Philo, On Husbandry

LCL 247: 110-111

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[301]λογιστέον, ὅτι ὁ μὲν γῆς | ἐργάτης πρὸς ἓν τέλος, τὸν μισθόν, ἀφορῶν—ἔμμισθος γὰρ ὡς ἐπίπαν οὗτος —οὐδεμίαν ἔχει φροντίδα τοῦ καλῶς ἐργάσασθαι, ὁ μέντοι γεωργὸς πολλὰ ἂν ἐθελήσαι καὶ τῶν ἰδίων εἰσφέρειν καὶ προσαναλίσκειν οἴκοθέν τι ὑπὲρ1 τοῦ καὶ τὸ χωρίον ὀνῆσαι καὶ πρὸς μηδενὸς τῶν ἰδόντων μεμφθῆναι· βούλεται γὰρ οὐχ ἑτέρωθέν ποθεν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐκ τῶν γεωργηθέντων εὐτοκίᾳ χρωμένων ἀνὰ πᾶν 6ἔτος τοὺς καρποὺς ἀναλαμβάνειν. οὗτος τὰ μὲν ἄγρια τῶν δένδρων ἡμεροῦν, τὰ δ᾿ ἥμερα ἐπιμελείαις συναύξειν, τὰ δ᾿ ὑπὸ πλεοναζούσης τροφῆς κεχυμένα τομαῖς στέλλειν, τὰ δ᾿ ἐσταλμένα καὶ πεπιλημένα ἐπιφύσεων ἐκτάσεσι μηκύνειν, καὶ ὅσα μὲν εὐγενῆ πολυκληματοῦντα κατὰ γῆς τείνειν ἐν οὐ πάνυ βαθείαις τάφροις, ὅσα δὲ μὴ εὔκαρπα ἑτέρων εἰς τὸν πρὸς ταῖς ῥίζαις κορμὸν ἐνθέσει καὶ συμφυεστάτῃ ἑνώσει βελτιοῦν ἐθελήσει—καὶ γὰρ ἐπ᾿ ἀνθρώπων τυγχάνει ταὐτόν, ὡς τοὺς θετοὺς παῖδας γένεσιν ἀλλοτρίοις διὰ τὰς σφετέρας οἰκειουμένους 7ἀρετὰς παγίως ἐναρμόζεσθαι—· μυρία τοίνυν καὶ αὐτόπρεμνα ῥίζαις αὐταῖς ἀνασπάσας κατέβαλε τὰς εἰς εὐκαρπίαν <ἐκ>φύσεις2 ἐστειρωμένα καὶ τοῖς φέρουσι μεγάλην ζημίαν ἐκ τοῦ παραπεφυτεῦσθαι πλησίον ἐνεγκόντα. τοιαύτη μέν τίς ἐστιν

  • 1mss. περὶ.
  • 2Cf. Quod Deus 38.

On Husbandry

addition to this there is the further point to be considered, that the worker on the soil is as a rule a wage-earner, and as such has but one end in view, his wages, and cares nothing at all about doing his work well; whereas the husbandman would be willing not only to put into the undertaking much of his private property, but to spend a further amount drawn from his domestic budget, to do the farm good and to escape being blamed by those who have seen it. For, regardless of gain from any other source, he desires only to see the crops which he has grown yielding plentifully year by year and to take up their produce. Such a man will be anxious to bring under6 cultivation the trees that were before wild, to improve by careful treatment those already under cultivation, to check by pruning those that are over-luxuriant owing to excess of nourishment, to give more scope to those which have been curtailed and kept back, splicing on new growths to stem or branch; when trees of good kinds throw out abundant tendrils, he will like to train them under ground in shallow trenches; and to improve such as yield poor crops by inserting grafts into the stem near the roots and joining them with it so that they grow together as one. The same thing happens, I may remark, in the case of men, when adopted sons become by reason of their native good qualities congenial to those who by birth are aliens from them, and so become firmly fitted into the family. To return to our subject. The7 husbandman will pull up by the roots and throw away quantities of trees on which the shoots that should bear fruit have lost their fertility, and so, because they have been planted near them, have done great harm to those that are bearing fruit. The science,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-husbandry.1930