers recommend ploughing five tinies before 
sowing navew and four timcs for turnip, and manuring 
the ground in both cases ; and they say that turnip 
grows a finer crop if thc seed is ploughed in with 
some chafF. They advise that the sower should strip 
fof the work, and should offcr a prayer in thc words, 
I sow for myself and my neighboui'S.' For both 
these kinds sowing is properly done botween the 
hohdays " of two deities, Neptune and Vulcan, and 
as a result of careful obscrvation it is said that these 
seeds give a wonderfully fine crop if they are sown 
on a day that is as many days after the beginning of 
the period specified as the moon was old when the 
first snow fell in the preceding winter. In warm and 
damp locahties turnip and navew are also sown in 
spring. 

XXXVI. The next most extensively used plant is Luj>ine,iu 
the lupine, as it is shared by men and hoofed quad- ^^nwe' 
rupeds in common. To prevent its escaping the taituand 
reapers by jumping out of the pod the best remedy is pKferencea. 

273 



rUNY: NATURAL HISTORY 

imbre toUatur. nec ullius quaequae ^ seruntur 
natura ad sensum siderum terraeque ^ mirabilior est. 
primum omnium cotidie cum sole circumagitur 
horasque agricolis etiam nubilo demonstrat. ter 
praeterea floret, ter germinat ; atqui ^ terra operiri 

134 non vult, et unum hoc scritur nori arata.* quaerit 
maxime sabulosam et siccam atcjue etiam haronosam,'* 
coU utique non vult. tellurem adeo amat ut quamvis 
frutectoso solo coiectum inter folia vepresque ad 
terram tamen radice pcrveniat. pinguescere hoc 
satu arva vineasque diximus ; itaque adeo non eget 
fimo ut optimi vicem repraesentet, nihilque aliud nuUo 
inpendio constat, ut quod ne serendi quideni gratia 

135 opus sit adferre : protinus seritur ex arvo,* ac ne 
spargi quidem postulat decidens sponte. primumque 
omnium seritur, novissimum toUitur, utrumque 
Septembri fere mense, quia si non antecessit hiemem 
frigoribus obnoxium est. inpune praeterea iacet vel 
dereUctum etiam, si non protinus secuti obruant 
imbres. ab omnibus animaUbus amaritudine sua 
tutum ; plerumque tamen levi sulco integunt. ex 
densiore terra rubricam maxime amat ; ad hanc 
alendam post tertium florem verti debet, in sabulo 

' f]uaequae? Mayhoff : quae. 

.S'ic 7 Maylwff : adsensu terracque. 
■ Dethfsen : floret terram amat atque. 
' Rackham : arato. 

■^ Rackham : sabulosa . . . sicca . . . liarenosa, 
" ei area Pintianus. 



l.c. whilc bcinc rcapcd. 



274 



BOOK XVIII. .\.\xvi. 133-135 

to gather it immediately after rain. And of all crops 
sown none has a more remarkable quaUty of sensitive- 
ness to the heavenly bodies and the soil. In the first 
place it turns round every day with the siui, and tells 
the time to the husbandman even in cloudy weather. 
Moreover it blossoms three timcs and buds tliree 
times ; all the same, it does not Uke to be covered with 
earth, and it is the only seed that is sown without 
the ground being ploughed. It reqiiires most of aU 
a graveUy and dry and even sandy soil, and in any 
case needs no cuUivation. It has such a love for the 
earth that when it faUs on soil however much over- 
grown with briars it penetrates aniong leaves and 
brambles and gets through with its root to the ground. 
We have stated that fields and vineyards are em-iched xvii. 64. 
by a crop of lupines ; and thus it has so Uttle need 
for manure that it serves instead of manure of the 
best quaUty, and there is no other crop that costs no 
expenditure at aU — -sceing that it does not require 
carrying to the spot even for the purpose of sowing : 
it sows itself directly from the crop," and docs not even 
need to be scattered, faUing on the ground of its own 
accord. And it is the earUest of aU crops to be sown 
and the latest to be carried, both operations gener- 
aUy taking place in September, becausc if it does 
not grow ahead of winter it is Uable to suffer from 
frost. Moreover it can be left just lying on the 
ground with impunity, as it is protected from aU 
animals by its bitter flavoiu* if a faU of rain does not 
occur immediately so as to cover it up ; aUhough never- 
theless growers usuaUy cover it up in a Ught furrow. 
Among thicker soUs it Ukes red earth best ; to enrich 
this it must be turned up after the plant has blos- 
somed three times, but when planted in gravel the 

275 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

post secundum. cretosam tantum limosamque odit 

136 et in his non provenit. maceratum calida aqua 
homini quoque in cibo est ; nam bovem unum modii 
singuli satiant validumque praestant, quando etiam 
inpositum puerorum vcntribus pro remedio est. 
condi in fumo maxime convenit. quoniam in umido 
vermiculi umbiHcum eius in sterilitatem castrant. 
si depastum sit in fronde, inarari protinus solum opus 
est. 

137 XXXVII. Et vicia pincfuescunt arva, nec ipsa 
agricolis operosa : uno sulco sata non saritur, non 
stercoratur, nec aliud quam deoccatur. sationis eius 
tria tempora: circa occasum Arcturi, ut Decembri 
mense pascat — tum optime scritur in semen, aeque 
namque fert depasta ; secunda satio mense lanuario 
est, novissima Martio, tum ad frondern utilissima. 

138 siccitatem ex omnibus quae seruntur maxime amat ; 
non aspematur etiam umbrosa. ex semine eius, si 
lecta matura est, palea ceteris praefertur. \itibus 
praeripit sucum languescuntque, si in arbusto seratur. 

13Ct XXXVIII. Nec ervi operosa cura est. hoc amplius 
quam vicia runcatur, et ipsum medicaminis vim 
optinens, quippe quo ^ divom Augustum curatum 
epistuUs ipsius memoria exstet. sufficiunt singulis 

* Urliche : cum. 
276 



BOOK XVIII. xxxvi. 135-xxxvin, 139 

soil musl be turned after every second blossoming. 
The only kinds of soil it positively dislikes are chalky 
and muddy soils, and in these it comes to nothing. 
It is used as a food for mankind as well after being 
steeped in hot water ; as for cattle, a peck per head 
of stock makes aniple and strength-giving feed, while 
it is also used medicinallv for children as a poultice on 
the stomach. It sixits the seed best to be stored in 
a smoky place, as in a damp place maggots attack 
the germ and reduce it to steriUty. if lupine is 
grazed off by cattle while in leaf, the only thing to 
be done is to plough it in at once. 

XXXVII. Vetch also enriches the soil, and it too Veteh. 
entails no labour for the farmer, as it is sown after 
only one fuiTowing, and it is not hoed or manured, 
but onlv harrowed in. There are three seasons for 
sowing it — about the time of the setting of Arcturus, 
so that it mav provide pasture in December — at that 
date it is best sown for seed, for it bears seed just as 
well wlien grazed down ; the second sowing is in 
January, and the last in March, which is the best 
crop for providing green fodder. Of all crops sown 
vetch is the one that is fondest of a dry soil ; it does 
not disUke even shady localities. If it is picked 
when ripe, its grain suppHes chaff that is preferred 
to all others. If sown in a vineyard planted with 
trees it takes away the juice from the vines and 
makes them droop. 

XXX\TII. Bitter vetch also is not difficult to cul- Bucer-Veich. 
tivate. This needs weeding more than the vetch ; 
and it too has medicinal properties, indeed the fact 
that his late Majesty Augustus was curcd by it 
stands on record in his own letters. Five pecks of 
seed are enough for one voke of oxen in a day. 

277 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

boum iugis modi quini. Martio meiibC satuin 
noxium esse bobus aiunt, item autumno gravedino- 
sum, innoxium autem fieri primo vere satum. 

140 XXXIX. Et silicia, hoc est fenum Graecum, 
scariphatione seritur, non ahiore quattuor chgitorum 
sulco, quantoque peius tractatur tanto provenit 
mehus — rarum dictu esse ahquid cui prosit negle- 
gentia ; id autem quod secale ac farrago appellatur 
occari tantum desiderat. 

141 XL. Secale Taurini sub Alpibus asiam vocant, 
deterrimum et ^ tantum ad arcendam famem, fecunda 
sed gracih stipula, nigritia triste, pondere prae- 
cipuum. admiscetur huic far ut mitiget amaritudinem 
eius, et tamen sic quoque ingratissimum ventri est. 
nascitur quahcumque solo cum centesimo grano, 
ipsumque pro laetamine est. 

142 XLI. Farrago ex recrementis farris praedensa 
seritur, admixta ahquando et vicia. eadem in Africa 
fit ex hordeo. omnia haec pabularia, degeneransque 
ex leguminibus quae vocatur cracca, in tantum 
cohimbis grata ut pastas ea negent fugitivas ilhus loci 
fieri. 

143 XLII. Apud antiquos erat pabuh genus quod Cato 
ocinum vocat, quo sistebant ahom bubus. id erat e 
pabuh segete viride desectum antequam generaret.* 
Sura Mamihus ahter id interpretatur et tradit fabae 
modios X, ^iciae ii, tantundem er\ihae in iugero 



Mayluiff : sed. 

Slrack : gelaret (genicularet vel siliquaret Ursinna). 



278 



BOOK XVIII. x.\\'viii. i39-.\Lii. 143 

It is said to be injurious to oxen if sown in March 
and to cause cold in the head if sown in autumn, 
but sowing it in early spring makes it harni- 
less. 

XXXIX. SiUcia or fenugreek also is sown after a Fenugrttk. 
mere scratching of the ground, in a furrow not more 
than four inches deep, and the worse it is treated the 
better it comes on — a singular proposition that there 
is something that is benefited by neglect ; however 
the kinds called black spelt and cattle mash need 
harrowing, but no more. 

XL. The name for secale in the subalpine district ^vco/*. 
of Turin is asia ; it is a very poor food and only 
serves to avert starvation ; its stalk carries a large 
head but is a thin straw ; it is of a dark sombre 
colour, and exceptionally heavy. Wheat is mixed in 
with this to mitigate its bitter taste, and all the same 
it is very unacceptable to the stomach even so. It 
grows in any sort of soil with a hundred-fold yield, 
and serves of itself to enrich the land. 

XLI. Cattle-mash obtained from the refuse of Or,ii„sfor 
wheat is sown very thick, occasionally with an admix- ''' '''"■ 
ture of vetch as well. In Africa the same mash is 
obtained from barley. All of these plants serve as 
fodder, and so does the throw-back of the leguminous 
class of plant called wild vetch, whioh pigeons are so 
fond of that they are said never to leave a place where 
they have been fed on it. 

XLII. In old times there was a kind of fodder r.r. 
which Cato calls ocinum, used to stop scouring in q^^J^'^'^'^' 
oxen. This was got from a crop of fodder cut green 
befoi-e it seeded. Mamihus Sura gives another mean- 
ing to the name, and records that the old practice 
was to mix ten pecks of bean, two of vetch and the 

279 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

autumno misceri et seri solitos, melius et avena 
Graeca,cui non cadat ^ semen, admixta ; hoc vocitatum 
ocinum boumque causa seri solitum. Varro appella- 
tum a celeritate proveniendi e Graeco quod wKiw<; 
dicunt. 

144 XLIII. Medica externa etiam Graeciae est, ut a 
Modis advecta per bella Persarum quae Darius 
intulit, sed vel in primis dicenda tanta dos est,^ cum 
ex uno satu amplius quam tricenis annis duret. similis 
est trifolio caule foliisque, geniculata ; quidquid in 
caule adsurgit folia contrahuntur. unum de ea et 

145 cytiso vokmien Amphilochus conposuit. solum in 
quo seratur elapidatum purgatumque subigitur 
auiumno, niox aratum et occatum integitur creta ' 
iterum ac tertium, quinis diebus interpositis et fimo 
addito — poscit autem siccum sucosumque vel riguum 
— et ita praeparato seritur mense Maio, alias pruinis 

146 obnoxia. opus est densitate seminis omnia occupari 
internascentesque herbas excludi — id praestant in 
iugera modi iii* — et cavendum^ ne adurat sol, 
terraque protinus integi debet. si sit umidum solum 
herbosumve, vincitur et desciscit in pratum ; ideo 
protinus altitudine unciah herbis omnibus Hberanda 
est, manu potius quam sarculo. secatur incipiens 

* Rackham : cadit. 

* Jtluifhnjf : aliialia: et. 

' Detlefsen : crate (inducitur crate T Mayhoff). 

* Mayhojf : vi. 

" et cavendutn Mayhoff: varia cdd. (cavendani, cinavendam, 
vindem). 

280 



BOOK X\'III. xLii. i43-\Liii. 146 

.'■ame of chickling for each aci-e of land and sow this 
mixture in autunin, preferably with some Greek oats 
mixed in as well, as this does not drop its secd ; he 
says that the usual nanie for this mixture was ocinum, 
and that it used to be growii for cattle. Varro «.«. 1.31. 
explains thc name as due to its rapid growth, de- 
riving it from the Greek word for ' quickly '. 

XLIII. Luccrne is foreign even to Greece, having Luceriie. 
been imported from Mcdia during the Persian inva- 492-490 b.' 
sions under Darius ; but so great a bounty deserves 
mention even among the first of thc grains, since 
from a single sowing it will last more than thirty 
years. In stalk and leaf it resembles trefoil, being 
jointed, and as the stalk rises highcr the leaves 
become narrower. Amphilochus devoted one volume 
to lucerne and tree-medick. The land for it to be 
so^^Ti in is broken in autumn after being cleared of 
stones and weeded, and is afterwards ploughed over 
and harrowcd and then covered with chalk, the pro- 
cess bcing repeated a second and a thii-d time at 
intervals of five days, and after the addition of manure 
— it requircs a dry and rich soil or elsc a well-watcred 
one — and after the land has been thus prepared 
the seed is sown in May, as otherwise it is liable to 
damage from frost. It is necessary for the whole 
plot to be occupied with closely sown seed, and for 
weeds shooting up in between to be debarred — this 
is secured by sowing three modii to the acre — , and 
care must bc taken that the sun may not scorch the 
seed up, and it ought to be covered over with earth 
immediately. If the soil be damp or weedy, the 
luceme is overpowered and goes ofF into meadow ; 
consequently as soon as it is an inch high it must be 
freed from all weeds, by hand in preference to hocing. 

281 

VOL. V. K 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

florere et quotiens reHoruit : id sexies evenit per annos, 

147 cum minimum, quater. in semen maturescere pro- 
hibcnda est, quia pabulum utilius est usque ad 
trimatum. verno sariri debet liberarique ceteris 
herbis, ad trimatiim marris ad solum radi : ita 
reliquae herbae intereunt sine ipsius damno propter 
altitudinem radicum. si evicerint herbae, remcdium 
unicum in aratro, saepius vertendo donec omnes aliae 

148 radices intereant. dari non ad satietatem debet, ne 
deplere sanguinem necesse sit. et viridis utilior est ; 
arescit surculose ac postremo in pulverem inutilem 
extenuatur. 

De cytiso, cui et ipsi principatus datur in pabulis, 
adfatim diximus inter frutice*;. et nuiic frugum 
omnium natura peragenda est, cuius in parte de 
morbis quoque dicatur. 

14'.» XLIV. Primiim omnium frumenti vitium avena est. 
et hordeum in eam degcnerat, sic ut ipsa frumenti sit 
instar, quippe cum Germaniae populi scrant eam 
neque alia pulte vivant. soli maxime caclique umore 
hoc evenit vitium ; se(}ucntem causam habet inbe- 
cilHtas seminis, si diutius retcntum est terra prius 

150 quam crumpat. eadem ratio est et si cariosum 
fuit cum sereretur. prima autcm statim eruptionc 
agnoscitur, ex quo apparct in radice esse causam. 
est et aliud ex vicino avenae v'itium, cum ampli- 



• Long-stalked, useleBS grasses, ratlier than oatfl, «liich arc 
not a 'dieeaee' and need a cooler rliraate than the Italian. 

* This is real oat«. 

282 



BOOK XVIIl. xuii. 146-XLIV. 150 

It is cut %\hen it is beginning to flower and every 
time it fluwers again: this happens six times, or at 
the least four times, in a year. It must be prevented 
from running to seed, because till it is three years old 
it is more useful as fodder. It must be hoed in spring- 
tinie and rid of all other plants, and till the third year 
shaved down to the earth with weeding-hoes : this 
makes the rest of the plants die without damaging the 
lucerne itself, because of the depth of its roots. If 
weeds get the upper hand, the sole remedy is in the 
plough, by repeatedly turning the soil till all the other 
roots die. It must not bc fed to cattle to the point 
of repletion, lest it should be necessary to let blood. 
Also it is more useful when green, as it dries into a 
woody state and finally thins out into a useless dust. 

About tree-medick, which itself also is given a very 
high rank among fodder, we have spoken sufficiently 
among the shrubs. And now we have to complete xin. iso. 
our account of the nature of all the cereals, in one 
part of wliich we must also speak about diseases. 

XLIV. The first of all forms of disease in wheat oiseasex 
is the oat." Barley also degcnerates into oats, in '^ereais^cm 
such a way that the oat * itself counts as a kind of 
corn, inasmuch as the races of Germany grow crops 
of it and Uve entirely on oatmeal porridge. The 
degeneration in qucstion is pi-incipally due to damp- 
ness of soil and cHmate, but a subsidiary causc is 
contained in weakness of the seed, if it is held back 
too lonti in the crround before it shoots out. There 
is also the same explanation if it was rotten when it 
was sown. But it is recognizable the moment it 
breaks out of the ground, which shows that the 
f-ause is contained in the root. Tliere is also another 
disease arising in close connection with oats, when 

283 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tudine inchoata granum sed nondum raatura, prius 
quam roboret corpus, adflatu noxio cassum et inane 
in spica evanescit quodam abortu. 
151 Venti autem tribus teniporibus nocent frumento et 
hordeo : in flore aut protinus cum defloruere vel 
maturescere incipientibus ; tum enim exinaniunt 
grana, prioribus causis nasci prohibent. nocet et sol 
creber ex nube. nascuntur et vermicuH in radice 
cum sementem imbribus secutis inchisit repentinus 

162 calor umorem. gignuntur et in grano cum spica e 
pluviis calore infer\'escit. est et cantharis dictus 
scarabaeus parvus, frumenta erodens. omnia ea 
animaha cum cibo deficiunt. oleum, pix, adips 
contraria seminibus, cavendumque ne contacta his 
serantur. imber in herba utilis a partu,^ florenti- 
bus autem frumento et hordeo nocet, leguminibus 
innocuus praeterquam ciceri. maturcscentia fru- 

163 menta imbre laeduntur et hordeum magis. nasci- 
tur et herba alba panico similis occupans arva, 
pecori quoque mortifera. nani loHum et tribulos et 
carduos l.ippasque non magis quam rubos inter 
frugum morbos potius quam inter ipsius terrae pestes 

154 numeravcrim. caeleste frugum vinearumque malum 
nuUo minus noxium est robigo. frequentissima haec 
in roscido tractii convallibusque ac perflatum non 

* utilis ac parturicntibus ': Maijhoff. 
284 



BOOK XVIII. xuv. 150-154 

after the grain has begun to fill out but its growth 
is not yet mature, before it makes a strong body it 
becoines hollow and empty owing to some noxious 
blast and fades away in the ear by a sort of abortion. 

Wind is injurious to wheat and barley at three othercaus» 
seasons — when they are in flower or directly after "lii^^^HJs^ 
thev have shed their flower or when they are begin- •'""''' 
mng to ripen; at the last stage it shnvels up the 
grain, while in the preceding cases its influence is to 
prohibit the seed from forming. Successive gleams 
of sun appearing out of cloud are also injurious. 
Also maggots breed in the root when after rains 
following seed-time a sudden spell of heat has en- 
closed the moisture in the ground. They also grow 
in the grain when heat following rain causes tlie ear 
to ferment. There is also a small beetle called the 
cantharis which gnaws away corn crops. When food 
fails, all these creatures disappear. OHve oil, pitch 
and grease are detrimental to seeds, and care must 
be taken not to let seed come in contact with them 
before it is sowti. Rain is beneficial to crops while 
in the stalk from the time of germination, but it 
damages wheat and barley when in blossom ; al- 
though it does no harm to legimiinous plants, ex- 
cepting chick-pca. Corn crops when l)eginning to 
ripen are damaged by rain, and particularly barley. 
Also there is a white grass like Italian millet that 
springs up all over the fields, and is also fatal to 
cattle. As for darnel, caltrops, thistle and bur, 
I should not count these any more than brambles 
among diseases of cereals, but rather among pesti- 
lences of the soil itself. One of the most hamiful 
climatic maladies of corn crops and vines is rust. 
This is most frequent in a district exposed to dew 

285 



PLINY: NATLRAL HISTORY 

habentihus; e diverso carent ea ventosa et excelsa. 
inter vitia segetum et luxuria est, cum oneratae 
fertilitate procumbunt. commune autem omnium 
satorum vitium uricae, etiam ciceris cum salsilaginem 
eius abluendo imber dulcius id facit. 

15") Est herba quae cicer enecat et ervum circum- 
Hgando se, vocatur orobanche; tritico simili modo 
aera, hordeo festuca quae vocatur aegilnps. lenti 
herba secunclata quam Gracci a similitudine 
pelecinum vocant ; et hae conplexu necant. circa 
Phihppos ateramum nominant in pingui solo hcrbani 
qua faba necatur, teramum qua in macro, cum udani 

156 quidam ventus adflavit. aerae granum minimum 
est in cortice aculeato. cum est in pane, celerrime 
vertigines facit, aiuntque in Asia et Graecia bal- 
neatores, cum veHnt turbam peHere, carbonibus id 
semen inicere. nascitur et phahmgion in ervo, 
bestiola aranei generis, si hiems aquosa sit. Hmaces 
nascuntur in vicia, et aHquando e terra cocleae 
minutae mirum in modum erodentes eam. — Et 
morbi quidem fere hi sunt. 

IT)? XL\'. Remedia eorum quaecumque pertincnt ad 
herbas in sarculo et. cum semen iactatur, cincre ; f^ui * 
vero in semine et circa radicem consistunt prae- 

* Rackham : quae. 

" ' Vetch-strangler.' Not the modem botanists' orobancht 
or broom-rape but plants such as dodder and hindweed. 

* 'Acgilops' 13 Acgilops ovala; axle-grass is axe-weed 
(Seciirigera coronilla), or perhaps climbing persicaria or a 
bindweed; but axe-leaved ie vague. 

"■ Tliis coines from Tiieophrastua De causis IV'. 14 who only 
says tliat at Phihppi a cold wind makes tlie bean aTtpaiUDv, 
hard and difficult to cook. From this adjective Pliny coins 
two proper names. 
286 



BOOK XVIII. xLiv. i54-\Lv. 157 

and in shut-in valleys that have no current of air 
through theni, whereas \vindy plaees and high ground 
on the contrary are free from it. Among the vices 
of corn is also over-abundance, when the stalks fall 
down under the burden of fertiUty. But a vice 
common to all cultivated crops is caterpillars, which 
even attack chick-pea when rain makes it taste 
sweeter by washing away its saltness. 

There is a weed that kills off chick-pea and bitter 
vetch bv binding itself round them,calledorobanche<*; 
and in a similar way wheat is attacked by darnel, 
barley by a long-stalked plant called aegilops and 
lentils by an axe-leaved plant ^ which the Greeks call 
axe-grass from its resemblance ; these also kill the 
plants bv twining i'ound them. In the neighbour- 
hood of Philippi <^ they give the name of ateramum 
to a weed growing in rieh soil that kills the bean 
plant, and the name teramum to one that has the same 
effect in thin soil, when a particular wind has been 
blowing on the beans when damp. Darnel has a very 
'.mall seed enclosed in a prickly husk. When used in 
bread it verv quickly causes fits of giddiness, and it 
is said that in Asia and Greece when the managers 
of baths want to get rid of a crowd they throw darnel 
seed on to hot coals. Also the phalangium, a little 
creature of the spider class, breeds in bitter vetoh, if 
there is a wet winter. Slugs breed amongst vetch, and 
somctimes small snails which are produced from the 
ground and eat away the vetch in a surprising manner. 
— These broadly speaking are the diseases of grain. 

XLV. Such cures of these diseases as pertain to proteetioni 
grain in the blade are to be found in the hoe, and {^j*^f 
when the seed is being sown, in ashes ; but \\\e dUeases, 
diseases that occur in the seed and round the root can b^^^mice. 

287 



PLINY: NATIRAL HISTORY 

cedente ciira caventur. vino ante seniina perfusa 
minu<; aej;rotaro existimant. \'er^ilius nitro et 
amurca pcrfundi iubet fabam ; sic etiam grandescere 

158 priimittit. quidam vero si triduo ante satum urina et 
aqua maceretur praecipue adolescere putant ; ter 
quidcm saritam modium fractae e modio solidae 
reddcre ; r«-liqua semina cupressi foliis tusis si 
misceantur non esse vermiculis obnoxia, nec si inter- 
lunio serantur. multi ad milii remcdia rubetam noctu 
arvo circumferri iubent ))rius quam sariatur, defodicjue 
in mcdio inclusani fictili : ita nec passercm ncc vermes 
noccre, sed eruendam prius quam seratur,^ alioquin 
amarum fieri. quin et armo talpae contacta semina 

li")!! uberiora esse. Democritus sucoherbae quae appella- 
tur ai/.oum, in tegulis nascens, et ab alii>< liypo- 
gaesum,^ Latine vcrn scduni aut digitillum, medicata 
seri iubet omnia semina. vulgo vero, si uredo ' noceat 
et vermes radicibus inJiaereant, remedium est amurca 
pura ac sine sale spargcre, dein sarire, et* si in 
articulum seges exire^ coeperit, runcare, ne herbae 

160 vincant. pe.stem a milio atque panico, stumorum 
passerumve agmina, scio abigi herba cuius nomcn 

' seratur? coU. Oeopon. Mayhoff: sariatur. 

* Vrlichs (hyi)ogaeson) : aesum. 
' V.ll. dulcedo, ulcedo. 

* et ndd. Rackham. 

' exire? Mnyhnff: ire. 



" Semper vivum, 'ever alive ', our house-ieak. 
28S 



BOOK XVIII. xLv. 157-160 

be guanled against by taking pi'ecautions. It is 
believed that seed steeped in wine before sowing is ftw^. l. 
less liable to disease. \'irgil recommends steeping 
bcan in native soda and dregs from oil-presses, and 
also guarantees this as a method of increasing its size. 
Others however hold the view that it grows specially 
well if it is kneaded in a mixture of urine and water 
three days before sowing ; and at all events that if 
the crop is hoed thrce times it will yield a peck of 
crushed beans from a peck of whole beans ; and that 
the other kinds of seeds are not Uable to maggots if 
mixed with crushed cypress leaves, and also if sown 
just before a new moon. As a cure for diseases 
of millet many recommend carrying a toad roimd 
the fiekl at night before it is hoed and then burying 
it in the middle of the field, with a pot for a 
coftin ; it is then prevented from being damaged by a 
sparrow or by worms ; but it must be dug up before 
the field is sown, otherwise the land turns sour. 
They also say that seed is rnade more fertile if it is 
touched by the forequarters of a mole. Democritus 
advises soaking all seeds before they are sown in the 
juice of the plant that grows on roof-tiles, called in 
(ireek aeizoon " and bv other people ' under-the- 
eaves ', and in our language ' squat ' or ' httle 
finger '. But if daniage is being done by bUght and 
l)y worms adhering to the roots, a common remedy 
is to sprinkle the plant with pure olive oil lees, not 
salted, and then to hoe, and if the crop is beginning 
to shoot out into knots to weed it, so that weeds may 
not get the upper hand. I know for a fact that 
flights of starlings or sparrows, the plague of common 
and ItaHan millets, can be driven away from them by 
bur}ing aplant, the name of which is unknown to me, 

289 



PLINY: NATURAL IHSTORY 

ignotum est, in quattuor angulis scgetis defossa, 
mirum dictu, ut omnino nulla avis intret. mures 
abiguntur cinere mustelae vel felis diluto et semine 
sparso vel decoctarum aqua, sed redolet virus anima- 
lium eorum etiam in pane : ob id felle bubulo semina 

161 attingi utilius putant. rubigo quidem, maximn 
segetum pestis, lauri ramis in arvo defixis transit in 
ea folia ex arvis. luxuria segetum eastigatur dentc 
pecoris in herba dumtaxat, et depastae quidem vel 
saepius nullam in spica iniuriam sentiunt. reton- 
sarum etiam semel omnino certum est granum longius 
fieri et inane cassumque ac satum non nasci. Baby- 
lone tamen bis secant, tei-tium dcpascunt, alioquin 

162 folia tantum fierent. sic quoque cum quinquagesimo * 

fenore messes reddit exiniia fertilitas soli, diligen- 

tioribus veP cum centesimo. neque est cura difficilis 

quam diutissimo aqua rigandi, ut praepinguis et densa 

ubertas diluatur. limum autem non invehunt 

Euphrates Tigriscjue sic ut in Aegyplo Nilus, nec terra 

ipsa herbas gignit ; ubertas tamen tanta est ut 

sequente anno sponte restibilis fiat seges inpressis 

vestigio seminibus. quae tanta soli differentia ad- 

monet terrac genera in frugcs discribere. 

' E Theojihrasto HennoUma : quinto decimo. 
' MayhojJ : Tenum el alia. 

' This hides a fact : the living leavea of some barberries 
are the springtiuie host of wheat black-rust. 

290 



BOOK XVIII. XLV. 160-162 

at the four corncrs of the field, with the rciuai-kable 
result that no bird whatever will enter it. Mice are 
driven away by sprinkhng the seed with thc ashes 
of a weasel or a cat dissolved in water or with water 
in which those animals have been boiled ; but their 
poison makes an odour even in bread, and conse- 
quently it is thought more satisfactory to steep the 
seed in ox-gall. As for the gi-eatest curse of corn, 
mildew, fixing branches of laurel in the ground niakes 
it pass out of tlie fields into their fohage.<» Excessive 
luxuriance in corn-crops is corrected by grazing cattle 
on them, provided the corn is still in the bUide, and 
although it is eaten down even several times it 
sutfers no injurv in the ear. It is absohitely certain 
that if the ears are lopped off even once the grain 
becomes longer in shape and hoUow inside and worth- 
less, and if sown does not grow. Nevertheless at 
Babvlon they cut the corn twice and the third time 
pasture it off with cattle, as otherwise it would make 
only leaves. Even so the exceptional fertility of the 
soil returns crops with a fifty-fold increase, and to 
more industrions farmers even with a hundredfold. 
Nor is there any difficulty in the method of letting 
the ground be under watcr as long as possible, in 
order that its extremely rich and substantial fertifity 
may be diluted. But the Euphrates and the Tigris 
do not carry mud on to the land in the same way as 
the Nile does in Egypt, nor does the soil itsclf produce 
vegetation ; but nevertheless its fertiHty is so great 
that a sccond crop grows of its own accord in the 
foUowing year from the seeds trodden in by the 
reapers. This extreme difference of soil proinpts me 
to distribute my description of the various kiiids of 
land among the different crops. 

291 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

163 XL\ L Igitur Catonis luiec bententia est : ' in agro 
crasso et laeto frumentum seri, si vero nebulosus sit 
idem, rapa ^, raphanos. milium, panicum. in frigido 
vel aquoso prius serendum, postea in calido; in solo 
autem ruhricoso vel puUo vel harenoso, si non sit 
aquosum, lupinum, in creta et rubrica et aquosiore 
agro adoreum, in sicco et non herboso nec umbroso 

164 triticum. in solo valido fabam, \iciam vero quam 
minime in aquoso herbidoque, siliginem et triticum in 
loco aperto, edito, qui sole quam diutissime torreatur, 
lentem in rudecto et rubricoso qui non sit herbidus, 
hordeum in novali et in arvo quod restibile possit 
fieri, trimestre ubi scmentem maturam facere non 
possis ^ et cuius crassitudo sit restibilis.' 

165 SubtiUs et illa sententia : ' Serenda ea in tenuiore 
terra quae non multo indigent suco, ut cytisus et, 
cicere excepto, e leguminibus ' quae velluntur e terra, 
non subsecantur — unde et legumina appellata, quia 
ita leguntur — , in pingui autem quae cibi sunt maioris, 
ut ohis. triticum. siHgo, Hniim. sic ergo tenue solum 
hordeo dabitur — minus enim alimenti radix poscit — . 

I6G lenior* terra densiorque tritico. in loco umidiore ' 
far adoreum potiu-< quam triticum seretur, temperato 
et triticum et hordeum. colles robustius sed minus 
reddunt triticum. far. siHfro et cretosum et uHgi- 
nosum solum patiuntur.' 

' rapa e Catone add. Pintianus. 

* /" Catone Ilardouin : possit. 

' Sic^M't>/hriff: cicer exceptia legmninibua. 

* laetior Pintianus. 

- A Varrone Sillig : humili. 



• R.R. VI. 1, XXXIV. 1, 2. 
» Varro R.R. l. 2.3. 



3q2 



BOOK XVITT. XLM. 163-166 

XLVI. This then is the opinion of Cato " : ' In thick cato's advice 
and fertile land wheat should be sown ; but if the same ^^lpf^"' 
land is Hable to fog, turnip, radishes, common and 
Italian millets. In cold or damp land sowing should be 
done earlier, but in warm land later. In a ruddle-soil 
or in dark or sandy soil, if it is not damp, sow lupine ; in 
chalk and red earth and rathcr damp land, emmer 
wheat ; in dry land that is free from grass and not 
overshaded, wheat ; beans in strong soil, but veteh in 
the least damp and weedy soil ; common and other 
bare wheats in an open and elcvated locality that gcts 
the warmth of the sun as long as possible ; lentils in 
poor and ruddle-soil that is frec from grass ; barley in 
fallow land and also in land that can produce a second 
crop ; three-month wheat where the land could not 
ripen an ordinary crop and which is rich enough to 
produce a second crop.' 

The foUowing also is acute advice : * ' In a rather Varro'! 
thin soil crops should be sown that do not need much ''^' 
moisture, for instance tree-medick, and such of the 
leguminous plants, except chick-pea, as are gathered 
bv being puUcd up out of the ground and not by being 
cut — which is the reason why thev are called " crops ", 
because that is how they are " cropped " — , but in rich 
land the plants that need greater nuti-iment, such 
as greens, wheat, common wheat, flax. Under this 
method consequentlv thin soil will be assigned to 
barley, as its root demands less nourishment, while 
more easily worked and denser earth will be alk)tted to 
wheat. In a rather damp place emmer will be sown in 
preference to other wheat, but in soil of medium quality 
this and also barlev. Hillsides produce a stronger 
wheat but a smaller crop of it. Emmer and common 
wheat can do with both chalky and marshy soiL' 

293 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Ex ^ frugibus ostentum semel, quod equidem 
invenerim, accidit P. Aelio Cn. Cornelio cos., quo 
anno superatus est Hannibal : in arboribus enim tum 
nata produntur frumenta. 

167 XLVII. Et quoniam de frugum terraeque generibus 
abunde diximus, nunc de arandi rationc dicemus, ante 
omnia Aegypti facilitate comniemorata. Nilus ibi 
coloni vice fungens evagari incipit, ut diximus, 
solstitio a nova luna, primo lente, dein vehementius. 
quamdiu in leone sol est. mox pigrescit in virginem 

168 transgresso atque in libra residit. si xii cubita non 
excessit, fames certa est, nec minus si xvi exsuperavit ; 
tanto enim tardius decedit quanto abundantius crcvit, 
et sementem arcet. vulgo credebatur a decessu eius 
sererc soUtos mox sues inpellere vestigiis semina 
deprimentes in madido solo, et credo antiquitus 

169 factitatum, nunc quoque non rnulto graviore opera ; 
sed tamen inarari certum est abiecta prius semina in 
limo degressi amnis. hoc fit Novembri mense 
incipiente, postea pauci runcant — botanismon vocant 
— , reliqua pars non nisi cum falce arva vi^^it pauln ante 

' Detle/sen : et. 



' At the battle of Zania, 202 b.o. 
» Varro R.R. I. 9, 4. 



294 



BOOK XVIII. xLvi. i66-.\Lvn. 169 

The only portent arising from grain crops that I a. poneniout 
for my part have come across occurred in the consul- ^°'""*- 
ship of Publius Aelius and Gnaeus CorneUus, the 
year in which Hannibal was overconie " : it is stated* 
that on that occasion corn grew on trees. 

XL\'II. And now that we have spoken fully about CnUivntxon. 
the kinds of grain and of soil, we will now speak about flmdilg hy 
the method of ploughing, beginning with an account ""■^'iiffid 
of the easy conditions prevaiiing in Kgypt. In that 
country the Nile plays the part of farnier, beginning 
to overflow its banks at the new moon in midsummer, 
as we have said, at first gently and then more ^- ^''- 
violently, as long as the sun is in the constellation 
of the Lion. Then when the sun has passed over 
into the Virgin it slows down, and when the sun 
is in the Scales it subsides. If it has not risen 
more than 18 feet, there is certain to be a famine, 
and Ukewise if it has exceeded 24 feet ; for it 
retires more slowly in proportion as it has risen in 
greater flood, and prevents the sowing of seed. It 
used to be commonly believed that the custom was 
to begin sowing after the subsidence of the Nile and 
then to drive swine over the ground, pressing down 
the seed in the damp soil with their footprints, and I 
beUeve that in former days this was the common 
practice, and that at the present day also the sowing 
is done without much heavier labour ; but neverthe- 
less it is certain that the seed is first scattered in the 
mud of the river after it has subsided and then 
ploughed in. This is done at the beginning of 
November, and afterwards a few men stub up the 
weeds — their name for this process is botanismus — , 
V)ut the rest of the labourers only visit the fields a 
Uttle before the first of April, taking a sickle with 

295 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

kal. Apriles. peragitur autem messis mense Maio, 
stipula iiumquam cubitali, quippe sabulum subest 

170 granumque limo tantum continetur. excellentius 
Thebaidis regioni frumentum, quoniam palustris 
Aegyptus. similis ratio sed fclicitas maior Babyloniae 
Seleuciae, Euphrate atque Tigri restagnantibus. 
quoniam rigandi modus ibi manu temperatur. Syria 
quoque tenui sulco arat, cum multifariam in Italia 
octoni boves ad singulos vomeres anhelent. in omni 
(]uidoni parte culturae, sed in hac niaxime valet 
oraculum illud : ' quid quaequc regio patiatur.' 

171 XLVIII. Vomerum plura genera : culter vooatur 
infixus prae dentaH ^ prius(juam proscindatur tcrrani 
secans futurisque sulcis vestigia ])raescribens iTicisuris 
quas resupinus in arando mordeat vomer. alterum 
genus est volgare rostrati ^ vectis. tertium in solo 
faciH non toto porrectum dentaH sed exigua cuspide 

172 in rostro. latior haec quarto generi et acutior in 
mucronem fastigata eodemque gladio scindcns sohim 
et acie laterum radices herbarum secans. non pridem 
inventum in Raetia GalHae ut duas adderent taH 
rotulas, quod genus vocant phiumorati ; cuspis 

173 effigiem palae liabet. serunt ita non nisi culta terra' 
et fere nova*: latitudo vomcris caespites versat, 

' infixus prae dcntali ? Mayhoff : infelix (inflexua SiUig) 
praeciensam. 

* Gdeniuts : rostratum uti avi rostra uti. 

' cultrata vel cultro arata t. Slrark: inculta t. Frobeen : 
cu!tntra auf cultratatra. 

* novali ? Mayhoff. 

396 



BOOK X^'III. xLvii. i69-.\Lviii. 173 

them. However the harvest is completed in May, 
and the straw is never more than an ell long, as the 
subsoil is sand and the corn only gets its support 
from the mud. The district of the Thcbaid has corn 
of better quality, because Egypt is marsliy. Se- 
leucia in Babylon has a similar method but greater 
fertihty, owing to the overflow of the Euphrates and 
the Tigris, as there the amount of flooding is con- 
trollcd by thc hand of man. Syria also ploughs with 
a narrow furrow, whereas in Italv in many parts 
eight oxen strain panting at one ploughshare. In 
every department of agriculture but most of all in 
this one the greatest vahie attaches to the oracular 
precept : ' what the particular district will stand.' 

XLVIII. Ploughshares are of several kinds. The PiovgMoj 
coulter is the name for the part fixed in front of the p"^f,. 
share-beam, cutting the earth before it is broken up 
and marking out the tracks for the future furrows 
with incisions which tlie share sloping backwai-d is 
to bite out in the process of ploughing. Another 
kind is the ordinary share consisting of a lever with 
a pointed beak, and a third kind used in easy soil 
does not present an edge akmg the whole of the 
share-beam but only has a small spike at the ex- 
tremity. In a fourth kind of ploiigh tliis spike is 
broader and sharper, ending off in a point, and using 
the same blade both to cleave the soil and with the 
sharp edge of tlie sides to cut the roots of the weeds. 
An invention was made not lonsr a<;o in the Grisons 
fitting a plough of this sort with two small wheels — 
the name in the vernacular for this kind of plough is 
plaumorati ; the share has thc shape of a spade. 
This method i'; only used for sowing in cultivated 
land and land that is nearly fallow ; the breadth of 

297 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

semen protinus iniciunt cratesque dentatas super- 
trahunt. nec sarienda sunt hoc modo sata, sod 
protelis binis ternisque sic arant. uno boum iiigo 
censeri anno faciHs soli quadragena iugcra, difticilis 
tricena iustum est. 

174 XLIX. In arando magnopere servandum est 
Catonis oraculum : ' Quid est bene agrum colere ? 
bene arare. quid secundum ? arare.^ quidtertium? 
stercorare.' ' sulco varo - ne arcs. tcmpcstive ares.' 
Tepidioribus locis a brunia proscindi arva oportet, 
frigidioribus ab aequinoctio verno, et maturius sicca 
regione quam umida, maturius densa terra quam 

175 soluta, pingui quam macra. ubi siccae et graves 
aestates, terra cretosa aut gi-acilis, utilius inter 
solstitium et autumni aequinoctium aratur, ubi leves 
aestus, frequentes imbres, pingue herbosumque solum, 
ibi mediis caloribus. altum et grave solum etiam 
hieme moveri placet, tenue valde et aridum paulo 
ante sationem. 

176 Sunt et huic ^ suae leges : lutosam tcrram ne 
tangito. vi omni arato. prius quam ares proscin- 
dito. hoc utiUtatem habet quod inverso caespite 
herbarum radices nccantur. quidam utique ab 
aequinoctio verno proscindi volunt. quod vere scmel 
aratum est a temporis argumento vervactum vocatur ; 

' arare a//</. Sillig. 

- varo coll. § 179 Rackham: vario (aic et Calo). 

■' Mnt/hnff : hic. 

298 



BOOK XVIII. xLviii. i73-.\u.x. 176 

the share turns the turves over ; men at once scatter 
the seed on it and draw toothed harrows over the 
furrows. Fields that have been sown in this way do 
not need hoeing, but this method of ploughing re- 
quircs teams of two or three pairs of oxen. It is a 
fair estimate for forty acres of easy soil and thirty 
of ditficult to be rated as a year's work for one team 
of oxen. 

XLIX. In ploughing it is extremely important to Heasonjor 
obey the oracular utterance of Cato : ' What is good ^./"^'Lxi. 
farming ? Good ploughing. Wliat is second best ? 
Ploughing. Whatthird? Manuring.' 'Donotplough 
a crooked furrow. Plough in guod time.' In com- 
parativcly mild places brcaking the ground should 
begin at midNnnter, but in colder districts at the 
spring equinox ; and it should begin earUer in a dry 
region than in a damp one, and earher in a dense 
soil than a loose onc and in a rich soil than in a poor 
one. Where the summers are dry and oppressive 
and the land chalky or thin, it pays better to plough 
between midsummer and the autumnal equinox, but 
in the middle of the hot weather in places where 
summer heat is moderate, rainfalls frequent and the 
soil rich and grassy. It is the rule to stir a deep 
lieavy soil even in the winter, but a very thin and 
dry one a Uttle before sowing. 

Ploughing also has rules of its own : Do not touch nuiesfor 
a muddy soil. Plougli with all your might. Break 7''''«ff«"i?- 
the ground before you plough. The value of the 
last process is that turning the turf kills the roots of 
the weeds. Some people recommend beginning to 
break the ground at all events at the spring equinox. 
Land ploughed once in spring is called ' spring- 
worked land ', from the fact of thc date ; spring- 

299 



FLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

hoc in novali aeque necessarium est : novale est quod 

177 alternis annis seritur. araturos boves quam artissime 
iungi oportet, ut capitibus sublatis arent — sic minime 
coUa contundunt ; si inter arbores vitesque aretur, 
fiscellis capistrari ne germinum tenerrima^ praecer- 
pant; securiculam in stiva pendere qua intercidantur 
radices — hoc melius quam convelli aratro bovesque 
luctari ; in arando versum peragi nec strigare in actu 

178 spiritus. iustum est proscindi sulco dodrantali 
iugerum uno die, iterari sesquiiugerum, si sit faciHtas 
soli, si minus, proscindi scmissem, iterari assem, 
quando et animalium labori natura lcges statuit. 
omne arvum rectissulcis.mox et obliquis subigi debet. 
in collibus traverso tantum monte aratur, sed modo 
in superiora modo in inferiora rostrante vomere ; 
tantumque est laboris homini ut etiam boum vice 
fungatur: certe sine hoc animah' montanae gentes 

17!» sarculis arant. arator nisi incurvus praevaricatur — 
inde tralatum hoc crimen in forum : ibi utique 
caveatur ubi iiivcntuni cst. purget vomerem subinde 
stimuhi^ cusjiulatus rallo. scamna intcr duos sulcos 
cruda ne relinquantur, glaebae ne exultent. male 

' Rackham : tenera. 



" /.'•. the furrowH do not nin straight up hill and the cross- 
furrows hnri/.ontally, biit both are diaponal to the nlopo of 
the hill, so that the plough runs alternately up the fllope and 
do^vn it diagonally. 

300 



BOOK XVIII. xLix. 176-179 

working is equally necessary in the case of fallow 
land — fallow is land sown every other year. Oxen 
when going to plough should be harnessed to the 
yoke as tightlv as possible, to make them hold their 
heads up when ploughing — that makes them least 
hable to gall their necks ; if the ploughing is in be- 
tween trees and vines, they must wear basket-work 
muzzles to prevent their nibbling off the tenderest 
of the buds; a small billhook should be hung on 
the plough-tail to cut through roots with — this is 
better than letting the plough tear them up, which 
is a strain on the oxen ; when ploughing finish the 
row and do not halt in the middle while taking 
breath. It is a fiiir day's work to break an acre with 
a nine-inch furrow and to plough over again an acre 
and a half, given an easy soil, but otherwise, to break 
half an acre and plough over one acre, since Nature 
has appointed laws even for the labour of animaLs. 
Every field must be worked with straight fun-ows 
and then with slanting furrows as well. Hilly ground 
is ploughed only across the slope of the hill, but with 
the share pointing now up hill and now down ; " and 
man has such capacity for labour that he can actually 
perform the function of oxen — at all events mountain 
races dispense with this aninial and do their pk)ughing 
with hoes. Unless a ploughman bends his back to 
his work he goes crooked — the charge of ' prevari- 
cation ' is a metaphorical term transferred to pubhc 
hfe from ploughing : anyhow it must be avoided in 
the department of its origin. The share should be 
cleaned now and then with a stick tipped with a 
scraper. The ridges betwcen two furrows should not 
be left untidy, so that clods of earth may not fall 
off them. A field that needs harrowing after the 

301 



PLINY: NATLRAL HLSTORY 

aratur arvum tjuod satis frugibus occandum est : id 
demum recte subactum erit ubi non intellegetur utro 
vomer ierit. in usu est et collicias interponere, si 
ita locus poscat, ampliore sulco, quae in fossas aquani 
educant. 

180 Aratione per traversum iterata occatio sequitur, ubi 
res poscit, crate vel rastro, et sato semine iteratur ^ 
haec quoque, ubi consuetudo patitur, crate contenta - 
vel tabula aratro adnexa — quod vocant lirare — operi- 
ente ^ semina ; ni operiantur, quae * primum appellata 

181 deliratio cst. quarto seri sulco \'ergilius existimatur 
voluisse, cum dixit optimam esse segetem quae bis 
soles, bis frigora sensisset. spissius solum, sicut 
plerumque in Italia, quinto sulco seri melius est, in 
Tuscis vero nono. at fabam et vieiam non proscisso 
serere sine damno conpendium ojierae est. 

182 Non t>mittenius unam etiamnuni arandi rationem 
in transpadana Italia bellorum iniuria excogitatam. 
Salassi cura subiectos Alpibus depopularentur agros, 
panieum miliumque iam excrescens temptavere; 
post(|uain respuebat natura, inararunt ; at illae 
messes multiplieatae docuere quod nune vocant 
artrare, id est aratrare, ut eredo tunc dictum. hoc fif 

1 Srhneider : iteratio. 

* dentata edJ. 

' Dulec. : operientes. 

* ni . . . quae Maylwff : operianturque. 

" I.e. deliralio, delirium, ' going off the ridge ', was originally 
an agriculturiil tcnn meaning bad pioughing in of seed. 

* This Alj^ino tribe in the \'al d'AuHta caused much frontier 
trouble frora 143 b.c. onward; thoy were fin.iliy e.vterminated 
25 B.c. 

302 



BOOK XVIII. xLix. 179-182 

crop has been sown is badly ploughed : the ground 
will only have been worked properly where it is im- 
possible to tell in which of two opposite directions 
the share went. It is also usual to make inter- 
mediate runnels by means of a larger furrow, if the 
place requires this, for these to di*aw oif the water 
into the ditches. 

After the cross-ploughing has been done there Harrowiiw 
foUows the harrowing of clods with a framework or a "'"*'"<»*»"?• 
rake where circumstances require it, and, where local 
custom allows, this second breaking is also repeated 
after the seed has been sown, by means of a harrow- 
framework or 'with a board attached to the plough 
covering up the seeds — this process is called ridging ; 
if thev are not covered, this is ' unridging '- — the 
original use of the word that means ' raving '.<* 
\'irgil when he said that the best crop is one that ororg. r. 47. 
' twice hath felt the sun and twice the cold ', is under- 
stood to have desired a fourth ploughing before 
sowing. Where the soil is rather dense, as it usually is 
in Italy, it is better to plough five times before sow- 
ing, but in Tuscany nine times. With beans and vetch 
however it is a labour-saving plan involving no loss to 
dispense with preliminarv breaking before sowing. 

We will not omit one additional method of plough- pionohinr/ 
ing that has been deviscd in Italy north of the Po *"• 
owing to damage caused by war. When the Salassi * 
were devastating the farms lying below the AIps they 
made an attempt to destroy the crops of panic and 
millet that were just appearing above the ground : 
but after Nature proved contemptuous of their 
efforts, thcy ploughed in the crops ; these however 
came up in multiplied abundance, and thus taught us 
the practice of ploughing in — artrare as it is now 

303 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

vel iiKipieiilo culnio vel ^ cuni iam se ^ ad bina 

183 teniave emiserit folia. nec recens subtrahemus 
exemplum in Treverico agro tertio ante hunc anno^ 
conpertum : nam cum hieme praegelida captae 
segetes essent, reseverunt etiam campos mense 
Martio uberrimasque messes habuerunt. 

Nunc reliqua cultura tradetur per gencra frugum. 

184 L. Siligincm. far, triticum, semcn, hordcum occato, 
sarito, runcato quibus dictum crit diebus ; singulae 
opcrac cuique gencri in iugero suHicient. sarculatio 
induratam hiberno rigore soH tristitiam hixat 
tcmporibus vernis novosque soles adniittit. qui 
sariet caveat ne frumenti radices subfodiat. triticum, 

18') semen, hordeum, fabam bis sarire melius. runcatio. 
cum seges in articuhim exiit, evolsis * inulihbus 
hcrbis frugum radices vindicat segetemque discernit 
a caespite. leguminum cicer eadem quae far 
desiderat ; faba runcari non gcstit, quoniam evincit 
herbas ; lu])iiium occalur tantum ; inilium et panicum 
occalur et saritur, non iteratur, non runcatur; siHcia 

186 et phasioH ocrantur tantum. siuit genera terrae 
quorum ul)ertas pectinari segclcin in herba cogat — 
cratis et hoc genus dentatae slilis fcrrcis — eadem(jue 

' vel add. edd. 

^ Mni/hoff : si. 

' R<irkham : anniim. 

* Miiijhoff: nliinlia: in articulo csae in molsia. 



BOOK XVIII. xu\. 1S2-L. 186 

called, that as 1 believe bein£:j the form at that time 
in ase of the word aratrare. This is done either when 
the stem is beginning to grow or when it has already 
shot up as far as the second or third set of leaves. 
Nor will we withhold a reccnt instance that was 
ascertained two years ago in the Trier country : the 
crops having been nipped by an extremely cold 
winter, in March they actually sowed the fields 
again, and had a verv bounteous harvest. 

We will now give the remaining methods of culti- waysof 
\ation correspondine to the various kinds of corn. Qrowing an 

1111 11 'ceedmg 

L. Common, emmer, hard naked and ouitY vaTiovsi.iiui 
emmer wheats and barley shoukl be harrowed, hoed "J ''^"' ''"^- 
and stubbed on the days that will be stated ; a single 
hand per acre will be enough for each of these kinds 
of grain. Hoeing loosens in the spring season the 
harshness of the soil that has been hardened by the 
rigour of winter, and lets in the fresh sunshine. One 
who is going to hoe must beware of digging under- 
neath the roots of the corn. Naked and emmer 
wheats, barley and beans are better for two hoe- 
ings. Stubbing, when the crop has bcgun to make a 
joint, Uberates the roots of the corn by pulling up 
useless weeds and disengages the crop from ckjds 
of turf. Of the leguminous plants chick-pea needs 
the same treatment as emmer; beans do not want 
inuch stubbing, as they overpower weeds ; lupine 
is onlv harrowed ; common and ItaHan miUets are 
harrowed and hoed, but not hoed a second time and 
not stubbcd ; fenugreek and calavances are harrowed 
onlv. There are some kinds of ground the fertiHty 
of which necessitates combing the crop while in the 
blade — the comb is another kind of harrow fitted 
with pointed iron teeth — and even then they also 

305 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

nihilominus et depascuntur ; quae depasta sunt 
sarculo iterum excitari necessarium. at in Bactris, 
Africa, Cyrenis omnia haec supervaoua facit* indul- 
gentia caeH, et a semente nun nisi messibus in arva 
redeunt, quia siccitas coercet herbas, fruges nocturno 

187 tantum rore nutriente. Vergilius alternis cessare arva 
suadet, et *si patiantur ruris spatia, utilissimum procul 
dubio est ; quod si ne^et condicio, far serendum unde 
lupinum aut vicia aut faba sul)hita sint et quae terram 
faciunt laetiorem. in primisque et hoc notandum, 
quaedam propter alia seri obiter si parum provenere, 
ut priore diximus ^ volumine, ne eadem saepius 
dicantur; plurimum enim refert soli cuiusque ratio. 

I8S LI. Civitas Africae in mediis harenis petentibus 
Syrtes Leptimque Magnam vocatur Tacape, feHx* 
super omne miraculum riguo solo. temis fere miUbus 
passuum in omnem partem fons abundat, largus 
quidem, sed certis horarum spatiis dispensatur 
inter incolas. palmae ibi praegrandi subditur olea, 
huic ficus, fico punica, illi vitis ; sub vite seritur 
frumentum, mox legumen, deinde olus, omnia 
eodem anno, omnia()ue aHena umbra aluntur. 

' Rackham : fecit. 
' et add. Cild. 

* Mayhoff : si parum provenire diximus. 

* Rackham : felici. 



Georg. I. 71 : 

Alternia idem tonsas cessare novaleB 

Et segnum patiere situ durescere campum. 

306 



BOOK XVIII. L. 186-u. 188 

afford pasture for cattle ; aiid the ornps that have been 
eaten down as pasture have to be resuscitated with 
the hoe. But in Bactria and Africa and at Cyrene 
all these operations are rendered superfluous by the 
indulgence of the climate, and after sowing they only 
go back into the fields at harvest, because the dry 
atmosphere prevents weeds, the crops depending for 
nourishment on the dew-fall at night. Virgil advises 
letting the fields ' He fallow turn and turn about '," and 
if the extentof the farm allows it, this is undoubtedly 
extremclv uscful ; but if concHtions forbid it, 
emmer wheat should be sown in ground which has 
borne a crop of lupines or vetch or beans, and plants 
that enrich the land. And another point to be noticed 
as of first importance is this, that some interim crops 
are sown for the sake of other crops if these liave 
made an unsatisfactory return, as we have said in the 
preceding volume — not to repeat the same things too xvir. 66. 
often; for the quality of eacli particular soil is of the 
greatest importance. 

