The work did not include Latin grammar,
which consequently cannot as yet have attained that formal development
which is implied in a properly scientific instruction in language; and
it excluded music and the whole cycle of the mathematical and physical
sciences. Throughout it was the directly practical element in science
which alone was to be handled, and that with as much brevity and
simplicity as possible.
The Greek literature was doubtless made use
of, but only to furnish some serviceable maxims of experience culled
from the mass of chaff and rubbish: it was one of Cato's commonplaces,
that "Greek books must be looked into, but not thoroughly studied."
Thus arose those household manuals of necessary information, which,
while rejecting Greek subtlety and obscurity, banished also Greek
acuteness and depth, but through that very peculiarity moulded the
attitude of the Romans towards the Greek sciences for all ages.