Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella

succumque earum qui sit sextariorum sex, cum mellis decocti sextario1 immisceto,2 et in lagunculam diffusum oblinito. Sed hoc mense Decembri fieri debebit, quo fere tempore matura sunt myrti semina: custodiendumque erit, ut ante quam bacae legantur, si fieri potest, septem diebus, sin autem, ne minus triduum serenum fuerit, aut certe non pluerit; et ne rorulentae legantur cavendum.


Multi nigram vel albam myrti bacam, cum iam maturuit, destringunt,3 et duabus horis eam cum paululum in umbra expositam siccaverunt, perterunt ita, ut quantum fieri potest, interiora semina integra permaneant. Tum4 per lineum fiscum, quod pertriverant, exprimunt, et per colum iunceum liquatum succum lagunculis bene picatis condunt, neque melle neque alia re ulla immixta.5 Hic liquor non tam est durabilis, sed quamdiu sine noxa manet, utilior est ad valetudinem quam alterius myrtitis notae compositio.6


Sunt qui hunc ipsum expressum succum, si sit eius copiosior facultas, in tertiam partem decoquant, et refrigeratum picatis lagunculis condant. Sic confectum diutius permanet: sed et quod non decoxeris, poterit7 innoxium durare biennio, si modo munde et diligenter id feceris.

XXXIX. Passum optimum sic fieri Mago praecipit, ut et ipse feci. Uvam praecoquam bene maturam


Book XII

juice from them to the amount of six sextarii with one sextarius of boiled-down honey and pour the mixture into a flask and seal it up. This will have to be done in the month of December, which is about the time when the myrtle-seeds are ripe, and care will have to be taken that, if possible, the weather has been fine for seven days before the berries are gathered, or, if not, for not less than three days, or at any rate that there has been no rain; also you must beware of picking them when the dew is upon them.

Many people strip off black or white myrtle-berries7 when they are ripe and two hours later, after drying them for a time spread out in the shade, bruise them in such a way that the seeds inside may, as far as possible, remain undamaged. They then squeeze what they have bruised through a bag of flax, and having strained the juice through a rush-strainer they put it up in flasks well treated with pitch without mixing honey or anything else with it. This liquor does not last so well, but, as long as it remains without spoiling, it is more beneficial to the health than the other brand of myrtle-wine.

Some people, after this juice has been squeezed8 out, if they have an unusually large quantity of it, boil it down to a third part of its original volume and, when it has cooled down, store it in flasks treated with pitch. Thus prepared it keeps for a longer time; but even wine which you have not boiled down may keep for two years if only you have prepared it cleanly and carefully.

XXXIX. Magoa gives the following instructions How to make raisin wine. for making the best raisin-wane, as I myself have also made it. Gather the early grapes when they

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.columella-agriculture.1941