LI. There is a city-state of Africa called Tacape, Lando/ 
in the middle of the desert on the route to the Syrtes jSi?"' 
and Great Leptis, which has the exccptionally mar- 
vellous blessing of a well-watered soil. There is a 
spring that distributes water ovcr a space of about 
three miles in every direction, giving a gcnerous 
supply, but nevertheless it is distributcd among the 
population only at special fixed periods of the day. 
Here underneath palms of exceptional size there 
are olivcs, under the oHves figs, under the figs 
pomegranates, and under those vines ; and under- 
neath the vines is sown corn. and later leguminous 
plants, and then garden vegctables, all in the same 
year, and all nourished in the shade of something else. 

307 



PLINY. NATURAL HISTORY 

189 quaterna cubita eius soli in quadratum, nec ut a 
porrectis metiantur digitis sed in pugnum contractiu, 
quaternis denariis venundantur. super omnia est 
bifera vite bis anno vindemiare ; et nisi multiplici 
partu exinaniatur ubcrtas, pereant luxuria singuli 
fructus : nunc vero toto anno metitur aliquid, con- 
statque fertilitati non occurrere ^ homines. 

190 Aquarum quoque differentia magna riguis. est in 
Narbonensi provincia nobilis fons Orgae nomine ; in 
eo herbae nascuntur in tantum expctitae bubus ut 
mersis capitibus totis eas quaerant ; sed illas in aqua 
nascentis certum est non nisi imbribus ali. ergo 
suam quisque terram aquamque noverit. 

1'Jl LIL Si fuerit illaterra quam appellavimus teneram, 
poterit sublato hordeo seri milium, eo condito rapa, 
his sublatis hordeum rursus vel trificum, sicut in 
Campania ; satisque talis terra aratur cum saritur.^ 
alius ordo ut, ubi adoreum fuerit, cesset quattuor 
mensibus hibcrnis et vernam fabam recipiat ; ante ' 
hiemalem ne cesset.* nimis pinguis alternari potest, 
ita ut * frumento sublato legumen tertio seratur; 

' Buccurrere ? Mayhoff. 

' Slrack : seritur. 

' yiayhoJJ : recipi ut aut ante aut sim. 

* Edd. : nec exiet. 

' Mayhoff : fit aut fit ut. 

308 



BOOK XVIII. Li. 189-ui. 191 

A plot of soil thei-e measuring four cubits either way, 
a cubit being measured not from the elbow to the 
finger-tips but to thc closed fist, is sold for four 
denarii. But the unique point is that there are two 
vintages a year, the vines bearing twice over ; and 
if fertility wcre not exhausted by multiplied pro- 
duction, each crop would be killed by its own exuber- 
ance, but as it is, something is being gathered all the 
vear round, and yet it is an absohite fact that this 
fertility receives no assistance from human beings. 

There is also a great difference of quahty in the VaHeties 0/ 
water supplied to watered places. In the province of ""''*'• 
Narbonne there is a celebrated spring with the name 
of Orga, in which plants grow that are so much sought 
after by oxen that they put their whole heads under 
water in trying to get them ; but it is a well-known 
fact that those plants though growing in Mater only 
get their nutriment from showers of rain. Conse- 
quentlv it is necessary for everybody to know the 
nature of the soil and of the water in his own district. 

LII. If the land is of the kind which we designated xvii. 36. 
' tender ', after harvesting the barley it will be pos- cr'^^!'^ 
sible to sow millet, and whcn that has been got in 
turnip-seed, and when the millet and turnip have been 
harvested barley again, or else wheat, as is done in 
Campania ; and land of that nature is sufficiently 
pkjughed by being hoed. Another order of rotation is 
for ground where therc has been a crop of emmer 
wheat to lie fallow during the four winter months and 
to be given spring beans ; but it should not lie fallow 
before bcing sown with winter-beans. With a soil 
that is too rich it is possible to employ rotation, 
sowing a leguminous crop at a third sowing after the 
wheat ha^; bccn carried ; Vnit a tliin soil had better be 

309 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

gracilior et in annum tertium cesset. frumentum seri 
quidani vetant nisi in ea quae proximo anno quieverit. 
H)2 LIII. Maximam liuius loci partem stercorationis 
optinet ratio, dc qua et priore diximus volumine. hoc 
tantum nemini incompertum ^ est, nisi stercorato seri 
non oportere, quamquam et huie leges sunt propriae. 
mihum, panicum, rapa, napos nisi in stercorato ne 
serito;'^ non stercorato frumentum potius quam 
hordeum serito. itera in novalibus, tametsi in iUis 
fabam seri volunt, eandem ubicumque quam recen- 

193 tissime stercorato solo. autumno aliquid saturus 
Septembri mense fimum in asrro acervet,^ post 
imbrem utique ; sin * verno erit saturus, per hiemem 
fimum disponat — iustuni est vehes xviii iugero tribui ; 
dispergere caveto ^ priusquam ares. at iacto semine, 
si haec omissa sit stercoratio, sequens est, priusquani 
sarias, ut fimi ex aviariis seminis vicc spargas ^ ante 

194 pulverem. quod ut hanc quoque curam dctermine- 
mus, iustum mense ' singulas vehes fimi redire * 
in singulas pecudes minores, in maiores denas.* nisi 
contingat hoc, male substravisse pecori colonum 
appareat. sunt qui optime stercorari putent sub diu 
retibus inclusa pecorum mansione. ager si non 

' Jlf a <//io/y (•;«/ inconfeasumT) : tantum enim inconpo.iaum. 

* serito Detlrfsen: seritor Mayhoff: serantur tdd. vett.: 
srrltur, 

' Mnyhoff: fimtnn inarguet. 

* sin ? Mnyhnff: ai. 

* caveto Mayhnff: autem. 

* ut . . . spargaa add Mayhoff coll. XVII oO, 53 el Cohtin. 
II. 15. 2. 

' Mnyhoff: instnra est. 

" rodiro Mayhnff: definire Detlefsen: terdenis rodiro 
UrJirhs: denario ire. 
' denaa -(tricenis diebus) L. Poinsinet de Sivry ex Coluniella. 

310 



BOOK XVIII. Lii. 191-U11. 194 

left fallow till the year aftcr next. Some people 
forbid sowing wheat except in land that has lain 
fallow the year before. 

LIII. A very important part of this topic is occu- Huiesfor 
pied by the propcr way of using dung, about which ^?^^ rf""^. 
we have also spoken in the preceding volumc. The xvii. 6u. 
one thing known to evcrybody is that the land must 
not be sown unlcss it has been manured, although 
even this matter has special rules applying to it. You 
must not sow millet, panic, turnip or navew except 
in ground that has been manured, but if thc ground 
has not been manured, you shoukl sow wheat in it 
rather than barley. Similarly also in the case of 
fallows, although it is held that in these beans shoukl 
be sowed, in evcry case you must sow that crop after 
the soil has been manured as recently as possiblc. 
A person intending to sow something in the autumn 
should pile dung on the kvnd in September, at all 
events after rain has fallcn ; but if intending to sow 
in the spring-time, he should spread dung during 
the winter — eightcen loads of dung is the proper 
amount to be given to an acre ; but be careful not to 
spread it before ploughing. But after the seed has 
been sown, if this manuring has been neglected, the 
foUowing stage is, before you weed, first to seatter 
like seed some dust of droppings obtained from 
licn-coops. But to fix a precise Hmit for this 
treatment also, the right amount is to get one load 
of manure per head of smaller animals and ten loads 
per head of oxen. If that be not forthcoming, it 
would look as if the farmcr had been skack in providing 
Htter for his stock. Some people think that manur- 
ing is best done by kceping the Hocks and herds 
permanently out of doors pcnned up with netting. 

311 



PLINfY: NATURAL HISTORY 

stercoratur alget,si nimium stercoratus est aduritur; 
satiusquc est id saepe quam supra modum facere. 
quo calidius solum est, eo minus addi stercoris ratio 
est. 

195 LIV. Semen optimum anniculum, bimum deterius, 
trimum pessimum, ultra sterile ; etenim ^ omnium 
detinita geueratio est. quod in ima area subsedit ad 
semen reservandum est, id enim optimum quoniam 
giavissimum, neque alio modo utilius discemitur. 
quae spica intervallata * semina habebit abicietur. 
optimum granum quod rubet et dentibus fractum 
eundem habet colorem, deterius cui phis intus albi est. 

l!Mi certum terras aUas plus seminis recipere, alias minus, 
rehgiosumque inde et ^ prinium colonis augurium : 
cum avidius accipiat, esurire creditur et comesse 
semen. sationem locis umidis celerius fieri ratio est, 
ne semen imbre putrescat, siccis serius, ut pluviae 
sequantur ne diu iacens atque non concipiens evane- 
scat ; itemque festinata satione densum spargi semen, 
quia tarde concipiat, serotina rarum, quia densitate 

197 nimia necetur. artis quoque cuiusdam est aequahter 
spargere; manus utique congruere debet cum gradu 
semperque cum dextro pede. fit * quoque quorundani 

' M<n/hoff : et in iino aul et in uno. 

' Inn : intrrvalla. 

» et add. Maijhoff. 

« JJdd. : sit. 



BOOK XVIII. Liii. 194-UV. 197 

If the laiid is not ruanured it gets chilled, and if it is 
jriven too much nianure it becomes burnt up ; and it 
pays better to do the manuring frequently than to 
manure to excess. It stands to reason that the 
warmer the soil is the less manure it should be given. 

LI\'. The best seed is last year's ; two-year old Quaiuiei of 
seed is inferior, three-year old very poor, and beyond Timesfor 
that it is barren ; in fact all things have a hmited ^owing. 
period of fertihty. The seed that falls to the bottom 
on the threshing-floor should be kept for sowing, as 
it is the best because the heaviest, and there is no 
other more efficient way of distinguishing it. An 
ear having its seeds separated by gaps will be dis- 
carded. The best grain is that which is reddish in 
colour and which when crushed by the teeth shows 
the same colour inside, and one that has more white 
inside is infierior. It is a well-known fact that some 
lands take more seed and others less, and this sup- 
phes farmers with a binding and primary augury : 
when the earth receives the seed more greedily, it 
is believed to be hungry and to devour the seed. 
The plan is for sowing to be done morc quickly in 
ihimp places, to prevent the seed from being rotted 
by moisture, but later in dry places, so that the 
rainfalls may come afterwards to prevent the seed 
from lying for a long time without germinating and 
so withering away ; and similarly when sowing is 
hurried on it pays to scatter the seed thickly, because 
it conceives slowly, but when sowing is late, to 
scatter it thin, because excessive closeness kills it. 
Also there is a certain science in scattering the seed 
evenly ; at all events the hand nmst keep in time 
with the pace of walking, and always go with the 
right foot. Also it comes about by some not obvious 

3^3 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

occulta ratione quod sors ^ p^enialis atque fecunda est. 
non transferendum est ex friijidis locis sem<"n in calida. 
neque ex praecocibus in serotina ^ nihihiue ^ iii 
contrarium ut * praecepere quidam falsa diligentia. 

198 LV. Serere in iugera temperato solo iustum est 
tritici aut siliginis modios v, farris aut seminis, quod 
frumenti genus ita appellamus, x, hordei vi, fabae 
quinta amplius quam tritici, viciae .\ii, ciceris et 
cicerculae et pisi iii, lupini .x, lentis iii (sed lianc 
cum fimo arido seri volunt), ervi vi, siHciae vi, 
passiolorum iv, pabuli xx, miHi, panici sextarios iv, 

199 pingui solo plus, graciH minus. cst et aHa distinctio: 
in denso aut cretoso aut uHginoso tritici aut siHginis 
modios VI, in soluta terra et sicca et hieta iv ; macrum •' 
enim sohim, nisi rarum culmum habeat, spicam 
minutam facit et inanem, pinguia arva ex uno semine 
fruticem numerosum fundunt densamque segetem 

200 ex raro semine emittunt. crgo inler quattuor et sex 
modios, pro natura soH quinto minus seri plusve 
praecipiunt, item in consito aut cHvoso ut in macro. 
huc * pertinet oraculum ilhid magno opere custo- 
diendum : ' Segetem ne defruges.'' adiecit his Attius 
in Praxidica,^ ut sereretur cum hnia esset in arieti-, 
geminis, leone, Hbra, acpiario, Zoroastres sole 

* Edil. : fors. 

- in serotina coll. xvii 79 a(hl. edd. 

' niliilque v.l. om. 

*■ ut (idd. Mayhnff. 

' V.l. macies (macie Maijhoff). 

* Rackham : hoc. 

' defrude.s Sillig ex Catone. 

* Ribheck : Praxidico. 



• That ia, zea, § 82. Se« pp. 198 9, 242-3. 248-9. 



BOOK XVIII. Liv. 197-LV. 200 

niethod used by certain people that hick is kind to 
them and brings a good return. Seed should not be 
transferred from cold places to warm ones nor from 
early ripening districts to late ones, and nothing 
should be transferred in the contrary directitms 
either, as some people out of mistaken ingenuity 
have advised. 

L\'. The right amounts of seed per acre to sovv in Amouiit o/ 
soil of medium quaUty are : bare or common wheat 5 ^ " 
pecks, emmer or seed (the kind of grain " to which 
we give tliat name) 10 ; barley 6, beans a fifth more 
than in the case of wheat, vetch 12, chick-pea, 
chickling vetch and peas 3, lupine 10, lentil 3 (but 
people Hke to sow lentils mixed with dry dung), 
bitter vetch 6, fenugreek 6, calavances 4, hay- 
grass 20, common and ItaHan miHets a quarter of a 
peck, or more in a rich soil and less in a thin one. 
There is also another distinction to make : in thick 
or chalky or moist soil 6 peeks of bare or common 
wheat, but in loose and dry and fertile soil 4 ; for 
a meagre soil makes a small and empty ear unless 
it has the corn stalks far apart, whereas fields with 
a rich soil produce a number of stalks from a single 
seed and yield a thick crop from thinly scattered 
seed. Consequentlv the rule given is to sow be- 
tween four and six pecks, adding or subtracting a 
fifth in accordance with the nature of the soil, and 
the same in a densely planted place or on sloping 
land as in thin soil. To this appHes that oracuhir 
utterance, which it is so important to observe : ' Do rt>n«oy 
not grudge the cornfield its seed.' To this Attius in his *""''"<'• 
Praxidike added the advice to sovv when the moon 
is in the constellations of the Ram, the Twins, the 
Lion,the Scales and Aquarius, but Zoroaster advised 



PLINY: NATLUAL IIISTORY 

scorpioiiis duodecim partes transgresso cum luna esset 
in tauro. 

201 L\T. Sequitur huc dilata et maxima indigens cura 
de tt-mpure tVuges serendi cjuaestio, magnaque ex 
parte rationi * siderum conexa, quamobrem senten- 
tias omnium in primis ad id pertinentes exponemus. 
Hesiodus, qui princeps hominum de agricultura 
praecepit, unum tempus serendi tradidit a ver- 
giliarum occasu ; scribebat enim in Boeotia Helladis, 

202 ubi ita seri diximus. inter diligentissimos convenit, 
ut in alitum quadripedunKpie genitura, esse quosdam 
ad conceptum impetus et terrae ; hoc Graeci ita 
defmiunt. cum sit caHda et umida. Vergilius triticum 
et far a vcrgiliarum occasu seri iubet, hordeum inter 
aequinoctium autumni et brumam, viciam vero et 
passiolos et lentem boote occidente ; quo fit ut horum 
siderum aliorumtjue exortus et occasus digerendi sint 

203 in suos dies. sunt qui et ante vergiliarum occasum 
seri iubeant, dumtaxat in arida terra calidisque 
proN-inciis, custodiri enim semen non ^ corrumpente 
umore, et a proximo iinbre uno die erumpere ; aHi 
statim ab occasu vergiliarum, sequi eiiim ' imbres a 
septimo fere die ; aHqui in frigidis ab aecjuinoctio 
autumni, in caHdis serius, ne ante hiemem luxurient, 

* Mayhoff: ratione. 

* non add. Hordoidn (a add. ? Maijhoff). 

* enim add. liackfuitn. 

316 



BOOK XMII. Lv. 200-LVI. 203 

sowing when the sun has crossed 12 degrees of the 
Scorpion and the moon is in the Bull. 

LVI. There follows the question postponed to this 
place, a question that needs very careful consideration 
— that of the proper date for sowing the crops ; it is 
in a large degree connected with astronomy, and 
consequently we will begin by setting out the views 
of all authoi*s in regard to it. Hesiod, the leader of iVorksand 
mankind in imparting agricultural instruction, gave ^"y^-'^*- 
onlv one date for sowing, to begin at the setting of 
the Pleiads ; for he wrote in the Greek country of 
Boeotia where, as we have said, that is the custom § 49. 
for sowing. It is agreed among the most careful 
observers that, as in the propagation of birds and 
animals, so with the earth, there exist certain impulses 
lcading to conception ; and the Greeks define this as 
the period when the earth is warm and moist. Virgil 
prescribes sowing bare and emmer wheats after c/. Georg. i 
the setting of the Pleiads, barley between the^io'^^?- 
autumnal equinox and mid-winter, but vetch and cala- 229. 
vances and lentils at the setting of Bootes ; with the 
consequence that it is important to ascertain the exact 
dates of the rising and setting of these and other 
stars. There are some who advise sowing before the 
setting of the Pleiads, at all events in dry land and 
in the provinces wath a warm cUmate, because 
the seed keeps safely, there being no damp to 
make them rot, and within a day after the next fall 
of rain they break out ; while others recommend 
sowing immediately after the setting of the Pleiads, 
because about a week later rains follow ; and some 
advise beginning to sow at the autumnal equinox 
in cnld places, but later in warm districts, so that 
the crops may not be too far forward beforc wintcr. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

204 inter omnes autem convenit circa brumam serendum 
non esse, magno argumento, quoniam hiberna semina, 
cum ante brumam sata sint, septimo die erum- 
pant, si post brumam, vix quadragesimo. sunt qui 
properent atque ita pronuntient, festinatam semen- 
tem saepe deeipere, serotinam semper. e contrario 
alii vel vere potius serendum quam malo autumno, 
atque ubi fuerit necesse, inter favonium et vernum 

206 aequinoctium. quidam omissa caelesti subtilitate 
temporibus definiunt : vere linum et avenam et 
papaver atque, uti nunc etiani transpadani servant, 
usque in quinquatrus, fabam, siliginem Novembre 
mense, far Septembri extremo usque in idus Octobres, 
alii post hunc diem in kal. Novembris. ita his nulla 
naturae cura est, illis nimia, et ideo caeca subtilitas, 
cum res geratur inter rusticos Htterarumque expertes, 

206 non modo siderum. et confitendum est caelo maxime 
constare ea, quippe Vergilio iubente praedisci ventos 
ante omnia ac siderum mores, neque aliter quam 
navigantibus servari. spes ardua et inmensa misceri 
posse caelestem divinitatem inperitiae rusticae, sed 
temptanda tani ' grandi vitac rniolumento. prius 
tamen sideralis difficnlijis, quam scnsere etiam periti, 

1 iam Mayhoff. 

" See page 341. 

* The festival of Minerva begiiming March 19. 

' Genrg. I. 50 fiF. : 

Ac priuB ignotum ferro quam scindimus aequor, 
ventos ac varium cacli praediscere morem 
cura sit ac patrios cultusque habitusque locorum 
et quid quaeque ferat rcgio, quid quaeque recuset. 

3^8 



BOOK XVIII. Lvi. 204-206 

But it is universally agreed that so^ving must not 
be done in the period of mid-winter, for the con- 
vincing reason that winter seeds when sown before 
mid-winter break out in a week, but if sown after 
it scarcely begin to appear in four weeks. There 
are somc who hasten matters on and put forward 
the dictum that, while sowing in haste often 
proves deceptive, sowing late always does. Others 
on the opposite side think that sowing even in 
spring is preferable to sowing in a bad autumn, and 
that if this is necessary it should be done between 
the arrival of the west wind<* and the spring equinox. 
Some people ignore nice points of meteorology and 
fix hmits by the calendar : flax, oats and poppy in 
spring and up to the Feast of the Five Days,** a prac- 
tice even now observed in the districts north of the 
Po, beans and common wheat in November, emmer 
wheat at the end of September on to October 15, and 
others after that date on to November 1. Thus 
these latter writers pay no attention to Nature, 
while the previous set pay too much, and conse- 
quently their elaborate theorizing is all in the dark, 
as the issue Ues between countrymen and Uterary, 
not merely astronomical, pundits ! And it must be 
confessed that these matters do chiefly depend on 
the weather — as in fact Virgil'^ enjoins first before 
all else to learn the winds and the habits of the stars, 
and to observe them just in the same way as they 
are observed for navigation. It is an arduous and a 
vast aspiration — to succeed in introducing the divine 
science of the heavens to the ignorance of the rustic, 
but it must be attempted, owing to the vast benefit 
it confers on Hfe. Nevertheless we must first submit 
to contemplation the difficulties of astronomy, which 

.319 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

subicienda contemplationi est, quo deinde laetior 
mens discedat a caelo et facta sentiat quae futura 
praenosci noii possint. 

207 L^TI. Priinuni omniiim dierum ipsorum anni 
solisque motus prope inexplicabilis ratio est, ad 
cccLxv adiciente anno ^ intercalario dici noctisque 
quadrantes ; ita fit ut tradi non possint certa siderum 
tcmpora. accedit confessa rerum obscuritas, nunc 
praecurrente nec paucis diebus tempestatum signi- 
ficatu, quod Trpo^ei/Md^ci»' Graeci vocant, nunc 
postvenicntc, quod iirixfi.iJ-dC^Lv, et plerumque alias 
celerius ^ alias tardius caelesti effectu ad teiTam 
deciduo ; inde ' vulgo serenitate reddita confectum 

208 sidus audimus. praeterca cum omnia haec statis 
sideribus cacloque adfixis constent, interveniunt 
motus * stellarum, grandines, imbres et ipsi non levi 
effectu, ut docuimus, turbantque conceptae spei 
ordinrm. idque ne nobis taiitum putemus accidere, 
et relicjua fallit animalia, sagaciora circa hoc ut quo 
vita eorum constet ; aestivasque alites praeposteri aut 

20!) praepropcri rigores necant, hibernas aestus. ideo 
\'orgiHus errantium (juoque siderum rationem edis- 

^ Detlefsen : adicient eam non. 

- Mayhojf : scrius. 

" indc ? Miiiihoff : iindc aut om. phrique codd. 

* motus quidam apud Dalec: motu. 



" Aristotle uses rrpoxfi/ta^tii' in the sense of ' to be stormy 
bcfore ', and €mx€i/xaC«v ' to bo stormy at ' a certain date. 
In Thucydides imx- meana * to pass the winter at ' a place. 

320 



BOOK XMII. Lvi. 206-Lvii. 209 

even experts have bcen conscious of, in order that 
subscquentlv our minds may more happily pass on 
from the studv of the heavens and discern the actual 
events of the past whose future occurrence cannot 
be known in advance. 

LVII. First of all it is almost impossible to explain rrindples o/ 
the system of the actual days of the year and that "^ ''"'"^v- 
of the movement of the sun, because to the 365 
days an intercalary year adds a quarter of a day 
and of a night, and consequently definite periods of 
the stars cannot be stated. In addition to this 
there is the admitted obscurity of the facts, as 
sometimes the specification of the seasons runs in 
advance, and by a considerable number of days 
(the Greck term" for this is TrpoxtLixdt^f.a'), whereas at 
other times it comes behind (in Greek cVixei/Aa^eiv), 
and in general the influence of the heavens falls 
down to the earth in one place more quickly and 
in another place moro slowly ; this is the cause of 
the remark we commonly hear on the return of 
fine weather, that a constellation has been com- 
pleted. Moreover although all these things depend 
on stars that are stationary and fixed in the sky, 
there intervene movements of stars and hailstorms 
and rain, these also having no inconsiderable effect, 
as we have shown, and they disturb the regularity § 152. 
of the expectation that has been conceived. And 
we must not think that this occurs only to ourselves — 
it also deceives the rest of the animals, which have 
greater sagacity about this matter, inasmuch as it is 
a thing on which their life depends ; and the birds 
of summer are killed by exceptionally late or ex- 
ceptionally early frosts, and those of winter by un- 
timely spells of heat. This is why Virgil teaches the Georg.i.zzi. 

321 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cendam praecipit, admonens observandum frigidae 
Saturni stellae transitum. sunt qui certissimum vcris 
indicium arbitrentur, ob infirmitateni animalis, 
papiliones ; sed ^ eo ipso anno cum commentaremur 
haec notatum est proventum eorum ter repetito 
frigore extinctum, advenasque volucres a. d. vi kal. 
Febr. spem veris adtulisse mox saevissima hieme 

210 conflictatam.* res anceps : primum omnium a caelo 
peti legem, deinde eam argumentis esse quaerendam. 
super omnia est mundi convexitatis terrarumque 
globi difFerentia, eodem sidere alio tempore aliis 
aperiente se gentibus, quo fit ut causa eius non isdem 
diebus ubique valeat. addidere difficultatem et 
auctores diversis in locis observando, mox etiam in 
isdem diversa prodendo. tres autem fuere sectae, 

211 Chaldaea,Aegyptia,Graeca; his addidit quartam apud 
nos Caesar dictator annos ad solis cursum redigens 
singulos Sosigene perito scientiae eius adhibito — et 
ea ipsa ratio postea conperto errore correcta est ita 
ut' duodecim annis continuis non intercalaretur, quia 

* Mayhoff : id. 

^ Rackham : conflictatas. 

' ut ad(l. edd. 

* A misinterpietation of Caesar^s instructions. 



BOOK XVIII. Lvii. 209-211 

necessity of acqiiiring a thorough knowledge of the 
system of the planets also, wai'ning us to watch the 
transit of the cold star Saturn. Some people think 
that butterflies are the most reliable sign of spring, 
on account of the extremely dehcate structure of that 
insect ; but in the very year in which I am writing 
this treatise it has bcen noticed that their supply has 
becn three times annihilated by a return of cold 
weather, and that migratory birds arriving on 
January 27 brought a hope of spring that was soon 
dashed to the ground by a spell of very severe 
winter. The procedure is two-fold : first of all it 
consists in trying to obtain a general principle from 
celestial phenomena, and then this principle has 
to be investigated by special signs. Above all 
there is the variation due to the convexity of the 
world and the terrestrial gk)be, the same star reveal- 
ing itself to different nations at a different time, with 
the consequence that its influence is not operative 
everywhere on the same days. Additional difficulty 
has also been caused by authors through their ob- 
servations having been taken in different regions, and 
because in the next place they actually pubhsh 
different results of observations made in the same 
regions. But there wei'e three main schools, the 
Chaldaean, the Egyptian and the Greek ; and to 
these a fourth system was added in our own country 46 b.o. 
by Caesar during his dictatorship, who with the assis- 
tance of the learned astronomer Sosigenes brought 
the separate years back into conformity with the 
course of the sun — and this theory itself was after- 
wards corrected (when an error " had becn found), so 
as to dispense witli an intercalary day for a period 
of twelve successive years, for the reason that the 

323 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

coeperat ad ^ sidera annus niorari qiii prius ante- 

212 cedebat. et Sosigenes ipse trinis commentationibus 
— quamquam diligentior ceteris, non cessavit tamen 
addubitare ipse semet corrigendo — et alii '^ auctores 
prodidere ea quos praetexuimus volumini huic, raro 
ullius sententia cum alio congrucnte. minus hoc in 
reliquis mirum, quos diversi excusaverint tractus ; 
eorum qui in eadem regione dissedere, unam discor- 
diam ponemus exempH gratia : occasum matutinum 

'213 vergiliarum Hesiodus — nam huius quoque nomine 
exstat astrologia — tradidit fieri cum aequinoctium 
autumni conficeretur, Thales xxv die ab aequinoctio, 
Anaximandcr xxx, Euctemon xliv, Eudoxus ^ xLviii. 

-14 nos sequimur observationem Caesaris maxime : haec 
erit Italiae ratio ; dicemus autem ct aliorum placita, 
quoniam non unius terrae sed totius naturae inter- 
pretes sumus. non auctoribus positis — id enim verbo- 
sum est — sed regionibus. legentes tantum memin- 
erint brevitatis gratia, cum Attica nominata fuerit, 

215 simul intellegere Cycladas insulas ; cum Macedonia, 
Magnesiam, Threciam ; cum Aegyptus, Phoenicen, 
C}^rum, CiHciam ; cum Boeotia, Locridem, Phocidem 
et finitimos semper tractus ; cum Hellespontus, 
Chersonesum et continentia usque Atho montem ; 

' ad .idri. MmihofJ. 

* et alii (idil. M<ii/fiofJ. 

' xi.iv Eiidoxus add. Boeckh. 



' PrcBninably the refcrence is to the liHt of nBtronomers 
includcfi ainoriK the authoritics uscd for Book XVIII that is 
given in Book I. 

^ Fragnientfl are extant of an 'AoTpncfj Bi'^Aoy ascribed to 
Heaiod. 



BOOK XMII. Lvii. 211-215 

year which liad previously been getting in advance 
of the consteUations had begiin to lag behind in 
relation to thcni. Both Sosigenes hiniself in his 
three treatises — though more careful in research 
than the other writers he nevertheless did not hesi- 
tate to introduce an element of doubt by correcting 
his own statements — and also other authors whose 
names we prefixed to this vohime " have pubhshed 
these theories, although it is seldom that the opinions 
of any two of thcm agree. This is less surprising 
in the case of the rest, as they had the excuse of 
diflTerence of localities ; but as for those who have 
differed in their views in the same country, we will 
give one case of disagreement as an example : thc 
morning setting of the Pleiads is given by Hesiod * 
— for there is extant an astronoinical work that 
bears his name also — as taking place at the close 
of the autumnal equinox, whereas Thales puts it 
on tlie 2.oth dav after the equinox, Anaximander on 
the 30th, Euctemon on the 44th, and Eudoxus 
on the 48th. We follow the observation of Caesar 
specially : this will be the formula for Italy ; but we 
will also state the views of others, since we are not 
treating of a single country but of the whole of nature, 
though we shall not arrange them under the head 
of their authors, for that woukl be a lengthy matter, 
but of the rcgions concerned. Only readers shoukl 
remember that, for the sake of brevity, when Attica is 
mentioned they must understand the Cycladcs islands 
to be included ; when Macedonia, Magnesia and 
Thrace ; when Egypt, Phoenicia, Cyprus and Cilicia ; 
whcn Boeotia, Locris and Phocis and the adjoining 
regions always as well ; when the Dardanelles, the 
GalHpoH peninsula as far as Monte Santo ; when 

325 



PLIXY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

cum lonia, Asiam et insulas Asiae, cum Peloponnesus, 

216 Acliaiam et ad vesperam adiacentes^ terras ; Chaldaei 
Assyriam et Babyloniam demonstrabunt. Africam, 
Hispanias, Gallias sileri non erit mirum ; nemo enim 
eas 2 observavit ex iis qui prodcrent siderum exortus. 
nun tamen difficili ratione dinoscentur in illis quoque 

217 terris digestione circulorum quam in sexto volumine 
fecimus, qua cognatio caeli non gentium modo verum 
urbium quoque singularum intellegitur. ergo ex iis 
terris quas nominavimus sumpta convexitate circuli 
pertinentis ad quas quisque quaeret terras idem erunt 
siderum exortus per omnium circulorum pares umbras. 
indicandum et illud, tempestates ipsas cardincs ^ suos 
habere quadrinis annis, et easdem non magna 
dilferentia reverti ratione solis, octonis vero augeri 
easdem centesima revolvente se hma. 

218 L\TIL Omnis autem ratio observata est tribus 
modis, exortu siderum occasuque et ipsorum temporum 
cardinibus : exortus occasusque binis modis intelle- 
guntur, aut enim adventu soUs occultantur stellae et 
conspici desinunt. aut eiusdcm abscessu proferunt se 
(ut * emcrsum hoc mcHus (juam exortum consuetudo 

* Riickham : iaceiites. 

^ Jirtrhhrnn : ra cd. Lcid. n. VH, m. 2: om. rdl. 
' Finluiniis: ardores edd. velt. : arbores. 

* ut MayJioff : in. 

326 



BOOK XVIII. Lvn. 215-Lviii. 218 

lonia, Asia and the islands belonging to it ; when 
the Morea, Achaia and the hxnds lying to the west 
of it ; and the term ' Chaldaeans ' will indicate 
Assyria and Babylonia. That the names of Africa 
and the provinces of Spain and Gaul are not men- 
tioned will cause no surprise, because none of those 
who have published accounts of the risings of the 
constellations have made observations in respect of 
those countries. Still it will not involve a diffieult 
calcuhition to ascertain them in those countries as 
well, by means of the explanation of parallels which 
we have set out in Book Six, which indicates the vi. 212 u. 
astronomical relationship not onlv of nations but of 
individual cities as well. Thercfore by taking the 
circular parallel belonging to the countries we have 
specified and applying it to those that the par- 
ticular student is seeking, the risings of the constel- 
lations will be the same throughout the parts of all 
the parallels where shadows are of equal length. It 
is also necessary to point out that the seasons them- 
selves have their own periods every four years, and 
that they too return without great variation under 
the system of th(; sun, but that they are also 
lengthened every eight years at the hundredth 
revolution of the moon. 

LVIII. The whole system however is based on nuingand 
three lines of observation — the rising and the setting ^consieiia- 
of the constellations and the periods of the seasons """*• 
themselves : there are two modes of observing the 
risings and settings, as the stars are either hidden by 
the arrival of the sun and cease to be visible, or they 
present themselves to the view on the sun's departure 
(so that custom would have done better to designate 
the latter as the stars' ' emergence ' rather than 

327 



PLINV: NATUIIAL HISTORY 

dixisset et illud occultationem jwtius quam occasum) ; 

219 aut illo ^ modo, quo die incipiunt apparere vel 
desinunt oriente soie aut occidente, matutini vesper- 
tinive cognominati, prout alteruter eorum mane vel 
crepusculo contingit. dodrantes horarum cum niini- 
mum intervalla ea desiderant ante solis ortum vel post 
occasum ut aspici possint. praeterea bis quaedam 
exoriuntur et oceidunt ; omnisque sermo de iis est 
stellis quas adhaerere caelo diximus. 

220 LIX. Cardines temporum quadripertita anni dis- 
tinctione constant per incrementa ac decrementa ^ 
lucis. augetur haec a bruma, ct aequatur nocti ^ verno 
aequinoctio diebus ,\c horis tribus. dein superat noctem 
ad solstitium diebus xciv horis xii,** * usque ad aequi- 
noctium autumni. et tum aequata diei procedit nox * 

221 ex eo ad brumam dicbus lxxxviii horis tribus — horae 
nunc in omni accessione ac decessione * aequinoctiales, 
non cuiuscumque diei. significantur — omnesque eae 
differentiae fiunt in octa\is partibus signorum, bruma 
capricomi a. d. viii kal. lan. fere, aequinoctiam 
vemum arietis, solstitium cancri, alterunKjue aequi- 
noctium hbrae. qui et ipsi dies raro non ahquos tem- 

222 pestntum significatus habent. rursus hi cardines 

' Rackhatn : occasura ullo (ulio Hermolaua). 

• ac decrcmenta ndrl. Jinrhfiam. 
' Rnrkfuim : noctibus. 

* Laciinnm Petavins. 

* Maylioff : die procodit e.x. 

• ac dece.s.sione nd'!. Warmingfon. 



• E.g. AquiJa ; Bce § 288. 

* Thc Romans, teliing tlie time hy the sundial, normally 
divided each of the two daily pcriods from sunrise to sunset 
and frora sunset to sunriae into twelve houra all the year 
round, 80 that an hour waa one twenty-fourth part of the daj'. 

328 



BOOK XVIII. Lviii. 218-UX. 222 

' rising ', and the former as their ' occultation ' rather 
than ' setting ') ; or bv means of the following mode 
— bv the dav on which the risings and settings of the 
stars begin or cease to be visible at the rising or 
setting of the sun, these being designated their 
morning or evening risings and settings according as 
each of them occurs at dawn or at dusk. Thev re- 
quire intervals of at least three-quarters of an hour 
before sunrise or after sunset in order to be visible. 
Moreover there are some stars that rise and set 
twice " ; and all that is said here refers to the stars 
which we have stated to be fixed stars. 11. 7 ff. 

LIX. The divisions of the seasons are fixed by the •so'»'" 
fourfold distribution of the year corresponding with 
the increascs and decreases of dayliglit. From mid- 
winter onward this increases in length, and in 90 days 
3 hours at the spring equinox the dav becomes equal 
to tlie night. From then to the summer solstice, a 
period of 94: days 12 hours, th(? day is longer than 
the night . . . until the autunm equinox, and then 
the night having become equal to the day goes on 
increasing from that point until midwinter, a period 
of 88 days 3 hours (in the present passage the term 
' hours ' in each addition and subtraction denotes equi- 
noctial hours and not the hours of any day in particular *) 
and all these changes occur at the eighth degree of the 
signs of the zodiac, midwinter at the eighth dcgree of 
Capricorn, about Dccember 26, the equinox at the 
eighth of the Ram, the summer solstice at the eighth 
of the Crab and the other equinox at the eighth of 
the Scales — which days themselves also usually give 
some indications of changes of weather. Again these 

and night together only at the equinoxes, and at other periods 
WU8 longer by day and shorter by night, or vice versa. 

329 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

singulis etianinum articulis temporum dividuntur, per 
media omnes dierum spatia, quoniam inter solstilium 
et aequinoctium autumni lidiculae occasus autumnum 
inchoat die xlvi, ab aequinoctio eo ad brumam 
vergiliarum matutinus occasus liiemem die xuv,^ inter 
brumam et aequinctium die xlv Hatus favoni vernum 
tempus, ab aequinoctio verno initium aestatis die 

223 XLVii 2 vergiliarum exortus matutinus. nos incipie- 
nms a sementibus frumenti, hoc est verji^iharum occasu 
matutino : nec deinde parvorum siderum mentione 
concidenda ratio est et ditficultas rerum augenda. 
cum sidus vehemens Orionis isdem diebus longo 
decidat spatio. 

224 LX. Sementibus tempora plcrique praesumunt et 
ab XI die autumnalis aequinoctii fruges serunt, 
novem a ^ coronae exortu continuis diebus certo 
prope imbrium promisso ; Xenophon non antequam 
deus signum dederit — lioc Cicero noster imbre fieri 
interpretatus est, cum sit vera ratio non prius serendi 

225 quam folia coeperint decidere. hoc ipso vergiliarum 
occasu fieri putant ahqui a. d. iii idus Novembris, ut 
diximus, servantque id sidus etiam vestis institores, 
et est in caelo notatu facilHmum : ergo ex occasu eius 
de hieme augurantur quibus est cura insidiandi, 
negotiatores avari : ita* nubilo occasu phiviosam 
hiemem denuntiat, statimque augent lacemarum 

' Pintidnus : XLni. 

- Delhfsen : xlviii. 

' Mni/hoff: fru(;es 8ervitio venta aiit alia codd, 

* Mayhoff : negotiatoria avaritia. 



" In hi8 now lost translation of Xenophon'8 Oeconomicus, 
referred to in De Off. II. 87. 

* The text here has been auspected. 

33° 



BOOK XVIII. Lix. 222-i..\. 225 

periods are also divided by particular ruoments of 
time, all of them at midday — since between the 
solstice and the autumnal equinox the setting of the 
Lyre on the 46th dav marks the beginning- of autumn, 
and from that equinox to midwinter the morning 
setting of the Pleiads on the 44th day marks that of 
winter, and between midwinter and the equinox the 
prevalence of a west wind on the 45th day marks tlie 
period of spring, and the morning rising of the Pleiads 
on the 47th day from the spring equinox marks the 
beginning of summer. We will start from sowing-time 
of wheat, that is from the morning setting of the 
Pleiads ; and we need not interrupt our explanation 
and increase the difficulty of the subject by mention- 
ing the minor stars, inasmuch as it is at the same 
date that the stormy constellation of Orion sets after 
its extensive course. 

LX. Most people anticipate the times for sowing, signsofihe 
and begin to sow corn at the eleventh day of the Zwi!tg/"' 
autumnal equinox, as for nine days after the rising 
of the Crown there is an almost certain expectation 
of rain. But Xenophon tells us not to begin before Oec. 17. 2. 
the Deity has given the signal — this our Roman 
author Cicero " understood as being done by a fall 
of rain ; although the true method is not to sow 
before the leaves have begun to fall. Some think 
that this occurs exactly at the setting of the Pleiads 
on November 10, as we have said, and even clothes- ^i- 125. 
dealers go by that constellation,'' and it is very easy 
to identify in the sky ; consequcntly dealers out 
to make money, who are careful to watch for chances, 
make forecasts as to the winter from its setting : thus 
by a cloudy setting it foretells a wet winter, and they 
at once raise thcir prices for cloaks, whereas by a 

331 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

pretia, sereno asperam, et reliquaruni vestium 

226 accendunt. sed ille indocilis caeli agricola hoc 
signum habeat inter suos vepres humumque suam 
aspiciens, cum folia decidere viderit : sic iudicetur 
anni temperies, alibi tardius, alibi maturius ; ita enim 
sentitur ut caeli locique adficit natura, idque in hac 
ratione praecellit quod eadem et in mundo publica est 

227 et unicuique loco peculiaris. miretur hoc qui non 
meminerit ipso brumaH die puleium in camariis 
florere : adeo nihil occultum esse natura voluit ; et 
serendi igitur hoc dedit signum. haec est vera inter- 
pretatio argumenta naturae secum adferens, quippe 
sic terram peti suadet promittitque quandam stercoris 
vicem et contra rigores terram satusque operiri a se 
nuntiat ac monet festinare. 

228 LXI. Varro in fabae utique satu hanc obser\'atio- 
neni custodiri praecepit. alii plena luna serendam, 
lentim vero a vicesima quinta ad tricesimam, viciam 
quoque iisdem lunae diebus : ita demum sine lima- 
cibus fore. quidam pabuli causa sic iubent seri, 
seminis autem vere. 

Est et alia manifestior ratio mirabiliore naturae 



" I.». the rnle to be giiidpd bv the weathcr at the eettint.' 
of the Pleiads, § 225. 



BOOK XVIII. lA-. 225-Lxi. 228 

fine weather setting it foretells a hard winter, and 
they screw up the prices of all other clothes. But 
our friend the farmer, not learned in astronomy, may 
find this sign of the weather among his hedgerows 
and merely by looking at his own land, when he has 
seen the leaves fall : in that way the year's wcathcr 
can be estimated, as they fall latcr in some cases and 
earher in others, for the weather is perceived as it is 
affected by the nature of the climate and the locaUtv, 
and this method contains the advantage that while 
it is universal and world-wide it is also at the same 
time pecuUar to each particular locahty. This may 
surprise anyone who does not remember that the 
pennyroyal hung up in our larders blossoms exactly 
on midwinter day : so fully has Nature willed tliat 
nothing shall be hidden ; consequently she has also 
given us this signal for sowing. This is the true 
account of the situation, bringing with it Nature's 
own proofs, inasmuch as she actually advises this 
mode of approaching the land and promises it will 
serve as a substitute for manure, and tells us that 
the land and the crops are shielded by herself 
against the rigours of frost, and warns us to make 
haste. 

LXI. Varro has advised keeping this rule " at all /e.fi. 1.34,2. 
events in sowing beans. Others say that beans 
should be sown at a full moon, but lentils betwecn 
the 25th and 30th day of the lunar month, and also 
vetch on the sanie days, that being the only way to 
keep them free from slugs. Some people advise that 
date for sowing for fodder, but recommend sowing 
in the spring to obtain seed. 

There is also another more obvious method due othermies 
to still more remarkable foresight on the part ,,f /'"■""""!'• 

2,2,2> 



PLINY: NATLRAL HISTORY 

providentia, in qua Ciceronis sententiam ipsius verbis 
subsignabimus : 

lam vero semper viridis semperque gravata 
Lentiscus triplici solita est grandescere fetu ; 
Ter fruges fundens tria tempora monstrat arandi. 

229 Ex his unum hoc erit idem et Uno ac papaveri serendo. 
Cato de papavere ita tradit : ' Virgas et sarmenta 
quae tibi usioni ^ supererunt in segete comburito. 
ubi eas combusseris, ibi papaver serito.' silvestre in 
miro usu est melle decoctum ad faucium remedia, 
visque somnifera etiam sativo. — Et hactenus de 
hiberna semente. 

230 LXII. \'erum ut pariter omnis culturae quoddam 
bre\iarium peragatur, eodem tempore conveniet 
arbores stercorare, adcumulare item vineas — sufficit 
in iugerum una ^ opera — et ubi patietur loci ratio 
arbusta ac vineas putare, solum seminariis bipalio 
praeparare, incilia aperire, aquam de agro pellere, 

231 torcular lavare ct recondere. a kal. Novemb. gallinis 
ova supponere nolito donec bruma conficiatur; in 
eum diem ternadena subicito aestate tota, hieme 
pauciora, non tamen infra novena. Democritus taleni 
futuram hiemem arbitratur qualis fuerit brumae dies 
et circa eum terni, item solstitio aestatem. circa 
brumam plerisque bis septeni ^ halcyonum feturae * 

' Hardoiiin c Cntone : osioni aut cisioni ant usui. 
' tina add. Sillig. 
' Mayhojf : septem. 
* Mfiijhojf: fetura. 



" De Div. J. '.*, 1.'), from Aratua Diosfin. 10.00 sqq. 



334 



BOOK XVIII. Lxi. 228-i.\ii. 231 

Nature, under the head of whieh we will register 
the opinion of Cicero " in his own words : 

The mastich, ever green and ever teeming, 
Is wont to swell with thrice-repeated produce : 
Thrice bearing fruit, she marks three ploughing 
seasons. 

One of these seasons, this last one, is the same also 
for sowing flax and poppy. For poppy Cato gives R.R. 
the follo^nng rule : ' On land used for corn bui-n -^^^^^^- ^- 
any twigs and brushwood left over from your utiliza- 
tion of them. Sow poppy in the place where you 
have burnt them '. Wild poppy boiled in honey is 
wonderfully serviceable for making throat-cures, and 
also cultivated poppy is a powerful soporific. So far 
as to wnter sowing. 

LXII. But correspondingly to complete a sort of Managemen 
summary of the whole subject of cultivation, it will °/ '^"*y'*'"*'' 
be suitable at the same time to manure the trees, 
also to bank up the vines — one hand is enough to do 
an acre — and where the nature of the locaUty will 
allow, to prune the trees and the vines, to prepare 
the ground with a double mattock for seed-plots, to 
open up the ditches, to drain water ofF the land, and 
to wash out and put away the wine-press. Do not put roulinj- 
eggs under the hens to hatch after November 1 until ***?""^' *'*• 
niid-winter is past ; all through thc summer till that 
date give thirteen eggs to each hen, but fewer in 
winter, though not less than nine. Democritus 
thinks that the weather through the winter will be 
the same as it was on the shortest day and the three 
days round it, and he thinks so too in regard to the 
summer and the weather at the summer solstice. 
In most cases the fourteen days round mid-winter 

335 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ventorum quiete molliunt caelum. sed et in his et in 
aliis omnibus ex eventu siirnificationum intelles[i 
sidera debebunt, non ad dies utique praefinitos 
expectari tempestatum vadimonia. 
2.32 LXIII. Per brumam vitem ne colito. vina tuni 
defaecari vel etiam ditFundi Hvginus suadet a confccta 
ea septimo die, utique si septima luna conpetat ; 
cerasa circa brumam seri. bubus glandem tum 
adspergi convenit in iuga singula modios : largior 
valetudinem infestat ; et quocumque tempore detur, 
si minus xxx diebus continuis data sit, narrant verna 
scabie poenitere.^ materiae caedendae tempus hoc 
dedimus ; reliqua opera noctuma maxime vigilia 

233 constent, cum sint noctes tanto ampliores, qualos, 
crates, fiseinas texere, faces incidere, ridicas prac- 
parare interdiu xxx, palos lx et in lucubratione 
vespertina ridicas v, palos x, totidem antelucana'^. 

234 LXIV. A bruma in favonium Caesari nobilia sidera 
significant, iii kal. lan. mututino canis occidens, quo 
die Atticae et finitimis regionibus acjuila vesperi 
occidere traditur: pridie nonas lan. Caesari del- 
phinus matutino exoritur et postero die fidicula, quo 

^ Mendosnm ? Maiihojf. 

* Cae-sariii-j : antehioano ant -anum. 



* Henre the phraso ' halcyon days '. This bird was be- 
lieved to lay its eggs and hatch them floating on the eurface 
of the eea. 



BOOK X\'III. Lxii. 231-1.XIV. 234 

hring mild weather with calm winds for the sitting 
of the kingfishers." But in thesc and all other matters 
we shall have to conjecture the influence of the stars 
from the outcome of their indications, and at all 
events not expect changes of weather to answer to 
bail on dates fixed in advance. 

LXIII. Avoid attending to the vine at mid-winter. winierfaTm 
Hvginus recommends straining the wine then, q^ '*/'^<"<"'* 
even racking it off a week aftcr the shortest dav has 
passed, provided a week-okl moon coincides with it; 
and planting chcrries about mid-winter. It is proper 
at that date to put acorns in soak as foddcr for oxen, 
a peck per yoke — a larger quantity is injurious to 
their health ; and it is said that whenever they are 
given this feed, if it is not fed to them for at least 
30 days in succession, an outbreak of mange in 
the spring will cause you to repent. We have given xvi. 188. 
this as the time for cutting timber ; and the other 
kinds of work mav be arranged chiefly in the night 
time, as the nights are so much longer — weaving 
wicker baskets, hampers and rush baskets, cutting 
torches, preparing squared vine-props at the rate 
of thirty and rounded poles at the rate of sixty a 
day in day-time, and by artificial hght five props 
and ten poles in an evening and the same number 
in the earlv moming. 

LXIV. From midwinter till the west wind blows winterdatet 
the important stars that mark the dates, according to s"ars? suit- 
Caesar's observations, are — the Dogstar settinjj at abiefarm 
dawn on December 30, the dav on which the Eagle is 
reported to set in the evening for Attica and the neigh- 
bouring regions ; on January 4 according to Caesar's 
observations the Dolphin rises at dawn and the next 
day the Lyre, the Arrow setting in the evening on 

337 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

235 Aegypto sagitta vesperi occidit ; iteni ad vi idus lan. 
eiusdem delphini vespertino occasu continui dies 
hiemant Itahae, et cum sol in aquarium sentiatur 
transire, quod fere xvi kal. Feb. evenit. viii kal. stella 
regia appellata Tuberoni in pectore leonis occidit 
matutino ^ et pridie nonas Fcb. fuhcula vespere * 

236 occidit. huius teniporis no\-issimis diebus, ubicumque 
patietur caeli ratio, terram ad rosarum ' et \ineae 
satum vertere bipalio oportet — iugero operae Lxx 
sufficiunt — fossas purgare aut novas facere, antelu- 
canis ferramenta acuere, manubria aptare, dolia 
quassa sarcire, ovium tegimenta concinnare ipsarum- 
que lanas scabendo purgare. 

237 LXV. A favonio in aequinoctium vernum Caesari 
significat .\iv kal. Mart. triduum varie, et viii kal. 
hirundinis visu et postero die arcturi exortu vesper- 
tino, item iii non. Mart. — Caesar cancri exortu id 
fieri obser\'avit, maior pars auctorum vindemitoris 
inmersu — viii idus aquilonii piscis exortu et postero 
die Orionis; in Attica mihnim apparere servatur. 
Caesar et idus Mart. ferales sibi notavit scorpionis 
occasu, XV kal. vero April. ItaUae milvum ostendi, 
XII kal. equum occidere matutino. 



* Edd. : matutina. 

* V.l. veepera. 

* V.l. rosaria aut rosariam. 



BOOK XMII. L.xiv. 234-L-\v. 237 

the same day for Egypt ; likewise on January 8 the 
Dolphin before mentioned sets in the evening and 
there are some days of continuoiis wintry weather 
for Italy ; and so also when the sun is seen to pass into 
Aquarius, which happens about January 17. On 
Januar}' 25 the star in the breast of the Lion called 
according to Tubero the Royal Star sets in the morning 
and the Lyre sets in the evening of Februai-y 4. In 
the concluding days of this period, whenevcr the 
weather conditions allow, the ground should be turncd 
up with a double mattock for planting roses and vines 
— seventy hands are enough for an acre — and ditches 
should be cleaned or new ones made, and the time 
before daybreak should be used for sharpening iron 
tools, fitting handles, repairing broken vats, doing up 
the shelters uscd for sheep and cleaning the shceps' 
fleeces bv scraping them. 

LX\'. Between the period of west wind and the Lauwinter 
spring equinox, February 16 for Caesar marks three Zn'tiMefarm 
days of changeable weather, as also does February 'wr*. 
22 by the appearance of the swallow and on the next 
day the rising of Arcturus in the evening, and the 
same on March 5 — Caesar noticcd that this bad 
weather took place at the rising of the Crab, but the 
niajority of the authorities put it at the setting of 
the \ intager — on March 8 at the rising of the 
northern part of the Fish, and on the next day 
at the rising of Orion ; in Attica it is noticed that 
the constellation Kite appears. Caesar also noted 
March 15 — the day that was fatal to him — as 
marked by the setting of the Scorpion, but stated 
that on March 18 the Kite becomes visible in 
Italy and on March 21 the Horse sets in the 
morning. 

339 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

238 lloc intenallum temporis vegetissimum a<jricolis 
maximeque operosum est, in quo praecipue falluntur; 
neque enim eo die vocantur ad munia quo favonius 
flare debeat sed quo coeperit. hoc acri intentione 
servandum est, hoc illo mense signum dies ^ habet 
observatione mininie fallaci aut dubia, si quis adtendat. 

239 unde autem spiret is ventus quaque parte veniat, 
diximus secundo volumine et dicemus mox paulo 
operosius. intcrim ab eo die, quisquis ille fuerit, quo 
flare coeperit — non utique vi id. Feb., sed sive ante, 
quando ^ praevernat,^ sive postea, quando hiemat post 
diem hunc,* innumera rusticos cura distringat et 
prima quaeque peragantur quae differri nequeunt. 

240 trimestria serantur, \ites putentur qua diximus 
ratione, oleae curentur, poma serantur inseranturque, 
vineae pastinentur, seminaria * digerantur, instau- 
rentur aHa, harundines, salices, genistae serantur 
caedanturque, serantur vero ulmi, pc»puH, fraxini uti 

2H dictum est. tum et segetes convenit purgare, sarire 
hibernas fruges maximeque far; lex certa in eo, 
cum quattuor fibrarum esse coeperit, in • faba vero 
non antequam trium foHorum, tunc quoque levi 
«arculo purgare verius quam fodcre, florcntem utique 

' Mayhoff : deus. 

- cd. Par. Lat. 6797 : quo 6795 : qm. rell. 
' Gelen.: praevenerat (praevcrat c<i. Tolet.). 
* hunc Mayhoff : tunc cd. Leid. n. VII, m. 2 : diemat rell. ; 
quando posthiemat tunc Dellef-'en}. 

* C. F. W. MuelUr : semina. 

• in add. Rackham : coeperit, fabam ? Warminglon. 

