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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter XII - The Management of Land and of Capital


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Ordinarily therefore the proprietor himself superintended the cultivation of his estates; he did not, however, manage them strictly in person, but only appeared from time to time on the property in order to settle the plan of operations, to look after its execution, and to audit the accounts of his servants. He was thus enabled on the one hand to work a number of estates at the same time, and on the other hand to devote himself, as circumstances might require, to public affairs.

The grain cultivated consisted especially of spelt and wheat, with some barley and millet; turnips, radishes, garlic, poppies, were also grown, and--particularly as fodder for the cattle--lupines, beans, pease, vetches, and other leguminous plants. The seed was sown ordinarily in autumn, only in exceptional cases in spring. Much activity was displayed in irrigation and draining; and drainage by means of covered ditches was early in use. Meadows also for supplying hay were not wanting, and even in the time of Cato they were frequently irrigated artificially. Of equal, if not of greater, economic importance than grain and vegetables were the olive and the vine, of which the former was planted between the crops, the latter in vineyards appropriated to itself.(5)

5. That the space between the vines was occupied not by grain, but only at the most by such fodder plants as easily grew in the shade, is evident from Cato (33, comp. 137), and accordingly Columella (iii. 3) calculates on no other accessory gain in the case of a vineyard except the produce of the young shoots sold. On the other hand, the orchard (-arbustum-) was sown like any corn field (Colum. ii. 9, 6). It was only where the vine was trained on living trees that corn was cultivated in the intervals between them.

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