Owing to the death of Dr. Harrison Boyd Ash of the University of Pennsylvania shortly after the publication of the first volume (Books I–IV) of the De Re Rustica of Columella, the Editors entrusted me with the remainder of the work.
There has been no complete modern edition of the text since J. G. Schneider’s (Leipzig 1794), but the principles laid down by Dr. Ash (Vol. I, p. xxi) appear to me to be entirely satisfactory. He describes them as follows: “The text and manuscript readings of the present edition, for Books I–II, VI–VII, X–XI and the De Arboribus, rest substantially on the work of Lundström. For Books III–V, VIII–IX and XII, the translator has attempted to construct a critical text in some approximation to that of Lundström by the collation of four major manuscripts with the text of Schneider.” It was natural to conclude from these words that a text constructed by Dr. Ash would be available for the rest of the work, but no traces of the existence of such a text have been found in America. It has. therefore, been necessary to undertake the construction of a new text, and I have tried to conform as far as possible with Dr. Ash’s system, using Lundström’s edition for those books which he has edited and attempting a new text for Books V, VIII, IX and XII. For this purpose I have been fortunate, through the good offices of Professor L. A. Post, in obtaining from America photostats of the four most