340 



BOOK XVIII. Lxv. 238-241 

This space of time is an extremely busy period 
for farniers and specially toilsome, and it is onc as 
to which they are particuhirly hable to go Avrong— 
the fact being that they are not summoned to their 
tasks on the dav on which the west wind ought to 
blow but on which it actuallv does begin to blow. 
This must be watched for with sharp attention, and 
is a signal possessed by a day in that month that is 
observable without any deception or doubt what- 
ever, if one gives close attention. We have stated 
in Volume Two the quarter in which that wind blows n. 122. 
and the exact point from which it comes, and we 
shall speak about it rather more fully a Httle later. § 3i7. 
In the meantime, starting from the day, whichever 
it is, on which it begins to blow — not however neces- 
sarily February 8, but whether before that date, 
when the spring is early, or afterwards, when winter 
goes on after that day, countrymen should find 
themselves torn between innumerable anxieties and 
should finish off all the primary tasks which cannot 
be postponed. Three-month wheat must be sown, 
vines pruned by the method we have stated, ohves xvil. 176. 
attended to, fruit-trees planted and grafted, vine- 
yards dug oyer, seed-plots arranged and others re- 
stored, reeds, willows and brooms phmted and cut, and 
elms, pophirs and asli trees planted in the manncr 
stated above. Then it is also suitable to weed the xvii. 78. 
cornfields and hoe the winter crops, and especially 
emmer wheat ; for the latter there is a definite 
rule, to hoe when it has begun to have four blades 
showing, but in the case of beans not before they 
have three leaves out, and even then they should 
be cleaned with a light hoe rather than dug over, 
and anyway when they flower they must not be 

341 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

w priiiiis diebus non attingere. hordeum nisi sicco 
ne sarito. putationem aequinoctio peractam habcto. 
vineae iugerum quatemae operae putant, alHgant 

242 in arbusto singulae operae arbores xv. eodem hoc 
tempore hortorum rosariorumque cura est, quae 
separatim proximis voluminibus dicetur, eodem et 
topiarii ; tum optime scrobes tiunt. terra in futurum 
proscinditur \'ergilio maxime auctore, ut glaebas 
sol excoquat. utiUor sententia quae non nlsi 
temperatum solum medio vere arari iubet, quoniam 
in pingui statim sulcos occupant herbae, gracili 
insecuti aestus exsiccant omnemque sucurn venturis 
seminibus auferunt ; talia autumno meHus arari 
certum est. 

243 Cato verna opera sic definit : ' scrobes fieri 
seminariis, <(vitiaria> ^ propagari, in locis crassis et 
umidis ulmos, ficos, poma, oleas seri, prata stetcorari 
Kma sitiente quae rigua non erunt, a flatu favonii 
defendi, purgari, herbas malas radicitus erui, ficos 
inteq:)utari, scminaria fieri et vetera sarciri, haec 
antequam vineam fodere incipias.' idemque, * piro 
florente arare incipito * macra harenosaque ; postea 
uti quaeque gravissima et aquosissima ita postremo 

244 arato.' ergo haec aratio duas ' habebit notas, 

^ lan: seminaria (seminaria et lar. Pontedera: seniinariis, 
vitiariis locum verti, vites propagari Cato XL). 

• Mayhoff : incipiat. 

' duaa ? MayhoJJ : has. 

" Presumably this sentence refers to one <iay'8 work. 

* What followa in § 243 is looselv quoted or paraphrased 
from Cato R.R. cc. XL, L. CXXXI. ' 

342 



BOOK XVIII. Lxv. 241-244 

touched during the first fortnight. You should only 

hoe barley in dry weather. You should have your 

pruning finished by the equinox. An acre of vine- 

yard takes four hands to prune, and tying up the 

vines on a tree takes one hand for each fifteen trees." 

This is the time moreover for kitchen-gardcns and 

rose-bcds to be attended to, a subject which will be 

dealt with separatelv in the following Books, and it xix. 49tf., 

is also the time for landscape gardening ; and then ^^ -^ 

is the best occasion for making ditches. The ground 

is now opened for future operations, as Virgil in par- Georg. 1. «. 

ticular ad^ises, to allow the sun thoroughly to dry 

the clods. The more useful opinion recommends 

ploughing only ground of medium quality in the 

middle of spring, because in a rich soil the furrows 

are at once seized on by weeds and in a thin soil the 

spells of heat that follow dry them up and take away 

all nioisture from the seeds that are to come ; there 

is no question that it is best to plough land of these 

sorts in the autumn. 

The following are the rules given by Cato * for Sprir^g 
operations in spring : ' to make ditches for the seed- "''^" ""'''' 
plots, layer vine-nurseries, plant elms, figs, fruit-trees 
and oHves in thick and damp soils, under a dry 
moon to manure meadows that are not going to be 
irrigated, and to protect them from westerly winds, 
and to clean them and root up noxious weeds ; to 
prune fig-trees Hghtly, make new seed-beds and repair 
old ones — these operations to be done before you 
begin to dig over the vineyard.' Cato also says : 
' You should begin to plough thin and sandy soils 
when the pear-tree blossoms, and afterwards plough 
the successively heaviest and wettest lands last of 
all.' Consequently there will be two signs for this 

343 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

lentisci primum fructum ostendentis ac piri florentis. 
erit et tertia in bulborum satu scillae, item in corona- 
mentorum narcissi ; namque et haec ter florent 
primoque flore primam arationem ostendunt, medio 
secundam, tertio novissimam, quaiidd inter sese aliu 

245 aliis notas jiraebent. ac non in novissimis caveatur ^ 
ne f abis florentibus attingatur hedera ; id enim 
noxium et exitiale ei* est tempus. quaedam vero 
et suas habent notas. sicuti ficus : cum folia pauca in 
cacumine acetabuli modo germinent. tunc maximc 
serendas ficus. 

246 LX\'I. Aequinoctium vernum a. d. viii kal. April. 
peragi videtur. ab eo ad vergiliaruni exortum 
matutinum Caesari significant kal. April. iii non. 
April. in Attica vergiliae vesperi occultantur, eaedem 
postridie in Boeotia, Caesari autem et Chaldaeis 
nonis, Aegypto Orion et gladius eius incipiunt 

247 abscondi. Caesari vi idus significatur imber librae 
occasu. xiv kal. Mai. Aegypto suculae occidunt 
vesperi, sidus vehemens et terra marique turbidum ; 
.wi Atticae, xv Caesari continuo quatriduo significat, 
Assvriae autem .\ii kal. hoc est vulgo a]ipcllatum 
sidus Parilicium, quoniam xi kal. Mai. urbis Romae 
natalis, quo fere sercnitas redditur, claritatem 
observationi dedit, nimborum argumento hyadas 

* Rackhfim : cavetur. 

* eis? Rdckham. 

• A variant reading gives terrn ' with the grouncl.* 
344 



BOOK XVIII. Lxv. 244-Lxvi. 247 

ploughing, the sign of the mastich showing its first 
fruit and that of the pear blossoming. Thcre wlU 
also be a third sign, that of the squill in the growing 
bulbs and that of the narcissus among the plants used 
for WTcaths ; for these also flower thrce times, 
marking the first ploughing by their first flowering, 
the second by the middle one and the last by the 
third — inasmuch as things afford hints for other 
things different from them. And one of the first 
precautions to be takcn is to prevent beans when in 
flower from coming in contact with ivy ; " for that 
season is a baneful and dcadly one with ivy. Some 
plants however also have special signs of their own, 
for instance the fig : when a few leaves are sprouting 
from the top, Hke a vinegar-cup, that indicates that it 
is the best time for planting fig-trees. 

LX\T. The vemal cquinox appears to cnd on ConsuiUi- 
March 25. Between that day and the morning rising ',pn-^f '' 
of the Plciads the first of April according to Caesar 
indicates bad weathcr. The Pleiads set on the 
evening of April 3 in Attica and on the day after in 
Boeotia, but for Caesar and the Chaldaeans on April 
5, when for Egvpt Orion and his sword begin to set. 
The setting of the Scales on April 8 according to 
Caesar announces rain. In the evening The Little 
Pigs, a stormy constellation bringing boisterous 
weather on land and sea, sets for Egypt on April 18; 
it sets on April 16 for Attica and April 17 for Caesar. 
indicating four successive days of bad weather, but on 
the 20th for Assyria. This constellation is commonly 
called PariHcium, because April 21,the birthday of 
the city of Rome, on which fine weather usually re- 
turns, has givcn a clear sky for obscrving the heavens, 
although because of the clouds that it brings with 

345 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

appellantibus Graecis ^ quod nostri a similitudine 
cognominis Graeci propter sues inpositum arbitrantes 

248 inperitia appellavere suculas. Caesari et viii kal. 
notatur dies. vii kal. Aegvpto hacdi exoriuntur, 
vi Boeotiae et Atticae canis vesperi occultatur, 
fiidicula mane oritur. v kal. Assyriae Orion totus 
absconditur, iv autem canis. vi non. Mai. Caesari 
suculae matutino exoriuntur et viii id. capella 
pliivialis. Aej^^-^jto autem eodem die canis vesperi 
occultatur. sic fere in vi id. Mai., qui est vergiliarum 
exortus, decurrunt sidera. 

249 In hoc tempoi-is intervallo xv diebus primis agricolae 
rapienda sunt quibus peragendis ante aequinoctium 
non sufFecerit, dum- sciat inde natam exprobrationcm 
foedam putantium vites per imitationem cantus alitis 
temporariae quam cuculum \ocant ; dedecus enim 
habetur obprobriumque meritum falcem ab illa 
volucre in vite deprehendi, et ob id petulantiae sales 
etiam, cum primo vere ludantiir,^ auspicio tamen 
detestabiles videntur. adeo minima quaeque in agro 
naturalibus trahuntur argumentis. 

250 Extremo autem hoc tempore panici miliique satio 
est : iustum haec seri maturato hordeo. atque etiam 
in eodem arvo signum illius maturitatis et horum 
sationis commune lucentes vespere per arva cicindelae 

^ ilatjhojf: Graecis eas stellaa au{ oZia. 

* tum ? Mayhoff. 

» Edd. : laudantur (ludant cd. Vat. Lat. 3861, m. 2). 



" From vtiv, ' to rain ', not from vs, ' pig 



BOOK XVIII. Lxvi. 247-250 

it the Greek name for the con^^tellation is Hyades ", 
which our countrymen. owinjj to the similarity of 
the Greek name supposed in their ignorance to have 
been given it with reference to the word for ' pigs ', 
and so have called the stars the Little Pigs. Tn 
Caesar's calendar April 24 is also a marked day. 
On April 25 the Kids rise for Egypt, and on April 26 
the Dog sets in the evening and the Lyre rises in 
the morning for Boeotia and Attica. On April 27 
Orion entirely disappears for Assyria, and on the 
28th the Dog. On May 2 the Little Pigs rise in the 
morning for Caesar, and on May 8 the She-goat, 
portending rain, while the Dog sets for Lgypt in the 
evening of the same day. That is a fairly precise ac- 
count of the movements of the constellations down to 
May 10, which is the date of the rising of the Pleiads. 

In this space of time the farmer must hurry on Farm wmk 
during the first fortnight with work which he has '" *P'''"«'- 
not had time to finish before the equinox, while 
reahsing that this is the origin of the rude habit of 
jeering at people pruning their vines by imitating 
the note of the visiting bird called the cuckoo, as 
it is considered disgraceful and deserving of re- 
proach for that bird to find the pruning-hook being 
used on the Nine ; and consequently wanton jokes, 
though men are merelv being made sport of in 
earlv spring, are thought to be objectionable as 
bringing bad luck. To such an extent on the land 
is every trifle set down as a hint given by Xature. 

In the latter part of this period Italian and common Endofcoia 
millets are sown, the proper timc for sowing them ^n^j^edby 
beinjr when the barlev has rinened. And the sign alike "ppearmice 

/.1111. ■ \ c ■ j1_ ofghw- 

of the barley bemg ripe and ror sowing these crops worms. 
consists in the fields in the evening shining with glow- 

347 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

(ita appellant rustici stellantes volatus, Graeci vero 

251 lampyridas) ineredibili benignitate naturae. LXVII. 
lam vergilias in caelo notabiles caterva fecerat ; non 
tamen his contenta terrestres fecit alias, veluti 
vociferans : ' Cur caelum intuearis, agricola ? cur 
sidera quaeras, rustice ? iam te breviore somno fessum 
premunt noctes. ecce tibi inter herbas tuas spargo 
peculiares stellas easque vespera et ab opere disiun- 
genti ostendo ac ne possis praeterire miraculo sollicito : 

252 videsne ut fulgor igni simiUs alarum conpressu 
obtegatur secumque hiccm habeant ^ et nocte ? * dedi 
tibi herbas liorarum indices et, ut ne sole quidem 
oculos tuos terra avoces, heliotropium ac lupinum 
circumagunturcum illo. cur etiamnum altius spectes 

253 ipsumque caelum scrutere ? habes ante pedes tuos 
ecce vergilias.' incertis hae diebus proveniunt 
durantquc, sed esse sideris huiusce partum eas 
certum est. proinde quisquis aestivos fructus ante 
illas severit ' ipse frustrabitur sese.' hoc intervallu 
et apicula procedcns fabam florcre iiuHcat, fabaque 
florescens eam evocat. dabitur ct ahud finiti frigoris 
indicium : cum germinare vidcris moruni, iniuriani 
poslca fricroris timere nohto. 

' habeant ? Maijhoff : habeat. 
* Qoctem ? Mayhoff. 



• Sese frustrnhUur ipu might be a half-lino from a poom, 
as Sillig 8uggest3. 



BOOK XVIII. Lx\'i. 250-L.wii. 253 

worms (that is what the country-people call those 
starlike flights of insects, the Greek nanie for which 
is lampyrides) thanks to Nature's unbelievable kind- 
ness. LX\' II. She had already formed the remark- 
able group of the Pleiads in the sky ; yet not content 
with these she has made other stars on the earth, 
as thnutrh crying aloud: ' Why gaze at the heavens, 
luisbandman ? Why, rustic, search for the stars? 
Already the slumber laid on you by the nights in 
your fatigue is shorter. Lo and behold, I scatter 
special stars for you among your plants, and I 
disphiy tliem to you in the evening and as you unyoke 
to leave off work, and I stimulate your attention by 
a marvel so that you may not be able to pass them 
by : do you see how their fire-Hke brilliance is 
screened by their folded wings, and how they carry 
davlight with them even in the night ? I have given 
you plants that mark the hours, and in order that 
you may not even have to avert your eyes from the 
earth to look at the sun, the heliotrope and the lupine 
revolve keeping time with him. Why then do you 
still look higher and scan the heavens themselves ? 
Lo ! you have Pleiads at your very feet.' Glow-worms 
do not makc their appeai-ance on fixed days or last a 
definite period,but certain it is that they are the off- 
spring of this particular constellation. Consequently 
anybndv who does his summer sowing before they 
appear ' will have himself to thank for labour 
wasted '. " In this interval also the little bee comes 
forth and announces that the bean is flowering, and 
the bean begins to flower to tempt her out. We 
will also give another sign of cold weather being 
ended : when you sec the mulberry budding, after 
that you need not fear daniage from cold. 

349 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

254 Ertjo opera : taleas olivaruni poiiere ipsasque oleas 
interradere, rigare prata aequinoetii diebus primis, 
cum lierba creverit in festucam arcere aquas, vineam 
panipinare (et huic lex sua, cum pampini quattuor 
diijitos longitudine expleverint — pampinat una opera 
iugerum), segetes iterare (saritur diebus xx). ab 
aequinoctio sartnra nocere et vineae et segeti 
existimatur. et oves lavandi hoc idem tempus est. 

255 A vergiliarum exortu significant Caesari postridie 
arcturi occasus matutinus, iii id. Mai. fidiculae 
exortus, xii kal. lun. capella vesperi occidens et in 
Attica canis. xi kal. Caesari Orionis gladius occidere 
incipit, IV non. lun. Caesari et Assyriae aquila vesperi 
oritur, vii id. arcturus matutino occidit Italiae, iv 

256 delphinus vesperi exoritur. xvii kal. lul. gladiu'^ 
Orionis exoritur, quod in Aegypto post quadriduum. 
XI kal. eiusdem Orionis gladius Caesari occidere 
incipit ; viii kal. vero lul. longissimus dies totius anni 

257 et nox brevissima solsliliuni conficiunt. in hoc 
temporis intervallo vineae pain})iiiantur, curatur ut 
vinea vetus semel fossa sit, bis novella ; oves 
tondentur, lupinum stercorandi causa vertitur, terra 
proscinditur, vicia in pabulum secatur, faba metitur, 
dein cuditur. 

258 Prata circa kal. lun. caeduntur, quorum facillima 
agricolis cura ac minimi inpendii haec de se po'>tulat 

35° 



BOOK XVIII. Lxvii. 254-258 

VVell then, a list of things to be done : to plant ■ippropriate 
oUve-cuttings and rake over between thc olive trees "'"^" 
thcmselves ; in the first days of the equinox to 
irrigate the nieadows ; when the grass has grown to 
a stalk, to shut off the water; to trim the vine (the 
vine too has a rule of its own : it must be trimmed 
when the shoots have made four inches in length — 
one hand can trim an acre) ; to stir over the corn 
crops again (hoeing takes 20 days). It is thought 
that to start hoeing at the equinox injures both vines 
and corn. This is also the time for washing sheep. 

After the rise of thc Pleiads the weather is indi- ConsteUa- 
cated for Caesar by the morning setting of Arcturus ^lummer?^'^'''' 
on the following day, the rise of the Lyre on May 13, 
the setting of the She-goat, and in Attica of the Dog, 
in the evening of May 21. On May 22, as obscrved 
by Caesar, Orion's Sword begins to set ; in the 
evening of June 2, according to Caesar, and for 
Assyria also, the Eagle rises ; on the morning of 
June 7 Arcturus scts for Italy, and on the evening 
of June 10 the Dolphin rises. On Junc 15 Orion's 
Sword rises, but in Egypt this takes place four 
days later. Moreover on June 21 Orion's Sword, 
as observed by Caesar, begins to set ; while on 
June 24 the longest day and shortest night of the 
whole vear make the summer solstice. In this -ippropriau 
interval of time the vines are pruned, and care is 
taken to give an okl vine one digging round and a 
new one two ; sheep are sheai-cd, lupins are ploughed 
in to manure the land, the ground is dug over, 
vetches are cut for fodder, beans are gathered and 
then threshed. 

Meadows are mown about June 1. The cultiva- 'Jfeadcws. 
tion of these is extremely easy ftjr the farmcr and "' 

351 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

dici. relinqui debent in laeto solo vel uniido vel 
riguo, eaque aqua pluvia rigari aut ^ publica. utilissi- 
mum, si malae herbae, arare, dein cratire, sarire,* 
florem ex fenilibus atque e praesepibus feno dilapsum 
spargere priusquam cratiantur, nec primo anno 
rigari, nec pasci ante secunda fenisecia, ne herbae 

259 vellantur obtrituque hebetentur. senescunt prata 
restituique debent faba in iis sata vel rapis vel milio, 
mox insequente anno frumento, rursusque inarata ' 
tertio reUnqui, praeterea quotiens secta sint siciliri, 
hoc est quae feniseces praeterierunt secari ; est enim 
in primis inutile enasci herbas sementaturas. herba 
optima in prato trifoHi, proxima graminis, pessima 
nummuU siliquam etiam diram ferentLs ; invisa et 

26u equisaeti est, a similitudine equinae saetae.* secandi 
tempus cum spica deflorescere coepit atque roborari ; 
secandum antequam inarescat. Cato ' Fenum,' 
inquit, ' ne sero scces ; prius quam semcn maturum 
sit secato.'* quidam pridie rigant ; ubi non sunt 
rigua, noctibus roscidis secari meHus. quaedani partes 

-61 ItaHae post messem secant. fuit hoc quoque maioris 

* Dellefsen : uta aut via nut e via. 
^ Mayhoff : sirare aut serere. 

' Mayhoff : in prata. 

* [a . . . saetae] ? gloM. Rnckham. 

' secato e Cat. add. Krasmus ed. Bas, 



The plant now ealled 'horse-tsil.' 



352 



BOOK XVIII. I.XVIT. 258-261 

involves very Httle outlay ; it requires the following 
remarks to be made about it. Land should be left 
in grass where the soil is rich or damp or watered by 
streams, and the meadows should be watered by the 
rainfall or by a public aqueduct. If there are weeds, 
the best plan is to plough up the land and then 
harrow and hoe it, and sprinkle it with seed fallen 
out of the hay from haylofts and from inangers be- 
fore the weeds are harrowcd ; and it is best not to 
irrigate the land in the first year, nor to use it for 
grazing before the second cutting of the hay, so 
that the grass may not be torn up by the roots or 
trodden down and weakened. Meadows go off with 
age, and need to be revived by sowing in them a crop 
of beans or turnip or millet, and afterwards in the 
following year corn, and in the third year they should 
again be left fallow ; and moreover every time they 
are cut they should be gone over with the sickle, for 
the purpose of cutting all the growth that the mowers 
have passed over; for it is very detrimental indeed 
for any weeds to spring up that will scatter seeds. 
The best crop in meadow land is trefoil, the next best 
grass ; monev-wort is the worst, and it also bears a 
terrible pod ; horse-hair," named from its resemblance 
to horses' hair, is also a hateful weed. The time for 
mowing is when the stalk has begun to shed its 
blossom and to grow strong ; the grass must be cut 
before it begins to dry up. ' Do not mow your hay 
too late,' says Cato ; ' cut it before thc seed is ripe.' r.r. hin. 
Some farmers irrigate the fields the day before 
mowing, but where there is no means of doing this 
it is better to mow when there are heavy falls of dew 
at night. Some parts of Italy mow after harvest. 
MoMnng was also a more expensive operation in 

353 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inpendii apud priores, Creticis tantum traiismarinis- 
que cotibus notis nec nisi oleo aciem falcis excitanti- 
bus ; igitur comu propter oleum ad crus ligato 
fenisex incedebat. Italia aquarias cotes dedit limae 
vice imperantes ferro, set aqua protinus virentes.^ 
falcium ipsarum duo genera : Italicum brevius ae vel 
inter vepres quoque tractabile, Galliarum latifundiis 
maiores,^ conpendio quippe medias caedunt herbas 
brevioresque praetereunt. Italus fenisex dextra una 

262 manu secat. iustum est una opera in die iugerum 
desecari, alligarique manipulos cc^ quaterna pondo. 
sectum verti ad solem nec nisi siccum construi oportet ; 
ni fuerit observatum hoc diligenter, exhalare matutino 
nebulam quandam metas, mox sole accendi et 

263 conflagrare certum est. rursus rigari desecta oportet, 
ut secetur autumnale fenum quod vocant cordum. 
Iiiteramnae in Umbria quater anno secantur etiani 
non rigua, rigua vero ter plerisque in locis, et postea 
in ipso pabulo non minus emolumenti est quam e feno. 
armentorum ideo* cura iumentorumque progeneratio 
suum cuique consilium dahil , opimo ^ maxime quadri- 
garum quaestu. 

* aqua . . . virentes ? Mnyhojf : aquaria . . . virent. 

* Sict MayJwff : latifundia a maioribus. 
' Rarkham : mcc. 

* Urlichs : id. 

' Mayhoff : optimo. 

354 



BOOK XVIII. Lxvii. 261-263 

former days, when only Cretan and other imported 
whetstones were known, and these would only liven 
up the blade of a scythe with the help of olive oil ; 
and consequently a man niowing hay used to walk 
along with a horn to hold the oil tied to his leg. Italy 
gave us whetstones used with water, which keep the 
iron in order instead of a file, though the water very 
soon makes them go green with rust. Of scythes 
themselves there are two kinds : the Italian kind is 
shorter, and handy to use even among bi-ambles, 
whereas the scythe used on the large farms of the 
GaUic provinces are bigger, in fact they economize 
labour by cutting through the stalks of the grass in 
the middle and missing the shorter ones. An ItaHan 
mower holds the sickle with only his right hand. It 
is a fair day's work for one labourer to cut an acre of 
grass, or to bind 200 " sheaves weighing four pounds 
each. After the grass is cut it must be turned 
towards the sun, and it must not be piled in shocks 
till it is dry ; unless this rule is carefully kept, the 
shocks are certain to give ofF a sort of vapour in the 
morning and then to be set aUght by the sun and to 
burn up. A hayfiekl should be irrigated again after 
it has been mown, so as to provide a crop of 
autumn hay caUed the aftermath. At Terni in 
Umbria even hayfields not irrigated are mown four 
times a year, but those with irrigation are in most 
places mown three times, and afterwards as much 
profit is made out of the pasture as from the hay. 
Accordingly keeping herds and breeding draft- 
animals will supply each farmer with his own poUcy, 
a most lucrative trade being breeding horses for 
chariot-racing. 

" TheMSS. give 1200. 

355 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

264 LX\TII. Solstitium peragi in octava parte cancri 
et VIII kal. lul. diximus. magnus hic anni cardo, 
magna res mundi. in hoc usque a bruma crescunt 
dies [creverunt]^. sex mensibus^ sol ipse ad aquilonem 
scandens ac per ardua enisus ^ ab ea meta incipit 
flecti ac degredi ad austrum, aucturus noctes aUis 

265 sex mensibus ablaturusque diei mensuram. ex hoe 
deinde rapiendi convehendique fructus alios atque 
aUos tempus et praeparandi se contra saevam 
feramque hiemem, decebatque hoc discrimen in- 
dubitatis notis signasse naturam ; quam ob rem eas 
manibus ipsis agricolarum ingessit, vertique iussit ea * 
ipsa die ^ foUa et esse confecti sideris signum, nec silve- 
strium arburum remotarumque, ut in saUus devios 
montesque eundum esset quaerentibus signa, non 
rursus urbanarum quaeque topiario tantum coluntur, 

266 quamquam his et in viUa visendis ; vertit oleae ante 
pedes satae. vertit tiUae ad mille usus petendae, 
vertit popuU albae etiam vitibus nuptae. adhuc 
parum est. ' Ulmum,' inquit, ' vite dotatam habes ; 
et huius vertam. pabulo foUa eius stringis aut 
deputas : aspice et tenes sidus, aUa parte caeluni 

* V.ll. creverat, creverunt sata : secl. Mayhoff. 
2 cd. Par. Lal. (no.j ? : om. rell., Mayhoff. 

* Oelenius : emissus atit siin. 

* ea add. Rackliam. . 

^ inde vel die^eo) coni. Mayhoff. 

35(^ 



BOOK XVIII. Lxvni. 264-266 

LXVIII. We have said that the sumnier solstice Farmwork 
comes round on June 24, in the eiijhth degree of the "/''*'■ ""<^ 
Crab. rhis is an important turning-point of the §§ i'2i, 25C. 
year, an important matter in the world. From mid- 
winter to this point the days continually grow longer. 
The sun itself climbing northward for six months and 
having scaled the heights of heaven, from that goal 
begins to slope and to descend towards the south, 
proceeding for another six months to increase the 
length of the nights and to subtract from the measure- 
ment of the day. From this point onward is the 
time for plucking and coUecting the various successive 
crops and for preparing against the fierce cruelty of 
winter, and to have this change marked with un- 
mistakable signs was only Natui-e's duty ; conse- 
quently she has placed such signs in the very hands 
of the farmers, and has bidden the fohage to turn 
round on that very day and to indicate that the 
heavenly body has completed its course — and not 
the leaves of the forests and of trees distant from 
human habitation, so compelhng those seeking the 
^igns to have to go into remote valleys and moun- 
tains, nor yet again the foHage of the trees of 
the city and those that are only grown by the orna- 
mental gardener, albeit these may be seen at a 
countr)' house as well ; but Nature turns round the 
foUage of the oUve that confronts iis at every step, 
of the Ume-tree which we emplov for a thousand 
practical purposes, and even of the white pophir that 
is married to the vines. Nor is that yet sufficient. 
' You have the elm,' she says, ' that is enriched with 
the vine ; I wiU turn the foUage of this tree also. 
You strip its leaves for fodder, or prune them off: 
look at tluse, and vou have a sign of the heavens, 

357 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

267 respiciunt quam qua spectavere pridie. salice omiiia 
alli^as. humillima 1 arborum ipse toto capite altior; 
et huius circumagam. quid te rusticum quereris"' 
non stat per me quo minus caehmi intclloiras e1 
caelestia scias. dabo et auribus signum : pahimbium 
utique exa\idi gemitus ; transisse solstitium caveto 
putes nisi cum incubantem videris palumbem.' 

268 Ab solstitio ad fidiculae occasum vi kal. lul. 
Caesari Orion exoritur, zona autem eius iv non. 
Assyriae ; Aeg}'pto vero procyon matutino aestuosus. 
quod sidus apud Rf»manns non habet nomen nisi 
canicuhim hanc volumus intellcfri [hoc est minoreni 
canem] * [sane ut in astris pinpitur] ' ad aestum 
maj£Tno opere pertinens. sicut paulo mox docebimus. 

269 IV non. Chaldacis corona occidit matutino, Atticac 
Orion totus eo die exoritur. prid. id. lul. Acjrvptiis 
Orinn desinit exnriri. .v\i kal. Au^. Assyriae procyon 
exoritur, dein post triduum * fere ubique confessum 
inter omnes sidus inijens quod canis ortum vocamus, 
sole partem primam leonis ingresso : hoc fit post 

270 snlstitium xxiii die. sentiunt id maria et terrae. 
multae vero et ferae, ut suis locis diximus ; neque est 
minor ei veneratio quam discriptis ' in deos stellis, 
accenditque snlem et magnam aestus obtinet causam. 

* EdJ. : humilia. 

* f^exl. Rarkhnm. 
' Stcl. Dellef.ien. 

* Schol. Germ. : postridie. 

* Mayhoff : descriptis. 



" Rfally Caniciila or the Dog-Star belongs to the const^l- 
lation Canis Major, but Procyon, ' the fore-runner of the 
dog ', is in the con8t<?llation Canis Minor which precedes it. 

3.S« 



BOOK XVIII. Lwiii. 266-270 

for they look towards another quarter of the sky 
than that towards which they faced yesterday. You 
use the willow to inake withes for binding all things 
— the lowUest of trees, you yourself are a whole 
head taller : its leaves also I will turn round. Why 
complain that you are a mcre peasant ? It is not 
owing to me that you do not understand the heavens 
and know the things thereof. I will bestow a sign 
upon your ears also : only Usten to the cooing of the 
ring-doves, and beware of thinking that midsummer 
is past until you have seen the dove sitting on her 
nest.' 

Between the solstice and the setting of the Lyre, cmHeiia- 
on June 26 by Caesar's reckoning, Orion rises, and ^t«ml.'"" 
Orion's Belt on July 4, in the region of Assyria, c/. §214. 
while in that of Egypt in the niorning rises the 
scorching consteUation of Procyon, which has no 
name with the Romans, unless we take it to be the 
same as the Little Dog»; it has a grcat effect in 
producing hot weather as we shaU show a Uttle Uiter. § 272. 
On July 4 the Crown sets in the morning for the 
people of Chaldaea and for Attica the whole of Orion 
rises on that day. On July 14 Orion ceases rising 
for the Egyptians, on July 17 Procyon rises for 
Assyria, and then three days later the great constel- 
lation recognized almost everywhere among aU 
people, which we caU the rising of the Dogstar, when 
the sun has entered the first quarter of the Lion : 
this occurs on the 23rd day after midsummer. Its 
rising influences both the seas and the lands, and 
indeed many wild animals, as we have said in the 
proper places ; nor is this consteUation less reverenced 11. 107 
than the stars that are assigned to various gods ; ^^- ^^- 
and it kindles the fire of the sun, and constitutes 

359 



PIJNY: NATURAL HISTORY 

XIII kal. Aug.^ Aegypto aquila occidit matutino etesi- 
arumque prodromi flatus incipiunt, quod Caesar .\ kal. 

271 sentire Italiam existimavit. aquila Atticae matutino 
occidit, III kal. regia in pectore leonis stella matutino 
Caesari emergit. viii id. Aug arcturus medius 
occidit, III id. fidicula occasu suo autumnum inchoat,* 
ut is adnotavit, sed vera ratio id fieri invenit vi id. 
easdem. 

272 In hoc temporis intervallo res summa vitium agitur 
decretorio uvis sidere illo quod caniculam appellavi- 
mus, unde earbunculare dicuntur ut quodam uredinis 
carbone exustae. non conparantur huic malo gran- 
dincs, procellae, quaeque umquam annonae intulere 
caritatem ; agrorum quippe mala sunt illa, carbun- 
culus autem regionum late patentium, non difficili 
remedio, nisi calumniari naturam rerum homines 

273 quam sibi prodesse mallent. ferunt Democritum, 
qui primus intellexit ostenditque caeH cum terris 
societatem, spernentibus hanc curani eius opulentis- 
simis civium, praevisa olci caritate futura ex' vergi- 
liarum ortu qua diximus ratione ostendemusque iani 
planius, magna tum vilitate propter spem olivac, 
coemisse in toto tractu omne oleum, mirantibus qui 



' Autt. i(id. Warmington. 

• T'./. indicat. 

" Pintinniis : cx futiiro. 

360 



BOOK XVIII. Lxviii. 270-273 

an important cause of the suxnmer heat. On July 
20 the Eagle sets in the morning for Egypt, and the 
breezes that herald the seasonal winds begin to blow, 
uhich in Cacsar's opinion is perceived in Italy on 
July 23. The Eagle sets for Attica on the morning 
of that day, and the Royal Star in the breast of the 
Lion rises, according to Caesar, on the morning of 
July 30. On August 6 one-half of Arcturus dis- 
appears ; and on August 11 the setting of the Lyre 
brings the beginning of autumn, according to 
Caesar's note, but a true calculation has discovered 
that the date of this is really August 8. 

In this interval of time the crisis for the vines Late summer 
occurs, the constellation which we have called ^^^Zn^a^ds!" 
Little Dog deciding the fate of the grapes, as it is 
the date at which they begin to be ' charred ', as it 
is called, as though thev had been scorched up by a 
blighting red-hot coal. Hail and stonny weathcr do 
not compare with this disaster, nor any of the disasters 
w hich have ever caused high market prices, inasmuch 
as these arc misfortunes affecting single farms, whereas 
charring afFects a wide expanse of country — although 
the remcdv would not be difficult if mankind did not 
prefer slandering Nature to benefiting thomselves. 
The story goes that Democritus, who was the first 
person to reaUse and point out the alUance that unites 
the heavens with the earth, when the wealthiest of 
his fellow-citizens despised his devotion to these 
studies, foresaw, on the principle which we have 
stated and shall now explain more fully, that the rising xvil. 11. 
of the Plciads would be followed by an increase in 
the price of oil, which at the time was very cheap 
because of the crop of oUves expected ; and he 
bought up all the oil in the whole of the country, to 

361 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

paupertateni quietemque cioctriiiarum ei sciebant in 

274 primis cordi esse, atquc ut apparuit causa et ingens 
divitiarum concursus,^ restituisse mercedem anxiae 
et avidae dominorum poenitentiae, contentum ita 
probavisse opes sibi in facili, cum vellet, fore. hoc 
postea Sextius e Romanis sapientiae adsectatoribus 
Athenis fecit eadem ratione. tanta litterarum 
occasio est, qvias; eciuidem niiscebo agrestibus negotils 
quam potero diliicide atque perspicue. 

275 Plcrique dixere rorem inustum sole acri frugibus 
robiginis causam esse et carbunculi vitibiis, quod ex 
parte falsum arbitror, omnomcjue uredinem frigore 
tantuni constare sole innoxio. id manifestum fiet 
adtciidentibus ; nam priinum omnium non hoc evenire 
nisi noctibus et ante solis ardorem deprehenditur, 
totumque lunari ratione constat, quoniam talis iniuria 
non fit nisi interlunio plenave hma, hoc est praevalente 
— utroque enim habitu plena est, ut saepius diximus, 
sed interlunio omne lumen quod a sole accepit caelo 
regerens. differentia utriusquc habitus magna, sed^ 

276 manifesta : namque interlunio aestate calidissima 
est, hieme gelida,^ e diverso in plenilunio aestate 
frigidas facit noctes, hieme tepidas. causa evidens, 
sed alia quam redditur a Fabiano Graecisque auctori- 

277 bus. aestate enim interhinin necesse est cum sole 

' concursus ? Mai/hnff : cursus. 
* magna est et manifesta Mayhoff. 
' fortasse gelidisBinia. 

363 



BOOK XVIII. Lxviii. 273-277 

the surprise of those who knew that the things he 
most valued were poverty and learncd reposc ; and 
when his motive had been made manifest and they 
had seen vast wealth accrue to him, he gave back 
the money paid him for the oUves to the anxious and 
covetous landlords, now repentant, being content to 
have given this proof that riches would be easily 
within his reach when he chose. A similar demon- 
stration was later given by Sextius, a Roman student 
of philosophy at Athens. Such is the opportunity 
afForded by learning, which it is my intention to 
introduce, in treating of the operations of agriculture, 
as clearly and convincingly as I am able. 

Most people have stated that rust in corn and Biit/hisdup 
fflo\\-inff-coal bliffht in vines are caused bv dew '?/'"'"'' "'^ 
burnt into them by very hot sunshine, but I think ct a78, 293 
this is partly erroneous, and that all blight is caused 
by frost onlv, the sun bcing guiltless. Close atten- 
tion to the facts will make this clear ; for first of all 
blight is never found to occur except at night and 
before the sun gives any heat, and it depends entirely 
on the phases of the moon, since damage of this sort 
only takesplace at the moon's conjunction or at fuU 
moon, that is, when the moon's influcnce is powerful 
— for the moon is at the full at both phases, as we 
have often said, but at the point of its conjunction 11. 46. 
it reflects back to the sky all the light it has received 
from the sun. The difference between the two 
phases is great, but it is obvious : the moon is hottest 
in summer and cold in wintcr at the conjunction, 
whereas on the contrary whcn full it makes thc nights 
cold in summer and warm in wintcr. The reason is 
clear, but it is not the one given by Fabianus and the 
Greek authors. During the moon's conjunetion in 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

proximo nobis circulo currat igne eius comniinus 
recepto candens, eadem intcrlunio absit hieme, 
quoniam abscedit et sol, item in plenilunio acstivo 
procul abeat adversa soli, hiemc autem ad nos per 
aestivum circulum acccdat. ergo per se roscida 
quotiens alget, infinitum quantum illo tempore 
cadentes pruinas congelat. 

278 LXIX. Ante omnia autem duo genera esse 
caelestis iniuriae meminisse debcmus : unum quod 
tempestates vocamus. in quibus grandincs, procellae 
cetcra(|ue similia intelleguntur, quae cum acciderint, 
vis maior appcllatur ; haec ab horridis sideribus exeunt, 
ut saepius diximus, veluti arcturo, Orione, haedis. 

27'.i alia sunt illa quae silente caelo serenisque noctibus 
fiunt nuUo sentiente nisi cum facta sunt ; publica haec 
et magnae differentiae a prioribus, aliis robiginem, 
aliis uredinem, aHis carbunculum appellantibus, 
omnibus vero sterilitatem. de his nunc dicemus a 
nuUo ante nos prodita, priusque causas reddemus. 

280 Duae sunt praeter lunarem, paucisque caeli locis 
con<:t.Tnt. namque vergihae privatim attinent ad 

364 



BOOK XVIII. Lxviii. 277-Lxix. 280 

summer she must necessarily run ■vvith the sun in an 
orbit very near to our earth, glowing with the heat 
that she receives from his fire close at hand, whereas 
in winter she must be further away at her con- 
junction, because the sun also w'ithdraws, and like- 
wise when at the full in sunimer she niust retire a 
long way from the earth, being in opposition to the 
sun, whereas in ^nnter the full moon comes towards 
us following the same orbit as in summer. Con- 
sequenth', being herself naturally humid, whenever 
she is cold she freezes up the hoar-frosts falUng at 
that season to an unhmited extent. 

LXIX. But before all things we ought to remember Damageby 
that there are two kinds of damage done by the aiffere/T' 
heavens. One we entitle tempests, a term under- 
stood to include hail-storms, hurricanes and the other 
things of a similar nature, the occurrence of which 
is tei-med exceptionally violent weather ; these take 
their origin from certain noxious constelhitions, as 
we have said more than once, for instance Arcturus, ri. loe, 
Orion, the Kids. The other are those that occur ^^ ^^^- ""''■ 
when the sky is quiet and the nights fine, nobody 
perceiving them except after they have taken place ; 
these are universal, and widely different from the 
former ones, being termed by some people rust, 
by others burning and by others coal-blight, though 
steriUty is a term universally appUed to them. Of 
these last we wiU now speak, as they have never 
been treated by any writer before us ; and we wiH 
begin by stating their causes. 

These are two in number, in addition to that ^iii/fit <i«-f 
depending 011 the moon, and they are situatcd in ofTtarsT'^'^ 
only a few quarters of the heavens. For the Pleiads 
speciaUy concern farm produce, inasmuch as their 

365 



PLINY: NATLUAL HISTORY 

fructus, uL quarum exortu aestas incipiat, occasu 
hiems, serncustri spatio intra se messes vindemiasque 
et omnium maturitatcm conplexis.^ est praeterea 
in caelo qui vocatur lacteus circulus, etiam visu facilis 

281 [huius defluvio velut ex ubere aliquo sata cuncta 
lactescunt] - duorum siderum observatione, aquilae in 
septenlrionali parte et in austrina caniculae, cuius 
mentionem suo loco fecimus. ipse circulus fertur per 
sagittarium atque geminos, solis ccntro bis aequinoc- 
tialem circulum secans,commissuras eorum optinente 

282 hinc aquila illinc canicula. ideo efFectus utriusque ad 
omnes frugiferas pertinent terras, quoniam in his 
tantum locis solis terraeque centra congruunt. igitur 
horum siderum diebus si purus atque mitis aer 
genitalem illum lacteumque sucum transmisit in 
terras, laeta adulcscunt sata; si luna qua dictum est 
ratione roscidum frigus aspersit, admixta amaritudo 

283 ut in lacte puerperium necat. modus in tcrris huius 
iniuriae quem fecit in quacumque convexitate comi- 
tatus utriusque causae, et ideo non paritcr in toto orbe 
sentitur, ut nec dies. aquilam diximus in Italia 
exoriri a. d. .\iii kal. lan. nec patitur ratio naturac 
quicquam in satis ante eum diem spei esse certae ; si 
vero interlunium incidat, omnis hibernos fructus et 
praecoces laedi necesse est. 

1 Rackhuin : complexit aul eivi. aul lomplfxas. 
* Ma;,hoff. 



" The iMSS. insert here : ' By the eiunnation of this all tlie 
crops dorive niilk as froni nn iidder.' 

" I.c. tlie davs c)f tlioir rising and settinf;. 

' At XV^T. 99 and 103 it was merely indicated that the 
Eagle rises in winter. 

366 



BOOK XVIII. Lxix. 280-283 

rising marks the beginning of summer and their set- 
ting that of winter, embracing in the six months' 
space between them the harvest and vintage and 
ripening of all vegetation. And the sky also con- 
tains the constellation called the Milky Way, which 
is also easily recognized " by observing two others, 
the Eagle in the northern region and in the southern 
the Little Dog, which we have mentioned in its 
proper place. The Milky Way itself passes through§268. 
the Archer and the Twins, cutting the equinoctial 
orbit twice at the sun's centre-point, the intersections 
being marked by the Eagle on one side and the Little 
Dog on the other. Consequently the influences of 
each of these constellations reach to all cultivated 
lands, inasmuch as these are the only points at which 
the centres of the sun and earth correspond. Con- 
sequently if on the dates'' of these constellations 
the atmosphere is clear and mild and transmits this 
genial milky juice to the lands of the earth, the 
crops grow luxuriantly ; but if the moon scatters a 
dewy cold after the manner previously described, §277. 
the admixture of bitterness, like sourness in milk, 
kills ofF the infant otFspring. The measure of this 
injury in various countries is that occasioned in each 
part of earth's convex surface by the combination of 
each of these two causes, and so it is not per- 
ceived simultaneously in the whole of the world, as 
daybreak is not either. We have said '^ that tiie 
Eagle rises in Italy on December 20, and Natures 
system does not permit any of the crops sown to 
be of certain promise before that day ; but if the 
moon liappens then to be in conjunction, all the 
winter and early spring produce is bound to sufFer 
damage. 

367 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

284 Rudis fuit priscorum vita atque sine litteris ; non 
minus tamen ingcniosam tuisse in illis observationem 
apparebit quam nunc esse rationem. tria namque 
tempora fructibus metuebant, propter quod institue- 
runt terias diesque festos, Robigalia, Floralia, Vinalia. 

285 Robigalia Numa constituit anno regni sui xi, quae 
nunc aguntur a. d. \ti kal. Mai.. quoniam tunc fere 
segetes robigo occupat. hoc tempus Varro deter- 
minaWt sole tauri partem x obtinente, sicut tunc 
ferebat ratio ; sed vera causa est quod post dies 
undetriginta ^ ab aequinoctio verno per id quatriduum 
varia gentium observatione in iv kal. Mai. canis 
occidit, sidus et pcr se vehemens et cui praeoccidere 

286 caniculam necesse sit. itaque iidem Lloralia iv kal. 
easdem instituerunt urbis anno d.wi ex oraculis 
Sibyllae, ut omnia bene deflorescerent. hunc diem 
Varro determinat sole tauri partem xiv obtinente : 
ergo si in hoc quadriduum inciderit plenilunium, 
fruges et omnia quae florebunt laedi necesse erit. 

287 Vinalia priora, quae ante hos dies sunt ix kal. Mai. 
degustandis vinis instituta, nihil ad fructus attinent, 
nec quae adhuc diximus ad vites oleasque, quoniam 
earum conceptus exortu vergiliarum incipit a. d. vi 
id. Mai.. ut docuimus. aliud hoc quatriduum est quo 

' Pintianus : undeviginti. 



° The MSS. give ' nineteenth '. The idioms of Roman 
arithmetic and chronology and the liability of Roman 
numerala to miaeopying render the tranBmission of a passage 
of this kind extremely imcertain. 

* As a matter of fact Canicula sets after Cania, although it 
riaea before it, as its Greek name Procyon implies. It is 
posaible however that the Latin means ' before whose setting 
it is essential to sacrifice a puppy '. 



368 



BOOK XVIII. Lxix. 284-287 

The life ot' men in early times was rude and Danoer 
illiterate ; but nevertheless it will be found that mere ?"'''""'•' 
observation was not less ingenious among them than 
theory is now. There were three seasons which they 
had to fear for their crops, and on this account they 
instituted the hoHdays and festivals of RobigaHa, 
FloraHa and \'inaHa. Numa in the eleventh year of 'ja<'«^" 
his reign estabHshed the Feast of RobigaHa, w hich is ' 
now kept on April 25, because that is about the time 
when the crops are Hable to be attacked bv mildew. 
Van-o has given this date as fixed by the sun occupying 
the tenth degree of the Bull, as theory then stated ; 
but the true explanation is that on one or other 
(according to the latitude of the various observers) 
of the four days from the twenty-ninth " day after 
the spring equinox to April 28 the Dog sets, a con- 
stellation of violent influence in itself and the setting 
of which is also of necessitv preceded ^* by the setting 
of the Little Dog. So the same people in 238 B.c. 
in obedience to the SibyFs oracles, instituted the 
Floralia on April 23, in order that aU vegetation might 
shed its blossom favourably. This day is dated by 
Varro at the sun's entering the 14th degree of the 
Bull ; consequently if fuU moon falls within these 
four days, the crops and all the vegetation then in 
flower wiH inevitablv sufFer injm*y. The First 
VinaHa,' estabHshed in formcr days on April 23 for 
tasting the wines, has no reference to the fruits of the 
earth, nor yet have the festivals so far mentioned 
to the vines and oHves, because their sprouting 
begins at the rise of the Pleiads, on May 10, as we xvi. 104, 
have explained. This is another four-day period in xviii. 248. 

"■ This corresponds to the Greek Pythoigia, the feast of 
Viroaching the casks of the new vintage. 



PLIXY: NATURAL HISTORY 

neque rura rore ^ sordida esse * velini — exurit enim 
frif^idum sidus arcturi postridie occidcns — et multo 

288 minus plenilnnium incidere. iv non. lun. iterum 
aquila exoritur vesperi, decretorio die florentibus 
oleis \itibusque si plenilunium in eum incidat. 
equidem et solstitium viii kal. lul. in simili causa 
duxerim et canis ortum post dies a solstitio xxiii, sed 
interlunio accidente. quoniam vapore constat culpa 
acinique praecocuntur in callum. rursus plenilunium 
nocet a.d. ivnon. Iul.,cum Aegyptocanicula exoritur, 
vel certe x\i kal. Aug. cum Italiae; item xiii kal. 
Aug., cum aquila occidit. usque in x kal. easdem. 

289 extra has causas sunt \'inalia altera, quae aguntur a. 
d. XIV kal. Sept. Varro ea fidicula incipiente occidere 
mane determinat, quod vult initium autumni esse 
et hunc diem festum tempestatibus leniendis institu- 
tum : nunc fidiculam occidere a. d. vi id. Aug. 
servatur. 

2*tO Intra haec constat caelestis sterililas, neque 
negaverim posse eam permutari algentium ^ locorum 
et * aestuantium natura. set ^ a nobis rationeni 
demonstratam esse satis est, reliqua obser\-atione 
cuiu^^que constabunt : alterutrum cjuidem fore in 
cau^^a, hoc est aut ' plenihmium aut interlunium, non 

2'Jl erit dubium. et in hoc mirari benignitatem naturae 

' rore cdd. (rorare c/l. ]'al. Lal. .38GI, m. '2). 

* Dellefsen : alii alia -. sordidae. 
' Pinlinn>i.f : legentium. 

* et add. lan. 

' Mayhoff : natura.s et. 
' ant add. Rnrkham. 



BOOK XVIII. Lxix. 287-291 

which it is desirable that the fields may not be fouled 
by dew — for the cold constellation of Arcturus, 
setting the next day, nips tliem — and much more 
is it desirable tliat a full moon may not come at this 
period. On June 2 the Eagle for a second time 
rises in the evenin<f, and this is a critical dav for 
oUves and vines in blossom if a full moon coincides 
with it. For my own part I am also incHned to con- 
sider that June 24, the solstice, is in a similar case, 
and also the rising of the Dog 23 days after the 
solstice, though only if the moon's conjunction falls 
then, as harm is done by the extreme heat and the 
young grapes are ri]icncd prematurely into a hard 
knob. Again, harm is done by a full moon on July 
4, when the Little Dog rises for Egypt, or at all 
events on July 17 wlien it rises for Italy, and 
similarly between July 20, when the Eagle sets, and 
July 23. The festival of the Second VinaHa, kept 
on August 19, has no connexion with these influences. 
Varro fixes it at the time when the Lyre is beginning 
to set in the morning, which he holds to be the 
beginning of autumn and a hoHday estabHshed for 
propitiating the weather ; but at the present day 
observation shows that the Lyre sets on August 8. 

Within these periods faHs the steriHzing influence 
of the heavens, though I would not deny the possi- 
bihty that it is Hable to alteration by local cHmatic 
conditions, whether cokl or hot. But it is enough 
for us to have demonstrated the principle, leaving 
the details to be asccrtained by individual observa- Dangercan 
tion ; at all events it will not be doubted that one or i>e forecast by 

, ' , . , ,, , , . observattori . 

other 01 two thmgs, luU moon or the moon s conjunc- 
tion, is responsible. And in this matter admiration 
for Nature's benevolence suggests itself, as to the 

371 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

succurrit : iam primum hanc iniuriam omnibus anni> 
accidere non posse propter statos siderum cursus, 
nec nisi paucis noctibus anni, idque quando sit 
futurum facile nosci ac, ne per omnes menses 
timeretur, eorum ^ quoque lege provisum * ; aestate 
interluiiia praeterquam biduo secura esse, hieme 
plenilunia, nec nisi aestivis brevissimisque noctibus 

2!»2 metui, diebus non idem valere ; praeterea tam facile 
intellegi ut formica minimum animal interlunio 
quiescat, pk-nilunio operetur etiam noctibus; avem 
parram oriente sirio ipso die non apparere et donec 
occidat, e diverso chlorionem prodire ipso die soktitii ; 
neutrum vero lunae statum noxium esse ne noctibus 
quidem nisi serenis et onnii aura quiescente, quoniam 
neque in nube neque in flatu cadunt rores, sic quoque 

2!i3 non sine remedio. LXX. Sarmenta aut palearum 
acei^'os et evulsas herbas fruticesque per vineas 
camjx)sque,cum timebis, incendito, fumus medebitur 
his ^; e paleis et contra nebuhis auxiliatur ubi nebulae 
nocent. quidam tres cancros ^ivos cremari iubent in 

2'j4 arbustis ut carbunculus non * noceat,alii siluricarnem 
leniter uri a vento. ut per totam vineam fiimus 
dispcrgatur. \'arro aiictor est, si fidiculae occasu, 

' corum 1 Mnijhnff : stfllariim ? Warminglon : eanim. 

* provisnm ? Mayhoff : divisum. 
' h\A ? Maijhoff : hic. 

* ne Maijhoff. 



" Probably the lapwing. 



BOOK XVIII. Lxix. 291-LXX. 294 

fact that, in the first place, because of tlie tixed 
couxses of the stars this disaster cannot possibly 
happen everj- year, and only on a few nights in the 
year, and that its occurrence is easy to forecast, and 
that, in order to prevent its being apprehended 
through all the months, it has also been foreseen by 
the law that governs the stars ; that the moon's con- 
junctions are safe in sunimer except for a period of 
two days, and a full moon safe in winter and only 
formidable in summer and when the nights are 
shortest, but they have not the same potency by 
day ; moreover that this is so easily understood that 
that tiny creature the ant, at the moon's conjunction 
keeps quite quiet, but at fuU moon works busily even 
in the nights ; that the bird called the parra " dis- 
appears on the very day when Sirius rises, and remains 
concealed till it sets, while the oriole, on the con- 
trary , comes out exactly on midsummer day ; but that 
neither phase of the moon is harmful even at night 
except in fine weather and when therc is not a breath 
of wind, because dews do not fall when it is cloudy 
or a wind is blowing, and even so there are remedies 
available. LXX. When you have occasion for alarm, Precnutioni 
make bonfires about the vineyards and fiekls of '"**'"*''"• 
trimmings or heaps of chafF and weeds and bushes 
that have been rooted up, and the smoke will act as 
a cure for them ; smoke from chafF is also helpful 
against fogs, in places where fogs do damage. Some 
people advisc burning three ci'abs ahve among the 
trecs to prevent the vines being injured by coal- 
blight, others roasting the flesh of a sheat-fish in a 
slow fire to windward, so that the smoke may spread 
all through the vineyard. Varro gives the informa- 
tion that a vineyard sutfers less damagc from storms 

373 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quod est initium autumni, uva picta consecretur intor 
vites, minus nocere tempestates. Archibius ad 
Antiochum Syriae regem scripsit, si fictili novo 
obruatur rubeta rana in media segete, non esse 
noxias tempestates. 

295 LXXI. Opera rustica huius inter\'alli ; tcrram 
iterare, arbores circumfodere aut, ubi aestuosa regio 
poscat, adcumulare — germinantia nisi in solo luxu- 
rioso fodienda non sunt — , seminaria purgare sareulo, 
messem hordeaciam facere, aream messi praeparare, 
Catonis sententia amurca temperatam. Vcrgilii ope- 
rosius creta.^ maiore ex parte aequant tantum et 
fimo bubulo dilutiore inlinunt ; id satis ad pulveris 
remedium videtur. 

296 LXXII. Messis ipsius ratio varia. Galliarum 
latifundiis valli praegrandes dentibus in margine 
insertis duabus rotis per segetem inpelluntur iumento 
in contrarium iuncto ; ita dereptae iii vallum cadunt 
spicae. stipulae aUbi mediae falce praeciduntur 
atque inter duas mergitcs spica destringitur. alibi ab 
radice caeduntur, alibi cum radice evelluntur ; quique 
id faciunt proscindi ab se obiter agrum interpretantur, 

297 cum extrahantsucum. diflTcrentiaet^haec: ubistipula 
domns cnntegunt quam Inngi^-simam servant, ubi feni 

' creta hic Urlichs : anle Vergilii cl. Var. Lat. 6797: om. 
rcll. ' ct oHfl. Rarkham. 

374 



BOOK XV^III. Lxx. 2g4-Lx.\ii. 297 

if, at the setting of the Lyrc, which marks the begin- 
ning of aiitiunn, a picture of a bunch of grapes is 
phiced aniong the vines as a votive offering. Archi- 
bius in his letter to Antiochus, king of Syria, says that 
if a toad is buried in a new earthenware jar in the 
middle of a corn-field, the crop will not be damaged 
by storms. 

LXXI. The following are the rural operations Ovemtioni 
belonging to this interval : to turn up the ground %mmer. 
again, to dig round the trees, or to bank them up 
where a hot locality calls for it — except in a very 
rich soil crops just budding must not be dug — , to 
clean seed-plots with the hoe, to harvest barley, to 
prepare the threshing-floor for the harvest, in Cato's oxxix. 
opinion by dressing it with oHve-lees, and in VirgiFs 
with chalk, a more laborious method. But for the Georg. 1. 
most part people only level it and smear it with a ^^**' 
rather weak solution of cow-dung ; this appears to be 
enough to prevent dust. 

