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Libri de re rustica

Cato, Varro, Columella & Palladius (1514) Libri de re rustica. Venice: Aldine Press (14684-1001).

The earliest item in the Historical Collection is a 1514 copy of the Libri de re rustica (Book of country affairs) published by the Aldine Press in Venice.  .

Cato Vano Columella Palladius Libri de re rusticaLibri de re rustica was first published in 1482 as a combined volume containing the works of four leading classical authors on agriculture and country affairs:

Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 BC) wrote De agri cultura c160 BC. This text deals with the development of vine, olive, and fruit growing.

Marcus Terentius Varro (116-27 BC) wrote Rerum rusticarum c36 BC. This work is divided into three books dealing with farm buildings and labour; the breeding, management and feeding of animals especially sheep; and birds, fowl, bees and fish ponds. 

Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella was a Roman citizen born in Cadiz.  His text De re rustica covers the care, management, breeding and feeding of all domesticated animals.

Palladius who lived in 400 AD wrote a work on agriculture in fourteen books.

Our copy of this book was purchased in 1963 for £25.

The photograph shows the colophon or printers mark at the end of the book.

To view this, or any other book in the Historical Collection, please contact us at [email protected] or 020 7202 0752 to arrange an appointment.