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Hoe

(400 words)

Author(s): Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] Although grain was grown as usual through plough cultivation, hoeing made up a considerable part of the entire year's work (Columella 2,11; 2,12,1ff.); it was often the duty of chained slaves ( servi vincti) and, in grain cultivation, was carried out in winter and for a second time in spring. The hoe was used here for various functions: instead of the plough it was utilized for breaking up the soil (κατεργασία/ katergasía, subigere) in the garden, in fruit and wine cultivation, in fields close to towns, in tilling the fields of small farmers (‘poor ma…

Iulius

(18,763 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Will, Wolfgang (Bonn) | Nadig, Peter C. (Duisburg) | Liebermann, Wolf-Lüder (Bielefeld) | Fündling, Jörg (Bonn) | Et al.
Name of an old patrician family, probably connected with the name of the god  Jupiter [1. 281; 2. 729]. The gens was one of the so-called ‘Trojan families’, who were said to have moved from Alba Longa to Rome under king Tullus Hostilius [I 4] (see below). The Iulii were prominent in the 5th and 4th cents. BC. Their connection to the family branch of the Caesares, which rose to prominence from the 3rd cent. and whose outstanding member was the dictator  Caesar (with family tree), is unclear. Caesar's adoptive son,…

Columella

(1,220 words)

Author(s): Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] A. Biography L. Iunius Moderatus C. came from Gades in the Baetica (Columella 8,16,9; 7,2,4) and belonged to the ordo equester. As an inscription from Tarentum shows, C. was a tribunus militum of the legio VI Ferrata (CIL IX 235 = ILS 2923). C. lived from the late Augustan period to the principate of Vespasian (1st cent. AD). His work, which was partly written during Seneca's lifetime (Columella 3,3,3) was appraised already by Pliny (HN 8,153; 15,66; 18,70; 18,303). His languag…

Farrago

(250 words)

Author(s): Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] was a mixed crop (mixed mash, Mengkorn, Mischel, méteil, mistura), used for food into the 20th cent. AD, but already in antiquity relegated for the most part to use as cattle fodder; thus farrago served as green or dry fodder as well as forage for draught animals (Fest. 81 L.) and domestic animals. It consisted of the threshings of emmer ( ex recrementis farris, Plin. HN 18,142) and weed-seeds, of which many accompany this spelt-wheat; farrago could also …

Gargilius

(460 words)

Author(s): Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] [1] Q. Coredius Gallus G. Antiquus Cos. suff. late in AD 119 His father was perhaps G. Antiquus (AE 1954, 63). Praetorian governor of the Province of Arabia, c. AD 116-118/9; cos. suff. late in 119; proconsul Asiae probably in 134/5 [1; 2. 148ff., 176]. If he is identical with M. Paccius Silvanus Q. Coredius Gallus G. Antiquus ([3. 260ff.] = AE 1991, 1576), he was either consular governor of Iudaea or of Syria. Cf. also [4]. Eck, Werner (Cologne) Bibliography 1 W. Eck, in: Chiron 12, 1982, 361 2 Id., in: Chiron 13, 1983 3 D. Gera, H. Cotton, in: IEJ 41, 1991 4 E. Dąbrowa, in…

Fertilizer

(652 words)

Author(s): Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] Fertilizer was used in ancient agriculture in order to preserve or improve the fertility of the soil used for cultivation; the choice of fertilization method in each case depended crucially on the social environment, economic conditions, climate, and local traditio…

Harrow

(380 words)

Author(s): Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] The verb occare (cf. also the noun occatio; Cato Agr. 33,2; Varro, Rust. 1,29,2; 1,31,1; Columella 2,12,1-6; 11,2,60; Plin. HN 18,180; 18,185), frequently used by Roman agrarian writers, is often translated as ‘to harrow’; however, it referred to work with a hoe ( rastrum). The breaking up of lumps of soil in the vineyard or on a crop field was the aim of this work (Varro, Rust. 1,31,1: occare, id est comminuere, ne sit glaeba; Columella 11,2,60: pulverationem faciunt, quam vocant rustici occationem). According t…

Threshing

(767 words)

Author(s): Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] In Antiquity, harvested grain was prepared for storing in two steps: threshing served to extracted the grain from its husks, whereas winnowing separated the grains from chaff, straw, bad seeds or weeds. Not all kinds of grain are suitable for threshing; spelt ( far) had to be roasted and pounded. There were various methods of threshing wheats (πυρός/ pyrós, Latin triticum, siligo): the ears could be trodden out by animals (τρίβειν/ tríbein, πατεῖν/ pateîn, Latin exterere), usually cattle, or various kinds of implemen…

Agrarian writers

(2,107 words)

Author(s): Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] A. Greece Although there are colourful accounts of work in the fields and stock rearing in Homer's epics, especially in the similes and also in the description of the shield (Hom. Il. 18,478 ff.), Hesiod's Erga (late 8th cent. BC) is to be considered the first text that deals extensively with agricultural issues. However, it is not a synthesis of agricultural knowledge in the Archaic period but primarily a normative presentation of morality and lifestyle in the agrarian milieu in which work and industriousness pla…

Breeding, of small domestic animals

(2,225 words)

Author(s): Becker, Cornelia (Berlin) | Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Fowl breeding is of particular significance: domestic chickens (Gallus gallus f. domestica) were probably kept as early as about 8,000 years ago in China, certainly however in the Harappa culture in the Indus Valley (3rd millennium BC; bone finds, statuettes, vase paintings, seal depictions). In the 1st millennium BC it spread to the Mediterranean via Asia Minor.  Domestication of the greylag goose (Anser anser) can be established in Egypt in the 3rd millennium BC; perhaps geese were kept at an early time in Mesopotamia. In Classical-Hellenistic Greece then the keeping of domestic geese was generally widespread. It is postulated that the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and the rock dove (Columba livia) were domesticated early in the area of Syria, northern Iraq and Palestine; in the south-eastern Mediterranean both had been used in worship and everyday life since antiquity. In …

Geoponica

(1,086 words)

Author(s): Niehoff, Johannes (Freiburg) | Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] I. Collective term for agricultural technical literature In the broader sense, G. refers to a genre of  technical literature, represented by numerous writings, which aims at a systematic representation of ‘scientific’ knowledge about all types of agriculture [1; 2; 3. 427ff.]. The spectrum of knowledge contained therein is very broad: it reaches from naïve peasant magic to speculative attempts at classifying types of soil, useful plants, and animals. Aside from the experiental knowledge,…

Horticulture

(2,122 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In the kitchen gardens of the Middle East and Egypt fruit trees (principally apples, figs, pomegranates, but in Egypt also carob trees and jujube;  Pomiculture) were grown in so-called tiered cultivation in the shade provided by date palms, and below them  vegetables (especially onions and cucumber plants, pulses, leaf vegetables, such as cress, and also aromatic herbs, coriander, thyme, caraway and mint, for example). The date palms provided not only dates …