LXXII. There are various methods of actunWy Meiiwds 0/ 
getting in the hai-vest. On the vast estates in tfie ''«'"'""""^- 
provinces of Gaul very large frames fitted with teeth 
at the edge and carried on two wheels are driven 
through the corn by a team of oxen pushing from 
bchind ; the ears thus torn off" fall into the frame. 
l*lls('where the stalks are cut through with a sickle 
and the ear is stripped off between two pitchforks. 
In some places the stalks are cut ofF at the root, in 
others they are plucked up with the root ; and those 
who use the latter method explain that in the course 
of it they get the land broken, although really they 
are drawing the goodness out of it. There are also 
these differences : where they thatch the houses with 
straw, they keep it as long as pos^iblc, but where 

375 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inopia est,^ stramento paleam quaerunt. panici 
culmo non tegunt, milii culmum fere inurunt, hordei 
stipulam bubus gratissimam servant. panicum et 
milium singillatim pectine manuali legunt Galliae. 

298 Messa spica ^ ipsa alibi tribulis in area, alibi 
equarum gressibus exteritur, alibi perticis flagellatur. 
triticum quo serius metitur hoc copiosius invenitur, 
quo celerius vero hoc speciosius ac robustius. lex 
apertissima. ' antequam granum indurescat et cum 
iam traxerit colorem,' oraculuni vero ' biduo celerius 
messem facere potius quam biduo serius.' siliginis et 
tritici eadem ^ ratio in area horreoque. far, quia 
difficulter excutitur, convenit cum palea sua condi, et 

29!> stipula tantum et aristis liberatur. palea plures 
gentium pro feno utuntur ; melior ea quo tenuior 
minutiorque et pulveri propior, ideo optima e milio, 
proxima ex hordeo, pessima ex tritico, praeterquam 
iumentis opere laborantibus. culmum saxosis locis 
cum inaruit baculo frangunt, substraturi* animali- 

300 bus ; si palea defecit, et culmus teritur. ratio haec : 
maturius desectus, muria dura sparsus, dein siccatus 
in manipulos convolvitur at(jue ita pro fcno bubus 
datur. sunt qui accendant in arvo et stipulas, magno 
Vcrgilii praeconio ; summa auteni eius ratio ut her- 

' inopia est edd. : inopiae aui inopia. 
'■^ Mcssa spica ? Mayhojf : Messis. 
' Pinlianns : etiam. 
* Mayhoff : substracta aut Bubtracta. 



" Moved bv oxen. 



376 



BOOK X\'III. Lxxii. 297-300 

there is a shortage ofhay, they require chafFfor Utter. 
Straw of Italian millet is not used for thatch ; 
common millet stalks are usually burnt on thc ground ; 
barley stalks are kept as extremcly acceptable to 
oxen. The GaUic provinces gather both niillets ear 
bv ear, with a comb held in the hand. 

The ear itself when reaped in some places is beaten Threshing 
out with threshing-sledges " on a threshing-floor, in qlenureat- 
others bv being trodden on by mares, and in other '""'^- 
places it is thraslied out with flails. Wheat is found 
to give a larger yield the hiter it is reaped, but to 
be of tiner quahty and stronger the earlier it is reaped. 
The most obvious rule is to reap it ' beforc the grain 
hardens and when it has begmi to gain colour ', but 
there is an oracular utterance, ' Better to do your 
reaping two da^s too soon than two days too late.' 
Common and bare wheats require the samc method on 
the threshing-floor and in the granary. Elmmer being 
difficult to thresh is best stored with its chaff, and 
onlv has the straw and the beard removcd. The 
majority of countries use chafl" for hay ; the thinner 
and finer it is and the nearer to dust, the better, and 
consequently the best chaff is obtained from millet, 
the next best from barley, and the worst from wheat, 
except for beasts that are being worked hard. In 
rocky places they leave straw to dry and then break 
it up with a flail, to use it as Utter for cattle, but if 
there is a shortage of chaff the straw also is ground 
for fodder. The method is as foUows : it is cut rather 
early, and sprinkled with strong brine and then dried 
and roUed up into trusscs, and so fcd to oxen 
instead of hav. Some people also set fire to the 
stubble in the field, a process advertised by the high 
authority of Virgil ; their chief reason however for aeorg. i. 85. 

377 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

harum semen exuraiit. ritus divcrsos uiagnitudo 
facit messium et raritas operariorum. 

301 LXXIII. Conexa est ratio frumenti servandi. 
horrea operose tripedali crassitudine parictis latericii 
exaedificari iubent aliqui, praeterea superne impleri 
nec adflatus admittere aut fenestras habere ullas, 
alii ab exortu tantum aestivo aut septcntrione, eaquc 
sine calce construi, quoniam sit frumento inimicissi- 
ma ; nam quae de amurca praeciperentur indicavimus. 

302 alibi contra suspendunt granaria lignea columnis et 
perflari undique malunt, atque etiam a^ fundo. alii 
omnino pendente tabulato extenuari granum arbi- 
trantur et si tegulis subiaceat confcrvescere. multi 
ventilare (juoque vetant ; curculionem enim non 
descendere infra quattuor tligitos, nec amplius 

303 periclitari. Columella et favonium ventum conlccto ^ 
frumento pracdicit, quod miror ecjuidem, siccissimuni 
alioqui. sunt qui rubeta rana in limine horrci pede e 
longioribus suspensa invehere iubeant. nobis referre 
plurimum tempestivitas condendi videbitur; nam si 
parum tostum atque robustum collcctum sit aut 
calidum conditum. vitia iiinasci nccesse est. 

304 Diuturnitatis causae j)hircs : aut in ipsius grani 
corio cum est numerosius, ut milio, aut suci pingue- 

' a ad/i. edil. 

' conlecto vel contecto MayhofJ : confecto. 

37ii 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxii. 300-Lxxiii. 304 

this plan is to burn up the seed of weeds. The size 
of the crops and scarcity of labour cause various 
procedures to be adopted. 

LXXIII. A connected subject is the method ofstorageoj 
storing corn. Sonie people recommend building '"'""■ 
elaborate granaries with brick walls a yard thick, 
and moreover fiUing theni from above and not 
letting them admit drauglits of air or have any 
windows ; others say they shoukl only have windows 
facing north-east or north, and that they should be 
built without lime, as lime is very injurious to corn: 
the recommendations made with regard to the dregs 
of olive-oil have been pointed out above. In other xv. 33. 
placeSjOn the contrary, they buikl their granaries of 
wood and supported on pillars, preferring to let the 
air blow through them from all sides, and even from 
below. Others think the grain shrinks in bulk if laid 
on a floor entirely off the ground, and that if it lies 
under a tile roof it gets hot. Many moreover for- 
bid turning over the grain to air it, as the weevil 
does not penetrate more than four inches down, and 
beyond that the grain is in no danger. Columelhi H- 20, 6. 
also advises a west wind when corn is harvested, at 
whicli I for mv part am surprised, as generally it is 
a very dry wind. Some people tell us to hang up a 
toad by one of its longer legs at the threshold of the 
barn before carrying the corn into it. To us storing 
the corn at the proper time will seem most im- 
portant, as if it is got in when insufficiently ripened 
and firm, or stored while hot, pests are certain to 
breed in it. 

There are several causes that make grain keep : Meiiwds nj 
tliey are found either in the husk of the grain when YiweTgriin. 
this forms several coats, as with millet, or in the 

379 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

dine, qui pro uinore sutiiciat tantum, ut sesimae, aut 
amaritudine, ut lupino et cicerculis. in tritico 
maxime nascuntur animalia, quoniam spissitate sua 
concalescit et furfure crasso vestitur. tenuior hordeo 
palea, exilis et legumini, ideo non generant. faba 
crassioribus tunicis operitur, ob hoc effervescit. 

305 quidam ipsum triticum diutumitatis gratia adspergunt 
amurca, mille modios quadrantali, alii Chalcidica aut 
Carica creta aut etiam absinthio. est et Olynthi ac 
Cerinthi Euboeae terra quae corrumpi non sinat ; nec 

306 fere condita in spica laeduntur. utilissime tamen 
scrvantur in scrobibus, quos siros vocant, ut in Cappa- 
dociaacThrecia et Hispania, Africa ; et ^ ante omnia ut 
sicco solo fiant curatur, mox ut palea substernantur ; 
praeterea cum spica sua conduntur ita frumenta. si 
nullus spiritus pcnetret, certum est nihil maleficum 

307 innasci.2 \'arro auctor est sic conditum triticum 
durare annis l, milium vero c, fabam et lcgumina in 
oleariis cadis oblita cinere longo tempore servari. 
idem refert fabam a Pyrrhi regis actate in quodani 
specu Ambraciae usque ad piraticum Pompeii \Iagni 

3ii8 bellum durassc annis circiter ccx\. ciceri tantum 
nuUae bestiolae in horrcis innascuntur. sunt qui urceis 
cinere substratls et pice ' inlitis acetum habentibus 
leguminum acervos supcringerant, ita non innasci* 

' ilmihoff : Africae. 

* RacUuim : nasci. 

* pice add. quidam ap. Dalec. 

* Rackham : nafici. 



I .e. to repel insecta. * In 67 b.c. 



380 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxiii. 304-308 

richness of the juice, which may be enouijh to supplv 
moisture, as with sesame, or in bitter flavour," as with 
lupine and chickling vetch. It is specially in wheat 
that grubs breed, because its density makes it get 
hot and the grain becomes covered with thick bran. 
Barley chaff is thinner, and also that of the leguminous 
plants is scanty, and consequently these do not breed 
grubs. A bean is covered with thicker coats, and 
this makes it ferment. Some people sprinkle the 
wheat itself with dregs of olivc oil to make it keep 
better, cight gallons to a thousand pecks ; others 
use chalk from Chalcis or Caria for this purpose, or 
even wormwood. There is also an earth found at 
Olynthus and at Cerinthus in Euboea which prevents 
grain from rotting ; also if stored in the ear corn 
hardly ever suffers injury. The most paying method 
however of keeping grain is in holes, called siri, 
as is done in Cappadocia and Thrace, and in Spain 
and Africa ; and before all tliings care is taken to 
make them in dry soil and then to floor them with 
chaff ; moreover the corn is stored in this way in the 
ear. If no air is allowed to penetrate, it is certain 
that no pests ^\ill breed in the grain. Varro states i. 58. 
that wheat so stored lasts fifty years, but millet a 
hundred, and that beans and leguminous grain, if 
put away in oil jars with a covering of ashes, keep a 
long time. He also records that beans stored in a 
cavem in Ambracia lasted from the period of King 
Pyrrhus to Pompey the Great's war with the pirates,* 
a period of about 220 years. Chick-pea is the only 
grain which does not breed any grubs when kept in 
barns. Some people pile leguminous seed in heaps 
on to jars containing vinegar, placed on a bed of ashes 
and coated \vith pitch, believing that this prevents 

381 



PLIN\': NATUllAL HISTORY 

malificia credentcs, aut ^ in salsamentariis cadis gypso 
inlinant ; alii qui lentem aceto laserpiciato respergant 
siccatamque oleo unguant. sed brevi^^sima obser\atio 
quod vitiis carere velis interlunio legere. quare pluri- 
mum refert condere quis malit an vendere ; crescente 
enim luna frumenta grandescunt. 
3ui» LXXIV. Sequitur ex divisione temporum autum- 
nus a fidiculae occasu ad aequinoctium ac deinde 
vergiliarum occasum initiumque hiemis. in his 
intervallLs significant prid. id. Aug. Atticae equus 
oriens vespera, Aegj^pto et Caesari delphinus occi- 
dens. xi kal. Sept. Caesari et Assyriae stella quae 
vindemitor appellatur exoriri mane incipit vindemiae 
maturitatem promittens ; eius argumentum erunt 
acini colore mutati. Assyriae v kal, et sagitta 

310 occidit et etesiae desinunt. vindomitor Aegypto 
nonis exoritur, Atticae arcturus matutino. et sagitta 
occidit mane. v id. Sept. Caesari capella oritur 
vesperi, arcturus vero medius prid. id. vehementissi- 

311 mo significatu terra marique per dies quinque. ratio 
eius haec traditur : si delphino occidente imbres 
fuerint, non futuros^ per arcturum. signum orientis 
eius sideris servetur hirundinum abitus, namque 

* aiit ? Maijhnff -. alii qui edd. vett. : alii. 
^ defuturos Sillig. 



' Or, with Sillig'8 conjecture, ' it is sure to rain'. 
382 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxiii. 308-Lxxiv. 311 

pests from breeding in tliern, or clsc they put them 
in casks that have hcld salted fish and coat them over 
with plaster ; and therc are others who sprinkle 
lentils with vinegar mixed with silphium, and whcn 
they are dry give them a dressing of oil. But the 
specdiest prccaution is to gather anything you want 
to save from pests at the moon's conjunction. So 
it makes a very great ditfercnce who wants to store 
thc crop or who to put it on the market, bccause 
grain increases in bulk when the moon is waxinc. 

LXXIV. Ncxt in accordance with the division of AstmTwynicni 
tlie seasons comes autunm, from thc sctting of thc ^'«/umf. 
Lyre to the cquinox and then the setting of the 
Pleiads and the beginning of winter. In these 
pcriods important stages are markcd by the Horse 
rising in the rcgion of Attica and the Dolphin 
setting for Egypt and by Caesar's reckoning on the 
evening of August 12. On Augast 22 the constella- 
tion called the \'intager bcgins to rise at dawn for 
Caesar and for Assyria, announcing the proper time 
for the vintage ; an indication of this will be the 
change of colour in the grapes. On August 28 the 
Arrow sets for Assyria and also the seasonal winds 
cease to blow. On September 5 the Vintager rises 
for Egypt, and in the morning Arcturus for Attica, 
and the Arrow sets at dawn. On Septcmber 9, 
according to Caesar, the She-goat rises in the cvening, 
while half of Arcturus becomcs visible on September 
12, indicating vcry unsettled weather on land and at 
sea for fivc days. The account givcn of this is that 
if there has bccn rain whilc the Dolphin was setting 
it will not rain " while Arcturus is visible. The de- 
parture of the swallows may be noted as the sign of 
the rise of that constellation, since if they are over- 

383 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

deprehensae intereunt. xvi kal. Oct. Aegypto spica 
quam tenet virgo exoritur matutino etesiaeque 
desinunt; hoc idem Caesari xiv kal., xiii Assyriae 
significat,^ et xi kal. Caesari commissura piscium 

312 occidcns ipsumque aequinoctii sidus viii kal., Oct. 
dein consentiunt, quod est rarum, PhiUppus, Callippus. 
Dositheus, Parmeniscus, Conon, Criton, Democritus, 
Eudoxus IV kal. Oct. capellam matutino exoriri et 

III kal. haedos. vi non. Oct. Atticae corona exoritur 
mane, Asiae et Caesari v heniochus occidit matutino. 

IV Caesari corona exoriri incipit, et postridie occidunt 

313 haedi vespere. viii id. Oct. Caesari fulgens in 
corona stella exoritur, et vi id. vergiliae vesperi, 
idibus corona tota. .v\ii kal. Nov. suculae vesperi 
exoriuntur. ])rid. kal. Caesari arcturus occidit et 
suculae exoriuntur cum sole. iv non. arcturus occidit 
vesperi. v id. Nov. gladius Orionis occidere incipit ; 
dein iii id. vergiUae occidunt. 

314 In his temporum intervaUis opera rustica : rapa, 
napos serere quibus diximus diebus. vulgus agreste 
rapa post ciconiae discessum male seri putat, nos 
omnino post VulcanaUa, et praecocia cum panico, a 
fidiculae autem occasu viciam, passiolos, pabulum ; 

' Rackham : significant. 



BOOK XV III. Lxxiv. 311-314 

taken by it they are killed oft. On September 16 
the Ear of Corn held by the \'irgin rises for Egypt in 
the morning and the seasonal winds cease ; this also 
appears for Caesar on September 18 and for Assyria 
on September 19 ; and on September 21 for Caesar 
the knot in the Fishes setting and the Equinoctial 
Constellation itself on September 24. Then there is 
general agreement, which is a rare occurrence, 
bet\veenPhilippus,Callippus,Dositheus,Parmeniscus, 
Conon, Crito, Democritus and Eudoxus, that the 
She-goat rises in the morning of September 28 and 
the Kids on September 29. On October 2 the Crown 
rises for Attica at dawn, and the Charioteer sets for 
Asia and for Caesar in the morning of October 3. 
On October 4 the Crown begins to rise for Caesar, 
and in the evening of the next day the Kids set. 
On October 8 for Caesar the bright star in the Crown 
rises, and in the evening of October 10 the Pleiads ; 
and on October 15 the whole of the Crown. In the 
evening of October 16 the Little Pigs rise. At day- 
break on October 31 for Caesar Arcturus sets and the 
Little Pigs rise. In the evening of November 2 
Arcturus sets. On November 9 Orion's Sword begins 
to set; and then on November 11 the Pleiads set. 

The agricultural operations that come in these Aumnn 
periods of time include sowing turnip and navew, ^^^ation-s. 
on the days that we have stated. It is commonly § 131. 
thought by country people that it is a mistake to 
sow turnip after the departure of the stork ; our own 
view however is that it should be sown in any case 
after the Feast of Vulcan, and the early kind when 
Italian millet is sown, but that the time for vetch and 
calavance and plants for fodder is after the setting of 
the Lyre ; itis recommended that this should take place 

385 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

hoc silente luna seri iubent. et frondis pracparandae 
tempus hoc est ; unus frondator quattuor frondarias 
fiscinas complere in die iustum habet. si decrescente 
hina praeparetur. non putrescit ; aridam coUigi non 
oportet. 

31') \'indemiam antiqui numquam existimavere matu- 
ram ante aequinoctium, iam passim rapi cerno; 
quamobrem et huius tempora notis argumentisque 
signentur. leges ita se habent ; ' Uvam caldanfi ne 
legito,' hoc est continua * siccitate ac nisi imber 
intervenerit. ' Uvam rorulentam ne legito,' hoc est 
si ros nocturnus fuerit, nec prius quam sole discutiatur. 

.31 "i ' \'indemiare incipito cum ad palmitem pampinus 
procumberc coeperit aut cum cxempto acino ex 
densitate intervalhim non conpleri apparuerit ac iam 
non augeri acinos.' plurimum refert si contingat 

317 crescente luna vindemiare. pressura una culleos \x 
implerc dcbet : hic est pcs iustus. ad totidem culleos 
et lacus XX iugeribus unum sufficit torculum. premunt 
ahqui singuHs, utilius binis. Hcet magna sit vastitas 
singuhs. longitudo in his refert, non crassitudo : spa- 
tiosa mehus premunt. antiqui funibus vittis(]ue loreis 

* continua? coU. xxi 82 Mayhnjf : in nimia cd. Leid. n. 
VII, m. 2: in ea rell. : in eius edd. rctt. 



" SilerUe luna = § 322 inlerhtnio : the phraso comee from 
Cato. 

* For fodder. 

' Columclla, XI. 2, 67. 

** Pressura presumably raeans the amount that the vat 
would hold at one time. 

' Culleu.<), supposed to be the eame mcasure as a dolivni, 
cask, held 20 amphorae, pitchcrs, cach holding ncarly 7 
gallons. 

386 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxiv. 314-317 

when the moon is silent." This is also the time for 
getting ready a store of leaves;'' to collect fom* leaf- 
baskets full is a fair day's work for one woodman. 
If they are stored when the moon is on the wane 
they do not decay ; but they ought not to be dry 
when collected. 

In okl days the vines were never thought to be Daiesoj 
ripe for the vintage before the equinox, but nowa- \lselfwim- 
days I notice they are commonly pulled at any press. 
time ; consequently we must also specify the times 
for this by their signs and indications. The ruk'S "^ are 
as foUows : ' Do not pick a bunch of grapes when they 
are warm ' — that is during unbroken dry weather, 
with no rain in between ; ' Do not pick a bunch of 
grapes if wet with dew ', that is if there has been dew 
in the night, and not before it has been dispelled by 
the sun. ' Begin the vintage when the grape-shoot 
begins to droop down to the stem, or when after a 
grape has been 1'emoved froni a cluster it has been 
clearly noticed that the gap does not fiU up and that 
the grapes are no longer getting bigger.' It is a 
very great advantage for the vintage to coincide 
with a crescent moon. One pressing '^ ought to fill 
twenty wine-skins ^ : that is a fair basis. A single 
wine press is enough for twenty wine-skins and 
vats to serve twenty acres of vineyard. Some press 
the grapes with a single press-beam, but it pays 
better to use a pair, however large the single beams 
may be. It is length that matters in the case 
of the beams, not thickness;/ but those of ample 
width press better. In old days people used to drag 
down the press-beams with ropes and leather straps. 

I.e. tho work is done by leverage, not by the mero weight 
of the beam. 

387 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

ea dctrahebant et vectibus ; intra c annos inventa 
Graecanica, mali rugis per cocleam ^ ambulantibus, 
ab aliis adfixa arbori stella, aliis ' arcas lapidum 
adtfillcnte secum arbore, quod maxime probatur. 
intra xxii hos annos inventum parvis prelis et minore 
torculario aedificio, breviore malo in media derecto, 
tympana inposita \inaceis supeme toto pondere 

318 urguere et supcr prela construere congericm. hoc et 
poma coUigendi tempus ; observato ^ cum aHquod 
maturitate, non tempestate, deciderit. hoc et faeces 
exprimendi, hoc et defrutum coquendi silente luna 
noctu aut, si interdiu, plena, ceteris diebus aut ante 
exortum lunae aut post occasum, nec de novella vite 
aut palustri, nec nisi e matura uva.* si ligno con- 
tingatur vas, adustum et fumosum fieri putant. 

31(1 iustum vindemiae tempus ab aequinoctio ad vergili- 
arum occasum dies xliv ; ab eo die oraculum occurrit 
frigidum picari pro nihilo ducentium. sed iam et kal. 
lan. defectu vasorum vindemiantes vidi piscinisque 
musta condi aut vina efFundi priora ut dubia recipe- 

320 rentur. hoc non tam saepe proventu nimio evenit 

' Mni/hoff: cocleafl. 

* M<uihoff : ab alis. 

' Miii/hojf: observatio (observatur cd. Lcid. n. VII, m. 2). 

* ]'.ll. qiiasi, uva si, uva quia si. 

388 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxiv. 317-320 

and by means of levers : but within the last hundred 
years the Grcek pattern of press has been inventcd, 
with the grooves of the upright beani running spirally, 
some makers fitting the tree with a star, but with 
othcrs the tree raises with it boxes of stones, an 
arrangcment which is very highly approved. Within 
the last twcntv ycars a plan has been invented to 
usc small prcsses and a smaller pressing-shed, with 
a shortcr upright beam running straight down into 
thc middle, and to press down the drums placed on 
top of the grape-skins with the whole weight and to 
pile a heap of stones abovc the presses. This is also 
the time for ffathcrinfj fruit ; one should watch when 
any falls off owing to ripeness and not because of 
windy wcathcr. This is also the scason for pressing 
out the lees of wine and for boiHng down grape-juice, 
on a night when there is no moon, or, if done in the 
day time, it should be at fuU moon, or on any other 
davs either before the moon rises or after it sets ; 
and thc grapes should not be obtained from a y6ung 
vine nor from one growing on marshv ground ; and 
only a ripe bunch should be used. It is thought that 
if wood is brought in contact with the vesscl, the 
liquor gets a burnt and smoky flavour. The proper 
time for the vintagc is the period of 44 days from the 
equinox to the setting of thc Plciads ; we meet with 
a wise saying of growers who hold that from that day 
onward it is no good at all to tar a cold wine-]>utt. 
Still, before now I have seen vintagers at work even 
on the first of January owing to shortage of vats, 
and must being stored in tanks, or last year's wine 
being poured out of the casks to make room for new 
wine of doubtful quality. This is not so often due 
to an over-abundant crop as to slackness, or else to 

389 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quam segnitia aut avaritia insidiantium caritati. 
civilis aequi patrisfamilias modus est annona cuiusque 
anni uti ; id peraeque etiam lucrosissimum. reliqua 
de vinis adfatim dicta sunt, item vindemia facta 
olivam esse rapiendam, et quae ad oleum pertinent 
quaeque a vergiliarum occasu agi debent. 

321 LXX\'. His quae sunt necessaria adicientur de 
luna ventisque et praesagiis, ut sit tota sideralis ratio 
perfecta. namque Vergilius etiam in numeros lunae 
digerenda quaedam putavit Democriti secutus osten- 
tationem ; nos legum utilitas, quae in toto opere, in 
hac quoque movet parte. 

Omnia quae caeduntur, carpuntur, tondentur 
innocentius decrescente luna quam crescente fiunt. 

322 stercus nisi decrescente luna ne tangito, maxime 
autem intermenstrua dimidiaque stercorato. verres, 
iuvencos, arietes, haedos decrescente hma castrato. 
ova luna nova supponito. scrobes luna plena noctu 
facito. arborum radices luna plena operito. umidis 
locis interlunio serito et circa interlunium quatriduo. 
ventilari quoque frumenta ac legumina et condi circa 
extremam lunam iubent, seminaria cum luna supra 
terram sit fieri, calcari musta cuni luiia sub terra. item 

390 



BOOK X\'III. Lxxiv. 320-Lxxv. 322 

avarice lying in wait for a rise in priees. The piiblic- 
spirited method of an honest head of a household is 
to use the output of each year as it eomes ; and tliis 
is also quite equally the most profitable plan. As xiv. 59 
for the other matters relating to wines enough has 5,y ^g* 
been said already, and also it has been stated that as 
soon as the vintage is done the ohves must at once 
be picked ; and we have given the facts concerning 
ohve-growing and the operations that must be done 
after the setting of the Pleiads. 

LXXV. To these statements we will add what is rimesfor 
necessarv about the moon and winds and about '"^"'""^ 

• nnnoT farin 

weather foi-ecasts, so as to complete our accoimt 01 operaiUjns. 
astronomic considerations. \'irgil following the state- a,,,irg. i. 
ment paraded by Democritus has even thought -'6. 
proper to assign particular operations to numbered 
days of the moon, but our own motive, in this 
section also of our work as in the whole of it, is the 
practical value of general rules. 

All cutting, gathering and trimming is done with 
less injury to the trees and plants when the moon is 
waning than when it is waxing. Manure must not 
be touched except when the moon is waning, but 
nianuring should chieflv be done at new moon or at 
lialf moon. Gekl hogs, steers, rams and kids when 
the moon is waning. Put eggs under the hen at 
the new moon. Make ditches at full moon, in the 
night-time. Bank up the roots of trees at full 
moon. In damp hind sow seed at the new moon 
and in the four davs round that time. They also 
recommend giving corn and leguminous grains an 
airing and storing them away towards the end of the 
moon, making seed-plots when the moon is above 
the horizon, and treading out grapes when it is below 

391 



PLIXV: NATUKAL HISTORY 

323 inaterias caedi quaeque alia suis locis diximus. neque 
est facilior observatio ac iam dicta nobis secundo 
volumine ; sed quod inteDcgere vel rustici possint : 
quotiens ab occidente sole cernetur prioribusque horis 
noctis lucebit, crescens erit et oculis dimidiata iudica- 
bitur.cum vero ab occidente sole i>rieturex adverso ita 
ut paritcr aspieiantur, tum erit plenilunium. quotiens 
ab ortu solis orietur prioribusque noctis horis detrahet 
luraen et in diurnas extendet. decrescens erit iterum- 
que dimidia, in coitu vero, quod interlunium vocant, 

324 cum apparere desierit. supra terras autem erit 
quamdiu et sol interlunio et prima tota die, secunda 
horae noctis unius dextante sicilico, ac deinde tertia 
et usque XV multiplicatis horarum isdem portionibus. 
XV tota supra terras nocte ^ crit eademque sub terris 

325 tota die. xvi ad primae horae nocturnae dextantem 
sicilicum sub terra aget, easdemque portiones 
horarum per singulos dies adiciet ^ usque ad inter- 
lunium, et quantum primis partibus noctis detraxerit 
quoad"* sub terris aget,* tantundem novissimis ex die 
adiciet supra terram. alternis autem mensibus xxx 
implebit numeros, altemis vero detrahet singulos. 
haec erit ratio lunaris ; ventorum paulo scrupulosior. 

' Mdyhoff : noctu. 

' Caejiuriiis : adicit. 

' quoad ? Mayhoff : (juod. 

* Maylvoff : agat. 

" 1 .r. for 51 1 minutes aft<^r Hunset. 

392 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxv. 322-325 

it, as well as felling tinibcr and the other operations 

which we have specified in their proper places. Nor 

is the observation of the moon specially easy, and we 

liave already spoken of it in \^olume II ; biit to give ^^- ^^ w- 

what even countrymen may be able to understand : 

whenever the moon is seen at sunset and in the Phases, etc, 

earlier hours of the night, she will be waxing and ''^"'* """"' 

will appear to be cut in half, but when she rises 

at sunset opposite the sun, so that sun and moon 

are visible at the same time, then it will be fuU 

moon. When she rises with the sunrise and withholds 

her hght in the earher hours of the night and prolongs 

it into daytime, she will be waning and will again 

show only half; but when she has ceased to be 

visible she is in conjunction, the period designated 

' between moons '. During the conjunction she will 

be above the horizon as long as the sun is and during 

the whole of the first day, on the second day ten and 

a quarter twelfths of an hour of the night," and 

then on the third day and on to the 15th with the 

same fractions of an hour added in progression. 

On the 15th day she will be above the horizon all 

iiight and also below it all day. On the 16th she will 

remain below the horizon ten and a quarter twelfths 

of the first hour of the night, and she will go on adding 

the same fraction of an hour every day in succession 

until the period of conjunction, and will add from the 

day-time to the last parts of the night above the 

horizon as much as she subtracts from its first parts 

when below the earth. She will complete thirty 

revolutions in alternate months but subtract one from 

that number every alternate month. This will be 

the theory of the course of the moon ; that of the 

winds is somewhat more intricate. 

393 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

326 LXXVL Observato solis ortu qiiocumque die libeat 
stantibus hora diei sexta sic ut ortum eum a sinistro 
umero habeant, contra mediam faciem meridies et a 
vertice septentrio erit ; qui ita limes per agrum 
curret ^ cardo appellabitur. eircumagi deinde melius 
est ut umbram suam quisque cernat, aliociuin post 

327 hominem erit. ergo permutatis hit«,'ribus, ut ortus 
illius diei ab dextro umero fiat, occasus a sinistro, 
tunc erit hora sexta cum minima umbra contra 
medium fiet hominem. per huius mediani longi- 
tudinem duci sarculo sulcum vel cinere ^ Hniam verbi 
gratia pedum .\.\ conveniet, mediamque mensuram, 
hoc est in decumo pede, circumscribi circulo parvo, 

328 qui vocetur umbilicus. quae pars fuerit a vertice 
umbrae, haec crit venti septentrionis : illo tibi, 
putator, arborum plagae ne spectent, neve arbusta 
vineaeve nisi in Africa, Cyrenis, Aegypto ; illinc 
flante vento ne arato, quaeque alia praecipiemus. 
(juae pars liniae fuerit a pedibus unibrae meridiem 

329 spectans, haec ventum austrum dabit quem a GraecLs 
nf>tnm diximus vocari ; illinc flatu veniente materiam 
vinumque, agricola, ne tractes. umidus aut aestuo- 
sus Italiae est, Africae quidem incendia cum serenitate 
adfert. in hunc Italiae palmites spectent, sed noii 



* Mayhoff : currit. 

* cultro (vel vomere) Mayhoff. 



394 



BOOK XVIII. LxxAi. 326-329 
LXX\'I. After observinff the position of sunrise Obsnvation 

J , . 1 . 1 i • 1 1 _ ofthe icinds 

on any given day, let people stand at midday so as to to reguiate 
have the point of sunrise at their left shoulder : T''^ '" '"^ 

.1 L .11 1 1 11. 1 /. aone to trees 

tnen they wiU have the south du-ectly in front of 

them and the north directly behind them ; a path 

running through a field in this way will be called a 

cardinal hne. It is better then to turn round, so as 

to be able to see your own shadow, which will other- 

wise be behind you. So, liaving interchanged your 

flanks, so as to have the sunrise of that day at your 

right shoulder and the sunset at your left, it will be 

midday when your shadow directly in front of you 

becomes smallest. Through the middle of the length 

of this shadow you will have to draw a furrow with a 

hoe or make a Une with ashes let us sav 20 ft. long, 

and at the centre of this Hne, that is 10 ft. from each 

end, to draw a small circle, which may be called the 

umhilicus or navel. The part of the hne towards 

the head of the shadow will be in the direction of 

the north wind. You who prune trees, do not let the 

cut ends of them face in that direction, nor should 

trees carrying vines or vines themselves do so except 

in the province of Africa, in the Cyrenaica and in 

Egypt ; when the wind is in that quarter, do not 

plough or perform any of the other operations we § 334. 

shall mention. The part of the Une towards the 

feet of the shadow, facing south, will indicate the 

south wind, the Greek name of which is as wc said ^i- n»- 

Notus : when the wind comes from that quarter, 

husbandman, do not deal with timber or the vine. 

For Italy this is a damp wind or else extremely hot, 

— indeed for Africa it brings fiery heat together with 

fine weather. In Italy bearing branches should face 

in this direction, but not the pruncd branches of 

395 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

plagae arborum vitiunive ; hic oleae timeatur 
vergiliarum quatriduo, hunc caveat insitor calamis 

330 gemmisque inoculator. de ipsa regionis eius hora 
praemonuisse conveniat. frondem medio die, ar- 
borator, ne caedito. cum meridiem adesse senties, 
pastor, [aestate] ^ contrahente se umbra, pecudes a 
sole in opaca cogito. cum aestate pasces, in occi- 
dentem spectent ante meridiem. post meridiem in 
orientem ; aliter noxium, sicut hieme et vere in 
rorulentum educere [nec contra septentrionem 
paveris supra dictum] ^ : clodunt ^ ita lippiuntque ab 
adflatu et alvo cita pereunt. qui feminas concipi vole.s, 
in hunc ventum spectantes iniri cogito. 

331 LXXVII. Diximus ut in media linia designaretur 
umbilicus. per hunc medium transversa currat alia : 
haec erit ab exortu aequinoctiali ad occasum aequi- 
noctialcm, et limes qui ita secabit agrum decumanus 
vocabitur. ducantur dcinde aUae duae Hniae in 
decussem* obHquae, ita ut ab septentrionis dextra 
laevaque ad austri laevam dextramque * descendant. 

332 omnes per eundem currant umbiHcum, omnes inter 
se pares sint, omnium intervalla paria. quae ratio 
semel in quoque agro ineunda erit vel, si saepius 
libeat uti, e ligno facienda, reguHs paribus in tym- 
panum exiguum sed circinatuni adactis. ratione 

' Sfd. Ma)/hoff. 

2 (lloss. secl. Mayhoff. 

^ Ed'l. (cliidiintur Maylwff) : cludantur aul cli)dantur. 

* decusseni Warminqton : dccussis aul sim. 

'■" liackham: dextram ac laevam. 

* This ia not the case. 
396 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxvi. 329-LX.wii. 332 

trees or vines ; and this wind in the four days of the 
Pleiads is to be dreaded for the ohve, and avoided 
for their shps bv thc grafter or for thcir biids by 
those engagcd in budding. It may be suitable to give 
some warnings as to thc times of day in this rcgion. 
VV^oodman, do not prune foHage at midday. Shep- 
herd, when vou perceive noon to be approaching as 
the shadow contracts, drive your flocks out of the 
sun into a shady place. When you arc pasturing 
vour flocks in summer, let them face west in the fore- 
noon and east in the afternoon ; otherwise it is 
harmful, as it is in winter and spring to lead them 
out into pasture wet mth dew [and it has been said " 
above that you must not let them feed facing north], 
as they go hime, and get blear-eyed from the wind, 
and die of looseness of the bowels. You must make 
the ewes face this ^vind when they are being covered, 
if you want them to have ewe lambs. 

LXXVII. We have said that the umbilicus must Directions 
be drawn at the middle of the Hne. Let another hne ammpas^ 
run transverselv through the middle of the umbiHcus ; §3-'7. 
this Hnc will run due east and wcst, and a path that 
cuts across the land on this Hne will bc callcd the 
' decuman '. Then two other Hnes must be drawn 
obHquely to form an X, so as to run down from the 
right and left of the northern point to the left and 
right of the southern point. All these Hnes must 
run through the same umbiHcus, and they must all 
be equal and the spaces between all of them must be 
equal. This system will have to be worked out once 
in each plot of land, or, if you mean to cmploy it 
frequcntly, a wooden model of it may be made con- 
sisting of rods of equal length fitted into a small but 
circular drum. Under the method I am explaining 

397 



PLINY: NATl IIAL IIISTORY 

quam ^ doceo occurrenduni ingeniis quoque inperi- 
333 torum est : ^ meridiem excuti ^ placet, quoniam 
semper idem est, sol autem cotidie ex alio caeli 
momento quam pridie oritur, ne quis forte ad exortum 
capiendam putet liniam.* 

Ita caeli exacta parte quod fuerit liniae caput 
septentrioni proximum a parte exortiva solstitialem 
habcbit exortum, \\ov. est lonf^issimi diei, vcntumque 
33 4 acjuilonem borean Graecis dictum. in hunc ponito 
arbores vitcsque ; sed hoc flante nc arato, frugem ne 
serito, semen ne iacito ; praestringit enim atque 
praegelat hic radices arborum quas positurus adferes. 
praedoctus ^ esto : alia robustis prosunt, alia infanti- 

335 bus. (Nec sum oblitus in hac parte ventum Graecis 
poni quem KaiKiav vocant ; sed idem Aristoteles, vir 
inmensae subtilitatis, qui id ipsum fecit, rationem con- 
vexitatis mundi reddit qua contrarius aquilo Africo 
flet.*) nec tamcn eum toto anno in praedictis timeto 
agricola ; mollitur sidere aestate media mutatque 
nomen ' — etesias vocatur. ergo cum frigidum senties, 
caveto, atque cum aquilo pracdicetur * : tanto perni- 

336 ciosior septentrione ^ est. in hunc Asiae, Graeciae, 
Hispaniae, maritimae Italiae, Campaniae, Apuliae 
arbusta vineaeque spectent. qui mares concipi voles, 

' Rachham : qua. 
- esse Mat/hofjf. 
' exigi ? Maijhnff. 

* ratione (§ 322) . . . liniam transponenda ad § 326? 
]\ urniington. 

* Gelen. : praedictus (-um Dethfsen). 

* Rackham : flat. 

" nonicn ct ? Warmington. 
" Mayhnff : praedicitur. 
" Mayhoff : septentrio. 

" Properiy north-north-east. 
398 



wiiid. 



BOOK XVIIl. Lxxvii. 332-336 

help must be afforded to the undei-standing even of 
persons unacquainted with the subject: the rule is 
to examine the position of the sun at noon, as that 
is ahvays the same, whereas the sunrise is at a 
different point in the sky everv day from where it 
was yesterday, so nobody must suppose that the right 
plan is to take a line on sunrise. 

Having thus worked out a part of the heavens, 
the end of the Hne next to north on the east side of 
it will give the point of sunrise at the summer solstice, 
that is on the longest day, and the position of the 
north-east " wind, the Greek name for which is Boreas. \<'rth-east 
You should plant trees and vines facing this j)oinl ; 
but bcware of pkiugliing or sowing corn or scattcr- 
ing seed wlien this wind is blowing, for it nips and 
chills the roots of trees that you will bring to plant. 
Be taught in advance : some conditions are good for 
strong fuU-grown trees and others for sapUngs. (Nor 
have I forgotten that the Greeks pkice in this quarter 
the wind they call Caecias ; but Aristotle, a man of 
immense acuteness, who took that very view, also 
gives the earth's convexity as the reason why the 
north-east wind blows in the opposite direction to the 
African wind.) And nevertheless the farnier need 
not fear a north-east wind all the year round in the 
operations mentioned above ; at midsummer it is 
softened by the sun, and changes its name — it is 
called Etesias. Consequently be on your guard 
when you feel the wind cold, and when a north- 
easter is forecast, as it does so much more damage 
than a wind due north. North-east is the direction 
in which the trees and vines should face in Asia, 
Greece, Spain, the coastal parts of Italy, Campania 
and ApuHa. Breeders who dcsire to get male stock 

399 



PLINY: NATURAL lllSTORY 

in hunc pascito, ut sic ineuntem ineat. ex adverso 
afjuilonis ab occasu brumali Africus flabit, quem 
Graeci liba vocant ; in hunc a coitu cum se pecus 
circumegerit, feminas conceptas esse scito. 

337 Tertia a septentrione Hnia, quam per latitudinem 
iiinbrae duximus et dccumanam vocavinuis, exortum 
habebit aequinoctialem ventumque subsolanum, 
Graecis aphelioten dictum. iii hunc salubribus locis 
villae vineaeque spectent. ipse leniter pluvius ; 
lenior ^ tamen est ^ siccior favonius, ex adverso eius ab 
aequiiioctiah occasu, zephyrus Graecis nominatus. 
in hunc spectare oHveta Cato iussit ; hic ver inchoat 
apeiitf|ue terras tenui frigorc saluber, hic vites 
putandi frugesque curandi, arbores serendi, poma 
inserendi, oleas tractandi ius dabit adflatuque 

338 nutricium exercebit. quarta a septentrione Hnia, 
cadem austro ab exortiva parte proxima, brumalem 
habebit exortum venturnque volturnuin, eurum 
Graecis dictum, sicciorem et ipsum tepidioremque ; 
in hunc apiaria et vineae ItaHae GaHiarumque 
spectare debent. ex adverso volturni flabit corus, ab 
occasu solstitiaH et occasuro latere "* septentrionis, 
Graecis dictus argestes, ex frigidissimis et ipse, sicut 

33".' omnes qui a septentrionis parte spirant ; hic et 
grandines infert, cavendus et ipse non secus ac 



^ lenior arl'l. ': Mayhttff. 
* et ? Wanninglon. 

' occasuro latere Mayhoff coll. il 92 : occidentali 1. edd. vett. 
occasu lateri aut o. lateris. 



" We should say the second, i.e. runnine due east ; cp. 
§ 331. 

400 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxvii. 336-339 

should pasture their flocks exposed to this wind, so 
that it may thus fecundate the sire when coupling. 
The African wind, the Greek name for which is Libs, 
^vill blow from the south-west, directly opposite to 
Aquilo ; when animals after coupling turn towards 
this quarter, you may be sure that they have got 
females. 

The third" Une from the north, which we ha\e oiher winus 
drawn transversely to the shadow and have called the 
decuman, will have the sunrise at the equinoxes and 
the Subsolanus wind, called by the Greeks ApheHotes. 
This is the proper aspect for farm-houses and vine- 
yards in healthy locahties. This wind itself brings 
gentle rains ; still Favonius, the wind in the opposite 
quarter. blowing from the equinoctial sunset, the 
Greek name for which is Zephyrus, is gentler and 
drier. This is the direction in which Cato recom- r.r. vi. 2. 
mended that olive-yards should face ; this wind 
inaugurates the spring, and opens up the land, having 
a healthy toueh of cold, and it will give the right 
time for pruning vines, tending crops, planting trees, 
grafting fruit-trees and treating ohves ; and its 
breeze will have a nutritive effect. The fourth line 
from the north, \ving nearest the south on the eastern 
side, will have the sunrise at midwinter and the wind 
Voltxirnus, the Greek name for which is Eurus, which 
itself also is rather dry and warm ; this is the proper 
aspect for beehives and for vineyards in Italy, and the 
provinces of Gaul. Directly opposite to Volturnus 
will blow Corus, from the point of sunset at mid- 
summer, on the sunset side of north, its Greek name 
being Argestes ; it also is one of the coldest winds, 
as are all those blowing from the north ; it also brings 
hailstorms. and is quite as much to be avoided as the 

40? 



1'L1NY: NATURAL HISIOIIY 

septentrio. volturnus si a serena caeli parte coeperit 
flare, non durabit in noctem, at subsolanus in 
maioreni partem noctis extenditur. quisquis erit 
ventus, si fervidus sentietur, pluribus diebus per- 
manebit. aquilonem praenuntiat terra siccescens 
repente, austrum umescens rore occulto.^ 

340 LXX\TII. Etenini praedicta ventorum ratione, ne 
saepius eadem dicantur, transire convcnit ad reliqua 
tempcstatum praesafjia, quoniam et hoc placuisse 
Ver<;ilio magno opere video, siquidcm in ipsa messe 
saepe concurrere proelia ventorum damnosa imperitis 

341 refert. tradunt eundcm Dcmocritum metcnte fratre 
eius Damaso ardcntissimo aestu orasse ut reliquae 
segeti parceret raperetque desecta sub tectum, paucis 
mox horis saevo imbre vaticinatione adprobata. quin 
immo et harundinem non nisi inpendente ])luvia seri 
iubent et fruges insecuturo imbre. quamobrem et 
haec breviter attingimus, scrutati maxime perti- 
nentia,^ primumquc a sole capiemus praesagia. 

342 Purus oriens atque non fervens serenum diem 
nuntiat, at hibernum ^ pallidus grandine.* si et 
occidit pridie serenus [et oritur],^ tanto certior fides 
serenitatis. concavus oriens pluvia-; praedicit, 
idem ventos cum ante exorientem cum nubes 
rubescunt ; (juod si et nigrae rubcntibus intervenerint . 

* rore nocturno ? Marjhojf. 

- <ad usum vitae> pertincntia ? coU. xix 2, xxix 2 
Mnyhoff. 
^ V.l. hibemam. 

* grandine ? Mayhoff : grandinem. 
■ Mayhoff. 

" Cf. Virgil, Georg. I. 441 : Ille ubi nasccntem maculis 
variaverit ortum Concavus in nubem mcdioque refugrrit orbe, 
Suspecti tibi sint imbres. 

402 



BOOK X\'III. Lxxvii. 339-Lxxviii. 342 

north Avind. If Volturnus begins to blow from a clear 
part of the sky, it will not last till night, whereas 
Subsolanus goes on for the greater part of the night. 
Whatever the wind is, if it is felt to be hot it will last 
for several days. The earth suddenly drying up 
foretells a north-east wind, and if it beconies damp 
from no visible fall of inoisture, a south wind. 

LXXVm. The theory of the winds having now in wmiher 
fact been set out, in order to avoid repetition it ^^from^esu» 
the best plan to pass on to the remaining means moimand 
of forecasting the weather, since I see that this sub- 
ject also appealed greatly to \'irgil, inasmuch as 
he records that even in harvest time the winds often Georg. 1. 
engage in battles that are ruinous to inexpert farmers. ""^' 
It is recorded tliat Democritus above mentioned 
when his brother Damasus was reaping his harvest, 
in extremely hot weather besought him to leave the 
rest of the crop and make haste to get what he had 
already cut under cover, his prophecy being confirmed 
a few hours later by a fierce storm of rain. More- 
over it is also recommended only to plant reeds when 
rain is impending and to sow corn when a shower 
is about to foUow. We therefore briefly touch on 
these subjects also, examining the inost relevant 
facts, and we will take first wcather forecasts derived 
from the sun. 

A clear sunrise without burning heat announces a Foreeasts 
fine day, but a pale sunrise promises a wintry day ^^°!^* '^* 
with hail. If there was also a fine sunset the day 
before, the promise of fine weather is all the more 
reHable. If the sun rises in a vault of clouds" it fore- 
tells rain, and Hkewise when the clouds are red before 
it rises it foretells wind, or if black clouds also mingle 
with the red, rain as well ; when the rays of the rising 

403 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

et pluvias ; cum occidentis aut orientis radii \ identur 

343 coire, pluvias. si circa occidentem rubescunt nubes, 
serenitatem futuri diei spondent ; si in exortu 
spargentur partim ad austrum partim ad aquilonem. 
pura circa eum serenitas sit licet, pluviam tamen 
ventosque significabunt, si in ortu aut in occasu 
contracti cernentur radii. imbrem. si in occasu eius 
pluet aut radii nubem in se trahent, asperam in 

344 proximum diem tempestatem significabunt. cum 
oriente radii non inlustres eminebunt, quamvis 
circumdatae nubes non sint, pluviam portendent. si 
ante exortum nubes globabuntur, hiemem asperam 
denuntiabunt, si ab ortu repellentur et ad occasum 
abibunt, serenitatem. si nubes solem circumcludent, 
quanto minus luminis relinquent tanto turbidior 
tempestas erit, si vero etiam duplex orbis fuerit, eo 

345 atrocior; quod si in exortu aut in occasu fiet, ita ut 
rebescant nubes. maxima ostendetur tcmpestas. si 
non anibibunt "^ed incumbent, a quocumque vento 
fufriiit eum portendent, si a meridie, et imbrem. si 
oriens cingetur orbe, ex qua parte is sc ruperit 
expectetur ventus ; si totus defluxerit aequaliter, 

346 serenitatem dabit. si in exortu longe radios per 
nubes porriget et medius erit inanis, pluviam signi- 
ficabit, si ante ortum radii se ostendent, aquam et 
ventum, si circa occidentem candidus circulus erit, 
404 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxviii. 342-346 

or settiniT sun seem to coalesce, that nieans rain. 
If the settin^ sun is surrounded by red clouds, these 
guarantee fine weather the next day ; but if at sun- 
rise the clouds are scattered some to the south and 
sonie to the north, although the sky round the sun 
may be fine and clear, they will nevertheless indicate 
rain and winds, while if when the sun is rising or 
setting its rays appear shortened. that will be a sign 
of rain. If at sunset it rains or the sun's rays attract 
cloud towai*ds them, they will denote stormy weather 
for the following day. When at sunrise the rays do 
not shoot out with great brilliance, although the sun 
is not surrounded by clouds, they will portend rain. 
If before simrise clouds form in masses, they will fore- 
tell rough stormy weather, but if they are driven 
away from the east and go away westward, fine 
weather. If clouds form a ring round the sun, tlie 
less hght they leave the more stormy will be the 
weather, but if even a double ring of cloud is formed, 
the storm will be all the more violent ; and if this 
occurs at sunrise or sunset, so that the clouds turn 
red, that will be a sign of a very bad storm indeed. 
If the clouds do not surround the sun but hang over 
it they will presage wind in the quarter they come 
from, and if they are from the south, rain as w^ell. 
If the rising sun is surrounded with a ring, wind is to 
be expected in any quarter in which the ring breaks ; 
but if the whole of it slips away equally, it will give 
fine weather. If the sun when rising stretches out 
its rays a long w-ay through the clouds and the middle 
of its disk is free of cloud, it will be a sign of rain ; 
if the sun's rays become visible before it rises this 
will mean rain and wind ; if the setting sun has a 
white ring round it, it means a slight storm in the 

405 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

noctis levem tempestatem, si nebula, veheiniiiliorem, 
si candentem solem,^ ventum, si ater circulus fuerit, 
ex qua regione is ruperit se, ventum magnum. 

347 LXXIX. Proxima sint iure lunae praesagia. quar- 
tam eam maxime observat Aegvptus. si splcndens 
exorta puro nitore fulsit, serenitatem, si rubicunda, 
ventos, si nigra, pluvias portendere creditur in xv. 
cornua eius obtusa pluviam, erecta et infesta ventos 
semper significant, quarta tamen maxime ; cornu 
superius 2 acuminatum septentrionalem ^ atque rigi- 
duin illum praesagit ventum, inferius austrum, 
utraque erecta * noctem ventosam. si quartam orbis 

34S rutilus cinget, et ventos et imbres praemonebit . apud 
Varronem ita est : ' Si quarto die luna erit directa, 
magnam tempestatem in mai-i praesagiet, nisi si 
coronam circa se habebit et eani sinccram, quoniam 
illo modo non ante plenam hinam liiematurum 
ostendit. si plenilunio per dimidium pura erit, dies 
serenos significabit ; si rutila, ventos ; nigrescens 

34'.t imbres ; si cahgo orbisve ^ nubium ^ incluserit, ventos 
()ua se ruperit ; si gemini orbes cinxerint, maiorem 
tempestatem, et magis, si tres erunt aut nigri, inter- 
rupti atque distracti. nascens luna si cornu superiore 
obatrato surget, pluvias decrescens dabit, si inferiore, 
ante plenihinium, si in media nigritia illa fuerit, 

' Jtackhavi : caiidente sole. 

2 Mayhoffcoll. 349, 11 58 : eiu8. 

^ Mai/hoff: septentrionale aciiminatum. 

* Mayhoff : recta ai// rectam. 

'• Mayhoff : orbis. 

^ Mayhoff : nubem. 

406 



BOOK XMII. Lxxvin. 346-Lxxix. 349 

night ; if mist, a more violent storm ; if the sun 
when so surrounded is bright, wind ; if the ring is 
\"ery dark, there will be a strong wind in the quarter 
in which the ring breaks. 

LXXIX. The prognostics of the moon must right- Foreen.iu 
fully come next. Egypt pays most attention to the moon."' 
inoon's fourth day. It is beheved that if she rises 
bright and shines with clear briUiance, she portends 
line weather, if red, wind, if dark, i*ain, for the 
next fortnight. The moon's homs being bhinted are 
always a sign of raln, and w'hen they shoot up 
threateningly, of wind, but particularly on the 
fourth dav of the moon. If the upper horn points 
stiffly north it presages a north wind, if the lower 
horn a south wind ; if both horns are upright, a windy 
night. If the moon on her fourth night is surrounchd 
by a bright ring, this will be a warning of both w ind 
and rain. \'arro writes as follows : ' If on the fourth 
day of the moon her horns are upright, this w ill pre- 
sage a great storm at sea, unless she has a circlet 
round her, and that circlet unblemished, since that 
is the way in w hich she shows that there will not be 
stormv weather before full moon. If the moon at 
full has half of her disk clear, this will be a sign of fine 
weather, but if it is red, that will mean w ind, and if 
darkish, rain. If the moon is enclosed in mist or in 
a circle of clouds, it will signify wind in the quarter 
in which the circle breaks ; if she is surrounded by 
two rings, it will mean stormier weather, and tlie more 
so if there are three rings or if the rings are dark, 
broken and torn apart. If the new moon at her 
hirth rises with her upper horn bUicked out, she will 
l)ring rain when she wanes, but if it is the lower liorn, 
before she is full, and if the bhickness is at her centre, 

407 



PLIN^^ NATURAL HISTORY 

imbrem in plenilunio. si plena circa se habebit 
orbem, ex qua parte is maxime splendebit ex ea 
ventum ostendet, si in ortu cornua crassiora fuerint, 
horridam tempestatem. si ante quartam non appa- 
ruerit vento favonio flante, hieniaUs toto mense erit. 
si XVI vehementius flammea apparuerit, asperas 
tempestates praesagiet.' 

350 Sunt et ipsius lunae viii articuH, quotiens in anj^ulos 
solis incidat, plerisque inter eos tantum observantibus 
praesagia eius, hoc est iii, vii, .\i,.\v, .\ix, xxiii, xxvii 
et interlunium. 

3.51 LXXX. Tertio loco stellarum observationem esse 
oportet. discurrere hae videntur interdum, ventique 
protinus secuntur in quorum parte ita praesagiere. 
caelum cum aequaliter totum orit splendidum arti- 
cuhs temporum quos proposuimus, autumnum sere- 
num praestabit et frigidum. si ver et aestas non sine 
refrigerio ahquo transierint, autumnum serenum ac 

S')'2 densum ^ minusque ventosum facient. autumni 
serenitas ventosam hiemem facit. cum repente 
stellarum fulgor obscuratur et id neque nubilo nec 
cahgine, pluvia aut ^ graves denuntiantur tempestates. 
si vohtare plui-es stellae videbuntur, quo ferentur 
albescentes ventos ex is partibus nuntiabunt, si 
coruscabunt,' certos, si id in phiribus partibus fiet, 
inconstantes ventos et undiquc. si stellarum erran- 

* ters\ira Uojjias. 

* Gelen. : fluviant. 

' Maijhoff : aut si cura stabunt. 



• Cf. II. 100. 

* Not tliose of § 350 just above, bul those giveii in § 222. 

408 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxix. 349-Lxxx. 352 

she will bring rain at full moon. If when full she has 
a circle round hcr, it will denote wind in the quarter 
uhere the circle shines brightest, and if at her rising 
the horns are thicker, it will denote a terrible storm. 
If when there is a west wind blowing the moon does 
not make an appearance before her fourth day, she 
\\ill be accompanied by wintry weather for the 
whole month. If on her sixteenth day she has a 
more violently flaming appearance, this will presage 
violent storms.' 

There are also eight periodic points of the moon 
herself, corresponding to her angles of incidence with 
the sun, and most observers only notiee the moon's 
prognostics between those points ; they are the 3rd, 
7th, Ilth, 15th, 19th, 23rd and 27th days of the moon, 
and the dav of her conjunction. 

