Marcus Terentius Varro

terrae fructos omnis interire. Ego hic, ubi nox et dies modice redit et abit, tamen aestivo die, si non diffinderem meo insiticio somno meridie, vivere non 6possum. Illic in semenstri die aut nocte quem ad modum quicquam seri aut alescere aut meti possit? Contra quid in Italia utensile non modo non nascitur, sed etiam non egregium fit? Quod far conferam Campano? Quod triticum Apulo? Quod vinum Falerno? Quod oleum Venafro? Non arboribus 7consita Italia, ut tota pomarium videatur? An Phrygia magis vitibus cooperta, quam Homerus appellat ἀμπελόεσσαν, quam haec? Aut tritico Argos, quod idem poeta πολύπυρον? In qua terra iugerum unum denos et quinos denos culleos fert vini, quot quaedam in Italia regiones? An non M. Cato scribit in libro Originum sic: “ager Gallicus Romanus vocatur, qui viritim cis Ariminum datus est ultra agrum Picentium. In eo agro aliquotfariam in singula iugera dena cullea vini fiunt”? Nonne item in agro Faventino, a quo ibi trecenariae appellantur vites, quod iugerum trecenas amphoras reddat? Simul aspicit me, Certe, inquit, Libo Marcius, praefectus fabrum tuos, in fundo suo Faventiae hanc 8multitudinem dicebat suas reddere vites. Duo in primis spectasse videntur Italici homines colendo, possentne fructus pro impensa ac labore redire et utrum saluber locus esset an non. Quorum si


On Agriculture

the fiery vapour or from the cold. For my part, I could not live even here, where the night and the day alternate at moderate intervals, if I did not break the summer day with my regular midday nap; but there, where the day and the night are each six months long, how can anything be planted, or grow, or be harvested? On the other hand, what useful product is there which not only does not grow in Italy, but even grow to perfection? What spelt1 shall I compare to the Campanian, what wheat to the Apulian, what wine to the Falernian, what oil to the Venafran? Is not Italy so covered with trees that the whole land seems to be an orchard? Is that Phrygia, which Homer2 calls ‘the vine-clad,’ more covered with vines than this land, or Argos, which the same poet3 calls ‘the rich in corn,’ more covered with wheat? In what land does one iugerum4 bear ten and fifteen cullei4 of wine, as do some sections of Italy? Or does not Marcus Cato use this language in his Origines?5 ‘The land lying this side of Ariminum and beyond the district of Picenum, which was allotted to colonists, is called Gallo-Roman.6 In that district, at several places, ten cullei of wine are produced to the iugerum.’ Is not the same true in the district of Faventia?7 The vines there are called by this writer trecenariae, from the fact that the iugerum yields three hundred amphorae.” And he added, turning to me, “At least your friend, Marcius Libo, the engineer officer, used to tell me that the vines on his estate at Faventia bore this quantity. The Italian seems to have had two things particularly in view in his farming: whether the land would yield a fair return for the investment in money and labour, and whether the situation was healthful or not. If

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.varro-agriculture.1934