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Saserna

(327 words)

Author(s): Ruffing, Kai (Münster)
[German version] The two Sasernae, who were probably members of the  gens Hostilia and are described in Columella as pater et filius (Columella 1,1,12), were the authors of a Latin work on agriculture published between 146 and 57 BC; they were considered the earliest Latin agrarian writers after Cato [1] (Columella 1,1,12; Plin. HN 17,199). Columella and Plinius [1] rated their work highly (Columella 1 praef. 32; 1,1,4: “ non spernendus auctor rei rusticae Saserna”; 1,1,12; Plin. HN 17,199: ' peritissimi'). From mentions in Varro, Columella and Pliny it is possible to re…

Scythe

(193 words)

Author(s): Ruffing, Kai (Münster)
[German version] The scythe ( falx faenaria; Greek: χορτοδρέπανον/ chortodrépanon) was regarded in Antiquity as a kind of sickle and distinguished from it terminologically only by means of an adjective. Its use remained limited to Italy and the northern and western parts of the ancient world; in Greece, by contrast, it was unknown in Antiquity. Scythes were used for mowing grass and hay (Varro Rust. 1,49,1). Plinius distinguishes a shorter Italian type and a longer Gaulish one (Plin. HN 18,261: “falcium …
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