LXXX. In the third place must come the obser- ForeeaMx 
vation of the stars. These are sometimes seen to stars.'^'^ 
move to and fro ", and this is immediately followed by 
wind in the quarter in wliich they havc given this 
presage. When at the periodic points * that we have 
set out the whole sky is equally brilliant, it will afford 
a fine and cold autiunn. If spring and summer do 
not pass without a chilly period, they will cause a fme 
;md misty autumn, with less wind. Fine weathcr in 
autumn makes a windy winter. When tlie bright- 
ness of the stars becomes suddenly obscured, and that 
not by cloud or mist, rain or heavy storms are threat- 
cned. If several shooting stars are seen, they will 
announce winds from the quarters in the direction of 
which they travel, making a white track, steady winds 
if the stars twinkle, but if this occurs in several 
parts of the sky, shifting winds and blowing from all 
quarters. If one of the planets is enclosed by a 

409 

VOL. V. O 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

353 tium aliquam orbis incluscrit.^ imbrem. sunt in 
siffno cancri duac stellae parvac aselli appellatae, 
exiguum inter illas spatium obtinente nubecula quam 
praesepia appellant ; haec cum caelo sereno apparere 
desiit, atrox hiems sequitur ; si vero^ alteram earum 
aquiloniam caligo abstuHt, auster saevit, si austrinam, 
aquilo. arcus cum sunt duplices, pluvias nuntiant, 
a pluviis serenitatem non perinde certam, circulus 
nubis circa sidera ahqua pluviam. 

354 LXXXI. Cum aestate vehementius tonuit quani 
fulsit, ventos ex ea parte denuntiat, contra si minus 
tonuit, imbrem. cum sereno caelo fulgetrae erunt et 
tonitrua, hiemabit, atrocissime autem cum ex omnibus 
quattuor partibus caeli fulgurabit ; cum ab aquilone 
tantum, in posterum diem aquam portendet, cum a 
septentrione, ventum eum. cum ab austro vel coro 
aut favonio nocte serena fulgurabit, ventum et 
imbrem ex isdem regionibus deinonstrabit. tonitrua 
matutina ventum significant. imbrem meridiana. 

355 LXXXII. Nubes cum screno in caelum ferentur, 
ex quacumque parte id fiet venti expectentur. si 
eodem loco globabuntur adpropinquanteque sole 
discutientur et hoc ab aquilone fiet, ventos, si ab 
austro, imbres portcndent. sole occidente si ex 
utraque parte eius caelum petent, tempestatem 
significabunt ; vehementius atrae ab oriente in 
noctem aquam minantur, ab occidente in posterum 

' V.l. incluserint. 

* Mayhoff : si in aut nim. 

410 



BOOK X\'III. L.wx. 352-L.\.\xii. 355 

circle, it means rain. In the constellation of the Crab 
there are two small stars called the Little Asses, with 
a small gap between them containing a httle nebula 
called the Manger ; when this nebula ceases to be 
visible in fine weather, a fierce storm foUows ; but 
if the northern one of the two stars is obscured by 
mist, there is a southerly gale, and if the southcrn 
one, a gale from the noi-th. A doublc rainbow forc- 
tells rain, or coming after rain, fine weather, but this 
is not so certain ; a ring of clouds round certain stars 
is a sign of rain. 

LXXXI. A thunderstorm in summer with more Weather 
violent thunder than Hglitning foretells wind in tliat frlZTimndf! 
quarter, but one with less thunder than Hghtning is andiujht- 
a sign of rain. If there are flickers of Hglitning and andmist'. " 
claps of thunder in a clear sky, there will be stormy 
weather, but this will be extremely severe when it 
Hghtens from all four quai'ters of the sky ; Hghtning 
in the north-east only will portend i-ain for the ncxt 
day, and Hghtning in the north a north wind. Light- 
ning on a fine night in the south, west or north-west 
wiU indicate wind and rain from the same quarters. 
Thundcr in the morning signifies wind, and thundcr 
at midday rain. 

LXXXII. When cknids sweep over the sky in fine 
weather, wind is to be cxpected in whichever quartcr 
the clouds come from. If they mass together in the 
same place and when the sun approaches arc scattered, 
and if this takes place from a northern direction, 
they will portend winds, but if from a southern, rain. 
If when the sun is setting ckjuds rise into the .sky on 
either side of the sun, they will signify stormy weather ; 
if they are more lowcring in the east they threaten 
rain for the night, but if in the west, rain the next day. 

411 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

diem. si nubes ut vellcra lanae spargentur multae 

356 ab oriente, aquam in triduum praesagient. cuni in 
cacuminibus montium nubes consident, hiemabit ; si 
cacumina pura fient, disserenabit. nube gravida 
candicante, quod vocant tempestatem albam, grando 
imminebit. caelo sereno i nubecula quamvis parva 
flatum procellosum dabit. 

357 LXXXIIL Nebulae montibus descendentes aut 
caelo cadentes vel in vallibus sidentes serenitatem 
promittent. 

LXXXIY. Ab his terreni ignes proxime significant. 
paUidi namque murmurantesque tempestatum nuntii 
sentiuntur, pluviae etiam si in hicernis fungi,si flexu- 
ose voHtet flamma. ventum nuntiant ^ kimina cum ex 

358 sese flammas elidunt aut vix accenduntur ; item cum 
in aeno pendente scintillae coacervantur, vel cum 
tollentibus ollas carbo adhaerescit, aut cum contectus 
ignis e se favillam discutit scintillamve emittit, vel 
cum cinis in foco concrescit et cum carbo vehementer 
perlucet. 

359 LXXXV. Est et aquarum significatio. mare si 
tranquillum in portu cursitabit murmurabitve intra 
se, ventum praedicit, si idem hieme, et imbrem, Htora 
ripaeque si resonabunt tranquiUo, asperam tempesta- 
tem, item maris ipsius tranquillo sonitus spumaeve 
dispersae aut aquae bullantes. pulmones marini in 
pelago phirium dierum hiemem portendunt. saepe 
et silentio intumescit inflatumque ? ^ aUius sohto iam 
intra se esse ventos fatetur. 



Rackham : caelo quamvia sereno. 

Mai/hoff: et. 

Excerpta astrom. : flatumque au< 6atuque aut inflatumque. 



412 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxxii. 355-Lxxxv. 359 

If a number of clouds spread like fleeces of wool in 
thc east, they ^vill presage rain lasting three days. 
When clouds settle down on the tops of the mountains, 
the weather will be stormy ; but if the tops become 
clear, it will turn fine. When there is heavy white 
cloud, a hailstorm, a ' white storm ' as it is called, 
V ill be iniminent. A patch of cloud however small 
seen in a fine sky will give a storm of wind. 

LXXXIII. Mists coming do\m from the mountains 
or falling from the sky or settling in the valleys will 
promise fine weather. 

LXXXI\\ Next after these, signs are given by weather 
fires on the earth. W^hen they are pallid and crack- ',1^;^' '" "" 
ling they are perceived as messengers of storms ; also 
it is a sign of rain if fungus forms in lamps, and if the 
flame is spiral and flickering. When the hghts go out 
of themselves or are hard to hght , they announce wind ; 
aiid so do sparks piUng up on the top of a copper pot 
hanging over the fire, or Hve coal sticking to saucepans 
when you take them off" the fire,or if when the fire is 
banked up it sends out a scattering of ashes or emits 
a spark, or if cinders on the hearth cake together and 
if a coal fire glows with extreme brilliance. 

LXXXV. Water also gives signs. If when the sea Weather 
is calm the water in a harbour sways abuut or makes "^/^g^' 
a splashing noise of its own, it foretells wind, and if 
it does so in winter, rain as well ; if the coasts and 
shores re-echo during a calm, they foretell a severe 
storm, as also do noises from the sea itself in a calm, 
or scattered flakes of foam, or bubbles on the water. 
Jelly-fish on the surface of the sea portend several ix. IM. 
days' storm. Often also the sea svvells in silence, and 
blown up in unusually high waves confesses that the 
winds are now inside it. 

413 



PLIXY: NATURAL HISTORY 

300 LXXX\T. Et quidam et montium sonitus nemo- 
rumq\ie muijitus praedicunt et sine aura quae sentia- 
tur lolia ludentia, lanugo populi aut spinae volitans 
aquisque plumae innatantes, atque ctiam in cam- 
panis^ venturam tempestatem praecedens suus fragor. 
caeli quidem murmur non dubiam significationem 
habet. 

361 LXXXVIL Praesagiunt et animalia : delphini 
tranquillo mari lascivientes flatum ex qua veniant ^ 
parte, item spargentes aquam iidem turbato tran- 
quillitatem. loUigo volitans, conchae adhaerescentes. 
echini adfigentes sese aut harena saburrantes tempe- 
statis signa sunt ; ranae quofiue ultra solitum vocales 

362 et fuhcae matutino clangore, item mergi anatesque 
pinnas rostro purgantes ventum,ceteraeque aquaticae 
aves concursantes, grues in meditcrranea festinantes, 
niergi, gaviae maria aut stagna fugientes. grues 
sih-ntio per sublime volantes serenitatem, sic et 
noctua in imbre garrula, at sereno tempestatem, 
corvifjue singultu quodam latrantes seque con- 
cutientes, si continuabunt, si vero carptim vocem 

363 resorbebunt, ventosum imbrem. graculi sero a 
pabulo recedentes hiemem, et albae aves cum 
congregabuntur et cum terrestres voluores contra 
a(|uam clangores dabunt perfundentque ^ sese, sed 
niaxime cornix ; hirundo tam iuxta aquam vohtans 
ut pinna saepe percutiat ; quaeque in arboribus 

' campi.i ejld. : compactis {sc. lignis) ? Mayhoff. 

* V.ll. veniunt, venient. 

' Mayhoff : perfundentesque. 

■ The reading is questioned, the word only occurring eUe- 
where in very late Latin, and pas^ing into Italian. A con- 
jecture 8ubstitut«8 ' timber frames '. 

" Pirhaps egrets. 

414 



BOOK X\'III. Lxxxvi. 36o-Lxx\'vii. 363 

LXXX\ I. And predictions are also given by j/iw 
certain sounds occurring in the mountains and by signs"^ 
moanino-s of the forests and leaves rustlincr without 

o & 

any breeze being perceptible ; and by the down ofF 
poplars and tliorns fluttering, and feathers floating 
on the surface of water, and also in bells" a pecuhar 
ringing souud foretelUng a storm about to come. 

LXXX\'1I. Presages are also given by animals : weather 
for instance dolphins sporting in a calm sea prophesv hyali',wh, 
wind froni the quarter from which they come, and /"''• '""■'^- 
Hkewise when splashing the water in a billowy sea 
they also presage calm weather. A cuttle-fish 
Huttering out of the water, shell-fisli adhering to 
objects, and sea-urchins making themselves fast or 
ballasting themselves with sand are signs of a storm ; so 
also frogs croaking more than usual, and coots making 
a chattering in the niorning, and Hkewise divers and 
ducks cleamng their feathers with their beak are a 
sign of wind, and the other water-birds flocking to- 
gether, cranes hastening inland, and divers and sea- 
gulls forsaking the sea or the marshes. Ci-anes 
flying high aloft in silence foretell fine weather, and 
so also does the ni"ht-owl when it screeches durincr 
a shower, but it prophesies a storm if it screeches in 
iine weather, and so do crows croaking with a sort 
of gurgle and shaking themselves, if the sound is 
continuous, but if they swallow it down in gulps, 
this foretells gusty rain. Jays returning late from 
feeding foretell stormy weather, and so do the 
wliite birds ^ when they collect in flocks, and hind 
birds when they clamour while facing a piece of 
water and sprinkle themselves, but especially a rook; 
a swallow skinuning along so close to the water that 
she repeatedly strikes it with her wing; and birds 

415 



PLINY: NATIRAL HISTORY 

habitant fugitantes in nidos suos ; et anseres continuo 
clancrore intenipestivi, ardea in mediis harenis tristis. 

3G4 LXXXNTII. Nec mirum aquaticas aut in totum 
volucres praesagia aeris sentire ; pecora exultantia 
et indecora lascivia ludentia easdem significationes 
habent, et boves caehnii olfactantes seque lanihentes 
contra pihmi, turpesque porci aUenos sibi manipulos 
fcni hicerantes, segniterque et contra industriam suam 
apes conditae, vel formicae concursantes aut ova 
progerentes, item vermes terreni erumpentes. 

365 LXXXIX. Trifolium quoque inhorrescere et foHa 
contra tempestatem subrigere certum et. XC. nec 
non et in cibis mensisque nostris vasa quibus esculen- 
tuni additur sudorem repositoriis rehnquentia diras 
tempcstates praenuntiant. 



416 



BOOK XVIII. Lxxwn. 363-Lxx.xix. 365 

that live in trees going to cover in their nests ; and 
geese when they make a continuous clamouring at 
an unusual time ; and a heron moping in the middle 
of the sands. 

LXXWIII. Nor is it surprising that aquatic birds 
or birds in general perceive signs of coming changes 
of atmosphere ; sheep skipping and sporting with 
unseemly gambols have the same prognostications, 
and oxen sniffing the sky and Ucking themselves 
against the wav of the hair, and nasty swine tearing 
up bundles of hay that are not meant for them, and 
bees keeping in hiding idly and against their usual 
habit of industrv, or ants hurrying to and fro or 
carrying forward their cggs, and Hkewise earth-worms 
emerging from their holes. 

LXXXIX. It is also a well-ascertained fact that oiher 
trefoil bristles and raises its leaves against an ^•^°," 
approaching storni. XC. Moreover when we are at 
table during our meals vessels into which food is put 
foretell dreadful storms by leaving a smudge on the 
sideboard. 



417 



BOOK XIX 



LIBER XIX 

I. SlDERUM quidem ^ tenipestatumque ratio vel im- 
peritis facilis ^ atque induhitata ^ modo demonstrata 
est ; vereque intellegentibus non minus oonferunt rura 
deprehendendo caelo quam sideralis scientia agro 
colendo. proximam multi hortorum curam fecere ; 

2 nobis non protinus transire ad ista tempestivum 
videtur, miramurque aHquos scientiae gratiam erudi- 
tionisve gloriam ex his petentes tam multa praeterisse 
nuUa mentione habita tot rerum sponte curave prove- 
nientium, praesertim cum plerisque earum pretio 
usuque vitae maior etiam quam frugibus perhibeatur 
auctoritas. at(}ue, ut aconfessis ordiamur utiHtatibus 
quaeque non sohmi terras omnes verum etiam maria 
replevere, seritur ac dici neque inter fruges neque 

3 inf er hortensia potest Hnum ; sed in qua non occurret 
vitae parte, quodve miraculum maius, herbam esse 
quae admoveat Aegyptum Italiae in tantum ut 
Galerius a freto SiciHae Alexandriam septimo die 
pervenerit, BaU^illus sexto, aml)o praefecti, aestate 

' Piiitidnw : quoque. 

* facilis ? Mnyhojf : facili. 

• ? Mayhoff: indubitato. 



" This refers to kitchen-Rardens, not to flower-gardens. 
' I.e. sails are made from it. 



420 



BOOK XIX 

I. An account of the constellations, seasons and Beiwpen 
weather has now been «jiven that is easy even for non- "^l^l^^horlTcui- 
experts to understand does not leave anv room for ''"'<■ <"0''"'f 
doubt ; and for those who really understand the matter 
the countryside contributes to our knowledge of the 
heavens no less than astronomy contributes to agri- 
culture. Many writers have made horticulture " the 
next subject ; we however do not think the time has 
come to pass straight to those topics, and we are 
surprised that some persons seeking from these 
subjects the satisfaction of knowledge, or a reputation 
for learning, have passed over so many matters with- 
out making any mention of all the phmts that grow of 
their own accord or from cultivation, especially in 
view of the fact that even greater importanee attaches 
to ver>' many of these, in point of price and of practi- 
cal utiHty, than to the cereals. And to begin with importance 
admitted utilities and with commodities distributed 'nJriijitii^^n 
not onlv throujrhout all lands but also over the seas : "sHnHng 

<i • ' 1 1 • /• 111 "'* emptre. 

riax is a plant that is grown rrom seed and tnat cannot 
be included either among cereals or among garden 
plants ; but in what department of Hfe shall we not 
ineet with it, or what is more marvellous than the 
fact that there is a plant which brings * Egypt so close 
to Italy that of two governors of Egypt Galerius 
reached Alexandria froin the vStraits of Messina in 
seven days and BaH:)illus in six, and that in the suminer a.d. 55. 

421 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vero post xv annos Valerius Marianus ox praetoriis 
senatoribus a Putcolis nono die lenissumo Hatu ? 

4 herbam esse quae Gades ab Herculis columnis septimo 
die Ostiam adferat et citeriorem Hispaniam quarto. 
provinciam Narbonensem tertio, Africam altero, quod 
etiam mollissumo flatu contigit C. Flavio legato Vibii 
Crispi procos. ? audax vita, scelerum plena, aliquid 

5 seri ut ventos procellasque capiat, et parum essc fluct i- 
bus solis vehi, iam vero nec vela satis essc maiora 
navigiiSjSed, quamvis vix ^ amplitudini velorum antem- 
narum singulae arbores suffioiant, super cas tamcn 
addi alia vela praeterquc alia ^ in proris ct alia in puppi- 
bus pandi, ac tot modis provocari mortem, denicjue 
e ' tam parvo semine nasci quod orbcm terrarum ultro 
eitro portet, tam gracili avcna, tam non alte a tellurc 
toUi, neque id \iribus suis ncxum, sed fractum 
tunsumque et in mollitiem lanae coactum iniuria ad * 

6 summa audaciae pervenire.^ nulla exsecratio sufficit 
contra inventorem dictum suo loco a nobis, cui satis 
non fuit hoiniiH-ni in tcrra tnori nisi periret et 
inscpultus. at nos priore libro imbres et flatus 

1 vix a/Irl. Inn fqiiom vix Dellefnen). 

' alia ndd. Brotier. 

» e nd'i. ? Mayhoff. 

* LrlirhJi : ac. 

' pervehi mare Mayhoff. 



• Daedalus. See VII. 206. 



422 



BOOK XIX. I. 3-6 

15 years later the praetorian senator Valerius 
Marianus made Alexandria from Pozzuoli in nine 
days Avith a very gentle breeze ? or that there is a 
phint that brings Cadiz within seven days' sail from 
the Straits of Gibraltar to Ostia, and Hither Spain 
within four days, and the Province of Narbonne 
within three, and Africa within two ? The last record 
was made by Gaius Flavius, deputy of the proconsul 
\ ibius Crispus, even with a very gentle wind blowing. 
How audacious is Hfe and how fuU of wickedness, for nmirinijoj 
a pUint to be grown for the purpose of catching the 0/^»«««* 
winds and the storms, and for us not to be satisfied '"'"^^'^"y- 
with being borne on by the waves alonc, nay tliat by 
this tinie we are not even satisfied with sails that are 
larger than ships, but, although single trees are 
scarcely enough for the size of the yard-arms that 
carry the sails, nevertheless other sails are added 
above the yards and others besides are spread at the 
bows and others at the sterns, and so many methods 
are employed of challenging death, and finally that 
out of so small a seed springs a means of carrying the 
whole world to and fro, a plant with so slender a 
stalk and rising to such a small lieight from the 
ground, and that this, not after being woven into a 
tissue by means of its natural strength but when 
broken and crushed and reduced by force to the 
softness of wool, afterwards by this ill-treatment 
attains to the highest pitch of daring ! No exe- 
cration is adequate for an inventor " in navigation 
(whom we mentioned above in the proper place), 
who was not content that mankind should dic upon 
land unless he also perished where no burial awaits 
hini. Why, in the preceding Book we wcre giving a xvm. 
warning to beware of storms of rain and wind for the ^'^*^'^- 

423 



PLINY: NATUUAL HISTORY 

cavendos frugum causa victusque praenionobanius : 
ecce seritur hominis manu. nectitur ^ eiusdem hominis 
ingenio quod ventos in mari optet ! praeterea, ut 
sciamus favisse Poenas. uihil gignitur faclius, ut 
sentiamus nolente seri ^ natura, urit agrum deterio- 
remque etiam terram facit. 

7 II. Seritur sabulosis maxime unoque sulco, nec 
magis festinat aliud : vere satum aestate evellitur, 
et hanc quoque terrae iniuriam facit. ignoscat tanien 
aliquis Aegypto serenti ut Arabiae Indiacquc merces 
inportet : itane et GalHae censentur hoc reditu ? 
montesque mari oppositos esse non est satis et a 
latere oceani obstare ipsum (piod vocant inane? 

8 Cadurci,Caleti, Rutcni, Biturigcs ultumique hominum 
existimati Morini, immo vero GalHae universae vela 
texunt, iam quidcm et transrhcnani hostes, nec 
pulchriorem aHam vestem eorum feminae novere. 
qua admonitione succurrit (juod M. \'arro tradit. in 
Serranorum famiHa gentiHciuin esse feminas Hntea 

9 veste non uti. in (jcrniania autem defossae atque 
sub terra id opus agunt ; siniiHtcr etiam in ItaHae 
regione AHana intcr Padum 'l'icinnmque amncs, ubi 
a Saetabi tcrtio in Kuro))a lino paiina, secundam cnim 

' neotitiir? MmihnfJ : notnr ? Warmington : metitur. 
^ Mdijhoff : ficri atd id fieri. 



" I.e. tlie Atlantic ocean is mere euiptiness, ro Ktvov of the 
pliiiosophers. 

" The humidity was suppo.scfJ to be favoiirable to the manu- 
faotiire of the tissue. 

424 



BOOK XIX. I. 6-II. 9 

sake of the crops and of our food: and behold nian's 
hand is engaged in growing and Hkewise his wits in 
weaving an object which when at sea is only eager for 
the winds to blow ! And besides, to let us know how 
the Spirits of Retribution have favoured us, there is 
no phint that is grown more easily ; and to show us 
that it is sown against the will of Nature, it scorches 
the land and causes the soil actually to deteriorate in 
quality. 

II. Flax is chiefly grown in sandy soils, and with Fiaxof 
a single ploughing. No other phmt grows more and^^/^iai^""'' 
quickly : it is sown in spring and phicked in summer, 
and owing to this also it does damage to the hind. 
Nevertheless, one might forgive Egypt for growing 
it to enable her to import the merchandise of Arabia 
and India. Really ? And are the Gallic provinces 
also assessed on such revenue as this ? And is it not 
enough that they have the mountains separating them 
from the sea, and that on the side of the ocean they 
are bounded bv an actual vacuum," as the tei-m is ? 
Tlie Cadurci, Caleti, Ruteni, Bituriges, and the Morini 
who are believed to be the remotest of mankind, in 
fact the whole of the GalHc provinces, weave sail- 
cloth, and indeed by this time so do even our enemies 
across thc Rhine, and Hnen is the showiest dress- 
material known to their womankind. This reminds 
us of the fact recorded by \'arro that it is a clan-custom 
in the family of the Serrani for the women not to wear 
linen dresscs. In Germany the women carry on 
this manufacture in caves dug underground ; * and 
similarly also in the Aha district of Italy between the 
Po and the Ticino, where the linen wins the prize as 
the third best in Europe, that of Saetabis being first, 
as the second prize is won by the Hnens of Retovium 

425 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vicina ^ Alianis capessunt R(!tovina et in Aemilia via 
Favcntina. candore Alianis semper crudis Faventina 
praeferuntur, Retovinis tenuitas sunima densitasque, 
candor qui * Faventinis, sed lanugo nulla, quod apud 
alios gratiam, apud alios offensionem liabct. nervositas 
filo aequalior paene quam araneis tinnitusque cuni 
dentc lil)eat experiri ; ideo duplex quam ceteris 
pretium. 

10 Et ab his Hispania eiterior liabet splendorem lini 
praecipua torrentis in quo politur natura, qui adluit 
Tarraconem ; et tenuitas mira ibi primum carbasis 
repertis. non dudum ex eadem Ili^pnnia Zoclicum 
venit in Italiam plagis utilissimum ; civitas ea 
Gallaeciae et oceano j)ropinqua. est sua gloria et 
Cumano in Campania ad piscium et alitum capturam, 

11 eadem et plagis materia : ncquc cnim minores cunctis 
animalibus insidias quam nobismet ipsis lino tendimus. 
sed Cumanae plagae concidunt apro saetas et vel ' 
ferri acicm vincunt, vidimusque iam tantae tenuitatis 
ut anulum hominis cum epidromis transircnt, uno 
portante multitudinem qua saltus cingeretur.* nec 
id maxume mirum, scd singula earum stamina 
centcno quin(|uagcno filo constarc, sicut paulo anfc 
Fulvio ^ Lupo (|ui in praefcctura Aegypti obiit. 

* vicina ? Mciyhoff: in virino. 

^ Sillifj : cnndoravque cdd. phr. : candorque Fa/. La<. 3861, 
m. 2. 

' Mai/hoff: apros aetas ceu e aul sim. 

* nnrkhnm : cingerontur. 

* Fulvio? cx inscr. Mayhoff : lulio. 
426 



BOOK XIX. II. 9-II 

ncar the Alia district and Faenza on the Aemilian 
Road. The Faenza Unens are prcferred for \\lii1e- 
ness to those of Alia, whicli are always unbleached, 
but those of Retovium arc supremely fine in texture 
and substance and are as white as the Faventia, but 
have no nap, which quahty counts in their favour with 
some people but puts off others. This flax makes a 
tough thread having a quality almost more uniform 
than that of a spider's wcb, and giving a twang whcn 
you choose to test it with your teeth ; consequently 
it is twice the pi*ice of the other kinds. 

And after these it is Hither Spain that has a linen of Fiax of 
special kistre, due to the outstanding quaUty of a y^amrania 
stream that washes the city of Tarragon, in the waters /'"" "«■'*■ 
of wliich it is dressed ; also its fineness is marveUous, 
'iarragon being the place where cambrics were first 
invented. From the same province of Spain Zoela 
Hax has recently been imported into Italy, a flax 
specially useful for hunting-nets ; Zoela is a city of 
Gallaecia near the Atlantic coast. The flax of Cumae 
in Campania also has a reputation of its own for nets for 
fishing and fowUng, and it is also used as a material 
for making hunting-nets : in fact we use flax to lav no 
less insidious snares for the whole of the animal king- 
dom than for ourselves ! But the Cumae nets will 
cut the bristles of a boar and even turn the edge of a 
steel knife ; and we have seen before now netting of 
such fine texture that it could be passed through a 
man's ring, with running tackle and all, a single 
person carrying an amount of net sufficient to en- 
circle a wood ! Nor is this the most remarkable thing 
about it, but the fact that cach string of these nettings 
consists of 150 threads, as recently made for Fulvius 
Lupus who died in the office of governor of Egypt. 

427 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

12 niirentur hoc ignorantes in Agypti quondam regis 
quem Amasim vocant thorace in Rhodiorum insula 
Lindi in templo Minervae ccclxv filis singula fila 
constare, quod se expertum nuperrime prodidit 
Mucianus ter cos., parvasque iam reliquias eius 

13 superesse hoc ^ experientium iniuria. Italia et 
Paelignis etiamnum linis honorem habet, sed fullonuni 
tantum in usu ; nullum est candidius lanaeve similius, 
sicut in culcitis praecipuam gloriam Cadurci obtinent : 
Galliarum hoc et tomenta pariter inventum. Italiae 
quidem mos etiam nunc durat in appellatione stra- 
menti. Aegyptio lino minimiim firmitatis, phirimum 

14 lucri. quattuor ibi genera : Taniticum, Pelusiacum, 
Buticum, Tentvriticum regionum noniinibus in quibus 
nascuntur. superior pars Aeg}'pti in Arabiam ver- 
gens gignit fruticem quem aUqui gossypion vocant, 
plures xylon et ideo lina inde facto xyUna. parxiis 
est similemque barbatae nucis fructum defert cuius 
ex interiore bombyce lanugo netur. nec uUa sunt 
cum candore molliora pexiorave. vestes inde sacer- 

15 dotibus Aegypti gratissumae. quartum genus otho- 
ninum appcllant ; fit e palustri velut harundine, 
dumtaxat panicula eius. Asia e genista facit lina ad 
retia praecipue in piscando durantia, frutice made- 

' hoc ? Ma>/hnff : h.ic. 



• Stramenlum, straw strewn to sleep on : cf. our paiUaaae, 
' bed of straw '. 

428 



BOOK XIX. II. 12-15 

This may surprise people who do not know that in 
a breastplate that belongcd to a forraer king of 
Egypt named Amasis, preserved in the temple of 
Minerva at Lindus on the island of Rhodes, eaeh 
thread consisted of 365 separate threads, a fact 
which Mucianus. who held the consulship three times 
quite latelv, stated that he had proved to be true by 
investigation, adding that only small remnants of the 
breastplate now survive owing to the damage done 
by persons examining this quaUty. Italy also values 
the Pelignian flax as well, but only in its employment 
by fullers — no flax is more brilHantly white or more 
closely resembles wool ; and similarly the flax grown 
at Cahors has a special reputation for mattresses : this 
use of it is an invention of the provinces of Gaul, as 
hkewise is flock. As for Italy, the custom even now 
survives in the word " used for bedding. Egyptian Egyptian 
flax is not at all strong, but it sells at a very good-^""^- 
price. There are four kinds in that country, Tanitic, 
Pehisiac, Butic and Tentyritic, named from the 
districts where they grow. The upper part of Egypt, 
lying in the direclion of Arabia, grows a bush which 
some people call cotton, but more often it is called 
by a Greek work meaning ' wood ' : hence the name 
xylina given to hnens made of it. It is a small shrub. 
and from it hangs a fruit resembhng a bearded nut, 
with an inner silky flbre froni tlie down of which 
thread is spun. No kinds of thread are more bril- 
Hantly white or make a smoother fabric than this. 
(iarments made of it are very popular with the priests 
of Egypt. A fourth kind is called othoninum ; it is 
made from a sort of reed growing in marshes, but 
only from its tuft. Asia makes a thread out of 
broom, of which specially durable fishing-nets are 

429 



PLINV: NAIURAL HISTORY 

facto X diebus, Aethiopes Indique e malis, Arabes e 
curcurbiti^ in arboribus, ut diximus, genitis. 

16 IIL Apud nos maturitas eius duobus argumentis 
intellegitur, intumescente semine aut colore flaves- 
cente. tum evolsum et in fasciculos manuales colli- 
gatum siccatur in sole pendens conversis supenic 
radicibus uno dio. mox quinque aliis contrariis in sc 
fascium cacumiiiibus, ut semen in mcdium cadat. 
inter medicamina huic vls et in c^uodam rustico ac 
praedulci ItaHae transpadanae cibo, sed iam pridcm 

17 sacrorum tantum, gratia. deinde post ^ messem 
triticiam virgae ipsae merguntur in aquam soHbus 
tepefactam, pondere aliquo deprcssae, nuUi eniin 
levitas maior. maceratas indicio est membrana 
laxatior, iterumque inversae ut prius sole siccantur, 
mox arefactae in saxo tunduntur stuppario mallco. 
quod proximum cortici fuit, stuppa appeHatur. 
deterioris lini, lucernarum fere luminil)us aptior; «-t 
ipsa tamen pectitur ferreis aculeis ^ donec omnis 

18 membrana decorticetur. meduHae numerosior dis- 
tinctio candore, mollitia ; cortices quoque decussi 
clibanis et furnis praebent usum.^ ars depectcndi 
digerendique — iustum a quinquagenis fascium Hbris 
... * quinas denas carniinari ^ — Hnumque nere et 

' Edd. : post deinde. 

' Mai/hoff : cTeni» Pintinnus: taeniis? lan: aenia. 

' corticosque (prn corticcs quoque) decussi . . . usum supra 
posi decorticetur Mayhoff. 

* Laciinum Rackham. 

' cortices . . . carminari hic lan : infra post decorum est 
codd. 



" Tlie text seems defective, a plural nuun having been lost. 



BOOK XIX. II. 15-111. t8 

made, the plant beina: soaked in water for ten days; 
the Ethiopians and Indians make thread from apples, 
and the Arabians from gourds that grow on trees, as 
we said. * xii. 38. 

III. With us the ripeness of flax is ascertained by Modeof 
two indications. the swehing of the seed or its assuming fl^f^'^ 
a yellowish colour. It is then pkicked up and tied weaving 
together in Uttle bundles each about the size of a ' " 
handful, hung up in the sun to drv for one day with 
the roots turned upward, and then for five more davs 
with the heads uf the bundles turned inward towards 
each other so that the seed mav fall into the middle. 
Linseed makes a potent medicine ; it is also popular 
in a rustic porridge with an extremelv sweet taste, 
niade in Italv north of the Po, but now for a long time 
only used for sacrifices. When the wheat-harvest is 
over the actual stalks of the flax are phmged in water 
that has been left to get warm in the sun, and a 
weight is put on them to press them down, as flax 
floats verA' readilv. The outer coat becoming looser 
is a sign that they ;ire completely soaked, and they 
are again dried in the sun, turned head downwards 
as before, and afterwards when thoroughlv dry they 
are pounded on a stone with a tow-hammer. The 
part that was nearest the skin is called oakum — it is 
flax of an inferior quaHty, and mostly more fit for 
Uimpwicks ; nevertheless this too is combed with iron 
s])ikes until all the outer skin is scraped off. The 
pith lias several grades of whiteness and softness, 
and tlie discarded skin is useful for heating ovens and 
furnaces. There is an art of combing out and 
separating flax : it is a fair amount for fifteen . . .<• 
to be carded out from fifty pounds' weight of bundles ; 
and s))iniiing flax is a respectabU^ occupation even for 

43T 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

viri'^ decoruni est ; iterum deinde in tilo politur. 
inlisum crebro silici ex aqua. textumquc rursus 
tunditur cla\is, semper iniurin melius. 

19 IV. Inventuin iam est etiam quod ignibus non 
absumeretur. vivum id vocant, ardentesque in focis 
conviviorum ex eo vidimus mappas sordibus exustis 
splendescentes igni magis quam possent aquis, 
regum inde funebres tunicae coi-poris favillam ab 
reliquo separant cinere. nascitur in desertis adustis- 
que Indiae locis, ubi non cadunt imbres, inter diras 
serpentes, adsuescitque vivere ardendo, rarum in- 
ventu. difficile textu proptcr brevitatem ; rufus de 

20 cetero colos splendescit igni. cum inventum est, 
aequat pretia excellentium margaritarum. vocatur 
autem a Graecis dorjScorTivo»' ex argumento naturae 
suae. Anaxilaus auctor est linteo eo circumdatam 
arborem surdis ictibus et qui non exaudiantur caedi. 
ergo huic lino principatus in toto orbe. proximus 
bvssino, mulierum maxime deliciis circa Elim in 
.\chaia genito ; quatcrnis denaris scripula eius 

21 pt-rnnitata quondam ut auri reperio. linteorum 
lanugo, e velis navium maritimarum maxime, in 
magno usu medicinae est, et cinis spodii vim habet. 

432 



BOOK XIX. III. 18-1V. 21 

inen. Then it is polished in the thread a second time, 
after beine; soaked in water and repeatedly beaten 
out against a stone, and it is woven into a fabric and 
then ao^ain beaten with clubs, as it is ahvays better 
for rousfh treatment. 

IV. Also a hnen has now been invented tliat is in- incombus- 
combustible. It is called ' Hve ' hnen, and I have seen otherlinens. 
napkins made of it glowing on the hearth at banquets 
and burnt more brilUantly clean by the fire than 
they could be by being waslied in water. This 
hnen is used for making shrouds for royalty which 
keep the ashes of the corpse separate from the rest of 
the pyre. The plant " grows in the deserts and sun- 
scorched regions of India where no rain falls, the 
haunts of deadly snakes, and it is habituated to hving 
in burning heat ; it is rarely found, and is difficult to 
weave into cloth because of its shortness ; its colour is 
normallv red but turns white by the action of fire. 
When any of it is found, it i-ivals the prices of excep- 
tionally fine pearls. The Greek name for it is 
ashestinon,^ derived from its pecuhar property. 
Anaxihius states that if this hnen is wrapped round a 
tree it can be felled \Aithout the blows being heard, 
as it deadens their sound. Consecjuentlv this kind of 
linen holds the highest rank in the whole of the 
workl. The next place belongs to a fabric made of 
fine flax grown in the neighbourhood of EHs in Achaia, 
and chiefly used for women's finery ; I find that it 
formerly changed hands at the price of gold, four 
denarii for one twenty-fourth of an ounce. The nap 
of Hnen cloths, principally that obtained from the 
sails of sea-going ships, is much used as a inedi- 
cine, and its ash has the efficacy of raetal dross. 

" It ia really the mineral aabestos. * ' Tnextin^iiiishable.' 

433 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

est et inter papavera genus quoddam quo candorem 
lintea praecipuum trahunt. 

22 V. Temptatum est tingui linum quoque, ut vestium 
insaniam acciperet, in Alexandri Magni primum 
classibus Indo amne navigantis, cum duces eius ac 
praefecti certamine quodam variassent et insignia 
navium, stupueruntque litora flatu versicoloria pel- 
lente. velo ^ purpureo ad Actium cum M. Antonio 
Cleopatra venit eodemque fugit. hoc fuit impera- 
toriae navis insigne postea.^ 

23 VI. In theatris tenta^ umbram fecere, quod primus 
omnium invenit Q. Catulu-^ cum Capitolium dedi- 
caret. carbasina deinde vela primus in theatro 
duxisse traditur Lentulus Spinther Apollinaribus 
ludis. mox Caesar dictator totuin forum Romanum 
intexit viamque sacram ab domo sua et clivum usque 
in CapitoHum, quod munere ipso gladiatorio mira- 

24 biUus visum tradunt. deinde et sine ludis Marcelhis 
Octavia Augusti sorore genitas in aediUtate sua 
avuncuH .\i consulatu a kal. Aug. velis forum inum- 
bravit, ut salubrius Htigantes consisterent, quantum 
mutati a* moribus Catonis censorii qui sternendum 
quoque forum muricibus censuerat ! vela nuper et 

' pellente vela. purpureo Mayhoff. 

' postea hicJ Majihoff : citm sqq. celeri (Po. R. ea Sillig). 
' tenta ? Mayhciff (extenta Detlefsen) : spectant Sillig: 
tantum. 

* Mayhoff : mutatis (mutati cd. Par. Lal. 6795). 

" In urder to discourage loitering there. 
434 



BOOK XIX. IV. 2I-VI. 24 

Among the poppies also there is a kind from which an 
outstanding material for bleaching hnen is extracted. 

V. An attempt has been made to dye even hnen DyedUnen 
so as to adapt it for our mad extravagance in clothes. ^/^* "" 
This was first done in the fleets of Alexander the 
Great when he was voyaging on the river Indus, his 
generals and captains having held a sort of competi- 

tion even in the various colours of the ensigns of their 
ships ; and the river banks gazed in astonishment as 
the breeze filled out the bunting with its shifting 
hues. Cleopatra had a purple sail when she came 
with Mark Antony to Actium, and with the same 
sail she fled. A purple sail was subsequently the 
distinguishing mark of the emperor's ship. 

VI. Linen cloths were used in the theatres as awn- Coioured 
ings, a plan tii-st invented by Quintus Catulus when fheTtres. "' 
dedicating the Capitol. Next Lentuhis Spinther is 
recorded to have been the first to stretch awnings of 
cambric in the theatre, at the games of Apollo. Soon 
afterwards Caesar when dictator stretched awnings i^-n b.c. 
over the whole of the Roman Forum, as well as the 
Sacred Way from his mansion, and the slope riglit up 

to the Capitol, a disphiv recorded to have been thought 
rnore wonderful even than the show of gladiators 
which he gave. Next even when there was no disphiy 
of games Marcellus the son of Augustus's sister 
Octavia, during liis period of office as aedile, in tlie 
eleventh consulship of liis uncle, from the first of 23 b.o. 
August onward flxed awnings of sailcloth over the 
forum, so that those engaged in lawsuits might resort 
there under healthier conditions : what a change this 
was from the stern manners of Cato the ex-censor, who 
had expressed the view that even the forum ought 
to be paved with sharp pointed stones ! " Recently 

435 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

colore caeli, stellata, per rudentes iere etiam in 
amphitheatris principis Neronis. rubent in cavis 
aedium et muscum ab sole defendunt ; cetero mansit 

25 candori pertinax gratia. honor ei iam ^ et Troiano 
bello — cur enim non et proeliis intersit ut naufragiis ? 
thoracibus Hneis paucos tamen pugnabse testis est 
Homerus. hinc fuisse et navium armamenta apud 
eundem interpretantur eruditiores, quoniam, cum 
<nraf)Ta dlxit, significaverit sata. 

26 VH. Sparti quidem usus multa post saecula coeptus 
est, nec ante Poenorum arma quae primum Hispaniae 
intulerunt. herba et haec, sponte nascens et quae 
non queat seri, iuncasque proprie aridi soli, uni terrae 
data^ vitio: namque id malum telluris est, nec aliud 
ibi seri aut nasci potest. in Africa exiguum et inutile 
gignitur. Carthaginiensis Hispaniae citerioris portio, 
nec haec tota sed quatenus parit, montes quoque 

27 sparto operit. hinc strata rusticis eorum, hinc ignes 
facesque, liinc calceamina et pastorum vestes ; 
animaUbus noxium praeterquam cacuminum teneri- 
tate. ad reUquos usus laboriose evelHtur ocreatis 
cruribas manuque textis manicis convoluta, osseis 
iligneisve conamentis, nunc iam in hiemem iuxta, 

* Mayhoff : honor etiam. 

• Mayhoff : dato. 



• A kind of broom, the botanists' Stipa tfnaciaaima. 



BOOK XIX. VI. 24-vii. 27 

awnings aotually of sky blue and spangled with 
stars have been stretched with ropes even in the 
emperor Nero's amphitheatres. Red awnings are 
used in the inner courts of houses and keep the 
sun ofF the moss growing there ; but for other 
purposes white has remained persistentlv in favour. 
Moreover as early as the Trojan war linen already 
held a place of honour— for why should it not be 
present even in battles as it is in shipwrecks ? Homer ^^- ^- 82i>, 

830 

testifies that warriors, though only a few, fought in " 
linen corslets. This material was also used for 
rigging ships, according to the same author as intcr- 
preted by the more learned scholars, who say that the 
word sparta used by Homer means ' sown '. ^^- ^^- "^^^- 

Vn. As a mattcr of fact the employmcnt of esparto" FabrUs of 
began many generations later, and not before the ^^f"^'"'"- 
first invasion of Spain by the Carthaginians. Esparto 237 b.c. 
also is a plant, which is self-sown and cannot be grown 
from seed ; strictly it is a rush, belonging to a dry 
soil, and all the blame for it attaches to the earth, 
for it is a curse of the land, and nothing else can be 
grown or can spring up there. In Africa it makes a 
small growth and is of no use. In the Cartagcna 
section of Hither Spain, and not the whole of this but 
as far as this plant grows, even the mountains are 
covered witli esparto grass. Country pcople there use 
it for bedding, for fuel and torches, for footwcar and 
for shepherd's clothes ; but it is unwholesome fodder 
for animals, except the tender growth at the tops. 
For other purposes it is pulled out of the ground, a 
laborious task for which gaiters are wom on the legs 
and the hands are wrapped in woven gauntlets, and 
levers of bone or holmoak are used ; nowadays the 
work goes on nearly into winter, but it is done most 

437 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

facillime tanien ab idi])us Maiis in lunias: hoc 
niaturitatis tempas. 

28 ^III. Volsum fascibus in acervo alligatum ^ biduo, 
tertio resolutum spargitur in sole siccaturque et rursas 
in fascibus redit sub tccta. postea maceratur, aqua 
marina optume, sed et dulci si marina desit, siccatum- 
que sole iterum rigatur. si repente urgueat deside- 
rium, pcrfasum calida in solio ac siccatum stans con- 

29 pendium operae patitur.^ hinc ^ autem tunditur ut 
fiat utile, praecipue in aquis marique invictum: in 
sicco praeferunt e cannabi funcs ; set spartum alitur 
etiam demersum, vehiti nataliuni sitim pensans. est 
quidem eius natura interpolis, rursasque quam libeat 

30 vetustum novo miscetur. verumtamen conplcctatur 
animo qui volet miraculum aestumare quanto sit in 
usu omnibus terris navium armamentis, machinis 
aedificationum aliisque desideriis vitae. ad hos 
omnes usus quae sufficiant minus xxx passuum in 
latitudincm a litore Carthaginis Novae miiuisque c 
in longitudinem esse reperientur. longius velii 
impendia prohibent. 

.31 IX. lunco (iraccos ad funes usos nomini credamus 
quo herbam eam appellant, postea palmaruni foliis 

* Mayhoff : animatum. 

* patitiir? (c/. xvin 91) Mayhoff : fatetur. 

* hinc ? Mayhoff : hoc. 

" 'LxoUoi (1) ' rush ', (2) ' rope '. 
438 



BOOK XIX. VII. 27-ix. 31 

easily between the middle of May and the middle of 
June, wliich is the season when the plant ripens. 

\'III. When it has been plucked it is ticd up in Manujaeture 
bundles in a heap for two days and on ihe third day 'chifl"'^"' 
untied and spread out in the sun and dricd, and then 
it is done up in bundles again and put awav under 
cover indoors. Afterwards it is laid to soak, prefer- 
ably in sea water, but fresh water also will do if sea 
water is not available ; and then it is (h-ied in the sun 
and again moistened. If need for it suddcnlv becomes 
pressing, it is soaked in wai-m water in a tub and put 
to drv stanchng up, thus securing a saving of labour. 
After that it is pounded to make it serviceable, and it 
is of unrivalled utiUty, especially for use in water and 
in the sea, though on dry land they prefer ropes made 
of hemp ; but esparto is actually nourishcd bv bcing 
plunged in water, as if in compensation for the 
thirstiness of its origin. Its quaHty is indeed easily 
repaired, and however old a length of it may be it can 
be combined again with a new piece. Nevertheless 
one who wishes to understand the value of this 
marvellous plant must reaHze how much it is cmpkiytid 
in all countries for the rigging of ships, for mechanical 
appHances used in buikling, and for other require- 
ments of Hfe. A sufficient cjuantity to serve all these 
j)urposes will be found to exist in a district on the 
coast of Cartagena that extends lcss than 100 miles 
along the shore and is less than 30 miles wide. The 
cost of carriage prohibits its being transported any 
considerable distance. 

IX. We may take it on the evidence of the Greek J^ariy «« o/ 
word" for a rush that the Greeks used to employ ^0/,"^'" 
that plant for making ropes ; though it is well known makmg. 
that aftcrwards they used the leaves of palm trees 

439 



PLINY: NATURAL IILSTOUY 

philuraquo nianifestum est. indo (ranslatum a 
Poenis sparti usum perquam simile veri est. 

.12 X. Theophrastas auctor est esse bulbi genus circa 
ripas amnium nascons, cuius inter summum corticem 
panujue partem qua vescuntur esse lanoam naturam 
ex qua inpilia vestesque quaedam conficiantur; sed 
neque re^ionem in qua id fiat nec quicquam diligen- 
tius praetrrquam eriophoron id appellari in exem- 
plaribus quae equidem invenerim tradit, neque 
omnino ullam mentionem habet sparti cuncta magna 
cura persecutus cccxc ^ annis ante nos, ut iam et 
aho loco diximiLS, quo apparet post id temporis in 
Jisum venisse spartum. 

3."^ XI. Et (juoniam a miraculis rerum cocpimus, seque- 
mur eorum ordinom, in quihus vel maximum cst aHquid 
nasci ac vivere sine ulla radice. tubera haec vocantur 
undique terra circumdata nulUsque fibris nixa aut 
saltem capillamentis, nec utique extuberante loco in 
quo gignuntur aut rimas sentiente ; neque ipsa terrae 
cohaerent, cortice etiam includuntur, ut plane nec 
terram esse possimus dicere neque aliud quam terrae 

34 callum. siccis haec fere et sabulosis locis frutectosis- 
que nascuntur. excedunt saepe magnitudinem mali 
cotonei, etiam librali pondere. duo eorum genera, 

> Hardouin: cccL cd. Par. Lat. 10318 ( = awppl. Lat. 685): 

CCCXL. 



" Uist. phiiit., VII. 13. 8, the modern Miiscuri comosum, etc. 
' It M nofntioned in II iM. Plnnl., T. 8. 

440 



BOOK XIX. Tx. 3r-xi. 34 

and the inner bark of lime trees. It is extremely 
probable that the Carthaginians imported the use of 
esparto grass from Greece. 

X. Theophrastus states that there is a kind of bulb <• 
growing in the neighbourhood of river banks, which 
contains a woolly substance (between the outer skin 
and the edible part) that is used as a material for 
making felt slippers and certain articles of dress ; but 
he does not state, at all events in the copies of 
his work that have come into my hands, either the 
region in which this manufacture goes on or any 
particuhirs in regard to it beyond the fact that the 
phint is called ' wool-bearing ' ; nor does he make any 
mentioniit all of esparto grass,* although he has givea 
an extremely careful account of all plants at a date 
390 years before our time (as we have also said alreadv 

in another place) ; which shows that esparto grass xv.i. 
came into use after that date. 

XI. And now that we have made a beginning in Tmffles 
treating of the marvels of nature, we shall proceed 

to take them in order, by far the greatest among them 
being that a phmt should spring up and hve without 
having any root. The growths referred to are called 
trufHes ; thcy are enveloped all round with earth and 
are not strengthened by any fibres or at least fila- 
ments, nor yet does the place they grow in show any 
protuberance or undergo cracks ; and they theni- 
selves do not stick to the earth, and are actually 
enclosed in a skin, so that while we cannot say down- 
right that they consist of earth, we cannot call them 
anything but a callosity of the earth. They usually 
grow in dry and sandy soils and in places covered 
with shrubs. They often exceed the size of a quince, 
even weighing as much as a pound. They are of two 

441 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

harenosa dentibus inimica et altera sincera ; 
distinguntur et colore, rufo ni<Troque et intus candido. 
laudatissuma Africae. crescant anne vitium id 
terrae — neque enim aliut intellegi potest — ea protinus 
globetur magnitudine qua futurum est, et vivant 
necne^, non facile arbitror intellegi posse ; putrescendi 

35 enim ratio communis est cum ligno. Lartio Licinio 
praetorio viro iura reddenti in Hispania Carthagine 
paucis his annis scimus accidisse mordenti lubcr ut 
deprehensus intus denarius primos dentes inflccleret, 
quo manifestum erit terrae naturam in se globari. 
quod certum est, ex his erunt quae nascantur et seri 
non possint. 

36 XII. Simile est et quod in Cyrenaica provincia 
vocant misy, praecipuum suavitate odoris ac saporis, 
sed carnosius, et quod in Threcia iton et quod in 
Graecia ceraunion. 

37 XIII. De tuberibus haec traduntur pecuHariter: 
cum fuerint imbres autumnales ac tonitrua crebra, 
tunc nasci, et maxime ^ tonitribus, nec ultni anrmni 
durare, tenerruma auteni verno esse. (luibusdam 
locis accepta tantum riguis^ fcruntur, sicut Mytilenis 
negant nasci nisi exundalionc flumiimm invecto 

' Mmihoff: ac ne aut antie. 
'^- Mfii/lioff: maxiraume. 

' Finlianu.s : acceptam turriguis aul aim. (accepta tamen 
irriguia ? Mayhoff). 

442 



BOOK XIX. XI. 34-xiii. 37 

kinds, one gritty in texture and unkind to the teeth, 
and the other devoid of iinpurities ; they also diifer 
in their colour, which is red or bhick, and the inside 
is white. The Africau variety is the most highly 
spoken of. I do not tliiiik it can be easily ascertained 
whether they grow in size, or whether this bleinish of 
the earth — for they cannot be understood as anAthing 
else — fornis at once a ball of the size that it is going 
to be ; nor whether they are aUve or not, for they 
decay in the same way as wood does. We know for 
a fact that when Lai-tius Licinius, an ofHcial of 
praetorian rank, was serving as Minister of Justice at 
Cartagena in Spain a few years ago,he happened when 
biting a trutiie to come on a denarius contained inside 
it, which bent his front teeth ; this will clearly show 
that truffles are lumps of earthy substance balled 
together. One thing that is certain is that truffles 
will be found to belong to the class of thinjis that 
spring up spontaneously and cannot be grown from 
seed. 

Xn. There is also a simihir plant the name o( simiiar 
which in the province of Cyrene is misy, which has ?'"""• 
a remarkably sweet scent and flavour, but is more 
fleshy tlian the trufHe ; and one in Thrace called iton, 
aiid one in Greece, ceruunion or ' thunder-truffle '. 

Xin. Pecuharities reported about truffles are that Parttcuiars 
they spring up when there have been spells of rain """"'"■^^' 
in autumn and repeated thunderstorms, and that 
thunderstorms bring them out particuhirly ; that 
they do not last beyond a year; and that those in 
spring are the inost dehcate to eat. In some places 
acceptable truffles only grow in marshy places, for 
instance at Mytilene it is said that they oiily grow on 
ground Hoodcd by the rivers, when the floods have 

443 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

seniiiie ab Tiaris : est auteni is locus in quo plurima 
uaicuntur. Asiae nobilissima circa Lampsacum et 
Alopeconnesum, Graeciae vero circa Elim. 

'M XIV. Sunt et in fungorum genere Graecis dicti 
pezicae, qui sine radice aut pediculo nascuntur. 

XV. Ab his proximum dicetur auctoritate clarissi- 
mum laserpicium, quod Graeci silphion vocant, in 
Cyrcnaica provincia rcpertum, cuius sucum laser vo- 
cant, magnificum in usu medicamentisque ^ et ad 

;^9 pondus argentei denarii rcpensum. multis iam annis 
in ea terra non invenitur, quoniani pubhcani qui 
pascua conducunt maius ita lucrum sentientes de- 
populantur pecorum pabulo. unus omnino caulis 
nostra memoria repertus Neroni principi missus est. 
si quando incidit pecus in spem nascentis,^ hoc 
deprehenditur signo : ove cum comederit dormiente 

4(1 protinus, capra sternuente. diuque iam non aliud 
ad nos invehitur hxser quam quod in Perside aut 
Media et Armenia nascitur, large sed multo infra 
C}Tenaicum, id quoque adulteratum cummi aut 
sacopenio aut faba fracta, quo minus omittendum 
videtur C. Valerio M. Herennio cos. Cyrenis ad- 
vecta Romam pubhce hiserpicii pondo xxx, Caesarem 
vero dictatorem initio belH civiUs inter aurum 
argentumque protuUsse ex aerario laserpicu pondo md. 

* an usu vitae vel uau medico alimcntisque ? Mayhojf. 

* in silphium nascens (vd in s. dum pascitur) coni. Warm- 
ington. Fortaase in caulem nascentis. 

" Perhaps our ' alexandcrs ', but more Ukely Ferula tingi- 
lana and F. murmnrira (which still cxist in N. Africa) and 
related species. 

444 



BOOK XIX. xni. 37-xv. 40 

brought down seed from Tiara : that is the place 
where most grow. The most famous Asiatic truffles 
grow round Lampsacus and Alopeconnesus, and the 
most famous Greek ones in the district of Elis. 

XIV. The fungus class also includes those called by 
the Greeks pezicae, which grow without root or stalk. 

XV. Next after these we will speak about laser- sUpMu 
wort," a remarkably important plant, the Greek 
namc for which is silphium ; it was originally found 

in the province of Cyrenaica. Its juice is called laser, 
and it takes an important place in general use and 
among drugs, and is sold forits weight in silverdenarii. 
It has not been found in that country now for many 
years, because the tax-farmers who rent the pasturage 
strip it clean by grazing sheep on it, reaUzing that 
they make more profit in that way. Only a single 
stalk has been found thcre within our memory, which 
was sent to the Emperor Nero. If a grazing flock ever 
chances to come on a promising young shoot, this is 
detected by the indication that a sheep after eating it 
at once goes to sleep and a goat has a fit of sneezing. 
And for a long time now no laserwort has been 
imported to us except what grows in Persia or Media 
and Armenia, in abundant quantity but much inferior 
quality to that of Cyrenaica, and even so adult^rated 
with gum, sacopenium, or with crushed beans ; this 
makes it even more necessary for us not to omit to 
state the facts that in the consulship of Gaius 
Valerius and Marcus Herennius, 30 pounds of »3 b.o. 
laserwort plant was imported to Rome by the 
government, and that during the dictatorship of 
Caesar, at the beginning of the civil war he produced ^^ ^*'- 
out of the treasury together with gold and silver 
15(XJ Ibs. of laserwort plant. 

