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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 or 020 7202 0752 to arrange an appointment.