Columella, On Agriculture

LCL 408: 104-105

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Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella

Iul. quo tempore etiam aliarum arborum nonnulli 60emplastrationem faciunt. Quibusdam locis, ut in Baetica maritimis regionibus, et in Africa vindemia conficitur. Sed frigidioribus regionibus pulverationem faciunt, quam vocant rustici occationem, cum omnis gleba in vineis refringitur et solvitur1 in pulverem. Hoc eodem tempore prius quam vineae pulverentur, si perexilis est terra, vel rara2 ipsa vitis, lupini modii tres vel quattuor in singula iugera sparguntur, et ita inoccantur; qui, cum fruticaverint,3 prima tum fossione conversi satis bonum stercus 61vineis praebent. Multi etiam, si pluvius est status caeli, sicut4 suburbana regione Italiae, pampinis vitem spoliant, ut percoqui fructus possint, nec putrescere imbribus. At e contrario locis calidioribus, ut modo nominatis provinciis, circa vindemiam adumbrantur vel stramentis5 vel aliis tegumentis uvae, ne ventis aut caloribus exarescant. 62Hoc idem tempus est aridis uvis ficisque conficiendis, de quibus quemadmodum passae fiant, suo loco dicemus, cum villicae persequemur officia. Filix quoque aut carex, ubicunque nascitur, Augusto mense recte extirpatur, melius tamen circa idus Iulias ante Caniculae exortum.

Calend. Septembribus calor. Quarto nonas Septemb. 63Piscis austrinus desinit occidere, calor. Non. Septemb. Arcturus exoritur, Favonius, vel Corus.6vii idus Septemb. Piscis aquilonius desinit


Book XI

month after July 15th, at which time some people carry out the “emplastration” of other trees also. In some places, for instance in Baetica in the coastal60 regions and in Africa, the vintage is finished; but in the colder districts they carry out the pulverization of the soil, which the farmers call harrowing, when all the clods in the vineyards are broken up and reduced to powder. In the same period, before the vineyards are pulverized, if the soil is very thin or the vine itself scanty, three or four modii of lupine-seed are scattered on each iugerum and then harrowed in; these when they have sprouted, having then been turned under with the first digging, provide the vines with quite good manure. Many people also, if the61 climatic conditions are rainy, as in the district of Italy near the capital, strip the vines of their tendrils, so that the fruit may be able to ripen and not be rotted by the rain. But in warmer places, on the contrary, as in the provinces named just now, about the time of the vintage the grapes are shaded either with straw or some other covering, so that they may not be dried up by the winds or the heat. This is62 also the season for making raisins and dried figs; how they are to be dried, we will describe in the proper place, when we treat of the duties of the bailiff’s wife.a It is also right to uproot ferns and sedge, wherever they grow, during the month of August; it had better, however, be done about July 15th before the rising of the Dogstar.

On September 1st the weather is hot. On September63 2nd the Southern Fish ceases to set: the weather is hot. On September 5th Arcturus rises: the wind is West or North-west. On September

  • aBook XII. 15.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.columella-agriculture.1941