445 



ITJNY: xNATURAL HISTORY 

41 Id apud auctores Graeciae certissimos ^ invenimus 
natum imbre piceo repente madefacta tellure circa 
Hesperidum hortos Syrtimque maiorem septem 
annis ante oppidum Cyrenarum, quod conditum est 
urbis nostrae anno cxliii ; vim autem illam per iv 

42 stadium Africae valuisse ; in ea laserpicium gigni 
solitum, rem feram ac contumncem et, si coleretur, 
in deserta fugientem, radice multa crassaque, caule 
ferulaceo ac simili crassitudine. huius folia maspe- 
tum vocabant, apio maxime similia ; semen erat folia- 

43 ceum, folium ipsum vere deciduum. vesci pecora 
solita, primoque purgari, mox pinguescere came 
mirabilem in modum iucunda. post folia amissa 
caule ipso et homine^ vescebantur modis omnibus ' 
decocto, elixo assoque,^ eorum quoque corpora xl 
primis diebus purgante. sucus duobus modis capie- 
oatur, e radice atque caule, et haec duo erant nomina, 
pi^tas atque xavXtas, vilior illo ac putrescens. radici 

44 cortex niger. ad mercis adulteria sucum ipsum in 
vasa coiectum admixto furfure subindc concutiendo 
ad maturitatem perducebant, ni ita fecissent, putres- 
centem. argumentum erat maturitatis colos siccitas- 

45 que sudore finito. alii tradunt laserpicii radicem 

' ilayhofj : cuidontissimos aul vpntissimos aul vetustissimos. 
^ modis (umhis, umhos, uiciis aiit sim. cdd.) omnibus hic 
Mayhoff : infra post purgante. 
* Mayhoff : assoque elixo. 

" From the Greek words for ' root ' and 'staik*. 
446 



BOOK XIX. xv. 41-45 

\Ve find it stated in the most reliable authors of Pmvenance 
(M-eece that this plant first sprang up in the vicinity ""^pJluun/ 
of the Gardens of the Hesperids and tlie Greater 
Syrtis after the ground had been suddenly soaked 
by a shower of rain the eolour of pitch, seven years 
before the foundation of the town of Cyrenae, which 
was in the year of our city 143 ; that the effect of this 6II b.c. 
rainfall extended over 500 miles of Africa ; and that 
(he laserwort plant grew widely in that country 
as an obstinate weed, and if cultivated, escaped into 
the desert ; and that it has a large thick root and a 
stalk Hke that of fcnnel and equally thick. The 
leaves of this plant used to be called maspehtm ; they 
closely resembled parsley, and the seed was Hke a 
leaf, the actual leaf being shed off in spring. It used 
to be customary to pasture cattle on it ; it first acted 
as a purgative, and then the beasts grew fat and 
produced meat of a marvellously agreeable quality. 
After the plant had shed its leaves the people them- 
selves used to eat ihe actual stalk, cooked in all sorts 
of ways, boiled and roasted ; with them also it operated 
as a purge for the first six wecks. The juice used to 
be obtained in two ways, from the root and from the 
stalk, and the two corresponding names for it were 
rizias and caulias,'^ the latter inferior to the former 
andHaI)le togobad. Theroot had ablack rind. The 
juice itself was adulterated for tradc purposes by 
being put into vessels ^vith a mixture of bran added 
and thcn shaken up tiU it was brought into ripe 
condition ; without this treatment it went bad. A 
proof of its bcing ripe was its colour and dryness, the 
damp juice having completely disappeared. Other 
accounts say that the plant had a root more than 18 
inches long, and that at all events there was an 

447 



PI.INV: NATLUAL HL-^roUY 

fuisse maiurem cubitali, tuber utique ^ in ea supra 
terram ; hoc inciso profluere solitum sucum ceu lactis, 
supemato caule quem magydarim vocarunt ; folia 
aurei coloris pro semine fuisse, cadentia a canis ortu 
austro flante ; ex his laserpicium nasci solitum annuo 
spatio et radice et caule consumniantibus sese. hi et 
circumfodi solitum prodidere, nec purgari pecora, sed 
aegra sanari aut protinus mori, quod in paucis accidere, 
Persico silphio prior opinio congruit. 

46 XVL Alterum genus eius est quod magydaris 
vocatur, tenerius et minus vehemens .sine sucoque, 
quod circa Syriam nascitur, non proveniens in 
Cyrenaica regione; gignitur et in Pamaso monte 
copiosum quibusdam laserpicium vocantibus : per 
quae omnia adulteratur rei saluberrimae utilissi- 
maeque auctoritas. probatio sinceri prima in colore 
modice rufo et, cum frangatur, intus candido, mox 
tralucentc gutta quaeque saliva celerrime liquescat. 
usus in multis medicaminibus. 

47 XVII. Sunt etiamnum duo genera non nisi sordido 
nota volgo, cum quaestu multum polleant. in primis 

' iSic? Mayhoff: tuberquc aul tubertique. 

• This is asafoetida {tcorodoama foetida). 
448 



BOOK XIX. XV. 45-xvii. 47 

excrescence on it protruding above the surface of the 
ground ; that when an incision was made in this. a 
juice resembling milk would flow out ; and that there 
was a stalk growing above the excrescence which they 
called magydaris ; that the plant had leaves of a 
golden colour which served as seed, being shed after 
the rise of the Dogstar when a south wind was 
blowing, and that out of these fallen leaves shoots of 
lasenvort used to spring, both root and stalk making 
fuU growth in the space of a year. These authors 
also stated that it was customary to dig round the 
roots of the plant ; and that it did not act as a purge 
with cattle, but if they were aiHng it cured them, or 
eke they died at once, the latter not happening in 
many cases. The foi-mer view corresponds with the 
Persian variety of silphium. 

XVI. There is another kind of laserwort called VaHeiieso/ 
magydaris,'^ which is gentler and lcss violent in its ^*"^""*^- 
effects, and has no juice ; this grows in the neighbour- 

hood of Syria, not being found in the Cyrenaica 
region. Also there is a plant growing in great 
abundance on Mount Parnassus that is called laser- 
wort plant by some persons. All these varieties 
are used for adulteration, bringing discredit on a 
very salutary and useful commodity. The first test 
of the genuine article is in the colour, which is 
reddish, and white inside when the mass is broken; 
and the next test is if the juice that drips out is 
transparent and melts very quickly in sahva. It is 
employed as an ingredient in a great many medi- 
caments. 

XVII. There are also two kinds that are known VaHeUe» 
only to the avaricious herd, as they are very profitable dyli/g^ wooi- 
articles of trade. First comes madder, which is dressxngjood 

and icent. 

449 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

rubia tinguendis lanis et coriis necessaria : laudatis- 
sima Italica et maxime suburbana. et omnes paene 
provinciae scatent ea. spontc provenit seriturque 
similitudine erviliae, verum spinosis foliis ^ et caule. 
geniculatus hic est quinis circa articulos in orbe foliis. 
semen eius . . .^ rubra ^ est. quos in medicina usus 

48 habeat dicemus suo loco. XVTII. At quae vocatur 
radicula lavandis demum lanis sucum habet, mirum 
quantum conferens candori mollitiaeque. nascitur 
sativa ubique, sed sponte praecipua in Asia Svriaque, 
saxosis et asperis locis,trans Euphraten tamen lauda- 
tissuma, caule ferulaceo, tenui et ipso. cibis indige- 
narum expetito auf* unguentis. quicquid sit cum quo 
decoquatur, foHo oleae. struthion (Jraeci vocant. 
floret aestate, grata aspectu, verum sine odore, 
spinosa et caule lanuginoso^. semen ei nuUum, radix 
magna, quae conciditur ad quem dictum est usum. 

49 XIX. Ab his superest reverti ad hortorum curam, 
et suapte natura memorandam et quoniam antiquitas 
nihil prius mirata est quam Hespcridum hortos ac 
regum Adonidis et Alcinoi, itemque pcnsiles, sive illos 
Semiramis sive Assyriae rex Syrus * fecit, de quorum 

* foliis add. Mayhojf. 

■ rubrum, postremo nigrum, radix) Mayhoff coll. Diosc. 
' Urlkhs : rubia. 

* Rackhfim : et. 

' Ed/i. : lanuginis. 

* lan (regina Nitocris Urlichs) : Cyrua (reagin syriis cd. 
Pnr. Lat. 10318). 

■ The MSS. are defective here. The words inserted, as 
omitted by a copyisfs error, aro from Dioscorides. 

* Perhaps Reseda hiteola, ' dyers' rocket ', though radiciUa is 
nowhere raentioned as Bupplying a dye. 

' f.e. kitchen gardens. 



BOOK XIX, XVII. 47-xix. 49 

indispensable tor dyeing woollens and leather ; the 
most highly esteemed is the Italian, and especially 
that grown in the neighbourhood of Rome, and 
almost all tlic provinces tccm with it. It grows of 
itself, biit a variety hke chickUng vetch, but with 
prickly leaves and stalk, is also grown from seed. 
This plant has a jointed stem. with five leaves 
arranged in a circle round each joint. The seed 
is red and finally turns black, and the root red." 
Its medicinal properties we shall state in their xxiv. 91, 
proper place. XVIII. But the plant called the 
rootlet ^ has a juice that is only used for washing 
woollens, contributlng in a remarkable degree to 
their whiteness and softness. It can be grown 
anywhere under cultivation, but an outstanding 
self-sown variety occurs in Asia and Syria, on rocky 
and rugged ground,though the most highly esteemed 
grows beyond the Euphrates. Its stalk being slender 
resembles fennel ; and it is miich sought after by 
the natives to supply articles of food or perfumes, 
according to the ingredients with which it is boiled 
down. It has the leaf of an ohve. The Greek 
name of this plant is ' Uttle sparrow '. It flowers soapwort. 
in summer, and the blossom is pretty to look at but 
has no scent. It is a thorny plant, with a stalk 
covered with down. It has no seed, but a large 
root, which is cut up for the purpose mentioned. 

XIX. It remains to return from these plants to the The 
cuUivation of gardens «, a subject recommended to our ^ tuchm- 
notice both by its own intrinsic nature and by the gardm. 
fact that antiquity gave its highest admiration to the 
garden of the Hesperids and of the kings Adonis and 
Alcinous, and also to hanging gardcns, whether those 
constructed by Semiramis or by Syrus King of 

451 



PLINY: NATIJRAL HISTORY 

50 opere alio volumine dicemus. Romani quidem reges 
ipsi coluere ; quippe etiam Superbus nuntium illum 
saevum atque sanguinarium filio remisit ex horto. in 
XII tabulis legum nostrarum nusquam nominatur villa, 
semper in significatione ea hortus, in horti vero here- 
dium ; quam ob rem comitata est et religio quaedam, 
hortoque et foro tantum contra invidentium effascina- 
tiones dicari videmus in remedio saturica signa, 
quamquam hortos tutelae Veneris adsignante Plauto. 
lam quidem hortorum nomine in ipsa urbe delicias 

51 agros villasque possident. primus hoc instituit 
Athenis Epicurus otii magister ; usque ad eum moris 
non fuerat in oppidis habitari rura. 

Romae quidem pcr se hortus ager pauperis erat; 

52 ex horto plebei macellum, quanto innocentiore victu ! 
mergi enim, credo, in profunda satius est et ostrearum 
genera naufragio exquiri, aves ultra Phasim amnem 
peti ne fabuloso quidem terrore tutas, immo sic 
pretiosiores, alias in Numidia Aethiopiaeque in 
sepulchris aucupari, aut pugnare cum feris mandique 
capientem quod mandat alius. at, Hercules, quam 
vilia haec, quam parata voluptati satietatique, nisi 

" Piiny does not return to the subject in the Nalural Uislory. 

» See § 169 below. 

" Not in any extant play. 

"* In order to get pearls. 

• Pha.sianae, pheasants, from Phasis, the Rion. 

•^ The reference is to the sorceries of Medea and the exploits 
of Ja«on and the Argonauts in Colchis. 
' Ouinoa-fowls. 

* These birds would be ruffs. Cf. X. 74, 132. 



BOOK XIX. XIX. 49-52 

Assyria, about whose work \ve shall speak " in another 
\ oliime. The kings of Rome indeed cultivated their 
gardens with th(Mr own hands ; in fact it was from his 
garden that even Tarquin the Proud sent that cruel 
and bloodthirsty message to his son.'' In our Laws 
of the Twelve Tables the word ' farm ' never occurs 
— the word ' garden ' is ahvays used in that sense, 
while a garden is denoted by ' family estate '. 
Consequently even a certain sense of sanctity 
attached to a garden, and only in a garden and in 
the Forum do we see statues of Satyrs dedicated as 
a charm against the sorcery of the envious,although 
Plautus speaks ^ of gardens as being under the 
guardianship of Venus. Nowadays indeed under the 
name of gardens people possess the hixury of regular 
farms and country houses actually w^ithin the city. 
This practice was first introduced at Athens by that 
connoisseur of luxurious ease. Epicurus; down to 
his day the custom had not existed of having eountry 
dwelHngs in towns. 

At Rome at all events a garden was in itself a poor Vaiueofa 
man's farm ; the lower classes got their market-sup- ga^'^'for 
pUes from a garden — how much more harmless their /^o<i «'"^ 
fare was then ! It gives more satisfaction, forsooth, '^*'' 
to dive into the depth of the sea and seek for the 
various sorts of oysters '^ at the cost of a shipwreck, 
and to fetch birds * from beyond the river Rion, birds 
which not even legendary terrors/ can protect — in 
fact these actuallv make them more prized ! or to go 
fowling for other birds 'J in Numidia and among the 
tombs of Ethiopia,'' or to fight with wild beasts, and, 
in hunting for game for someone else to devour, 
to be devoured oneself! But I protest, how Httle 
does garden produce cost, how adequate it is for 

453 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

53 eadein quae ubique indignatio occurreret ! ferendum 
sane fuerit exquisita nasci poma, alia sapore, alia 
magnitudine, alia monstro pauperibus interdicta, 
inveterari vina saccisque castrari, nec cuiquam adeo 
longam esse vitam ut non ante se genita potet, e 
frugibus quoque quondam alicani ' sibi excogitasse 
luxuriam,ac nicduUa tantum earum supcrque pistrina- 
rum opcribus et caelaturis vivore,alio jjaiic procerum, 
alio volgi, tot generibus usquc ad infiinam plcbcin 

54 descendente annona ^ : etiainiic in herbis discrimen 
inventum est, opesquc diffcrentiam fecere in cibo 
etiam uno asse venali ? in his quoque aliqua sibi 
nasci tribus negant, caule in tantum saginato ut 
pauperis mensa non capiat. silvestres fecerat natura 
corrudas, ut passim quisque demeteret : ecce altiles 
spectantur asparagi, et Ravenna teriios libris rependit. 
heu prodigia ventris ! mirum esset non licere pecori 

55 carduis vesci, non licet plebei ! aquae quocjue sepa- 
rantur, et ipsa naturae elementa vi pecuniae discreta 
sunt. hi nives, illi glaciem potant, poenasque mon- 
tium in voluptatem gulae vertunt. servatur rigor ^ 

1 Mayhoffcoll. xvni. 109, 112 : alitum. 

* Iin(1(tciis : anima. 

" Mdi/hoff: ii]gor edd.vett.: Uquor Urlichs, Detlefsen: ligoni 
aut ligura. 



• I.e. fancy roUs and pastry. 

* Cardoona. See pp. 51 H 519. 



454 



BOOK XIX. XIX. 52-55 

pleasure and Ibr plentv, did we not meet with the 
sanie scandal in this as in everything else ! We 
could no doubt have tolerated that choice fruits 
forbidden to the poor because of thcir flavour or their 
size or their portentous shape should be grown, that 
wines should be kept to mature with age and robbed 
of their viriUtv bv beiiig passed through strainers, 
and that nobodv should live so long as not to be able 
to drink vintages older than himseif, and that luxury 
should also have long ago devised for itself a malted 
porridge made from the crops and should Hve only on 
the niarrow of the grain, as well as on the elaV)orations 
and modelHngs " of the bakers' shops — one kind of 
bread for mv lords and another for the common herd, 
the vearly produce graded in so many classos right 
down to the lowest of the low : but have distinctions 
been discovered even in herbs, and has wealth 
establishcd grades even in articles of food that sell 
for a single copper? The ordinary public declares 
that even among vegetables some kinds are grown 
that are not for them, even a kale being fattened 
up to such a size that there is not room for it on a 
poor man's table. Nature had made asparagus to 
grow wild, for anybody to gather at random ; but lo 
and behold ! now we see a cultivated variety, and 
Ravenna produces heads weighing three to a jiound. 
Alas for the monstrosities of gluttony! It would 
surjirise us if cattle were not allowed to feed on 
thistles, but thistles* are forbidden to the k)wer 
orders ! FiVen the water-supply is di vided into ch\sses. /."TMrj/ 0/ 
and the power of money has made distinctions in the I™/)p/y; 
very elements. Some people drink snow, others ice, '"^'"■«"«•« 
and turn what is the curse of mountain regions into 
pleasure for their appetite. Coolness is stored up 

455 



PLINY: NATURAL HlSTlMlY 

aestibus excogitaturcjue ut alienis mensibus nix algeat. 
decocunt alii aquas, mox et illas hiemant. nihil 
utique homini sic quomodo rerum naturae placet. 

50 etiannie herba aliqua diviti tantum paseetur ^ ? nemo 
Sacros Aventinosque montes et iratae plebis secessus 
circumspexerit ? macellum ^ certe aequabit quos 
pecunia separaverit. itaque, Hercules, nulhim quam ^ 
macelH vectigal maiu'; fuit Uomae clamore plebis 
incusantis apud omiies principes donec remissum est 
portorium mercis huius, conpertumque non aliter 
quaestuosius censuni habcri aut tutius ac minore 
fortunae iure : cum credatur pensio ea pauperrumis,* 
in solo sponsor est et sub die reditus superficiesque 
caelo quocumque gaudens. 

.'57 Hortorum Cato praedicat caules : hinc primum 
agricolas^ aestumabant prisci, et sic statim faciebant 
iudicium, nequam esse in domo matrem familias — 
etenim haec cura feminae dicebatur — ubi indiHgens 
esset extra hortus : quippe e carnario aut macello 
vivendum esse. nec caules ut nunc maxime pro- 
baljant, damnantes puhnentaria quae egerent aUo 
pulmentario : id erat oleo parcere, nam gari desideria 

58 etiam in exprobratione erant. horti maxime place- 

' peiScetuT 1 Alnyhoff : nascitur C'a€«ari«« : pascitur. 

* Mai/hnff : mox enim. 
' quam atld. 7 Mai/hoff. 

* Miii/hoff: pauperura is. 

' ngrioolas t Mayhoff : agricolae. 

* Made eapecially from mackerei. 
456 



BOOK XIX. XIX. 55-58 

against tlie hot weather, and plans are devised to 

keep snow cold tor the months that are stranjjers to 

it. Other people first boil their water and then 

brin<r even that to a winter temperature. Assuredly 

mankind wants nothing to be as nature likes to have 

it. .Shall even a particular kind of plant be reared 

to serve onlv the rich man's table? Can nobody 

have been warned by the Sacred Mount or the 

Aventine Hill, and the secessions of the angry b.c. 494 and 

Commons ? Doubtless the provision-market will level '^^'•*- 

up persons whom money divides into classes. And so, 

I vow, no impost at Rome bulked larger than the 

market dues in the outcry of the common people, 

who denounced them before all the chiefs of state 

until the tax on this commodity was remitted, and 

it was discovered that there was no method of rating 

that was more productive or safer and less governed 

by chance : as this payment is trusted to the 

poorest, the surety is in the soil, and the revenues lie 

in open dayHght, just as does the surface of their 

land, rejoicing in the sky whatever be its aspect. 

Cato sings the praises of garden cabbages ; people Eariij 
in old days used to estimate farmers by their garden- 'in^Z^abies. 
produce and thus at once to ffive a verdict that there ni^- 

OLVl. 1 

was a bad mistress in the house where the garden 
outside, which used to be called the woman's 
responsibiHty, was neglected, as it meant having to 
depend on the butcher or the market for victuals. 
Nor did people approve very highly of vegetables as 
they do now, since they condemned deHcacies that 
require another delicacy to help them down. This 
meant economizing oil, since it was actually counted 
as a reproach to need a rich sauce *. Those products 
of the garden were most in favour which needed no 

457 



PLINY: NATLRAL HLSTORY 

bant quae non egerent igni parcerentque ligno, 
expedita res et parata semper, unde et acetaria 
appellantur, facilia concoqui nec oneratura sensus ' 
cibo, et quae minime accenderent desiderium. pars 
eorum ad condimenta pertinetjs fatetur domi versu- 
ram fieri solitam,atque non Indicum piper quaesitum 

59 quaeque trans maria petimus. iam in fenestris suis 
plebs urbana imagine^ hortorum cotidiana oculis rura 
praebebant, antequam praefigi prospectus omnes 
coegit multitudinis innumerae saeva latrocinatio. 
quamobrem sit aliquis et his honos, neve auctoritatem 
rebus viUtas adimat, cum praesertim etiam cognomina 
procerum inde nata videamus, Lactucinosque in 
\'aleria familia non puduisse appellari, et contingat 
aliqua gratia operae curaeque nostrae Vergilio quoque 
confesso quam sit difficile verborum honorem tam 
parvis perhibere. 

60 XX. Hortos villae iungendos non est dubium rigu- 
osque maxime habendos,si contingat,praefluo amne, 
si minus, e puteo rota organisve pneumaticis vel 
tolienonum haustu rigatos. solum proscindendum a 
favonio in autumnum praeparantibus post xiv dies 
iterandumque ante brumam. octo iugerum operis 
palari^ iustum est, fimuin tres pedes alte cum terra 

' Mayhojf : sensu. - Mayhoff : in imagine. 

• V.l. parari. 



" Possibly an alhision to Georg. IV. 6 : /n tenui labor, at 
tenuis non gloria ; though actually Virgil appliea these words 
to beea. 

458 



BOOK XIX. xi.x. 58-.XX. 60 

fire for cooking and saved fuel, and which were a 
resource in store and alwavs ready ; whence their 
name of salads, easy to digest and not calculated to 
overload the senses with food, and least adapted to 
stimulate the appetite. The fact that one set of 
herbs is devoted to seasoning shows that it used to be 
customary to do one's borrowing at home, and that 
there was no demand for Indian pepper and the 
hixuries that we import from overseas. Indeed the 
lower classes in the city used to give their eyes a 
daily view of country scenes by means of imitation 
gardens in their windows, before the time when 
atrocious burghiries in countless numbers compelled 
them to bar out all the view with shutters. There- 
fore let vegetables also have their meed of honour 
and do not let things be robbed of respect by the 
fact of their being common, especially as we see 
that vegetables have supplied even the names of 
great families, and a branch of the Valerian family 
were not ashamed to bear the surname Lettuce. 
Moreover some gratitude may attach to our labour 
and research on the ground that Virgil " also confessed 
how difficult it is to provide such small matters with 
dignitied appellations. 

XX. There is no doubt that it is proper to have i-tiyingow 
gardens adjoining the farm-house, and that they ground. ' 
should be irrigated preferably by a river flowing 
past them, if it so happens, or if not, be supplied with 
water from a well by means of a wheel or windmills, 
or ladled up by swing-beams. The soil should be 
broken up in preparation for autumn a fortnight 
after the west wind sets in, and gone over again 
before midwinter. It will take eight men to dig 
over an acre of land, inix dung with the soil to a 

459 



PI.INV: NATLKAL IIISTORY 

misceri, areis clistingui easqiie resupinis pulvinoruni 
toris, ambiri singulas tramitum sulcis qua detur 
accessus homini scatebrisque decursus. 

XXI. In hortis nascentium aUa bulbo commen- 
dantur, alia capite, alia caule, alia folio, alia utroque, 
alia semine,alia cartilagine, alia carne, aut^ utroque, 
alia cortice aut cute et cartilagine, alia tunicis 
carnosis. 

01 XXII. .'Vliorum fructus in tenra est, aliorum et 
extra, aHoruni non nisi extra. quaedam iacent 
crescuntque, ut cucurbita et cucumis ; eadem pen- 
dent, (juamquam graviora multo etiam iis quae in 
arboribus gignuntur, sed cucumis cartilagine et carne 
constat, cucurbita cortice et cartilagine ; cortex huic 

<)2 uni maturitate transit in lignum. terra conduntur 
raphani napique et rapa, atque alio modo inulae, 
siser, pastinacae. quaedam vocabimus ferulacea, 
ut anetuni, malvas ; namque tradunt auctores in 
Arabia ^ malvas septumo mense arborescere bacu- 

ti.3 lorumquc usum praebere. exemplo est arbor malvae 
in Mauretania Lixi oppidi aestuario, ubi Hesperidum 
horti fuisse produntur, cc passibus ab oceano iuxta 
dehibrum Hcrculis antiquius Ciaditano, ut ferunt : 
ipsa altitudinis pedum .\x, crassitudinis quam cir- 
cumplecti nemo possit. in simili genere habebitur 
et cannabis. nec non et carnosa aliqua appella- 

^ Mayhoff : carnea. 

* [in Arabiaj Mayhoff coU. Theophr. (in Arabia fictum tx 
mabia = malua). 



• Bxatr may be the parsnip. Pastiv/ica originally denoted 
the carrot, but ranie to include nl.so the parsnip. 
^ Mallow has no relatiou to any other planta in this chspter. 

460 



BOOK XIX. XX. 6o-xxti. 63 

depth of three feet, mark it out in plots and border 
these with sloping rounded banks, and surround 
each plot with a furrowed path to afford access for a 
nian and a channel for irrigation. 

XXI. Some plants growing in gardens are vahied Oarden 
for their bulb, others for their head, others for their ^S'^' 
stalk, others for their leaf, others for both, othcrs vaiues. 
for their seed, others for their cartilage, others for 

their flesh, or for both, others for their husk or skin 
and cartilage, others for their fleshy outer coats. 

XXII. Some plants produce their fruits in the Their 
earth, others outside as well, others only outside. l^^^re* 
Some grow lying on the ground, for instance gourds andhabUs. 
and cucumbers ; these also grow in a hanging position, 
though they are much heavier even than fruits that 

grow on trees, but the cucumber is composed of 
cartilage and flesh and the gourd of rind and carti- 
lage ; the gourd is the only fruit whose rind when 
ripe changes into a woody substance. Radishes, 
navews and turnips are hidden in the earth, and so in 
a different way are elecampane, skirret and parsnips ". 
Some plants we shall call of the fennel class, for 
instance dill and mallow * ; for authorities report 
that in Arabia mallows grow into trecs in seven 
months, and ser\'e as walking-sticks. There is an 
instance of a mallow-tree on the estuary of the town 
of Lixus in Mauretania, the place where the Gardens 
of the Hesperids are said to have been situated ; it 
grows 200 vards from the ocean, near a shrine of 
Hercules which is said to be older than the one at 
Cadiz ; the tree itself is 20 ft. high, and so hirge 
round that nobody could span it with his arms. Hemp 
will also be placed in a similar class. Moreover there 
are also some plants to which we shall give the name 

461 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

bimus, ut spongeas in umore pratorum enascentes. 
fungorum enim callum in Hgni arbnrunuiue natura 
diximus et alio genere tuberum paulo ante. 

64 XXIII. Cartilaginum generis extraque terram est 
cucumis, mira voluptate Tiberio principi expctitus ; 
nuUo quippe non die contigit ei, pensiles eorum hortos 
promoventibus in solem rotis olitoribus rursusque 
hibernis diebus intra specularium munimenta revo- 
cantibus. quin et lacte mulso semine eoruni biduo 
macerato apud antiquos Graeciae auctores scriptum 

65 est seri oportere, ut dulciores fiant. crescunt qua 
coguntur forma ; in Italia virides et quam minimi, in 
provinciis quam maximi et cerini aut nigri placent. 
copiosissimi Africae, grandissimi Moesiae. cum 
magnitudine excessere, pepones vocantur. vivunt 
hausti in stomacho in posterum diem nec perfici 
queunt in cibis, non insalubres tamen plurimum. 
natura oleum odere mire, nec minus aquas diligunt ; 

66 desecti quoque ad eas modice distantes adrepunt, 
contra oleum refugiunt aut, si quid obstet vel si 
pcndeant, curvantur intorquenturque ; id vel una 

462 



BOOK XIX. xxii. 63-x.\iii. 66 

of ' fleshy ', for instance the spongy plants that grow 

in water-meadows. As to the tough flesh of funguses, 

we have mentioned it ah-eady in treating thc nature xvi. si, 

of timber and of trees, and in the case of another ^^^-^ssqq 

class. that of trufRes, a short time ago. 

XXIII. Belonging to the class of cartilaginous Caruiagin- 
plants and growing on the surface of the ground is the taous^^^the 
cucumber, a dehcacy for which the emperor Tiberius cucumher. 
had a remarkable partiahty ; in fact tliere was never 
a day on which he was not supphed with it, as his 
kitchen-gardeners had cucumber beds mounted on 
whccls which thev moved out into the sun and then 
on wintry days withdrew under the cover of frames 
glazed Avith transparent stone. Moreover it is 
actually stated in the writings of early Greek authors 
that cucumber seed should be soaked for two days in 
milk mixed with honey before it is sown, in order to 
niake the cucumbers sweeter. They grow in any 
shape they are forced to take ; in Italy green ones of 
the smallest possible size are popular, but the 
provinces Hke the largest ones possible, and of the 
colour of wax or else dark. African cucumbers are 
the most prohfic, and those of Moesia the largest. 
When they are exceplionally big they are called 
pumpkins. Cucumbers when swallowed remain in 
the stomach till the next day and cannot be digested 
with the rest of one's food, but nevertheless they are 
not extremely unwholesome. They have by nature 
a remarkable repugnance for oil, and an equal 
fondness for water ; even when they have been cut 
from the stem, they creep towards water a moderate 
distance away, but on the contrary they reti-eat 
from oil, or if something is in their way or if they are 
hanging up, they grow curved and twisted. This 

463 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

nocte deprehenditur, si vas cum aqua subiciatur, a 
quattuor digitorum intervallo descendentibus ante 
posterum diem, at si oleum eodem modo adsit,^ in 
hamos curvatis. iidem in fistulam flore demisso mira 

67 longitudine crescunt. ecce cum maxime nova 
fornia eorum in Campania provenit mali cotonei 
eftigie. forte primo natum ita audio unum, mox 
semine ex illo genus factum; melopeponas vocant. 
non pendent hi sed humi rotundantur, colore 
aureo. mirum in his praeter figuram coloremque et 
odorem quod maturitatem adepti quamquam non 

68 pendentes statim a pediculo recedunt. Cohimella 
suum tradit commentum ut toto anno contingant, 
fruticem rubi quam vastissiinum in apricum locum 
transferre et recidere duum digitorum relicta stirpe 
circa vernum aequinoctium ; ita in meduUa rubi 
semine cucumeris insito terra minuta fimoque cir- 
cumaggeratas resistere frigori radices. cucumerura 
Graeci tria genera fecere, Laconicum, ScytaHcum, 
Boeotium ; ex his tantum Laconicum aqua gaudere. 
sunt qui herba nomine quae vocatur culix adtrita 
semen eorum maceratum seri iubeant, ut sine semine 
nascantur. 

69 XXIV. SimiUs et cucurbitis natura, dumtaxat in 
nascendo ; aeque hiemem odere, amant rigua ac 

• RackJtum (vel <(8ubiectum> sit) : sit. 
464 



BOOK XIX. XXIII. 66-xxiv. 69 

may be observed to take place even in a single night, 
because if a vessel with water is put underneath 
theni they descend towards it a hand's breadth before 
the next niornino;. but if oil is siniilarly near they will 
be found curved into crooked shapes. Also if their 
flower is passed down into a tube they grow to a 
remarkable length. Curious to say, just recently a 
new form of cucumber has been produced in Cam- 
pania, shaped hke a quince. I am told that first one 
grew in this shape by accident, and that later a 
variety was estabHshed grown from seed obtained from 
this one : it is called apple-pumpkin. Cucumbers of 
this kind do not hang from the plant but grow of a 
round shape lying on the ground ; thev have a golden 
colour. A remarkable thing about them, beside their 
shape, colour and smell, is that when they have 
ripened, although they are not hanging down they at 
once separate from the stalk. Columella gives a plan xi. 
of his own for getting a supply of cucumbers all the 
year round — to transplant the largest blackbcrrv bush 
available to a warm, sunny phice, and about the spring 
equinox to cut it back, leaving a stump two inches 
long ; and then to insert a cucumber seed in the pith of 
the bramble and bank up fine earth and manure round 
the roots, so that they may withstand the cold. The 
Grceks have produced three kinds of cucumbers,the 
Spartan, the Scytahc and the Boeotian ; of these it is 
said that only the Spartan variety is fond of water. 
Some peoplc tell us to steep cucumber seed in the 
plant called ciilix pounded up before sowing it, which 
will produce a cucumber having no seed. 

XXIV. The gourd is also of a similar nature, at oourdt: 
all events in its manner of growing : it has an equal ^^"0/"'"' 
aversion for cold and is equally fond of water and growing. 

465 



PLINY: NATl HAL HLSTORY 

fimiim. scruntur ambo semine in terra sescjuipedali 
fossura, inter aequinoctium vernum et solstitium, 
Parilibus tamen aptissime. aliqui malunt ex kaL 
Mart. cucurbitas et nonis cucumes et per Quin- 
quatrus serere, simili modo reptantibus flagellis 
scandentes per parietum aspera in tectum usque 
natura sul)limitatis avida. vires sine adminiculo 
standi nnn sunt, velocitas pernix, levi umbra camaras 

10 ac pergulas operiens. inde haec prima duo genera, 
camararium et plebeium quod bumi crescit ^ ; in 
priore mire tenui pediculo libratur pondus immobile 
aurae. cucurbita quoque omni modo fasti<jiatur, 
vajjinis maxime vitilibus, contecta^ in eas postquam 
defloruit, crescitque qua cogitur forma, plerumque •* 
draconis intorti figura. libertate vero pensili con- 
cessa iam visa est ix pedum longitudinis. particulatim 
cucumis floret, sibi ipse superflorescens, et sicciores 
locos patitur, candida lanugine obductus, magisque 
dum crescit. 

ri Cucurbitarum numerosior usus, et primus caulis in 
cibo, atquc ex eo in totum natura diversa : nuper iii 
balnearum usum venere urceolorum vice, iam pridcm 
vero etiam cadorum ad vina condenda. cortex vdirii 

» MayhojJ: crevit cd. Val. Lat. 3861 : credi reU. 
' Rnckham : contexta aut coniecta. 
* Mayhoff : plerumque et. 



" A festival held on April 21 in celebration of the founding 
of Rome. 

* March 19-23. 

466 



BOOK XIX. XXIV. 69-71 

manure. Both gourds and cucumbers are grown from 
seed sown in a hole dug in the ground eighteen inches 
deep, between the spring equinox and midsumiuer, 
but most suitably on the day of the Parilia." 
Some people however prefer to start sowing gourds 
on March 1 and cucumbers on March 7, and to go c)n 
through the Feast of Minerva.'' These two plants 
both climb upward with shoots creeping over the 
rough surface of walls right up to the roof, as their 
nature is very fond of height. Thev have not the 
strength to stand without supports, but they shoot 
up at a rapid pace,covering vaulted roofs nnd treUises 
with a Ught shade. Owing to this they faU into these 
two primary classes, the roof-gourd and the common 
gourd which grows on the ground ; in the former 
class a remarkablv thin stalk has hanging from it a 
heavy fruit which a breeze cannot move. The gourd 
as weU as the cucumber is made to grow in aU sorts of 
long shapes, mostly by means of sheathes of plaited 
wicker, in which it is enclosed after it has shcd its 
blossom, and it grows in any shape it is compeUed to 
take, usuaUy in the form of a coiled serpent. But if 
aUowed to hang free it has before now been seen 
three yards long. The cucumber makes bk>ssoms one 
by one, one flowering on the top of the othcr, and 
it can do with rather dry situations ; it is covered with 
white down, especiaUy when it is growing. 

There are a larffcr number of wavs of using gourds. Varimi twf* 
10 begin with, the stalk is an article of food. 1 lie 
part after the stalk is of an entirely difFerent nature ; 
gourds have recently come to be used instead of jugs 
in bath-rooms, and they have long been actuaUy 
employed as jars for storing wine. The rind of 
gourd while it is green is thin. but aU the same it i3 

467 



of gnurds. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tener, deraditur nihilominus in cibis'^, saluber ac lenis 
pluribns modis, ex his tamen qui perfici huinano ventre 

72 non queant sed ^ intumescant. semina quae proxi- 
ma a^ collo fuerunt proceras pariunt; item ab imis, 
sed non comparandas supra dictis ; quae in medio 
rotundas, quae in lateribus crassas brevioresque. 
siccantur in umbra et, cum libeat serere, in aqua 

73 macerantur. cibis, quo longiores tenuioresque, eo* 
et gratiores, et ob id salubriores quae pendendo 
crevere ; ininimumque seminis tales habent, duritia 
eius in cibis gratiam terminante. eas quae semini 
serventur ante hiemem praecidi non est mos ; postea 

74 fumosiccantur condendis hortensiorum seminibus rus- 
ticae supellectili. inventa est ratio qua cibis quoque 
servarentur — eodemque modo cucumis — usque ad 
alios paene proventus ; et id quidem muria fit, sed et 
scrobe opaco in loco harena substrato fenoque sicco 
operto * ac deinde terra virides servari tradunt. sunt 
et silvestres in utroque genere et omnibus fere 
hortensiis ; sed et his medica tantum natura est, quam 
ob rem difTcrentur in sua volumina. 

7f» XXV. Reliquacartilaginum naturae terraoccultan- 
turomnia. in quibus de rapis abunde dixisse potera- 

' cibia cibus cdd. : del. oibus al. Vnt. Lat. 3861, m. 2. 

* Raclcluim : sed non. ' a add 7 Mnyhojf. 

* 00 add. ? Mayhoff. * Mni/hvff : oportis. 

468 



BOOK XIX. XXIV. 71 -XXV. 75 

scraped oti' when tliey are served as food ; and 
although it is healthy and agreeable in a variely of 
ways, it is nevertheless one of the rinds that cannot 
be digested by the human stomach, but swell up. The 
seeds that were nearest the neck of the plant produce 
long gourds, and so do those next to the bottom, 
though the gourds grown from them are not compar- 
able with those mentioned above ; the seeds in the 
middle grow into round gourds, and those at the sides 
into thick and short er ones. The seeds are dried in the 
shade, and when they are wanted for sowing they are 
steeped in water. The longer and thinner gourds 
are, the more agreeable they are for food, and 
consequently those which have been left to grow 
hanging are more wholesome ; and this kind contain 
fewest seeds, the hardness of which Hmits their 
agreeableness as an article of diet. Gourds kept for 
seed are not usually cut before winter ; after cutting 
they are dried in smoke for storing seeds of garden 
plants — the farm's stock in store. A plan has been 
invented by which they are preserved for food also — 
and the same in the case of cucumbers — to last almost 
until the next crops are available. This method em- 
ploys brine ; but it is reported that gourds can also be 
kept green in a trench dug in a shady place and floored 
with sand and covered over with dry hav and then 
with earth. There are also wild varieties of both 
cucumbers and gourds, as is the case with almost all 
garden plants ; but these also only possess medicinal 
properties, and therefore they will be deferred to the xx. 8; 13. 
Books devoted to them. 

XXV. The remaining plants of a cartilaginous Onderground 
nature are all hidden in the ground. Among these, p/u,!<i'f"""" 
we might appear to have already spoken amply ^'""'»p* "««^ 

469 



navew. 
126 IT. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

mus videri, nisi medici masculini sexus faceient in his 
rotunda, latiora vero et concava feminini, praestan- 
tiora suavitate et ad condendum * faciliora ; saepius 
sata transeunt in marem. idem naporum quattuor^ 
genera fecere, Corinthium, Cleonaeum, Liothasium, 
70 Boeotium, quod et ^ per se viride dixerunt. ex his in 
amplitudinem adolescit Corinthium, nuda fere radice ; 
soluni enim hoc genus superne tendit, non ut cetera in 
terram. Liothasium quidam TJiracium appellant, 
frigorum patientissimum. at Boeotium dulce est, 
rotunditate etiam hrevi notabilc, neque ut Cleonaeum 
praelongum. in totum quidem quorum levia foHa 
ipsi quoque dulciores, quorum scabra et angulosa et 

77 horrida amariores. est praeterea genus silvestre 
cuius folia sunt erucae similia. palma Romae 
Amiterninis datur, dein Nursinis, tertia nostratibus. 
cetera de satu eorum in rapis dicta sunt. 

78 XXVI. Cortice et cartihigine constant raphani, 
multisque eorum cortex crassior etiam quam quibus- 
dam arborum. amaritudo plurima illis est et pro crassi- 
tudine corticis. cetera quoque aUquando Ugnosa. 

79 et vis mira colHgendi spiritum laxandique ructum ; ob 

* V.l. condiendum. 

* PinlianuJi : quinque. 

* Dalec. : et quod. 



" But TheophrsBtus, IJ.P. VII, 4, 2 seeme to show that alJ 
the foUowing napi are really radi&hes. 

470 



BOOK XIX. XXV. 75-x.\vi. 79 

about tlie lurnip, were it not that medical men class 
the round plants in this group as being of" the male 
sex and the more spread out and curved ones as 
female, the latter being superior in sweetness and 
easier to store ; though after being repeatedly sown 
they turn into male pLants. The same authorities 
have made four classes of navews," the Corinthian, 
Cleonaean, Liothasian and Boeotian, the last also 
called merely the green turnip. Of these the 
Corinthian turnip grows to a very large size, with 
its root almost bare, for only this kind grows up- 
ward, not down into the ground as the others do. 
The Liothasian kind is by some called Thracian 
navew ; it stands cokl extremely well. The Boeotian 
navew is sweet, and also is remarkable for its short 
round shape, not being ek^ngated Hke the Cleonaean 
varietv. In fact, generally spcaking, navews the 
leaves of whicli are smooth also themselves have a 
sweeter taste, and those w^th rough and angular and 
bristly leaves are more bitter. There is also a wild 
kind the leaves of which resemble colewort. At 
Rome the prize is given to the turnips of San 
\'ettorino, and next to those of Norcia, and the 
third place to tlie local variety. The rest of the 
facts about growing navews have been stated in the 
passage dealing with turnips. xviii. 120. 

XXVL Radishes consist of an outer skin and a Radishes: 
cartilage, and with many of them the skin is 'propercies 
even thicker than the bark of some kinds of trees. andvarieties 
They have an extremely pungent flavour, which 
varies in proportion to the thickness of the skin. 
The other parts as well are somctimcs of a woody 
substance. They have a remarkable power of 
causing flatulence and eructation ; consequently 

471 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

i(l cibiis inliberalis, utiqiic si proxunie olus niandntur, 
si vero ipse cum olivis druppis, rarior ructus fit ni nus- 
que faetidus. Aegypto mire celebratur olei propter 
fertilitatem quod e semine eius faciunt. hoc niaxime 
cupiunt serere, si liceat, quoniam et quaestus plus 
quam e frumento et minus tributi est nullumque ibi 

80 copiosius oleum. genera raphani Graeci fecere tria 
foliorum diiferentia, crispi atque le\is et tertium 
silvestrc ; atque huic levia quidem folia sed breviora 
ac rotunda copiosaque ac fruticosa ; sapor autem asper 
et mcdicamenti instar ad eliciendas alvos. et in 
prioribus tamen differentia a ^ semine, quoniam aliqua 

«1 peius, aliqua admodum exiguum ferunt : haec vitia 
non cadunt nisi in crispa folia. nostri alia fecere 
genera : Algidense a loco, longum atque tralucidum, 
alterum rapi figura quod vocant Syriacum, suavissi- 
mum fere ac tenorrimum hicmisque patiens praeci- 
pue. verum^ tamen ex Syria non pridem advectum 
apparet, quoniam apud auctores non reperitur; id 

K2 autem toto hieme durat. etiamnum unum silvestre 
Graeci cerain vocant, Pontici annon, alii leucen, nostri 
armoraciam, fronde co])iosius quam corpore. in 

' a ad/l. Ilardoiiin. 

* jjraecipue. verum Mai/hoff : praecipuum. 



" Or ' crisped-leaf '. If so, it would be a cabbage (Qreek 
pd<f>avos) confused with a radisti (Greek pa<f>nvig). 
* Horae-radish though ceraia is properly wild radish. 

472 



BOOK XIX. XXVI. 79-82 

they are a vulgar article of diet, at all events if 
cabbage is eaten immediately after them, though 
if the radish itself is eaten with half-ripe olives, the 
eructation caused is less frequent and less offensive. 
In Egypt the radish is held in remarkable esteem 
because it produces oil, which they make from its 
seed. The people are very fond of sowing radish 
seed if opportunity offers, because they make more 
profit from it than from corn and have a smaller 
duty to pay on it, and because no plant there 
yields a larger supply of oil. The Greeks have 
made three kinds of radish, distinguished by diffei-- 
ence of the leaves — the wrinkled " radish, the smooth 
radish and third the wild kind : though the last has 
smooth leaves, they are shorter and round, and 
numerous and bushy ; the taste of this radish is 
however rough, and it acts like a drug with a purga- 
tive effect. Among the kinds mentioned before 
however there is also a difference arising from the 
seed, since some produce an inferior seed and some 
an extremely small one ; but these defects only apply 
to the wrinkled-leaf variety. Our own people have 
made other classes — the Monte Compatri radish, 
named from its locahty, a long and semi-transparent 
radish, and another shaped like a turnip which they call 
Syrian radish, about the sweetcst and most tender of 
any, and exceptionally able to stand the winter. It 
appears however to have been imported from Syria 
only lately, since it is not found mentioned in the 
authorities ; still, it lasts through the whole of the 
winter. There is also one wild variety **, called by the 
Greeks cerais, in the Pontus country armns, or by 
other people leuce, and by our nation armoracia ; this 
radish grows more leaves than root. But in testing 

473 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

omnibus aiitem probandis maxime speetantur eaules; 
inmitium enim rotundiores crassioresque sunt ac 
longis canalibus, folia ipsa crispiora ^ et angulis 
horrida. 

83 Seri vult r.iphanus terra soluta, umida; fimum odit 
palea contentus : frigore adeo gaudet ut in Germania 
infantium puerorum magnitudinem aequet. seritur 
post id. Feb. ut vernus sit, iterumque circa Vul- 
canalia, quae satio melior; multi et Martio et Aprili 
serunt et Septembri. incipiente incremento confert 
alterna folia circumobruere. ipsos vero adcumulare. 
nam qui extra terram emersit durus fit atque fungo- 

84 sus. Aristomachus detrahi foHa per hiemem iubet 
et ne hicunae stagnent accumulari ; ita in aestate * 
grandescere. quidam prodidere, si palo adacto 
caverna palea insternatur sex digitorum altitudine, 
deinde inseratur semen ^ fimumque et terra congera- 
tur, ad magnitudinem scrobis crescere. praecipue 
tamen salsis ahintur; itaque etiam taHbus aquis 
rigantur, et in Aegypto nitro sparguntur, ubi sunt 

85 suavitate praecipui. in totum cjuoque salsugine 
amaritudo eorum eximitur fiuntque coctis similes; 
nanique et cocti dulcespunt et in naporum vicem 
transeunt. 

* crispiora (vel hirsiitiora) 7 Mayhoff : tristiora. 

= rd. Pnr. Lat. 6797 («V toI Btpfi Theophr.) : aestatem rell. 

' Rackham : deinde in semen. 

474 



BOOK XIX. XXVI. 82-85 

the value of all kinds of radishes most attontioft is 
given to the stems, as those of a harsh flavour have 
stems that arc rounded and thicker and groovcd with 
long channels. and the leaves themselves are more 
crinkled and have prickly corners. 

The radish likes to be sown in loose, damp soil. It Cuithation 
dislikes dung and is content with a dressing of "^ '"'"'****''• 
chaff; and it is so fond of cold that in Germany it 
grows as big as a baby chikl. Radisli for the spring 
crop is sown after February 13, and the second 
sowing, which is a better crop, is about the Fcstival 
of Vulcan ; <» but many also sow it in March and April 
and in September. When it begins to make growth, 
it pays to bank up every other leaf on each plant 
and to earth up the roots themselves, as a root that 
projects above the ground becomes hard and full of 
holes. Aristomachus advises stripping oft' the leaves 
during winter, and piUng up earth round the plants 
to prevent muddy puddles forming round them ; 
and he says that this will make them grow a good 
size in summcr. Some authors have stated that if a 
hole is made by driving in a stake and covered at the 
bottom with chatt" to a dej)th of six inches, and a seed 
is sown in it and dung and earth are heaped on it, a 
radish grows to the size of thc hole. AU the same they 
find saltish soils specially nourishing, and so they are 
even watercd with salt water, and in Egy])t, where 
they are remarkable for sweetness, they are sprinkled 
with soda. Also brackishness has the effect of entircly 
removing their pungency, and making them like 
radishes that have been boiled, inasmuch as boiling 
a radish sweetens it and turns it into something Uke 
a navew. 

" August 23-30. 

47.S 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Crudos medici suadent ad colligenda acria viscerum 
ouni sale dandos esse, atque ita vomitionibus prae- 

86 parant meatum. tradunt et praecordiis necessarium 
hunc sucum, quando (f>6(LpLa<TLv cordi intus inhaeren- 
tem non alio potuisse depelH conpertum sit in Aegypto 
regibus corpora mortuorum ad scrutandos morbos 
insecantibus. atque, ut est Graeca vanitas, fertur in 
templo Apollinis Delphis adeo ceteris cibis praelatus 
raphanus ut ex auro dedicaretur, beta ex argento, 

87 rapum ex pUmibo. scires non ibi genitum M'. 
Curium imperatorem, quem ab hostium lcgatis aurum 
repudiaturo adferentibus rapum torrentem in foco 
inventum annales nostri prodidere. scripsit et 
Moschion Graecus unum de rapliano volumen. 
utiHssimi in cibis hiberno tempore existimantur, 
iidemque dentibus semper inimici, quoniam adterant : 
ebora certe puHunt. odium iis cum vite maximum, 
refugitque iuxta satos. 

88 XXVII. Lignosiora sunt reHqua in cartilagi- 
nuni gcnere a nobis posita, mirumque omnibus 
vehementiam snporis csse. ex his pastinacae 
unum genus agreste sponte provenit, alterum 

" Pediculosis or Morbus pediculosuB. It is doubtful what 
disease was denotcd by thin tcrm. Modem medicine uses it 
of the pathological symptoms due to the prescnce of lice on 
the body. 

* Including carrot. 

476 



BOOK XIX. XXVI. 85-xxvii. 88 

Medical men i'ecommend givinsf raw radishes with nedidnai 
salt for the purpose of concentrating the crude radishes. 
humours of the bowels, and they use this mixture to 
act as an emetic. They also say that radish juice is 
an essential specific for disease of the diaphragm, 
inasmuch as in Egypt, when the kings ordered post 
mortem dissections to be made for the purpose of 
research into the nature of diseases, it was discovered 
that this was the only dose that was capable of re- 
moving phtheiriasis " attacking the internal parts of 
the heart. Also it is said that the radish was ratcd so Vaiueseion 
far above all other articles of food that, such is the "'« '■«'^"'^- 
frivolity of the Greeks, in the temple of ApoUo at 
Delphi, a radish modelled in gold was dedicated as a 
votive offering, though only a silver beetroot and a 
turnip of lead. You might be sure that Manius 
Curius was not a native of Delphi, the general wl\o is 
recorded in our annals to have been found bv the 
enemy 's envoys roasting a turnip at the fire , wh en they 
came brinxrino; the ffold which he was ffoin<; indioj- 
nantly to refuse. Also the Greek author Moschion 
wrote a whole voUime about the radish. lladishes 
are considered an extremely valuable article of food 
in winter time, though at the same time people tliink 
tliem to be always bad for the teeth, because they 
wear them down ; at all events they can be used for 
pohshing ivory. There is a great antipathy between 
radishes and vines, which shrink away from radishes 
planted near them. 

XXVII. The rest of the plants that we have placed Vanetiesoj 
in the cartilaginous class are of a woodier substance, p'"'"**^- 
and it is noticeable that they all have an extremely 
pungent taste. Among these there is one wild kind 
of parsnip that grows of its own accord, and another 

477 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Graeciae seritur radice vel semine vere primo vel 
autumno, ut Hygino placet, Februario, Augusto, 

89 Septembri, Octobri, solo quam altissume refosso. 
annicula utilis esse incipit, bima utilior, gratior 
autumno patinisque maxime, et sic quoque virus 
intractabile illi est. hibiscum a pastinaca gracilitate 
distat, damnatum in cibis, sed medicinae utilc. est 
et quartum genus in eadem similitudine pastinacae 
quam nostri Gallicam vocant, Graeci vero daucf)n, 
cuius genera etiam quattuor fecere, inter medica- 
menta dicendum. 

90 XXVIII. Siser et ipsum Tiberius princeps nobili- 
tavit flagitans omnibus annis e Germania. Gelduba 
appellaturcastellum Rheno inpositum ubi gcnerositas 
praecipua, ex quo apparct frigidis locis convenire. 
inest longitudine nervus qui decoctis extrahitur, 
amaritudinis tamen magna parte rehcta, quae mulso 
in cibis temperata etiam in gratiam vertitur. nervus 
idcm et pastinacae maiori, dumtaxat anniculae. 
siseris satus mensibus Februario, Martio, ApriH, 
Augusto, Septembri, Octobri. 

91 XXIX. Brevior his est et torosior amariorque inula, 
per se stomacho inimicissuma, eadem dulcibus mixtis 



• The wild carrot. 

* Some authoritiea ideatify the aiser with tbe parsnip. 

478 



BOOK XIX. XXVII. 88-\.\ix. 91 

kind belonging to Greece that is grown from a root 
or from seed set at the beginning of spring or else in 
autumn, according to Hyginus, in February or in 
August or September or October, the ground having 
been dug over as deeply as possible. A root onlv a 
year old begins to be serviceable, but a two year old 
plant is more valuable ; it is more agreeable in autumn, 
and especially for boiUng in saucepans, and even so it 
has a pungency that cannot be got rid of. The 
marsh-mallow differs from the parsnip in being of a 
more slender shape ; it is condemned as an article 
of diet, but is useful for medical purposes. There is 
also a fourth kind of plant that bears tlie same 
resemblance to a parsnip, which our people call the 
Gallic parsnip, but the Greeks, who have subdividcd 
it also into four classes, call daucos'; this will have xxv. 110. 
to be mentioned among the medicinal plants. 

XXVTII. The skirret'' also has been advertised by nkinei. 
the emperorTiberius's requisitioningan annual siipply 
of it from Gemiany. There is a castle on the Rhine 
called Gelb where a speciallv fine kind of skirret 
grows, showing that cold locahlies suit it. It con- 
tains a core running through its whole length, which 
is drawn out when it has been boiled, though never- 
theless a great part of its bitterness remains, which 
when it is used as a food is modified by adchng wine 
sweetened with honey,and is actually turned into an 
attraction. The larger parsnip also contains a core of 
the same kind, though only wlien it is a year old. The 
time for sowing skirrct is in the months of Fcbruary, 
March, April, August, September and October. 

XXIX. Elecampane is shorter and more substantial Ehcampane. 
than the roots described, and also more bitter ; eaten 
by itself it disagrees violently with the stomach, but 

479 



PLIXY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

salul)errima. pluribus niodis austeritate victa ^atiam 
invcnit : namque et in pollinem tunditur arida 
liquidoque dulci temperatur, et decocta posca aut 
adservata, vel macerata pluribus modis, et tunc mixta 
defruto aut subacta melle uvisve passis aut pinguibus 

92 caryotis. alio rursus modo cotoneis malis vel sorbis 
aut prunis, aliquando pipere aut thymo variata 
defectus praecipue stomachi excitat, inlustrata 
maxime luhae Augustae cotidiano cibo. super- 
vacuum eius semen, quoniam ocuhs ex radice excisis 
ut harundo seritur, et haec autem et siser et pastinaca 
utroque tempore, vere et autumno, magnis seminum 
intervallis, inula ne minus quam ternorum pedum, 
quoniam spatiose fruticat. siser transferre melius. 

93 XXX. Proxima liinc est bulborum natura, quos 
Cato in primis serendos praecipit celebrans Megaricos. 
verum nobiHssima est scilla, quamquam medicamini 
nata exacuendoque aceto ; nec ulU amplitudo maior, 
sicuti nec vis asperior. duo genera medicae, mascu- 
lum ^ albis foliis, femineum - nigris ; et tertium genus 
est cibis gratum, Epimenidu vocatur, angustius foHo 

94 ac minus aspero. seminisplurimum omnibus ; celerius 
tamen proveniunt satae bulbis circa latera natis ; et ut 

^ masculae M a yhoff (m&acuh cd. Par. Lal. 10,318). 
* Rackham : femine (cd. Par. Laf. 10318) au/ femina (feiniiiae 
Mnyhoff). 

* Esculent bulbs of the onion class are meaat. 
480 



BOOK XIX. xxTx. 91-XXX. 94 

it is very wholesome when blended ^vith sweet things. 
There are several ways of overcoming its acridity 
and rendering it agreeable : it is dried and pounded 
into flour and seasoned with some sweot juice, or it 
is boiled or kept in soak in vinegar and water, or 
steeped in various ways, and then mixed with boiled 
down grape-juice or flavoured with honey or raisins or 
juicy dates. Another method again is to flavour it 
with quinces or sorbs or plums, and occasionally with 
pepper or thyme, making it a tonic particularly 
salutar}^ for a weak digestion ; it has become specially 
stimulating from having been the daily diet of Julia 
the daughtcr of Augustus. Its seed is superfluous, 
as it is propagated hke a reed, from eyes cut out of 
the root ; it also, hke the skirret and the parsnip, is 
planted at either season, spring or autumn, with 
large spaces left between the plants — for elecampane 
not less than a yard, because it throws out shoots over 
a wide space. Skirret is better transplanted. 

XXX. Next after these in natural properties are Buibs: 
the bulbs ", whioh Cato particularly recommends for anUaih^^" 
cultivation, specially praising the Megarian kind. ^an^ties. 
But the most famous bulb is the squill, although it viii. 2. 
naturally serves as a drug and is used for increasing 
the sourness of vinegar; and no other bulb is of 
larger size, just as also no other has a more powerful 
pungency. There are two kinds used for medicine, 
the male squill with white leaves and the female 
squill with dark leaves ; and there is also a third kind, 
agreeable as an article of diet, called Epimenides's 
squill — this has a narrower leaf with a less pungent 
taste. All produce a very large quantity of seed, 
though they come up more quickly if grown from the 
bulbs that shoot out round their sides ; and to make 

481 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

crescant, folia quae sunt his ampla deflexa circa 
obruuntur; ita sucum omnem in se trahunt capita. 
sponte nascuntur copiosissimae ^ in Baliaribus Ebuso- 
que insulis ac per Hispanias. unum de eis vohimen 
condidit Pythagoras philosophus, colHgens medicas 

95 vires, quas proximo reddemus libro. reHqua genera 
bulborum differunt colore, magiiitudine, suavitate, 
quippe cum quidam crudi mandantur, ut in Cherro- 
nesoTaurica ; post hos in Africa nati maxime laudan- 
tur, mox Apuli. genera Graeci haec fecere : bolbi- 
nen, setanion, opitiona, cyica, aegilopa, sisyrinchion ; 
in hoc mirum imas eius radices crescere hieme, verno 
autem, cum apparuerit viola, minui has, contra 

96 ipsum deinde^ bulbum pinguescere. est inter gcncra 
et quod in Aegypto aron vocant, scillae proximum 
ampHtudine, foHis lapatho,^ caule rocto duum 
cubitorum bacuH crassitudine, radice molHoris naturae, 

97 quae estur et cruda. efFodiuntur bulbi ante ver, aut 
deteriores ilHco fiunt — signum maturitatis est foHa 
inarescentia ab imo ; viridi(jres(jue * improbant, itcm 
longos ac parvos, contra rubicundis rotundioribusque 
laus et grandissimis. amaritudo plerisque in vertice 
est, media eorum dulcia. bulbos non nasci nisi e 

• Mayhoff : copiosi.s.simc. 

* iS'iV ? Slayhnff: minuthac aul minus ut hac (aut alia) 
contrahi tunc deinde cdd. 

' Hackham : lapatbi. * Sic 1 Mayhoff : vetuatioresque. 

482 



BOOK XIX. XXX. 94-97 

them grow bigger, the leaves, which in this plant are 

of a large size, are bent down in a circle round them 

and covered with soil, so causing the hcads to draw 

all the juice into themselves. They gi'ow wild in 

very large quantities in the Balcaric Islands and 

Iviza, and throughout the Spanisli provinces. The 

philosopher Pythagoras wrote a whole book about 

them, inchiding an account of their medicinal 

properties, which we shall record in the next Vohmie. xx.i02sqq. 

The remaining kinds of bulbs differ in colour and size 

and in flavour, some being eaten raw, for instance in 

the Crimea ; next after these the ones that grow in 

Africa are most highly spoken of, and then those of 

Apulia. The Greeks have distinguished the following 

kinds — bolbine, seianion, opition, cyix, aegilops and 

sisyrinchion ; the last possesses the remarkable Harbary nui. 

projiertv that its bottom roots grow in winter, but in 

the spring-time, when the violet has appeared, these 

diminish while the actual bulb, on the other hand, 

aftervvards begins to swell out. Among the varieties 

of bulb thei-e is also the one that in Egy])t they call 

the arum, which is very near to the squill in size and Cnckoo-pim. 

to the sorrel in foliage, \y\\\\ a straight stalk a yard 

long of the thickness of a walking-stick, and a root of 

softer substance, which can even be eaten raw. Bulbs 

are dug up before tlie beginning of spring, or else 

they at once go off in quality ; it is a sign that they 

are ripe when the leaves become dry at the lower end. 

The rather green ones are disapproved of, as also are 

the long and the small ones, whereas those of a 

reddish colour and rounder shape are praised, as 

also are those of the largest size. Usually their top 

has a bitter taste and the middle parts are sweet. 

Previous writers have stated that bulbs only grow 

4«3 



PLIN\': NATURAL HISTORY 

semine priores tradiderunt, sed in Praenestinis campis 
sponte nascuntur, ac sine modo etiam in Remorum 
arvis. 

98 XXXL Hortensiis omnibus fere singulae radices, 
ut raphano, betae, apio, malvae; amplissima autem 
lapatho, ut quae descendat ad tria cubita — silvestri 
minor — et umida, efFossa quoque diu vivit. quibus- 
dam tamen capillatae, ut apio, malvae, quibusdam 
surculosae, ut ocimo, aliis carnosae, ut betae aut 
magis etiamnum croco, aliquis ex cortice et carne 
constant, ut raphano, rapis, quorundam geniculatae 

99 sunt, ut graminis. quae rectam non habent radicem 
statim plurimis nituntur capillamentis, ut atriplex et 
blitum; scilla autem et bulbi et cepae et alium non 
nisi in rectum radicantur. sponte nascentium quae- 
dam numerosiora sunt radice quam folio, ut spalax, 

100 perdicium, crocum. florent confertim ^ serpullum, 
habrotonum, napi, raphani, raenta, ruta. et cetera 
quidem, cum coepere, deflorescunt, ocimum autem 
particulatim et ab imo incipit, qua de causa diutissime 
floret. hoc et in heliotropio herba evenit. flos aHis 
candidus, aliis luteus, aliis purpureus. folia cadunt a 
cacuminibus origano, inulae et aliquando rutae 
iniuria laesae. maxime concava sunt cepae, getio. 

^ confertim e Theophr. Bodaeas : cum fraxino. 



• Apium also includes celery, and often means that plant. 
' Meadow saffron ? Perdicium would be Polygonum mari- 
timitm. 

484 



BOOK XIX, XXX. 97-xxxi. 100 

from seed, but as a matter of fact they spring up 
of themselves in the plains near Palestrina, and 
also in unHmited quantity in the country round 
Reims. 

XXXI. Nearly all kitchen-garden plants have VarUtiesof 
only a single root, for instance radish, beet, parsley," Jp''^'^.^''-^''"'^ 
mallow. Sorrel has the largest root, going as far as a 
yard and a half into the ground (the root of the wild 
sorrel is smaller), and its root is full of sap, and Uves 
a long time even after bcing dug up. In some of 
these plants,however,for instance parsley and mallow, 
the root is fibrous, in some, for instance basil, 
woody, in others fleshy, as in beet or still more in 
safFron, and wth some, for instance radish and turnip, 
the roots consist of rind and flesh, and the roots of 
some, for instance hay-grass, are jointed. Those 
which have not a straight root support themselves 
immediately ■\\ath a great many hairy fibres, for 
instance orage and bhte ; but squill and the bulbs 
and onion and garlic only throw out straight roots. 
Some of the plants that grow self-sovvn have more 
root than leaf, for instance spalax,^ partridge-plant 
and crocus. Wild thyme, southernwood, navews, 
radishes, mint and rue blossom all in a bunch. All 
other plants shed their blossom all at once as soon as 
they have begun to do so, but basil does so gradually, 
starting from the bottom, and consequently it 
flowers for a very long time. This also happens 
in the case of the hehotrope. Some plants have a 
white flower, others yellow and others purple. Wild 
marjoram and elecampane shed their leaves from the 
top down, and so sometimes does rue when it has been 
damaged by an accident. The onion and the getion- 
leek have especially hoUow leaves. 

485 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

101 XXXn. Alium cepasque inter deos in iureiurando 
habet Aeg\'ptus. cepae genera apud Graecos Sarda, 
Samothracia, Alsidena, setania, schista, Ascalonia ah 
oppido ludaeae nominata. omnibus corpus totum 
pingui tunicarum cartilagine ^, omnibus etiara odor 
lacrimosus et praecipue Cypriis, minime Cnidils. e 

102 cunctis setania minima, excepta Tusculana, sed dulcis ; 
schista autem et Ascalonia condiuntur.* schistam 
hieme cum coma sua rehncunt, vere foHa detrahunt et 
aUa subnascuntur isdem divisuris, unde et nomen. 
hoc exemplo rehquis quoque generibus detrahi iubent, 
ut in capita crescant potius quam in semen. et 

103 Ascaloniarum propria natura : etenim velut steriles 
sunt ab radice, et ob id semine seri illas, non deponi 
iussere Graeci, praeterea serius, circa ver, at ' cum 
germinent, transferri ; ita crassescere et properare 
cum * praeteriti temporis pensitatione. festinandum 
autom in iis est, quoniam maturae celeriter putre- 
scunt. si deponantur, caulem emittunt* et semen, 

104 ipsaeque evanescunt. est ct colorum differentia : 
in Isso enim et Sardibus candidissimae proveniunt. 
sunt in honore et Creticae, de quibus dubitant an 
eacdem sint quae Ascaloniae, quoniam satis capita 

' omnibus . . . cartilagine hic T Mayhoff : post Cnidiia codd. 

* \'.l. conduntur (r/. 105), 

* Mayhoff : a rel aut. 

* Mayhoff : cum properare. 
' Cae-sarius : mittunt. 

" Perhape tbe Bhaliot. 



BOOK XIX. xxxii. 101-104 

XXXII. In Egypt people swear by garlic and onions Varietie» oj 
as deities in taking an oath. Among the Greeks the """'"• 
vp.rieties of onion are the Sardinian, Samothracian, 
Alsidenian, setanian, the spHt onion, and the 
Ascalon onion <*, named from a town in Judaea. In all 
these the body consists entirely of coats of greasy 
cartilage ; also they all have a smell which makes 
one's eyes water, especially the Cyprus onions, but 
lcast of all those of Cnidos. The smallest of all except 
the Tuscany onion is the setanian, though it has a 
sweet taste ; but the spht onion and the Ascalon 
onion need flavouring. The split onion is left with 
its leaves on in winter, these being pulled off in 
spring, and others grow in their place at the same 
divisions, from which these onions get their name. 
This has suggested the recommendation to strip the 
other kinds also of their leaves, so as to make them 
grow to heads rather than run to seed. Ascalon 
onions also have a pecuHar nature, being in a manner 
sterile at the root, and consequently the Greeks have 
advised growing them from seed and not planting 
them, and moreover sowing them rather late, about 
spring-time.but transplanting them when they are in 
bud ; this method, they say, causes them to fill out 
and grow quicklv, making up for the time lost. But 
in their case haste is necessary, because when ripe 
ttiey quickly go rotten. If grown from roots they 
throw out a stalk and run to seed, and the bulb 
withers away. There is also a ditference of colours, 
the whitest onions growing at Issus and at Sardis. 
Those of Crete are also esteemed, though the 
question is raised whether they are identical with the 
Ascalon variety, bccause when grown from seed they 
make hirge heads but run to stalk and seed when 

487 



PLIXY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

crassescunt, depositis caulis et semen ; distant sapore 
106 tantum dulci. apud nos duo prima genera : unum 
condimentariae, quam illi getion, nostri pallacanam 
vocant, seritur mensibus Martio, Aprili, Maio, 
alterum capitatae quae ab aequinoctio autumni vel a 
favonio. genera eius austeritatis ordine : Africana, 
Gallica, Tusculana, Ascalonia, Amitemina. optima 
autem quae rotundissima, item rufa acrior quam 
candida, et sicca quam viridis, et cruda quam cocta 

106 sicut ^ quam condita. seritur Amiternina frigidis et 
umidis locis, et sola alii modo capite, reliquae semine 
proximaque aestate nuUum semen emittunt sed caput 
tantum quod increscit ; ^ sequenti autem anno permu- 
tata ratione semen gignitur, caput ipsum corrumpitur. 
ergo omnibus annis separatim semen cepae causa 
seritur, separatim cepa seminis. servantur autem 

107 optime in paleis. getium paene sine capite est, 
cerncis tantum longae et ideo totum in fronde, 
saepiusque resecatur ut porrum ; ideo et illud serunt, 
non deponunt. cetero cepas ter fosso seri iubent 
extirpatis radicibus herbarum, in iugera denas libras, 
intermisceri satureiam, quoniam melius proveniat, 



*■ Mayhoff coU, Dioac. ii ISO : sicca. 
* Dfiler. : inarcscit. 



488 



BOOK XIX. xxxii. 104-107 

planted ; they only difFer froxn the Ascalon onions in 
their sweet flavour. In our country we have two 
principal varieties, one the kind of onion used for 
seasoning, the Greek name for which is geiio}i-\ee\<. 
and the Latin ' pallacana ', which is sown in March, 
April or May, and the other the onion with a head, 
which is sown after the autumn equinox or when the 
west wind has begun to blow in the springtime. 
The varieties of the latter, in order of their degrees 
of pungency, are the African, the GalHc. and those 
of Tusculum, Ascalon and Amiternae. Those of the 
roundest shape are the best ; also a red onion is 
more pungent than a white one, or a dry one 
than one still fresh, and a raw one than one that 
has been cooked, and also than one that has been 
kept in store. The Amiternum kind is grown in cold 
and damp places, and is the only one that grows with 
a head only, Hke garHc, all other varieties being grown 
from seed and next summer producing no seed but 
only a head which goes on growing in size ; but in the 
following year just the contrary, sced is produced 
but the actual head goes rotten. Consequently 
every year there are two separate processes, seed 
being sown to produce onions and onions planted 
for seed. Onions keep best stored in chaff. The stnmgeand 
scaUion has hardly any head at all, only a long neck, miions!°^ 
and consequently it all goes to leaf, and it is cut 
back several times, Hke common leek ; consequently 
it also is grown from seed, not by planting. In 
addition, they recommend digging over the ground 
three times and weeding out thc plant-roots before 
sowing onions ; and using ten pounds of seed to the 
acre, with savory mixed in, as the onions come up 
better ; and moreover stubbing and hoeing the 

489 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

runcari praeterea et sariri. si non saepius, quater. 
Ascaloniam mense Februario serunt nostri. semen 
ceparum nigrescere incipientium ^ antequam inare- 
scat^ metunt. 

108 XXXIII. Et de porro in hac cognatione dici 
conveniat, praesertimcumsectivoauctoritatem nuper 
fecerit princeps Nero vocis gratia ex oleo statis 
mensum omnium diebus nihilque aliud ac ne panem ' 
quidem vescendo. seritur semine ab aequinoctio 
autumno, si sectivum faccre Hbuit, densius. in 

109 eadem area secatur donec deficiat ; stercoraturque 
semper, si nutritur in capita, antequam secetur. 
cum increvit, in aliam aream transfertur summis 
foliis leviter recLsis ante medullam et capitibus 
retractis tunicis* extremis. antiqui siHce vel testa^ 
subiecta capita dilatabant — hoc item in bulbis ; 
nunc sarculo le\iter convelluntur radices, ut delum- 

110 batae alant neque distrahant. insigne quod, curn 
fimo laetoque solo gaudeat, rigua odit ; et tamen 
proprietate quadam soli constant : laudatissimum * 
Aegypto, mox Ostiae atque Ariciae. sectivi duo 
genera: herbaceum folio, incisuris eius cvidentibus, 
quo utuntur mcdicamentarii, alterum genus flavidioris 

' Backham : incipicns autem. 
- Dellepen : marcescant. 
' Sillig : pane. 

* Rnrkham : tnnicisve. 

* Siilmayiu.9 : tecta. 

* Mni/hoff : laudatissimiia in. 

490 



BOOK XIX. XXXII. loy-x.xxiii. iio 

^round four times. if not more. Our farmers sow 
the Ascalon onion in February. The seed of onions 
is harvested when they begin to turn black, before 
they get dry. 

XXXIII. It may also be suitable to mcntion the Leek: its 
leek in this family of plants, especially as iniport- f/^ "g"/^^^^ 
ance has recently been given to the chive by the 
emperor Nero, who on certain fixed days of every 
inonth always ate chives preserved in oil, and 
nothing else, not even bread, for the sake of his 
voice. It is grown from seed sown just after the 
autumnal equinox ; if it is for the purpose of 
chives, it must be sown rather thickly. It goes 
on being cut in the same bed till it gives out ; and 
if it is being grown to make heads it is always 
well manured before it is cut. When it is fully 
grown, it is moved to another bed, after having the 
points of the leaves above the central part carefully 
trimmed off and the tips of the coats drawn back 
from the heads. Growers in former times used to 
broaden out the heads by putting them under a stone 
or a potsherd, and the same with bulbs as well; 
but now the practice is gently to puU the roots loose 
with a hoe, so that being bent they may feed the 
plant and not draw it apart. It is a remarkable fact 
that although the leek Hkes manure and a rich soil, it 
hates damp places. Nevertheless there is a con- 
nexion between the varieties and some peculiarity of 
the soil : the most highly esteemed kind belongs to 
Egypt, and the next to Ostia and to La Riccia. There 
are two kinds of chivc ; one with grass-green leaves, 
with distinct markings on them — this is the chive used 
by druggists— and another kind with leaves of a 
yellower colour and roundcr in shape, on which the 

491 



PLINY: NATUKAL HISTORY 

folii rotundiorisque, levioribus incisuris. fama est 
Melam equestris orclinis, reum ex procuratione a 
Tiberio principe accersitum, in summa desperatione 
suco porri ad trium denariorum ar<;enteorum pondus 
hausto confestim expirasse sine cruciatu. ampliorem ^ 
modum negant noxium esse. 

111 XXXIV. Alium ad multa ruris praecipue medica- 
menta prodesse creditur. tenuissimis et quae sepa- 
rantur in - universum velatur membranis, mox pluribus 
coagmentatur nucleis, et his separatim vestitis, asperi 
saporis ; quo phn-is nuclei fuere hoc est asperius. 
taedium huic quoque halitu, ut cepis, nullum tamen 

112 cocti.-' generum differentia in tempore — praecox 
maturescit lx diebus — tum et * in magnitudine. 
ulpicum quoque in hoc genere Graeci appellavere 
ahum Cyprium, alii avTiaKopoSov, praecipue Africae 
celcbratum inter puhnentaria ruris, grandius alio ; 
tritum in oleo et aceto mirum quantum increscit 
spuma. quidam ulpicum et alium iii phmo seri vetant 
castcllatimque grumuhs inponi distantibus inter se 
pedes ternos iubent ; intcr grana digiti iiii ^ interesse 
debent ; simul atque tria folia eruperint, sariri : 

113 grandescunt quo saepius sariuntur. maturescentium 
caules depressi in terram obruuntur: ita cavetur ne 

' at minorem ? Ma>/hnff. 

Kdd. : et quae speruantur aut sperantur. 
^ cocti ? MayhofJ : cocto ? Warmington : coctis. 

* tum et ? Mni/hoff : tamen. 

* iiii add. Sillig. 



" Pcrhaps the Latiii should be altercd to give ' Eut a smailcr 
dose '. 



492 



BOOK XIX. XXXIII. iio-wxiv. 113 

markings are less prominent. Thore is a story that a 
niember of the Order of Kniglits iiamed Mela, when 
recalled from a deputy-governorship by the empcror 
Tiberius to be impeached for maladministration, in 
extreme despair swallowed a dose of leek-juice weigh- 
ing three denarii in silver, and immediately expired 
without suffering any pain. A larger dose " is said to 
have no injui-ious effect. 

XXXIV. GarUc is believed to be serviceable for Guriic: ita 
making a number of medicaments, especially those vaiue""^ 
used in the country. It is enveloped in very fine 
skins in entirely separate layers, and then consists 
of several kernels in a cluster, each of these also 
having a coat of its own ; it has a pungent flavour, 
and the more kernels there were the moi-e pungent 
it is. Garhc as well as onions gives an offensive 
smell to the breath, though when boiled it causes 
no smell. The difference between the various kinds 
consists in the time they take to ripen — the early 
kind ripens in 60 days — and also in their size. 
Ulpicum also comes in this class, the plant called 
by the Greeks Cyprian garhc, or by others antis- 
corodon ; it holds a high rank among the dishes of 
the country people, particularly in Africa, and it 
is larger than garUc ; when beaten up in oil and 
vinegar it sweUs up in foam to a surprising size. 
Some people say that ulpicum and garUc must not 
be planted in level ground, and advise placing it in 
Uttle mounds a yard apart likc a chain of forts ; 
there must be a space of four inches between the 
grains, and as soon as three leaves have brokcn out 
the plants must be hoed over : they grow largcr the 
oftener they are hoed. When they begin to ripen, 
their stalks are pressed down into the earth and 

493 



PLINY: NATLRAL HLSTORY 

in frondem luxiirient. in frigidis utilius vere seri 
quam autumno. cetero, ut odore careant, omnia haec 
iubentur seri cum luna sub terra sit, colligi cum in 
coitu. sine his Menander e Graecis auctor est alium 
edentibus. si radicem betae in pruna tostam supere- 

114 derint, odorem extingui. sunt qui et alium et ul- 
picum inter Compitalia ac Saturnalia seri aptissimc 
putent. alium et semine provenit, sed tarde ; primo 
enim anno porri crassitudinem capite efficit, sequenti 
dividitur, tertio consummatur; pulchriusque tale 
existimant quidam. in semen exire non debet, sed 
intorqueri caules satus gratia, ut caput validius fiat. 

115 quod si diutius alium cepamque inveterare libeat, aijuii 
salsa tepida capita unguenda sunt; ita diuturniora 
fient mclioraque usui, at ' in satu steriHa. ahi contenti 
sunt primo super prunam ^ suspendisse abundeque ita 
profici arbitrantur ne germinent, quod facere aHum 
cepamque extra terram quoque certum est et cauli- 
culo aucto ^ evanescere. aliqui et aliuni palca 

116 servari optime putant. alium est et in arvis spontc 
nascens — alum vocant — quod adversus improbitatem 
alitum depascentium semina coctum, ne renasci possit, 

' Rackham : et. 

'■^ prunam ? coU. § 113 elc. Mayhojf : prunaa. 

* aucto quid. ap. Oelcn. : acto. 



May 2 and December 17. 



494 



BOOK XIX. XXXIV. 113-116 

covered up : this prevents their making too lush 
foliage. In cold soils it pays better to plant in the 
spring than in autumn. Moreover with all of these 
plants, to prevent their having an objectionable smell, 
it is advised to plant them when the moon is below 
the horizon and to gather them when it is in con- 
junction. The Greek writer Menander states that 
people e^tiniJ- garHc without taking these precautions 
can neutraUze the smell by eating after it a beetroot 
roasted on the hot coals. Some people think that Oromngand 
the best time for phinting both garUc and ulpicum is ^^l^^ 
between the Feast of the Crossways and the Feast of 
Satum." GarUc can also be grown from seed, but it 
is a slow process, as the head only makes the size 
of a leek in the first year and divides into cloves in the 
second year, making full gro\vi;h in the third year; 
and some people think that this variety of garUc is a 
finer kind. It must not be aUowed to run to seed, 
but the stalks must be twisted up for purposes of 
propagation, so that it may form a stronger head. 
But if garlic or onions are wanted to keep for some 
time, their heads shoukl be soaked in warm salt 
water ; that will make them last longer and wiU 
render them better for use, though barren in 
seeding. Others are content to begin by hanging 
them up over burning coal, and think that this 
expedient is quite sufficient to prevent their sprout- 
ing, which it is weH known that garUc and onions 
do even when out of tlie ground, and after enlarging 
their smaU stalk they wither away. Also some people 
think that garUc keeps best when stored in chaff. 
Therc is also another garlic called ahim that grows 
self-sown in the fiekls, wliicli, after having been 
boiled to prevent its shooting up again, is scattered 

495 



PLINY: NATURAL HTSTORY 

abicitur, statimque quae devoravere aves stupentes 
et, si paulum commorere, sopitae manu capiuntur.^ 
est et silvestre quod ursinum vocant, odore simili,^ 
capite praetenui, foliis grandibus. 

117 XXX Y. In horto satorum celerrime nascuntur oci- 
mum,blitum,napus,eruca — tertioenimdieerumpunt ; 
anetum quarto, lactuca quinto, raphanus x, sexto 
cucumis, cucurbita et septimo ^ — prior cucumis — , 
nasturtium, sinapi quinto, beta aestate sexto, hieme 
decimo, atriplex octavo, cepae xvix aut xx, gethyum 
X aut duodecimo; contumacius coriandrum, cunila 
quidem et origanum post xxx diem, omniura autem 
difficinime apium ; XL enim die cum celerrime, 

118 maiore exparte L*emergit. aliquid et seminum aetas 
confert, quoniam recentia maturius gignunt in porro, 
gethyo, cucumi, cucurbita, ex vetere autem celerius 
proveniunt apium, beta, cardamum, cuniia, origanum, 
coriandrum. mirum in betae semiiie, non enim 
totum ^ eodem anno gignit, sed aliquid sequente, 
aliquid et tertio ; itaque ex copia seminis modice 
nascitur. quaedam anno tantum suo pariunt, quae- 
dam saepius, sicut apium, porrum, gethyum; haec 
enim semel sata phiribus annis restibili fertiUtate 
proveniunt. 

^ manu capiuntur hic Ruckliam : anle et . . . sopitae. 

* Dalec. : odor est mili aul odore mili. 

* Sict f Thfiophr. Mnylwff: raphanus aexto cuoumis 
cucurbita Hcptimo. 

* L a/id. e Theophr. Ilermolaus. 
' E Theophr. Caesarius : tota. 

" In Latin aritliraetic 3 is caUed the third numbcr after 1 
(tertio die = the day after to-morrow), and this appliea to all 
the numbers here. 

* yaslurlium is creaa, not our ' nasturtium '. 

496 



BOOK XIX. XXXIV. 116-XXXV. 118 

about as a protection against the ravages of birds 
that eat up the seeds, and the birds that swallow 
it at once become stupeficd, and if you wait a Uttle, 
go completely unconscious and can be caught by 
hand. There is also a wild kind called bear's garhc, 
with a similar smell, which has a very small head and 
large leaves. 

XXX\'. Of kitchen-garden plants tlie quickest to Other 
grow are basil, bhte, navew and rocket ; these break glrdtn 
out of the ground two " days after they are sown. piantsgrown 

_.,, .oi 1 A I- ^ 'k 1 from seed. 

DiU comes up m 6 days, lettuce 4, radish 9, cucumber 
5, gourd even 6 — cucumber is earher — , cress* and 
mustard 4, summer beet 5, winter beet 9, orage 7, 
onions 18 or 19. long onion 9 or 11 ; coriander is more 
obstinate, and indced cunila<^ and wild marjoram do 
not come up before 30 days, but the most difficult 
of all is parsley, for it comes up in 39 days at the 
quickest, and in the majority of cases in 49 days. 
Something also depends on the age of the seed, as 
fresh seed comes up more quickly in the case of 
leek, long onion, cucumber and gourd, but parsley, 
beet, cress, cunila, wild marjoram and coriander 
grow more quickly from old seed. There is a 
curious thing about beet seed that the whole of 
it does not germinate in the same year but some 
only in the year following, and some even two 
years later ; and consequently a quantity of seed 
only produces a moderate crop. Some plants 
only produce seed in the same year as they are 
planted, but some more often, for instance parsley, 
leek and long onion, as these when once sown re- 
tain their fertihty and come up several years 
running. 

y.e. savory. 

497 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

119 XXXVI. Semina plurimis rotunda, aliquis oblonga, 
paucis foliacia et lata, ut atriplici, quibusdam angusta 
et canaliculata, ut cumino. differunt et colore nigro, 
candidiore, item duritia surculacea. in foUiculo sunt 
raphanis, sinapi, rapo ; nudum semen est coriandri, 
aneti, feniculi, cumini, cortice obductum bliti, betae, 

120 atriplicis, ocimi, at lactucis in lanugine. nihil ocimo 
fecundius ; cum maledictis ac probris serendum 
praecipiunt ut laetius proveniat ; sato pavitur terra. 
et cuminum ^ qui serunt precantur ne exeat. quae 
in cortice sunt ditficiUime inarescunt, maximeque 
ocimum, et ideo siccantur omnia ac fiunt ^ fecunda. 
utique meUora nascuntur acervatim sato semine quam 
sparso ; ita certe porrum et apium serunt in laciniis 
colUgatum. apium etiam paxiUo caverna facta ac fimo 

121 ingesto. nascuntur auteni omnia aut semine aut 
avolsione, quaedam et^ semine et surculo ut ruta, 
origanum, ocimum — praecidunt enim et hoc, cum 
pervenit ad palmum altitudinis — , quaedam et semine 
et radice, ut cepa, alium, bulbi et si quorum radices 
anniferorum* reUnquuntur. eorum vero quae a radice 
nascuntur radix diuturna et fruticosa est, ut bulbi, 
gethyi, sciUae. fruticant aUa et non c.ipitata, ut 

122 apium et beta. caule reciso fere quidem omnia 
regerminant exceptis quae non scabrum caulem 

' Gelen. : ad cacuminum. 

* fiunt? {yivfTai Theophr.) Mayhojf : sunt. 
' et add. Rackluim. 

* Edd. : radicem minimi ferorum. 

* annijeri, sending up a new stalk every year. 
498 



BOOK XIX. XXXVI. 1 19-122 

XXXVI. The seeds of most plants are round, but Orowing 
those of some oblong ; in a few they are foliated and {^^^ ^'J^'*' 
broad, for instance orage, in some narrow and grooved, '■"''"• 
for instance cummin. They differ in colour as well, 
dark or lighter, and also in woody hardness. The 
seeds of radishes, mustard and turnip are contained in 
a pod ; the seed of coriander, dill, fennel and cummin 
has no cover, that of blite. beet, orage and basil is 
covered with a skin, while that of lettucos is wrapped 
in down. No seed is more prolific than basil ; they 
recommend sowing it with curses and imprecations 
to make it come up more abundantlv : when it is 
sown the earth is rammed down. Also people sowing 
cummin pray for it not to come up. It is difficult for 
seeds contained in a pod to get dry, particularlv basil, 
and consequently they are all dried artificiallv to 
make them fertile. In any case plants grow better 
when the seed is sown in heaps than wlien it is 
scattered ; indeed it is on that principle that they 
sow leek and parsley tied up in strips of rag, and also 
before sowing parslev they make a hole with a dibble 
into which they put dung. All plants grow either 
from seed or from sUps, or some both from seed and 
from cuttings, as rue, wild marjoram,basil — for people 
lop off the top of this plant too when it has reached the 
height of a palm ; and some plants grow both from 
seed and from a root, as onion, garlic, bulbs, and the 
perennials <» the roots of which stay aUve. But with 
plants that grow from a root tlie root Hves a long time 
andthrows out shoots, for instance bulbs, long onions 
and squills. Others make shrubby growth and without 
heads, for instance parsley and beet. When the stalk 
is cut back, noarly all plants except those which have 
not got a rough stem throw out fresli shoots, indeed 

499 



PLIXY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

habent, et in usuni vero ocimurn, raphanus, lactuca ; 
hanc etiam sua\iorem putant a regerminatione. 
raphanus utique iucundior detractis foUis antequam 
decaulescat. hoc et in rapis ; nam et eadem dereptis 
foliis cooperta terra crescunt durantque in aestatem. 

123 XXXVIL Singulagenerasuntocimo,lapatho,bUto, 
nasturtio, erucae, atriplici, coriandro, aneto; haec 
enim ubique eadem sunt neque aliud alio melius 
usquam. rutam furtivam tantum provenire fertiUus 
putant sicut apes furtivas pessume. nascuntur autem 
etiamnonsatamentastrum,nepete,intubum,puleium. 
contra plura genera sunt eorura quae diximus dice- 

124 musque et in primis apio. id enim quod sponte in 
umidis nascitur helioselinum vocatur, uno folio nec 
hirsutum,rursus in siccis hipposelinum,pluribus foliis, 
simile helioseUno ; tertium est oreoselinum, cicutae 
foliis, radice tenui, semine aneti, minutiore tantum. 
et sativi autem differentiae in folio denso, crispo aut 
rariore et leviore, item caule tenuiore aut crassiore, 
et caulis aliorum candidus est, aliorum purpureus, 
aliorum varius. 

125 XXXYIII. Lactucae Graeci tria fecere genera: 
unum lati cauUs, adeo ut ostiola oUtoria ex us factitari 

• Wild relerv. In TheoTjhrastua (H.P. VII, 6, 3), Pliny 
misread or misneard fiav6(f>vAXov as fxov6<f>vXXuv. 

500 



BOOK XIX. XXXVI. 122-xxxvni. 125 

basil, radish and lettuce put out new shoots that 
can be used ; lettuce is thought to be even sweeter 
if grown from a fresh sprouting. Anyway radish is 
niore agreeable when its leaves have been stripped 
off before it runs to stalk. Thc same is also true in 
the case of turnips, for they likewise if banked up 
mth earth after the leaves have been pulled off go on 
growing and last into summer. 

XXXVII. Basil, sorrel, spinach, ci-ess, rocket, Varietits, 
orage, coriander and dill are plants of which there is fj^f^^n. 
only one kind, as they are the same in every locality ginim 
and no bettcr in one place than another. It is a '"'"* 
common beHef that rue which you have stolen grows 
better, just as stolen bees are beUeved to do very 
badly. Wild mint, cat-mint, endive and pennyroyal 
spring up even A^-ithout being sown. On the other 

hand plants which we have mentioned and are going 

to mention have several varieties, and particularly 

parsley. The parsley that grows wild in damp Ceifru. 

places has a Greek name meaning marsh-parsley « ; it 

has a single leaf and is not of shaggy growth ; again, 

the Greek name of another, a many-lcaved parsley 

resenibling marsh-parsley,but growing in dry places, 

is horse-parsley ; a third kind is called mountain- AiexandeTs. 

parsley in Greek — it has the leaves of hemlock, a thin Parsiey. 

root, and seed Uke that of dill only smaller. More- 

over cultivated parsley also has varieties in the leaf, 

which is bushy and crinkled or scantier and smoother, 

and also in the stalk, thinner or thicker, and in some 

plants the stalk is white, in others purple, in others 

mottled. 

XXXVIII. The Greeks have distinguished three vaHetietof 
kinds of lettuce, one with so broad a stalk that it ' "**" 

is said that the wicket-gates of kitchen gardens are 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

prodlderint — foliiim his paulo maius herbaceo et angus- 
tissimum, ut ahbi consumpto incremento — , alterum 
rotundi caulis, tertium sessile, quod Laconicum 
vocant. ahi colore et tempore satus genera discre- 
vere ; esse enim nigras quarum semen mense lanuario 
seratur, albas quarum Martio, rubentes quarum 
Aprih, et omnium earum plantas post binos menses 

126 differri. dihgentiores phira genera faciunt, pur- 
pureas, crispas, Cappadocicas, Graecas, le\ioris ' has 
foUi caulLsque lati, praeterea longi et angusti, intubis 
similis ; pessimum autem genus cum exprobratione 
amaritudlnis appellavere jriKfnSa. est etiamnum aUa 
distinctio albae quae /xt^/cwiU vocatur a copia lactis 
soporiferi, quamquam omnes somnum parere credun- 
tur ; apud antiquos ItaHae hoc solum genus earum 

127 fult, et ideo lactucis nomen a lacte. purpuream 
maximae radicis CaeciUanam vocant, rotundam vero 
ac minima radice, latis fohis, aa-TrTi^a, quidamque 
cuvouxciov, quoniam haec maxime refragetur veneri. 
est quidem natura omnibus refrigeratrix et ideo 
aestate gratia. stomacho fastidium auferunt cibique 

128 adpetentiam faciunt. divus certe Augustus • lactuca 

• lev ioris T e Co/um. Mayhoff : longioris. 
» Edd. : oertuB cdil. (certe ci. Vat. Lat. ,3861, «i. 2: certe 
hac C4l. Par. Lai. 10318.) 



" Accorrling to Columella, nained froin CaeciliiiH Metellus, 
who iii 251 B.c. defeated the Carthaginian fleet at Paiermo, 

502 



BOOK XIX. xwviii. 125-128 

often made ot" them ; these plants have leaves rather 
larger than those of the green garden-lettuce, and 
extremely narrow, the nutriment being apparentlv 
used up elsewhere ; the second kind has a round 
stalk, and the third is a squat-growing plant, called 
the Spartan lettuce. Other people have classified 
lettuces by colour and season of sowing, saying that 
the black lettuce is the kind sown in January, the 
white in March and the red in April, and that all 
of these kinds can be transphinted at the end of two 
months. More precise authorities make a larger 
number of varieties, the purple, the crinkly, the 
Cappadocian, the Greek— the last with a smoother 
leaf and a broad stalk, and in addition the lettuce 
■with a long and narrow leaf, which resembles 
endive ; while the worst kind of all has been given 
the name in Greek of bitter lettuce,in condemnation 
of its bitter taste. There is moreover another 
variety of white lettuce the Greek name for which 
is poppy-lettuce, from its abundance of juice with 
a soporific property, although all the lettuces are 
beUeved to bring sleep ; this was the only kind of 
lettuce in Italy in early times, which accounts for 
the Latin name for lettuce, derived from the Latin 
for milk. A purple lettuce \vith a very large root 
is called CaeciUus's lettuce," while a round one 
with a very small root and broad leaves is called 
in Greek the anti-aphrodisiac, or otherwise the 
eunuch's lettuce, because this kind is an extremely 
potent check to amorous propensities. Indeed they 
all have a cooling quality, and consecjuently are 
acceptable in summer. They relieve the stomach of 
distaste for food and prornotc appetite. At all 
events it is stated that the late lamented Augustus in 

503 



PLLVY: NATURAL HISTORY 

conservatus in aegritudine fertur prudentia Musae 
medici, cum prioris C. Aemili ^ religio nimia eam 
abnegaret, in tantum recepta coramendatione ut 
servari etiam in alienos menses eas oxvmeli tum 
repertum sit. sanguinem quoque augere creduntur. 
Est etiamnum quae vocatur caprina lactuca de qua 
dicemus inter medlcas ; et ecce cum maxime coepit 
inrepere sativis admodum probata quae Cillcia voca- 
tur, folio Cappadocicae, ni crispum latiusque esset. 

129 XXXIX. Neque ex eodem genere possunt dlci 
neque ex alio intubi, hiemis hi patientiores virusque 
praeferentes, sed caule non minus grati. seruntur 
ab aequinoctio vemo, plantae eorum ultimo vere 
transferuntur. est et erraticum intul)um quod in 
Aegypto cichorium vocant, de quo plura alias. 
inventum omnes thyrsos vel folia lactucarum pro- 
rogare urceis conditos et recentes in patinis coquere. 

130 seruntur lactucae anno toto laetis et riguis sterco- 
ratisque, binis mensibus inter semen plantamque et 
maturitatem. legitimum tamen a bruma semen 
iacere, plantam favonio transferre, aut semen favonio, 
plantam aequinoctio verno. albae maxime hiemem 

131 tolerant. umoreomnia hortensiagaudent etstercore, 

' C. F. Uermann : cameli. 



ROOK XIX. x.\.wan, i28-.\.\.\ix. 131 

an illness, thanks to the sagacity of his dootor, Musa, 
was cured by lettuce, which had been refused him 
by lhe excessive scruples of his previous doctor, 
Gaius AemiHus ; tliis was such a good advertisement 
for lettuces that the method was then discovercd of 
keeping them into the months when they are out of 
scason, pickled in honey-vinegar. It is also bcheved 
that lettuces increase the blood-supply. 

There is also a variety called the goat-lettuce of 
wliich we shall speak among drugs ; and only quite xx. 68. 
rcccntly there has begun to be introduccd among the 
cultivated h'ttuces a kind held in considerable esteem 
called the CiHcian lettuce, which has the leaf of the 
Cappadocian kind, only crinkly and broader. 

XXXIX. Endive cannot be said to belong either oihfradvice 
to the same class of plant as lettuce or to another gardening.' 
(lass, being better able to endure the winter and 
having more acridity of flavour; but its stalk is 
equally agreeable. It is sown after the spring 
equinox, and the seedHngs are bedded out at the end 
of the spring. There is also a wild cndive called 
in Egypt chicory, about which more will be said 
elsewhere. A method has been discovered ofxx. 73, 
preserving all the stalks or leaves of lettuces by'^^^'^^' 
storing them in pots and boiHng them in saucepans 
while fresh. Lettuces can be sown all the year 
round in favourable soil that is watered by streams and 
manured, with two months between sowing and bed- 
ding out and two between that and maturity. The 
regular plan, however, is to sow just after mid-winter 
and to bed out when the west wind sets in, or else to 
sow thcn and bcd out at the spring equinox. Wliite 
lettuce stands the winter best. All garden plants 
are fond of moisture and manure, especially lettuce, 

505 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

praecipue lactucae et magis intubi ; seri etiam radiccs 
inlitas fimo interest et repleri ablaqueatas ^ fimo.- 
quidam et aliter amplitudinem augent, recisis cum 
ad semipedem excreverint fimoque suillo recenti 
inlitis. candorem vero putant contingere iis' dum- 
taxat quae sint seminis albi, si harena de litore a 
primo incremento congeratur in medias atque incre- 
scentia folia contra ipsas * religentur. 

132 XL. Beta hortensiorum levissima est. eius quoque 
a colore duo genera Graeci faciunt , nigrum et candidius, 
quod praeferunt — parcissumi seminis — appellant(jue 
Siculum ; candoris sane discrimine praeferentes et 
lactucam. nostri betae genera vernum et autumnale 
faciunt a temporibus satus, quamquam et lunio 

133 seritur, transfertur autumno ^ planta. hae quoque 
et oblini fimo radices suas locumquc similiter madi- 
dum amant. usus his et cum lenti ac faba, idemquc 
qui olerls, et praecipuus ut lenitas excitetur acrimonia 
sinapis. medici nocentiorem quam olus esse iudi- 
cavere, quamobrem adpositas non nemini * degustare 
etiam rcligio est, ut validis potius in cibo sint. gemina 

134 iis natura, et oleris et capite ipso exilientis bulbi. 

' Edd. : ablaqueata. 

* fimo ? Mayhnjf : humo. 

* Jiafkhnni : his. 

* hdtl. (ipsa Mai/hojf) : ipso. 
' Mayhriff : autem in. 

* V.l. memiiii. 

" The ancieiita at€ only the leaves and not the root of beet. 
506 



BOOK XIX. XXXIX. 131-XL. 134 

and even more endive : indeed it pays to plant them 
with tlie roots smeared with dung and to loosen the 
ground round them and fill up with dung. Sorne 
use other means also of increasing their si/.e, cutting 
them baek when they have reached six inches high 
and giving them a dressing of fresh swine's dung. 
As for colour, it is thought that at all events lettuces 
grown from white seed can be blanched if as soon as 
they begin to grow sand from the sea-shore is heaped 
round them up to half their height and the leaves as 
they start sprouting are tied back against the plants 
themselves. 

XL. Beet is the smoothest of the garden plants. Beet. 
The Greeks distinguish two kinds of beet also, accord- 
ing to the colour, black and whitish — they prefer the 
hitter, which has a vcry scanty supply of sced, and call 
it Sicilian beet ; indeed they prefer lettuce also with 
distinctive quaUty of whiteness. Our people dis- 
tinguish two kinds of beet according to time of sowing, 
spring beet and autumn bect, although beet is also 
sown in June, and the plant transplanted in autumn. 
Beets also Hke even their roots to be smearcd with 
dung, and have a similar hking for a damp place. 
Beets are also made into a salad with lentils and beans, 
and are dressed ° in the same way as cabbages, the 
best way being to stimulate thcir insipidity with the 
bitterncss of mustard. The doctors have pronounced 
beet to be more unwholcsome than cabbage, on 
account of which there are persons who scruple even 
to taste beets when served at table ; and conse- 
quently they are preferably an article of diet for 
people with strong digestions. Beets have a double 
structure, that of the cabbage, and, at the actual head 
of the root as it springs up, that of an onion. They 

507 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

species sunima in latitudine ; ea contingit, ut in 
lactucis, cum coeperint colorem trahere inposito 
le\i pondere. neque alii hortensiorum latitudo 
maior; in binos pedcs aliquando se pandunt multum 
et soli natura conferente, siquidem in Circeiensi agro 

135 amplissimae proveniunt. sunt qui betas punico malo 
florente optime seri existiment, transferri autem cum 
quinque foliorum csse coeperint ; mira differcntia 
(si \'era est) candidis alvom elici, nigris inhibcri ; et 
cum brassica corrumpatur in dolio vini sapor, 
eundcm ^ betae foliis demersis restitui. 

136 XLI. 01uscaulcsque,quibusnuncprincipatushorto- 
rum, apud Graecos in honore fuisse non reperio, sed 
Cato brassicae miras canit laudes, quas in medicinae^ 
loco reddemus. genera eius facit : extcntis foliis, 
caule magno, alteram crispo folio, quam apiacam 
vocant, tertiam minutis caulibus, levem, teneram, 

137 minimeque probat. brassica toto anno seritur, quo- 
niam et toto secatur, utilissime tamen ab aequinoctio 
autumni ; transferturque cum quinque foliorum est. 
cymam a prima satione praestat proxima vere ; hic 
est quidam ipsorum caulium delicatior tcneriorque 
cauliculus, Apicii luxuriae et per eum Druso Caesari 

' eudem 7 Mayhoff : eodem aut odorem. 
* mcdicinae? Mayhoff : mcdendi. 



• Perhaps this was an accepted term for stale winc beginning 
to have a flavour like the taste of cabbage-water. 
' See p. 514, n. 

508 



BOOK XIX. XL. i34-.\u. 137 

are most valued for width, which is secured, as in 
lettuces, by placin<^ a Ha^ht weight on them when they 
have begun to assume their colour. No other 
garden plant grows broader : occasionallv beets 
spread out to two feet across, the nature of the soil 
also contributing a great deal to this, inasmuch as 
the widest spreading beets grow in the territory of 
Circcii. Some people think that beets are best sown 
when tlie pomegranate is in blossom, and trans- 
planted when they have begun to make five leaves ; 
and that by a remarkable difterence (if this really 
exists) white beet acts as a purge and black beet as an 
astringent ; and that when the flavour of wine in a 
cask is getting spoiled by ' cabbage ', " it can be 
restored to what it was by pkinging in some leaves of 
beet. 

XLI. Cabbages and kales wliich now have pre- Cabbagm. 
eminence in gardcns, I do not find to have been hekl in 
honour among the Greeks ; but Cato sings marvellous «R. 
praises of the head of cabbage, which we shall repeat 
when we deal with mcdicine. He classifies cabbages XX. 78 it. 
as foUows — a kind with the leaves wide open and a 
large stalk, another with a crinkly leaf, which is 
called celery-cabbage, and a third with very small 
stalks ; the last is a smooth and tender cabbage, 
and he puts it lowest in value. Cabbage is sown all 
the year round, since it is also cut all the year round, 
but it pays best to sow it at the autumnal equinox ; 
and it is transphinted when it has made five leaves. 
In the next spring after its first sowing it yields 
sprout-cabbage ; this is a sort of small sprout from 
the actual cabbage stalks, of a more delicate and 
tender quaHtv, though it was despised by the fas- 
tidious taste of Apicius * and owing to him by Drusus 

509 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

13S fastiditus, non sine castigatione Tiberii patris. post 
cymam ex eadem brassica contingunt aestivi autum- 
nalesque cauliculi, mox hiberni, iterumquc cymae, 
nullo aeque genere multifero, donec fertilitate sua 
consumatur. altera satio ab aequinoctio verno est, 
cuius planta extremo vere plantatur, ne prius cyma 
quam caule pariat ; tertia circa solstitium, ex qua, 
si umidior locus est, aestate, si siccior, autumno 
plantatur. umor fimumque si defuere, maior saporis 
gratia est, si abundavere, laetior fertilitas. fimum 
asininum maxime convenit. 

139 Est haec quoque res inter opcra ganeae, quapropter 
non pigebit verbosius persequi. praecipuus fit caulis 
sapore ac magnitudine prlmum omnium si in repasti- 
nato seras, dein si terram fugientes cauliculos se- 
quare terra adtollentcsque ^ sc proccritate luxuriosa 
exaggerando aliam acoumulcs ita ne phis quam 
cacumcn emineat. Tritianum hoc gcnus vocatur, bis 

140 conputabili inpcndio tacdioque. cetcra gcnera com- 
phn-a sunt : Cumanum scssile ^ foho, capitc patuhim ; 
Aricinum altitudine non excelsius, foho numcrosius 
quam ^ tenerius ; * hoc utilissimum existimatur 
quia sub omnibus paene fohis fruticat cauhcuhs 

* C. F. W. Mueller : tollenteaque aut dolentesque. 

* 8e.ssili cd. Par. Lat. 67!)'). 

* Juld. : qin ant quo aut quo cdd. (quoniam cd. Tolet.). 

* Mayhoff : tenuiua. 



BOOK XIX. xLi. 137-140 

Caesar, not witiiout rcproof fVoni his father Tiberius. 
After the sprout-cabbagc froni the sanie stalk we 
get summer and autumn sprouts, and then wiuter 
ones, and a second crop of sprout-cabbage, as no 
kind of plant is equally productive, until it gets 
exhausted by its own fertility. The second sowing 
begins at the spring equinox, and the seedling is 
bedded out at the end of spring, so that it may not 
bear in the sprout-cabbage stage before making 
cabbage-head ; the third is about midsummer, and the 
produce of this is bedded out during the summer if 
the place is rather damp and in autumn if it is drier. 
It has a more agreeable taste if it has not had much 
moisture or manure, but makes a more abundant 
growth if they have been plentiful. Ass's dung 
niakes the most suitable manure for it. 

Growing cabbages is also one of the ways of 
supplying table luxuries, so it will not bc out of 
place to pursue the subject at greater length. A 
way to produce a kale of outstanding flavour and 
size is if first of all you sow it in ground that 
has been dug, and next keep pace with the shoots 
breaking through the soil by earthing thcm up and 
when they begin to rise to a luxuriant height make 
another pile of earth against them by raising the 
bank so that not more than their head emerges. 
The kind so grown is called Tritian cabbage, and 
it may be estimated that it takes twice the usual 
outlay and trouble. There are quite a number of 
other varieties : Cumae cabbagc, with its leaf close to 
the ground and a spreading head ; La Riccia cabbage, 
rn) taller in hciglit, with a leaf more plcntiful than 
tendcr — this kind is considcred extremely useful 
because underneath almost all the leaves it throws 

511 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

peculiaribus ; Pompeianum procerius caule ah radice 
tenui intra foliacrasscscit: rariora haec angustioraque, 
sed tencritas in dote est ; frigora non tolerat, quibus 
etiam aluntur Bruttiani praegrandes foliis, caule 

141 tenucs, sapore acuti. Sabellico usque in adniiratio- 
nem crispa sunt folia quorum crassitudo cauleni ipsum 
extenuet, sed dulcissimi perhibentur ex onniibus. 
nuper subiere Lacuturncnses ex convalle Aricina,^ 
capite pracgrandes. foHo innumeri, aUi in orbcm 
conlecti,^ ahi in latitudinem torosi ; nec phis ullis 
capitis post Tritianum, cui pedale ahquando con- 

142 spicitur et cyma nulHs serior. cuicumque autem 
generi pruinae plurimum suavitati ' conferunt ; 
sectis,* nisi obHquo vuhiere defendatur meduUa, plu- 
rimum nocent.^ semini destinati non secantur. est 
etiam sua gratia numquam phmtae habitum exce- 
dcntibus ; ® aX/xryK'8ta vocant, (juoniam nisi in mari- 
tuniis non proveniunt. aiunt navigatione quocjue 
longin(}ua virides adservari si statim desecti ita ne 
humum adtingant in cados olei quam proxime 
siccatos opturatos(|ue condantur omni spiritu cxcluso. 

143 sunt qui jihmtam in transferendo alga subdita pedicu- 

* Post Aricina qloss. iibi quondam fiiit lacus turrisque quae 
remanet dd. Urlichs. 

* Maijhoff : porrecti edd. vett. : corrccti. 

' suavitati ? coll. § 182 Mayhoff : suavitatis. 

* scctis ? Matjhoff (ip.se at) : ncc cdd. (et cd. Par. Lat. 6795). 
' Mdi/hoff : nocct. 

" 6't7/»;7 : e.xcellentibus. 



" A note interpolated in the tcxt hcro runf ' wlierc formerly 
there wns a lake, and a towcr which stiil rcmains '. 
* Perhaps 8ea-l<aic or sca-fenncJ. 



BOOK XIX. xLi. 140-143 

out small sprouts of a peculiar kiiul; the Pompei 
cabbage is taller, and has a thin stalk near the root 
but grows thicker between the leaves, these being 
scantier and narrower, but their tenderness is a 
valuable quality. This cabbage cannot stand cold, 
which actually promotes the gro%\i;h of Bruttian 
cabbages with their extremely large leaves, thin 
stalk and sharp taste. The SabeUian cabbage has 
leaves that are quite remarkablv crisp and so thick 
as to exhaust the stalk itself, but these are said to 
be the sweetest of all the cabbages. There have 
recently come into notice the Lacuturna cabbages 
frnm the valley of La Riccia," which have a very large 
hcad and leaves too manv to count ; some of these 
cabbages are bunched together into a circular shape 
and others bulge out broadwise ; and no other 
cal)bagps make more head, not counting the Tritian 
kind, which is sometimes seen with a hcad measuring 
a foot across, and which sprouts as early as any other 
sort. But with any kind of cabbages hoarfrosts 
contribute a great deal to their sweetness, although a 
frost after the cabbages have been cut does the 
plants a great deal of damage, unless the pith is safe- 
guarded by using a slanting cut. Cabbages intended 
for seed are not cut. A peculiarlv attractive kind 
is one that never exceeds the size of a young 
plant ; they call thcse halnu/ridla,'' because they only 
grow on the sea-coast. They say that these keep 
green even on a long voyage if as soon as they are 
cut they are prevented from touching the earth by 
being put into oil-jars that have been dried just 
before and are bunged up so as to shut out all air. 
Some people think that the plant will mature more 
quickly if in the process of transplanting some sea- 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

lo nitrive triti quod tribus digitis capiatur celeriorem 
ad maturitatem fieri putent; sunt qui semen trifolii 
nitrumque simul tritum adspergant foliis. nitrum in 
coquendo etiam viriditatem custodit, ut et •• Apiciana 
coctura, oleo ac sale priusquam coquantur maceratis. 

144 est inter herbas genus inserendi praccisis germinibus 
et caulis in medullam semine ex aliis addito ; hoc et 
in cucumere silvestri. nec non olus quoque silvestre 
est triumpho divi lulii carminibus praecipue iocisque 
miUtaribus celebratum : alternis quippe versibus 
exprobravere lapsana se vixisse aput Dyrrachium. 
praemiorum parsimoniam cavillantes. est autem id 
cyma silvestris. 

145 XLII. Omnium in hortis rerum lautissima cura 
asparagis. de origine eorum e ^ silvestribus corrudis ' 
abunde dictum et quomodo eos iuberet Cato in harun- 
dinetis seri. est ct aliud genus incultius asparago. 
mitius corruda, passim etiam in montibus nascens, 
refertis superioris Germaniae campis, non inficeto Ti. 
Caesaris dicto herbam ibi quandam nasci simillimam 

146 asparago. nam quod in Neside Campaniae insula 
sponte nascitur longe optimum existimatur. horten- 
sium seritur spongeis ; est enim plurimae radicis 
altissumeque gerniinat. viret thyrso primum emi- 

' ut et Mayhojf: ut in coni. Dalcc. : aut. 
* e add. Mayhoff: in tdd. velt. 
' Mayhoff : curis. 



• A colebrated gourmet under Augustus and Tiberius, who.se 
nnme is attached to a cookery book in ten volumcs, stili 
extant. 

5*4 



BOOK XIX. xLi. 143-XL11. 146 

weed is placed under the foot-stalk, or else a pinch of 
poundcd soda, as much as can be picked up with 
three fingers ; and some have a plan of sprinkling 
the leaves with soda ground up with trefoil seed. 
Soda added in cooking also preserves the green- 
ness of cabbages, as does also Apicius's " recipe for 
steeping them in oil and salt before they are boiled. 
There is a method of grafting vegetables by cutting 
short the shoots and inserting into the pith of the stalk 
seed obtained from other plants ; this has even been 
done in the case of wikl cucumber. There is also a 
kind of wild cabbage which has been made famous 
particularly by the songs and jests of the troops at 
the triumph of the late lamented Julius, as in capping 
verscs they taunted him with having at the siege of 
Durazzo made them live on white charlock — this 
was a hit at the stinginess with which he rewarded 
their services. This is a wild cabbage sprout. 

XLII. Of all cultivated vegetables asparagus needs Asparagun. 
the most dehcate attention. Its origin from wild 
asparagus has been fully explained, and how Cato xvi. 173. 
recommends growing it in reed-beds. There is also r.r. clxi. 
another kind less refined than garden asparagus but 
less pungent than the wikl plant, which springs up in 
many pkaces even in mountain districts ; the plains of 
L pperGermany arefull ofit, the emperorTiberiusnot 
ineptly rcmarking that in that country a plant vcry 
like asparagus grows as a weed. In fact the kind that 
grows wild in the isLand of Nisita off the coast of 
Campania is deemed far the best asparagus there is. 
Garden asparagus is grown from root-chmips. for it 
is a phint with a large amount of root and it buds very 
deep down. When the tliin stem first shoots above 
ground the plant is green, and tlie shoot while 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cante, qui caulem educens tempore ipso fastic;atur ' 

147 in toros striatos.^ potest et semine seri. nihil dili- 
gentius comprehendit Cato, novissimumque Hbri est, 
ut appareat rem^ irrepentem * ac noviciam fuisse. 
locum subigi iubet umidum aut crassum, semipedali 
undique intervallo seri, ne calcetur, praeterea ad 
Hneam grana bina aut terna paxillo demitti — videUcet 

148 semine tum tantum serebantur — . id fieri secundum 
aequinoctium vernum, stercore satiari, crebro purgari, 
caveri ne cum herbis evellatur asparagus, primo anno 
stramento ab hieme protegi, vere aperiri, sariri, 
runcari, tertio incendi verno. quo maturius incensus 
est hoc melius provenit ; itaque harundinetis maxime 
convcnit quae festinant incendi. sariri iubet idem 
non antequam asparagus natus fuerit, ne in sariendo 

149 radices vexentur ; ex eo velH asparagum ab radice, 
nam si defringatur, stirpescere et intermori ; veUi 
donec in semen eat (id autem maturesccre ad ver) 
incendique, ac rursus, cum apparuerit asparagus, 
sariri ac stercorari. ac post annos ix, cum iam vetus 
sit, digeri subacto stercoratoque, tum spongeis seri 
singulorum pedum intervallo. quin et ovillo fimo 

150 nominatim uti, quoniam aHud herbas creet. nec 

* Mayhoff : fa.stigatus cst. 

^ Mai/hoff: striatur aw/ striatus, 
' rcm add. Mayhoff. 

* Jiackliam : repentem. 

5x6 



BOOK XIX. xLii. 1-16-150 

niakincc a longer stalk simultaneously tops ofF into 
grooved protuberances. It can also be grown from 
seed. No subject included by Cato is treated more 
carcfully, and it is the last topic of his book, showing 
that it was a novelty just creeping in. His advice is 
to dig over a place with a damp or heavy soil and sow 
the seeds six inches apart each way, so as to avoid 
treading on them ; and moreover to put two or 
three secds in each hole, made with a dibble along a 
Hne — obviously at that time asparagus was only 
£frown from seed. He recommends doinjr this after 
the vernal equinox, using plenty of dung, fre- 
quently cleaning with the hoe, taking care not to 
puU up the asparagus with the weeds, in the first 
year protecting the plants against winter with straw, 
uncovering them in spring and hoeing and stubbing 
the ground ; and setting fire to the plants in thc third 
spring. The earlier asparagus is burnt otf, the better 
it thrives, and consequently it is specially suitable 
for growing in reed-beds, which burn speedily. He 
also advises not hoeing the beds before the asparagus 
springs up, for fear of disturbing the roots in the pro- 
cess of hoeing ; next plucking offthe asparagus heads 
close to the root, because if they are broken otF, the 
plant runs to stalk and dies off ; going on plucking 
them till they run to seed (which begins to mature 
towards spring-time) and burning theni ofF, and wlien 
the asparagus plants have appeared, hocing tlicm ovcr 
again and manuring them. Nine years later, he says, 
whcn the phints are now old, tliey must be separated 
and the ground worked over and manured, and then 
they must be replanted with the tufts spaced out a 
foot apart. Moreover he expressly specifies using 
sheeps' dung, as other manure produces weeds. No 



PLINY: NATUllAL HLSTORY 

quioquam postea tcmptatum utilius apparuit nisi 
quod circa id. Feb. defosso semine acervatim parvulis 
scrobibus serunt, plurimum maceratum finio ; dein * 
nexis inter se radicibus spongeas factas post acqui- 
noctium autumni disponunt pedalibus intervallis fer- 

151 tilitate in denos annos durante. nullum gratius liis 
solum quam Ravennatium hortorum indicavimus. 
corrudam — hunc cnim intellego silvestrem aspara- 
gum, quem Graeci op/inov aut /Avu/cav^oi/ vocant 
aliisque nominibus — invenio nasci et arietis cornibus 
tunsis atque defossis. 

152 XLIII. Potcrant videri dicta omnia quae in prcfio 
sunt, ni restaret res maximi quaestus non sine pudore 
diccnda. certum est (juippe carduos apud Cartiia- 
ginem magnam CordubanKjue praccipue sestertiuin 
sena milia e parvis rcddcre areis,* (juoniam portenta 
quocjue terrarum in ganeam vcrtimus, serimusque 

153 etiamea^iuaerefugiuntcunctaequadripcdes. carduos 
ergo duobus modis, autumno planta et semine ante 
nonas Martias, plantacquc ex eo disponimtur ante 
id. Novemb. aut in locis frigidis circa favonium. ster- 
corantur etiam, si dis placet,^ laeliusque ))roveniunt. 
condiuntur quoque aceto melle diluto addita laseris 
radice et cumino,* ne quis dies sine carduo sit. 

' (biennio) dein C. F. W. Mveller (sonint, per biennium 
maceranl fimo ? coll. Palladio Mayhoff). 

* Salmasiiis : eis. 

» displicet cd. Val. Lat. .^Sfil. 

* E ifargilio Mayhoff: cumini (cumina cd. Par. Lal. 10318). 



" This is the cardoon, out of which the modern articLoke 
has bccn developcd. 
* Thc middle of spring. 



BOOK XIX. xLii. 150-xLin. 153 

method of cultivation tried later has provcd to be 
more useful, except that they now sow about Feb- 
ruary 13 by digging in the seed in heaps in little 
trenches, usually preparing the seed bv soaking it in 
dung ; as a result of this process tlie roots twine 
together and form tufts, which thev plant out at 
spaces of a foot apart after the autumn equinox, the 
plants going on bearing for ten years. There is no 
soil that asparagus Ukes better than that of the 
kitchen-gardens at Ravenna, as we have pointed out. ^Y^ ^^^- 
I hiid it stated that corruda (which I take to be a wild 
asparagus, called by the Greeks horminos or myacan- 
ihos as well as bv other namcs) will also come up if 
pounded rams' horns are dug in as manure. 

XLIII. It might be thought that all the vegetables ThiMU» 

C \ 11 1 • ll-l 1 .11 Q^II^I^fi fOT 

ot value fiad now been mentioned, did not there still ihe tabie. 
remain an extremelv profitable article of trade, which 
must be mentioned not without a feeling of shame. 
The fact is it is well known that at Carthage and par- 
ticularly at Cordova crops of thistles" yield a return of 
GOOO sesterces from small plots — since we turn even 
the monstrosities of tlie earth to purposes of gluttony, 
and actuallv grow vegetables which all four-footed 
beasts without exception shrink from touching. 
Thistles then we grow in two ways, from a slip planted 
in autumn and from seed sown before \Iarch 7, 
the seedHngs from wliich are planted out before 
November 13, or in cokl loealities about the seasoti* 
of the west wind. They are sometimes manured as 
well. if heaven so wills, and come up more abundantly. 
They arc also preserved in honey dilutcd with vinegar, 
with the addilion of iascrwort root and cuiiHiiin, 
so that there may be no day without thistles for 
diiiner. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

154 XLI\'. Cetera in transcursu dici possunt. ocimuni 
Farilibus optime seri ferunt, quidam et autumno, 
iuljentque cum in hiemem seratur aceto semen per- 
fundi. eruca quoque et nasturtium vel aestate vel 
hieme facillime nascuntur. eruca praecipue frigorum 
contemptrix diversae est quam lactuca naturae con- 

155 citatrixque veneris ; idcirco iungitur illi fere in cibis, 
ut nimio frigori par fervor inmixtus temperamentum 
aequet. nasturtium nomen accepit a narium tor- 
mento, et inde vigoris significatio ^ provcrbio usur- 
pavit id vocabulum vcluti torporem excitantis. in 
Arabia mirae amplitudinis dicitur gigni. 

156 XLV^ Ruta quoque scriturfavonio et ab aequinoctio 
autumni. odit hiemem et umorem ac fimum, apricis 
gaudet ac siccis terraque quam maxime lateraria ; 
cinere vult nutriri, hic et semini miscetur ut careat 
urucis. auctoritas ei peculiaris aput antiquos fuit : 
invenio mulsum rutatum populo datum a Cornelio 
Cethego in consulatu collega Quinti Flaminini comi- 
tiis peractis. amicitia ei cum fico tanta ut ^ nusquam 

1.57 laetior proveniat ^ quam sub hac arbore. seritur et 
surculo, melius in perforatam fabam indito, quae suco 
nutrit conprehendendo surculum. serit et se ipsa, 

' significationem ? Riickham. 

* Maifhoff : tantum. 

• Edil. : provenit. 



• April 21. 

* SuMurliiim = ' nostril-tormenter ', from naris and lorqueo. 
' 'Ea6if xapSa/xoi', ' eat somo Cress ', said to sluggish people. 

520 



BOOK XIX. xLiv. 154-XLV. 157 

XLIV. A cursory description can suffice for the rest othtr piants 
of the plants. The best tinie for sowing basil is said 
to be at the Feast of Pales,'' and some say in autumn 
also, advising that when it is sown for wintcr thc seed 
should be moistened with vinegar. Also rocket and 
cress can be grown very easilv either in summer 
or in winter. Rocket particularly thinks nothing of 
cold. Its properties are quite dilierent from those of 
lettuce, and it acts as an aphrodisiac ; consequently 
it is usually blendcd with lettuce in a salad, so that 
the excessive chilhness of the lettuce may be tem- 
pered and counter-baUinced by being mingled with 
an equal amount of heat. Cress has got its Latin 
name ^* from the pain that it gi\'es to the nostrils, 
and owing to this the sense of vigorousness has 
attached itself to that word in the current ex- 
pression,"^ as denoting a stimulant. It is said to 
grow to a remarkably large size in Arabia. 

XL\\ Rue also is sown when the west wind blows nue. 
in spring, and just after the autumn equinox. It 
hates cold weather, damp and dung, and Ukes sunny, 
dry places and a soil containing as much brick-cUxy 
as possible ; it requires to be manured with ashes, 
which are also mixed with the seed to banish cater- 
pillars. Rue was held in special importance in old 
times : I find that honied wine flavoured with rue 
was given to the pubUc by CorneUus, Quintus 
F]amininus's coUeague in the consulship, after the 323 b.o. 
election had been concluded. Rue is so friendly 
with the fig that it grows better under this tree 
than anywhere else. It can also be grown from a 
sUp, preferably inserted into a hole made in a bean, 
which holds the sUp firmly and nourishes it with its 
juice. It also reproduces itself by layering, since if 

521 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

namque incurvato cacumine alicuius rami, cum attigit 
terram statim radicatur. eadem et ocimo natura, 
nisi quod difficilius arescit semen. ruta ^ runcatur 
non sine difficultate pruritivis ulccribus, ni munitis 
manibus id fiat oleove defcnsis. condiuntur autem 
et eius folia servanturque fasciculis. 

158 XLVI. Ab aequinoctio verno seritur apium semine 
paulum in pila pulsato : crispius sic putant ficri aut 
si satum calcetur cylindro pedibusve. proprium ei 
quod colorem mutat. honos in Achaia coronare 
victores sacri certaminis Nemeae. 

159 XLVII. Eodem tempore seritur menta planta vel, 
si nondinn germinat, spongea. non'^ minus haec 
umidogaudet. aestate xnret, hieme flavescit. genus 
eius silvestre mentastrum ; ex hoc propagatur ut vitis, 
vel si inversi rami serantur. mentae nomen suavitas 
odoris aput Graecos mutavit, cum aHoqui mintha 
vocaretur, unde veteres nostri nomen declinaverunt, 

160 nunc autem coepit dici yjSvoa-fjiov. grata tomento,^ 
mensas odore percurrit in rusticis dajnbus. semel 
sata diutina aetate durat. congruit puleio, cuius 
natura in carnariis reflorcscens saepius dicta est. 
haec quoque servantur simiH genere, mentam dico 
puleiumque et nepetam. condimentorum tainen 

' Mayhoff: sed ruta Urlichs: arescit eed durata. 
* non add. Uardouin (mire pro minus? Mayhoff). 
' Mai/hoff : grato a«< grato meuto. 



" Apium a]so includeB celery, and indeed celery is really 
meant here. 

* Especially peppermint. 

522 



BOOK XIX. xLv. i57-.\xvii. i6o 

the end of a branch ciirves over, wlien it touches 
the ground the plant at once strikes root. Basil 
also has the same properties, except that its seed 
dries with more ditficulty. Stubbing rue is a pro- 
eess not without ditficulty, because it causes itching 
ulcers, unless it is done with the hands protected by 
gloves or safeguarded by oiHng. The leaves of rue 
are also preserved, being kept in bundles. 

XLVI, Parsley" sowing begins at the vernal /Wi;.'!/ 
equinox, the seed being first gently pounded in a ("'*^*')- 
mortar : it is thought that the parsley is made 
crisper by this process, or if the seed is rolled or 
trodden into the earth after being sown. A peculi- 
arity of parsley is that it changes its colour. In 
Achaia it has the distinction of providing the wreath 
wom by the winners of the sacred contest at Nemea. 

XLVII. Thisisalsothetimeforplantingmint^^^using Mint, 
a shoot, or if it is not yet making bud, a matted tuft. ^^'^"yoyai 
Mint is equally fond of damp ground. It is green in 
summer and turns yellow in winter. There is a wild 
kind of mint called mentastrum; this is propagated 
by layering, like a vine, or by planting stalks end 
downwards. The name of mint has been altered in 
Greece because of its sweet scent ; it used to be called 
mintha, from which our ancestors derived the Latin 
name, but now it has begun to be called by a Greek 
word meaning ' sweet-scented '. It is agreeable for 
stuffing cushions, and pervades the tables ^vith its 
scent at country banquets. One planting lasts for 
a long period. It is closely related to pennyroyal, 
which has the property which we have spoken of 
more than once of flowering when it is in a larder. ir. 108, 
These other herbs, I mean mint and also pennyroyal * " ' 

and catmint, are kept in the same kind of way. Yet 

5*3 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

omnium^ quae fastidiis . . .^ cuminum amicissu- 

161 mum. nascitur in summa tellure vix haerens et in 
sublime tendens, in putribus et calidis maxime locis 
medio serendum vere. alterum eius genus silvestre 
quod rusticum vocant, alii Thebaicum, si tritum ex 
aqua potetur in dolore stomachi,^ in Carpetania nostri 
orbis maxime laudatur, alioqui Aethiopico Africoque 
palma est ; quidam luiic * Aefr^^jitium praeferunt. 

162 XLVTII. Sed praecipue olusatrum mirae naturae 
est; hipposeUnum Graeci vocant, aUi zmyrnium. e 
lacrima cauUs sui nascitur, seritur et radice. sucum 
eius qui coHigunt murrae saporem habere dicunt, 

163 auctorque est Theophrastus murra sata natuni. hippo- 
seUnum veteres praeceperant in locis incultis, lapidosis 
iuxta maceriam seri — nunc et repastinato seritur et 
a favonio post acquinoctium autumnum — quippc cum 
capparis quoque seratur siccis maxime, area in defos- 
sum cavata ripisque undique circumstructis lapide ; 
aUas evagatur per agros et cogit sokmi sterilescere. 
floret aestate, viret usque ad vergiUarum occasum, 
sabulosis famiUarissimum. vitia eius quod trans 
maria nascitur dixinms inter percgrinos frutices. 

* Urlich.s : (ilii ulia omnia. 

* Lacunam Urlichs : <amica sunt) ? Mitijlioff. 

* Mtornachi .(prodest) edd. 

* Edd. : hoc. 



" Thc verb has been lost in the Latin text. 
* From Thrbes in Egypt. 
' Oiir alexanders. 
■* lliDt. 1'lanl. iX. i. 

5*4 



BOOK XIX. xLvii. 160-XLV111. 163 

of all the seasonings which gratify * a fastidious taste, 
cummin is the most agreeable. It grows on the 
surface of the ground, hardly adhering to the soil and 
stretching iipward, and it should be sown in the middle 
of spring, in crumbly and specially warm soils. 
Another kind of cummin is the wild variety called 
country cummin, or by other people Thebaic* cummin. 
For pounding up in water and using as a draught in 
cases of stomach-ache the most highly esteemed kind 
in our continent is that grown at Carpetania, though 
elsewhere the prize is awarded to Ethiopian and 
African cummin ; however some prefer the Egyptian 
to the African. 

XLVni. Aherbofexceptionallyremarkablenature AirTanders 
is black-herb/ the Greek name for which is horse- *^"^"^" 
parsley, and which others call zmyrnium. It is 
reproduced from the gum that trickles from its own 
stalk, but it can also be grown from a root. The 
people who collect its juice say that it tastes like 
rayrrh, and Theophrastus "* states that it sprang first 
from sown myrrh seed. Old writers had recom- 
mended sowing horse-parsley in uncultivated stony 
ground near a garden wall ; but at the present day 
it is so\vn in land that has been dug over and also 
after a west wind has followed the autumn equinox. 
The reason for the old plan was that the caper also 
is sown principally in dry places, after a plot has 
been hollowed out for deep digging and stone banks 
have been built all round it : otherwise it strays all 
over the fields and takes the fertiHty out of tlie soil. 
It blossoms in summer and continues green till the 
setting of the Pleiads ; it is most at home in sandy 
soil. The bad quahties of the caper that grows over 
seas we have spoken of among the exotic shrubs. xiii. 127. 

525 



PLINTi^ NATURAL IIISTORY 

164 XLIX. Peregrinum et careum gentis suae nomine 
appellatum, culinis principale. in quacumque terra 
seri vult ratione eadem qua olusatrum, laudatissimum 
tamen in Caria, proximura Phrygia. 

165 L. Ligusticum silvestre est in Liguriae suae monti- 
bus.seritur ubique ; suavius sativum sed sine viribus. 
panacem aliqui vocant ; Crateuas apud Graecos cuni- 
lam bubulam eo nomine appellat, ceteri vero conyzam, 
Id est cunilaginem, thymbram vero quae sit cunila. 
haec aput nos habet vocabulum et aliud satureia dicta 
in condimentario genere. seritur mense Februario, 
origano aemula : nusquam utrumque additur, quippe 
slmilis efFectus ; sed cunilae Aegyptium origanum 
tantum praefertur. 

166 LI. Peregrinum fuit et lepidium. seritur a favonio, 
dein, cum fruticavit, iuxta terram praeciditur, tunc 
runcatur stercoraturque. per biennium hoc postea, 
iisdem fruticibus, utuntur, si non saevitia hiemis 
Ingruat, quando inpatientissimum est frigorum. 
exit et in cubitalem altitudinem, foUis lauri, sed 
moUioribus.^ usus eius non sine lacte. 

167 LII. Git pistrinis, anesum et anetum culinis et 
medicis nascuntur, sacopenium, quo laser adulteratur, 
et ipsum in hortis quidem, sed medicinae tantum. 

^ Rackham (mollibus edd.) : mollius. 



526 



" Caria in Asia Minor. 

* Elecampane, or flcabane. 

* RoHian coriander, or fennelliower. 



BOOK XIX. XMX. 164-U1. 167 

XLIX. The caraway is also an exotic, and bears a Caraway. 
name derived from the country " it belongs to ; it is 
chiefly for the kitchen. It will grow in any country 
if cultivated in the same way as black-herb, though 
the kind most highly spoken of grows in Caria, and 
the next best in Phrygia. 

L. Lovage grows wild in the mountains of its native Lovage. 
Liguria, but is cultivated everywhere ; the cultivated 
kind is sweeter but lacks strength. Some people 
call it panax, but the Greek writer Crateuas gives 
that name to co^w-cunila, though all others call that 
conyza}> which is really cunilago, while i*eal cunila they 
call ihymhra. With us cunila has another name also, Savory. 
being called satureia and classed as a spice. It is 
sown in February ; and it is a rival of wild marjoram, Marjoram. 
the two never being used as ingredients together, 
because they impart a similar flavour ; but only the 
Egyptian wild marjoram is reckoned superior to 
cunila. 

LI. Pepperwort also was originally an exotic. It Pepperteort. 
is sown after the spring west wind starts, and then, 
when it has begun to shoot, it is cut down close to 
the ground and afterwards hoed and manured. 
Subsequently the plant thus treated is serviceable 
for two years with the same shoots, provided it is 
not attacked by a severe winter, as it is very incap- 
able of bearing cold. It grows to a height of as 
much as eighteen inches ; it has the leaves of the 
bay-tree, but softer. It is always used mixed ^vith 
milk. 

LII. Git <= is grown for use in bakeries, anise and othfr kitchen 
dill for the kitchen and for doctors ; sacopenium, medicinai 
employed for adulterating laserwort, is also grown ^*"- 
as a garden plant, but only for medicinal purposes. 

527 



PLI>A': NATUllAL IHSTORY 

LliL Sunt quaedaui comitantia aliorum satus, ut 
papaver; namque cum brassica seritur ac porcillaca, 
16S et eruca cum lactuca. papaveris sativi tria genera : 
candidum, cuius semen tostum in secunda mensa cum 
melle apud antiquos dabatur; hoc et panis rustici 
crustac inspergitur, adfuso ovo inhaerens, ubi inferi- 
orem crustam apium gitque Cereali sapore condiunt. 
alterum genus est papaveris nigrum, cuius scapo 
inciso lacteus sucus excipitur. tertium genus rhoean 

169 vocant Graeci, idem ^ nostri erraticum ; sponte qui- 
dem, sed in arvis cum hordeo maxime nascitur, 
erucae simile, cubitali altitudine, flore rufo et protinus 
deciduo, unde et nomen a Graecis accepit. de 
rehquis generibus papaveris sponte nascentis dicemus 
in medicinae loco. fuisse autem in honore apud 
Romanos semper indicio est Tarquinius Superbus, qui 
legatis a filio missis decutiendo papavera in horto 
altissima sanguinarium illud responsum hac facti ^ 
ambage reddidit. 

170 LIV. Rursus alio comitatu aequinoctio autumni 
seruntur coriandrura, anetum, atriplex, malva, lapa- 
tlium, caerefoHum, quod paederota Graeci vocant, et 
acerrimum sapore igneique efFectus ac saluberrimum 
corpori sinapi, nulla cultQra, meUus tamen planta 
tralata : quin e diverso vix est sato semel eo liberare 

171 locum, quoniam semen cadens protinus viret. usus 



» Idera {vfl et) ? Mayhoff : id. 
* tacita ? cnll. Livio Mayhnff. 



' The ' pomegranate poppy ' {Papaver hybridum). The 
writer supposes the Greek name to be derived from ptlv ' to 
flow'. The 'white' and ' black ' {-^ pale aiid dark) poppieB 
moiitioned above are opium-poppica. 



528 



BOOK XIX. Liii. 167-LIV. 171 

LIII. There are some plants that are sown in com- Poppy. 
pany with others, for instance the poppy, which is sown 
with cabbago and purslain, and rocket is sown with 
lettuce. There are three kinds of cultivated poppy : 
the white, the seed of which in okl days used to be 
roasted and served with honey at second course ; it is 
also sprinkled on the top crust of country loaves, an 
egg bcing poured on to make it stick, while celery 
and git are used to give the bottom crust a festival 
flavour. The second kind of poppy is the black 
poppy, from which a milky juice is obtained by 
making an incision in the stalk. The third kind i 
called bv the Greeks rhoeas " and in our country wild 
poppy ; it does indeed grow uncultivated, but chiefly 
in fields sown with barley ; it resembles rocket, and 
grows eighteen inches high, ^vith a red flower which 
falls very quickly, and which is the origin of its Greek 
name. We shall speak of the remaining kinds of ^x. les. 
self-sown poppy under the head of drugs. That the 
poppy has always been in favour at Rome is indicated 
by the story of Tarquinius the Proud, who knocked 
off the heads of the tallest poppies in his garden and 
by means of this unspoken rebus conveyed to the 
envoys sent to him by his son that sanguinary answer 
of his. 

LIV. Again there is another group of plants which iiH.iiard 
are sown at the autumn equinox — coriander, dill, ""tinmi^ 
orage,mallow,sorrel,chervil,the Greek name for which *"""» '^**- 
is lad's love, and mustard, which with its pungent taste 
and fiery effect is extremely beneficial for the health. 
It grows entirely wild, though it is improved by being 
transplanted : but on the other hand when it has 
once been sown it is scarcely possible to get the place 
free of it, as the seed when it falls germinates at once. 

529 



rLlNV: NATURAL IILSTORY 

eius etiam pro pulmentario in patellis decocti ^ citra 
intellectum acrimoniae ; cocuntur et folia, sicut 
reliquorum olerum. sunt autem trium generum : 
unum gracile, alterum simile rapi foliis, tertium 
erucae. semen optimum Aegvptium. Athenienses 
napy appellaverunt, alii thlaspi,^ aHi saurion. 
172 LV. Serpyllo et sisymbrio montes plerique scatent, 
sicut Threciae ; itaque' deferunt ex his avulsos ramos 
seruntque, item Sicyone ex suis montibus et Athenis 
ex Hymetto. simili modo et sisymbrium serunt, 
laetissimum nascitur in puteorum parietibus et circa 
piscinas ac stagna. 

173 LVL Reliqua sunt ferulacei generis, ceu feniculum 
anguibus, ut diximus, gratissimum, ad condienda 
plurima cum inaruit utile,* eique perquam similis 
thapsia, de qua diximus inter externos frutices, deinde 
utilissima funibus cannabis. seritur a favonio ; quo 
densior est eo tenerior. semen eius, cum est matu- 
rum, ab aequinoctio autumni destringitur et sole aut 
vento aut fumo siccatur. ipsa cannabis vellitur post 
vindemiam ac lucubrationibus decorticata purgatur. 

174 optima Alabandica, plagarum praecipue usibus. tria 
eius ibi genera : inprobatur cortici proximum aut 

' Rackham : decocto. 

" Hardonin : thapsi. 

' Mayhoff : utaque awMitiqiie aw< «m. 

♦ utile add. ? Mnyhnff. 

530 



BOOK XIX. Liv. 171-LV1. 174 

It b also used to make a relish, by being boiled down 
in saucepans till its sharp flavour ceases to be notice- 
able ; also its leaves are boiled, Uke those of all other 
vegetables. There are thrce kinds of mustard plant, 
one of a slender shape, another with leaves likc those 
of turnip, and the third witli those of rocket. The 
best seed comes from Egypt. The Athenian word 
for mustard is napy, those of other dialects ihlaspi 
and lizard-herb. 

UV. Most mountains teem with thynie and wild Thyminnn 
mint, for instance the mountains of Thrace, and so ^^^ater^mini. 
pcople phick off sprays of theni there and bring them 
down to plant ; and they do the same at Sicyon 
from mountains there and at Athens from Hymettus. 
Wild mint is also planted in a simihir manner; it 
grows most abundantly on the walls of wells and 
round fishpools and ponds. 

LVI . There remain the garden plants of the fennel- Fenneu 
giant class, for instance fennel, which snakes are ^' 
very fond of, as we have said, and which when dried ^m- ^^- 
is useful for seasoning a great many dishes, and 
thapsia, which closely resembles it, of which we have 
spoken among foreign bushes, and thcn liemp, which xiii. 121. 
is exceedingly useful for ropes. Hemp is sown when 
the spring west ^vind sets in; the closer it grows the 
thinner its stalks are. Its seed when ripe is stripped 
off after the autumn equinox and dried in the sun or 
wind or by the smoke of a fire. The hemp plant 
itself is plucked after the vintage, and peeling and 
cleaning it is a task done by candle light. The best 
is that of Arab-Hissar, which is specially used for 
making hunting-nets. Three classes of hemp are 
produced at that place : that nearest to the bark or 
the pith is considered of inferior value, while that 

531 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

meduUae, laudatissima est e medio quae mesa vocatur. 
secunda Mylasea. quod ad proceritatem quidem 
attinet, Rosea agri Sabini arborum altitudinem aequat. 
176 ferulae duo genera in peregrinis fruticibus diximus. 
semen eius in Italia cibus est ; conditur quippe 
duratque in urceis vel anni spatio. duo ex ^ ea 
olera,2 caules et racemi.^ corymbian hanc vocant 
corymbosque quos condunt.* 

176 LVII. Morbos hortensia quoque sentiunt sicut 
rehqua terra sata. namque et ocimum senectute de- 
generat in serpyllum, et sisymbrium in zmintham, et 
ex semine brassicae vetere rapa fiunt, atque invicem. 
et necatur cuminum haemodoro,^ nisi repurgetur : est 
autem unicaule, radice bulbo simili, non nisi in gracili 
solo nascens. alius privatim cumini morbus scabies. 
et ocimum sub canis ortu pallescit. omnia vero 

177 accessu mulieris menstrualis flavescunt. bestiolarum 
quoque genera innascuntur, napis puUces, raphano 
urucae et vermiculi, item lactucis et oleri, utrique hoc 
amplius limaces et cocleae, porro vero privata animalia 
quae facillime stercore iniecto capiuntur condentia in 
id se. ferro quoque non expedire tangi rutam, cuni- 
lam, mentam, ocimum auctor est Sabinus Tiro in libro 
KrjTTovpLKwv quem Maecenati dicavit. 

' ex culd. Mayhoff. * olcra ? Mayhnff: genera. 

• [duo . . . raccmi] Urlichs. * Wnrmingtnn: condiunt. 

' alfioSdjpu) Detlefsen: ab imo dorso rrlil.: ab imo orto hae- 
miidoro Warmington coll. Theophr. H.P. VIII, 8, 5 viTO(f>v6iJ,fvov 

tvOv-; fK TTJS pt^TfS T<I> KVfl.lV(f} . . . TO HlfloboJpOV. 

532 



BOOK XIX. Lvi. 174-LVI1. 177 

iVom the middle, the Greek name for whieh is 
' middles ', is most highly esteemed. The second 
best hemp comes from Mylasa. As regards height, 
the hemp of Rosea in the Sabine territory grows as 
tall as a fruit-tree. The two kinds of fennel-giant 
have been mcntioned above among exotic shrubs. xiii. 123. 
In Italy its secd is an article of diet ; in fact it is 
stored in pots and lasts for as much as a year. Two 
diiferent parts of it are used as vegetables, the 
stalks and the branches. This fennel is called in 
Greek clump-fennel, and thc pai-ts that are stored, 
clumps. 

L\TI. Garden vegetables are also Hable to disease, Diseasesoj 
hke the rest of the jjlants on earth. For instance garden' 
basil degcnerates with old age into wild-thyme and piants. 
sisymbrium into mint, and old cabbage seed produces 
turnip, and so on. Also cummin is killed by broom- 
rape unless it is thoroiighly cleaned : this is a plant 
with a single stalk and a root resembUng a bulb, and it 
only grows in a thin soil. Another disease peculiar to 
cummin is scab. Also basil turns pale at the rising 
of the Dog-Star. All plants indeed turn yellow when 
a woman comes near them at her monthly period. 
Also various insects breed on garden plants — 
springtails in navews, caterpillars and maggots in 
radish, and also on lettuces and cabbage, both of 
which are more infested by slugs and snails than 
radish ; and the leek has special insects of its 
own, which are easily caught bv throwing dung 
on the plants, as they burrow into it. According 
to Sabinus Tiro in his book 0?i Gardening, which 
he dedicated to Maecenas, it is also bad for rue, 
savory, mint or basil to come in contact with 
iron. 

533 



PLINY: XATURAL IH.STORY 

178 L\'III. Idem contra formicas, non minimuni hor- 
torum exitium si non sint rigui, remedium monstravit 
limum marinum aut cinerem opturandis earum fora- 
minibus. sed efficacissime heliotropio herba necantur ; 
(juidam et aciuam diluto latere crudo ininiicam his 

179 putant. naporum medicina ervi aliquid una seri, sicut 
olerum cicer, arcet enim urucas. quo si omisso enatae 
sint, remedio est absinthi sucus decocti inspersus vel 
sedi : genus hoc herbae quam alii dei^wov vocant,^ dixi- 

180 mus. semen olerum si suco eius madefactum seratur, 
olera nuUi animalium obnoxia futura tradunt ; in 
totum vero necari urucas si palo inponantur in hortis 
ossa capitis ex equino genere, feminae dumtaxat. 
adversus urucas et cancrum fluviatilem in medio horto 
suspensum auxiliari narrant ; sunt qui sanguineis 
virgis tangant ea quae nolunt his oi)noxia esse. 
infestant et culices riguos hortos, pratcipue si sint 
arbusculae aliquae ; hi galbano accenso fugantur. 

isl Nam quod ad permutationem seminum attinet, 
quibusdam ex his firmitas maior est, ut coriandro, 
betae, porro, nasturtio, sinapi, erucae, cunilae et fere 
acribus ; infirmiora autem sunt atriplici, ocimo, 
cucurbitae, cucumi, et aestiva omnia hibernis magis ; 
niinime autem durat* gethyum. sed ex his quae 



• quam . . . vocant hir Mayhoff : ante genus. 

* Mayhoff : durant miniine autem. 



534 



BOOK XIX. Lvin. 178-181 

LVIII. The same author has given an account of a Proueiion 
remedy against ants, which are not the least dcstructive '^'""*' """*• 
of pests in gardens not well supplied with water ; the 
plan is to stop up the mouths of ant-holes with sea- 
sUme or ashes. But the most effective thing for killing 
ants is the heHotrope plant ; and some people also 
think that water in which an unbaked brick has been 
soaked is injurious to these insects. It protects 
navews to sow some bitter vetch with them. and simi- 
hirly chick-pea for cabbages, as it kee])s off caterpillars. 
If neglect of this precaution has led to the appearance 
of caterpillars, the remedy is to sprinkle them with a 
decoction of wormwood or of houselcek; we have 
mentioned this class of plant, which some call xviii. 159. 
immoriel. It is stated that if cabbage secd is soaked 
in the juice of houseleek before being sown, the cab- 
bages will be immune from all kinds of insects ; and 
it is said that caterpillars can be totally exterminated 
in gardens by fixing up on a stake the skull of an 
animal of the horse class, provided it is that of a 
female. There is also a story that a river crab hung 
up in the middle of a garden is a protection against 
caterpillars. Some people touch plants which they 
want to be immune from caterpillars with slips of 
blood-red cornel. Also gnats infest damp gardens, 
especially if there are any shrubs in them ; these can 
be driven away by burning galbanum resin. 

In regard to the deterioration of seeds, some /.ongevity o/ 
keep longer than others, for instance coriander, "'^- 
beet, leek, cress, mustard, rocket, savory and the 
pungent seeds generally ; while the seeds of orage, 
basil, gourd and cucumber do not keep so well, and 
summer seeds in general are not so strong as winter 
ones. The least lasting is long-onion seed. Oftlicse 

535 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sunt fortissima nullum ultra quadriniatum utile est, 
dumtaxat serendo ; culinis et ultra tempestiva sunt. 

182 LIX. PeculiarLs medicina raphano, betae, rutae, 
cunilae in salsis aquis, quae et alioqui plurimum 
suavitati et fertilitati conferunt. ceteris dulcium 
aquarum rigua prosunt ; utilissimae ex his quae 
frigidissimae et quae potu suavissimae, minus utiles 
e stagno et quas eHces^ inducunt (juoniam herbarum 
semina invehunt. praecipue tamen imbres alunt, nam 
et bestiolas innaseentes necant. 

183 LX. Hortis ^ horae rigandi matutino atque vespera, 
ne inftn-vescat aqua sole, ocimo tantum et meridie ; 
nam etiam satum celerrime erumpere putant inter 
initia fenenti aqua aspersum. omnia autem tralata 
meUctra jfrandioracjue Hunt, maxime porri napique. 
in tralatione et medicina est, desinuntque sentire 
iniurias, ut gethyum, porrum, raphani, apium, 

184 lactucae, rapa, cucumis. omnia autem fere silvestria 
sunt' et foHis minora et cauhbus, suco acriora, sicut 
cunih\,origanum, ruta. solum vero ex omnibus lapa- 
thum silvestre mcUus ; hoc in sativis rumix vocatur, 
omnium quae seruntur nascuntunjue fortissinuim.* 
tradunt certe semel satum durare nec vinci umquam, 

185 aeternum ^ maxime iuxta aquas. usus * eius cum 

' HermolauA : silicesaW. : ilices. 

* Sic '! Mayhoff : bestiolae . . . necantur. his. 

• Maijhoff : fere sunt et silvestria. 

* Mayhoff: fortissimum quae servantur cd. Par. FmI. 
lCnS: om. nil.: naacuntur aid. (nascitur cd. Par. Lal. 
67'J7?). 

' aeternum ? Mayhoff : a terra. 

• Mayhoff aquam usus (aqua sucus cd. Par. Lat. 10318). 

• See note * on § 185. 



BOOK XIX. Lviii. 181-LX. 185 

however which keep best none is of any use after 
four years, at all events for sowing; they are fit for 
kitchen use even beyond that period. 

LIX. There is a curative propcrtv speciallv effec- DirecHons 

c T 1 1 1.1 fc' tvateriiig. 

tive lor radisli, beet, rue and savory in salt water, 
which moreovcr also contributes a great deal to their 
sweetness and to their fertility. AU other plants are 
benefited by being watered with fresh water, the 
most useful for the purpose being water from streams, 
which is extremely cool and very sweet to drink ; 
water from a pond or brought by a conduit is not so 
useful, because it carries with it the seeds of weeds. 
However it is rain that nourishes plants best, as rain- 
water also kills insects that breed on them. 

LX. For gardens the times for watering are in the 
morning and the evening, so that the water may not 
be heated by the sun. It only suits basil to water it 
at midday as well ; for it is thought that this plant 
even when first sown will bi*eak out most rapidly if at 
the first stage it is watered u-ith water that is warm. 
All plants grow better and larger when transplanted, 
most of all leeks and navews. Also transplanting has Trantplaru- 
a medicinal effect, and such plants as long onion, leek, "*^' 
radishes, parsley, lettuces, turnip and cucumber cease 
to suffer from injuries when transplanted." But Useofuild 
almost all the wild varieties, for example savory, wild p'"'"''- 
marjoram, rue, are smaller in leaf and stalk, and have 
a more acrid juice. Indeed sorrel is the only one of 
all the plants of which the wild variety is the better ; 
the cultivated sorrel is called rumix, and it is the 
strongest of all the plants grown under cultivation or 
wild ; at all events it is reported that when once it has 
been estabhshed it lasts on and is never overcome, and 
that it is specially everlasting when close to water. 

537 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tisana tantuin in cibis : leniorem ^ gratioremque 
saporem praestat. silvestre ad multa medicamina 
utile est. (Adeoque nihil omisit cura ut carmine 
quoque conprehensum reperiam, fabis caprini fimi 
singuUs cavatis si porri, erucae, lactucae, apii, 
intubi, nasturtii semina inclusa serantur, mire 
provenire. quae sunt et silvestria eadem sativis 
sicciora intelleguntur et acriora.) 

18G LXI. Namque et sucorum saporumque dicenda 
differentia est, vel maior in his quam ^ in pomis. sunt 
autem acres cunilae, origani, nasturtii, sinapis, amari 
absinthii, centaurei, aquatiles cucumeris, cucurbitae, 
lactucae, acuti th^Tni, cunilaginis, acuti et odorati 
apii, aneti, fenicuH. salsus tantum e saporibus non 
nascitur, aliquando extra insidit pulveris modo, et 
cicercuUs tantum. 

187 LXII. Atque ut inteUegatur vana ceu plerumque 
vitae persuasio, panax piperis saporem reddit et magis 
etiam siliquastrum ob id piperitidis nomine accepto, 
Uhanotis odoreni turis, zmvrnium murrae. de panace 
abunde dictum est. Ubanotis locis putribus et macris 
ac roscidis seritur ; radicem habet olusatri, nihil ture 
differentem ; usus eius post annum stomaclio salu- 
berrimus. quidam eam noinine aUo rosmarinum 

' Matjlioff : leviorem. 

2 quum aW. (sicut cd. Far. Lat. 10318). 

r — — 

" Not known. 

* The sentencea in the parenthesis seem to come in better 
at the end of § 183. 

• A variant reading gives ' the difference being even greater 
in the wiid varieties, as it is in the case of fruits '. 

53» 



BOOK XIX: Lx. 1S5-LX11. 187 

It is only used for the table mixed with pearl-barley, 
which gives it a softer and niore agreeable flavour. 
The wild variety suppHes a nuniber of drugs. (And 
so careful has research been to overlook nothing, 
that I actually find it stated in a poem " that if the 
seeds of leek, rocket, lettuce, parsley, endive and 
cress are planted enclosed in hoUow pellets of goat's 
dung, each seed in a separate pellct, they come up 
wonderfully. With plants of which there is also a 
wild variety, the latter are thought to be more dry 
and acrid than the cultivated sort.'') 

LXI. Now we ought also to speak of the difference of ■^«'«a <>/ 
the juices and flavours of herbs,this being even greater 
in their case than in fruits."^ The juice of savory, 
wild marjoram, cress and mustard has an acrid taste; 
the juice of wormwood and centaury is bitter, that of 
cucumbers, gourds and lettuces watery ; that of 
thyriie and cunilago pungent ; that of parsley^ dill 
and fennel pungent and scented. The only flavour 
not found in plants is the taste of salt, though 
occasionally it is present as a sort of external layer, 
like a dust, and this only in the case of the chickUng 
vetch. 

LXII. Andtoshowhowunfounded,assofrequently, Fiavoursof 
is the view ordinarily held, all-heal has the taste of '"^ ** 
pepper, and still more so has pepperwort, which conse- 
quently is called pepper-plant ; and grass of Lebanon 
has the scent of frankincense, and alexanders that 
of myrrh. About all-heal enough has been said ^ii. 127. 
already. Libanotis grows in thin powdery soil, and Lecokia 
in places where there is a heavy dew ; it 
the root of ohisatrum, exactly Hke frankincense ; 
when a year old it is extremely whok^some for the 
digestion. Some people call it by another name, 

539 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

188 appellant. zmyrnium olus seritur iisdem locis mur- 
ramque radice resipit. eadem et siliquastro satio. 
reliqua a ceteris et odore et sapore differunt, ut 
anetum ; tantaque est diversitas atque vis ut non 
solum aliud alio mutetur sed etiam in totum aufera- 
tur: apio eximunt coqui de obsoniis acetum, eodem 
cellarii in saccis odorem vino gravem. 

189 Et haotenus hortensia dicta sint ciborum gratia 
dumtaxat. maximum quidem opus in iisdem naturae 
rcstat, quoniam provcntu^ tantum adhuc summasque 
quasdani tractavimus, vera autem cuiusque natura 
non nisi medico effectu pernosci potest, opus ingens 
occulturaque divinitatis et quo nuUum reperiri possit 
maius. ne singulis id rebus contexeremus iusta fecit 
ratio, cura ad alios medendi desideria pertinerent, 
longis utriusque dilationibus futuris si miscuissemus. 
nunc suis (|uaequc parlibus constabunt poteruntque a 
volentibus iungi. 



S40 



BOOK XIX. Lxii. 187-189 

rosemary. Alexanders is a garden herb that grows 
in the same places, and its root has the taste of myrrh. 
Pepper%vort grows in the same way. The remaining 
plants are peculiar in both sccnt and taste, for example 
anise ; and so great is their diversity and their potency 
that not only is one of them modified by another but 
it is entirely counteracted : cooks use parsley to 
remove the tang of vinegar from their dislies, and 
parsley enclosed in bags is also employed by butlers 
to rid Avine of disagreeable odour. 

And so far we have spoken about garden plants MedUaiwei 
merely as providing articles of diet. There still/o^tow"* 
remains indeed a most important operation of nature 
in the same department, inasmuch as hitherto we 
have only treated of their produce and given cer- 
tain summary outlines ; wliereas the true natui-e of 
each plant can only be fully understood by studying 
its medicinal effect, that vast and recondite work of 
divine power, and the greatest subject that can 
possibly be found. Due regard for method has led 
us not to combine with each object in succcssion the 
question of its medicinal value, because a different 
set of people are concerned with the requiremcnts of 
medical practice, and either topic would have met 
with long interruptions if we had mixed the two 
together. As it is, each subject will occupy its own 
section, and any who wish will be able to combine 
them. 



541 



INDEX OF PERSONS 



( Afeic ihort hiographical nvtes are added to supplemtTH Ihe infnrmation ^v*n 
in Ihe text.) 



Acca Larentia, XTIII 6 

Adonis, XIX 49 

Aemllius, XIX 129 

Alcinous, XIX 49 

Alexander, XVIII 66; XIX 33 

Amasis, King of Egypt, 572-628 B.C., 

XIX 12 
Anaxilaus, XIX 20 
Anaxlmander, XTIIl 213 
Androcydes, XVII 340 
Antiocbus, name of twelve eucceesiTe 

Ungs of Syrla, 280-68 B.C., XVIII 

294 
Antonius, M., XIX 23 
AquiUus, C, XVII 2 
Arcbebius, unknown author, XVIII 

294 
Arcbelaus, Ung of Macedonia, 41S- 

399 B.C., XVIII 22 
Ajistander, XVII 243 
Aristotelcs, XVIII 336 
Ateius Capito, legal writ«r under 

AuguBtua and Tiberius, XVIII 108 
AtUlOB Regulus, Consul 267 and 266 

B.C., defeated and taben prisoner by 

Carthaginians in Africa, XVIII 37 
Attalus, Pbiiomctor, king of Cappa- 

docia, 138-133 B.C., wrote treatlse 

on gardenlng, XVIII 22 
Augeas, mytbical Ung in £11«, XVII 

60 
Angustus, XVm «7, 94, 114, 189; 

XIX 44, 138 

Balbillaa, govemor ot Egypt i.D. 66, 
XIX 3 

Caecina Largus, XVII 6 

Cae«ar, XVII 244; XVIU 211, 214, 

234, 237, 246 f., 250 f., 256 f., 870, 

S09 a. ; XIX 33, 40, 146 
Calippus, XVIII 302 

542 



Cassiua. C, XVII 844 

Cato, M. Porolus, 234-147 B.C., wrote 

Res Rustica, XVII 33, et passim 
Catulus, Q., defeated Cimbri 103 B.r., 

XVII 2; XIX 23 
Ceres, XVIII 13 

Clcero, XVII 58 ; XVHI 334. 338 

Cioerones. XVXH 10 

Cimbri, XVII 3 

Cincinnatus, Quintius, dictator iU 

B.C., defeated Aequians, XVIII 88 
Cleopatra, XIX 22 
CoIumcUa, agricultural writer, Istoent. 

A.D., XVII 151 f., 162; XVIII 70; 

XIX 68 
Oonon, astronomer mentioned by 

Propertius and Virgil, XVII 313 
Comelius Cetbegus, XIX 166 
Craesus, orator, consul 96 B.O., XVII 

2ff. 
Cratcuas, XIX 166 
Criton, XVIII 312 
CuriuB, M'., friend of Cioero, XIX 

87 ; see also Manlos 

Damasus, XVIII 341 

Darius, XVIII 144 

Democritus, pbilosopber of Abdera, 
460-361 B.C, XVII 23, 62; XVIII 
47,61,231, 273,312,321,341 

Domitius Abenobarbus, consul 69 B.C.. 

XVIII 2fr. 
Doaltbeus, XVUI 118 

Eniilus, XVIII 84 

Epicurus, XIX 61 

Epidius, XVII 243 

Euctemon, astronomer, XVIII 31S 

Eudoxus of CnidOB, astronomer, geo- 

metrician and pbysician, pupil of 

Plato, XVIII 318. 313 



INDEX OF PERSONS 



Fabli, XVIII 10 

Fabriclus, Boman rhetorician and 

philosopher iinder Tiberius, XVIIl 

276 
Faunus, XVIII 60 
Flarius, XIX 4 
Fulvius Lurns, XIX 11 
Furius Chresimus, XVIII 41 

Qalerius, XIX 3 

Hannibal, XVII 7; XVIII 166 
Hemina, L. Cassiua, Roman liistorian 

140B.C., XVIII 7 
Hercules, XVII 50 ; XIX 63 
Herennius, XIX 40 
Hesiodus, XVIII 201, 213 
Hesperides, XIX 49 
Hiero, king of Syracuse, 270-216 B.C., 

XVIII 23 

Hippocrates, Greek medical writer, 

460-357 B.C., XVIII 76 
Hyginus, XVIII 232 

Lactucini, XIX 69 

Lartius I.icinius, XIX 35 

Lentuli, XVIII 10 

Lentulus Spinther, conaul 67 B.O., 

XIX 23 
Lucullus, L., XVIII 32 

Maecenas, Horace'8 patron, XIX 117 
Mago, Carthaginian writer on agri- 

culture, translated into Latiu after 

(alJ of Cartliage, XVII 63, 80, 93, 

128, 131; XVIII 22, 36, 97 
Manius Curius Dentatus, defeated 

Sabines 464 B.C., XVIII 18 
Manius Marcius, XVIII 18 
Marcellus, consul 50 B.c, XIX 24 
Marius, C, victor of Jugiirtha and of 

(rerman Invasioiis, 7th consulship 

86 B.C., XVII 2 ; XVIII 32 
Menander of Atheus, c. 342 B.C., 

dramatist of New Comedy, XVUI 

172; XIX 113 
MesBala, M., XVII 244 
Metellus, defeated Carthaginians at 

Panormus, 251 B.C., XVllI 17 
Minucius Augurinus, prefect of oom- 

market 439 B.C., XVIIl 16 
Moschlon, Greek medical writcr, A.D. 

:!ud c, XIX 87 



Mucianus, consul A.D. 62, 70 and 76, 

XIX 12 
Mura, XIX 138 

Nero, XVII 5; XVIII 35, 96; XIX 

24, 39, 108 
Numa, XVIII 7 

Octevia, XIX 24 

Papirius Cursor, consul and dictator, 

defeated Samiiites 309 B.C., XVII 

81 
Parmeniscus, XVIII 312 
Perses, last king of M;icedonia, con- 

quered by Rome, 168 B.C., XVII 

244 
Philippus, XVIII 312 
Pliilometor, see Attalus 
Pilumnus, XVIII 10 
Piso, L. Calpumius Siculus, poet under 

Nero, XVII 244; XVIII 10, 42 
Plautus, XVIII 107 ; XIX 50 
Pompeius, XVII, 243; XVIII 36 
Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, 296-272 B.O., 

XVIII 307 
Pythagoras of Samos, 6th c. B.O., XIX 

94 

Romulus, XVIII 6 

Sabinus Tiro, XIX 177 

Saserna, XVII 199 

Scaevola, Q., XVIII 32 

Scrofa, XVII 199 

Semiraniis, inythical founder of 

Assvrian empire, XIX 49 
Serrani, XIX 8 
Serranus, C. Atilius Regulus, consul 

275 B.C., XVIIl 20 
Servius, XVIII 12 
Sestius, XVIII 273 
SilanuB, D., consul 63 B.O., XVIII 

23 
Sophocles, XVIII 65 
Sosigenes, XVIII 212 
Spurius, XIX 19 
Spurius Albinus, XVIII 42 
Spurius Maelius, distributed coru in 

famiine, 440 B.c, put to deatli as 

aiming at tyranny, XVll 65 
Sterculus, XVII 60 
Stolo, XVII 7 ; XVIll 17 
SuUa, XVIII 32 

543 



INDEX OF PERSONS 



Superbui, XIX, 60 
Sara MaoUius, XVIII 14S 
Syrus, mTthlcal klng of Assyria, XIX 
40 

Tenius Rufus, XVIII 87 

Tereus, XVII 122 

Thales, XVIII 213 

Tbeophra£tu8, succeeded Aristotle as 

head of Peripatetic school, XVTI 

226; XIX 32, ie2 
Tiberius, XIX 64 
Triptolemus, XVIII 68 
Trogus, historian under Antonlnes, 

XVII 50, 58 
Tnbero, author friend of Cicero, ad- 

herent of Pompey, XVIII 76 
Turranius, XVIII 76 

Valerii, XIX 69 



Valerius Mamillanus, consul A.D. 68, 

XIX 3, 40 
Varro, 116-28 B.C., encyclopaedic 

author, XVII, 60; XVIII 17, 23. 

56, 119, 143, 228, 285, 288, 294, 348 ; 

XIX 8 
Vergilius, XVII 19 f., 89, 56, 100; 

XVIII 36, 120, 157, 181, 187, 202, 

209, 242, 296, 300, 321, 340; XIX 

69 
Verrius, XVIII 63 
Vettiup Marcellus, XVII 245 
Vibius Crispus, orator, contemporary 

of Quiiitilinn, XIX 4 
Vopiscus, XVII 32 

Xenophon, XVIII 22, 244 
Xerxes, XVII 242 

Zoroastres, XVIII 200 



PRIBTKD DJ OREAT BBITAIN BT IUCHABO CI.AT AND COMPANT, LXD., 
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Ptolemy: Tetrabiblos. Cf. Manetho. 

QuiNTUs Smyrnaeus. A. S. VVay. Verse trans. 

Sextus Empibicus. Rev. R. G. Bury. 4 Vols. 

Sophocles. F. Storr. 2 Vols. Verso trans. 

Stbabo : Gkoqraphy. Horace L. Jones. 8 Vols. 

Theophrastus : Characters. J. M. Edmonds. Herodes, 

etc. A. D. Knox. 
Theophrastus: Enquiry into Plants. Sir Arthur Hort, 

Bart. 2 Vols. 
Thucydides. C. F. Smith. 4 Vola. 
Tryphiodorus. Cf. Oppian. 

Xenophon: Cyropaedia. Walter Milier. 2 Vols. 
Xenophon: Hellesica, Anabasis, Apolooy, and Symposium. 

C. L. Brownson and O. J. 'J'oild. 3 Vols. 

Xenophon: MEMOBAiiiLiAand Oeconomicus. E. C. Mnrchant. 
Xenophom: Sceipta Minoba. E. C. Marchant. 



IN PREPARATION 



Greek Authors 

Aristotle: Histoby of ANIMAL3. A. L. Peck. 
Plotinos: A. H. Armstrong. 



Latin Authors 

Babrius and PnAKDKUS. Ben E. Perry. 

DESCRWTIVE PROSPECTUS ON APPLICATION 



London WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD 

Cambrldge, Mass. HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 



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Pliny # Natural history. 



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Plinius Secundus 
Natural history 



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Natural history