Anno Urbis - The Roman Empire Online

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Introduction: the decay of country life

Those great men our ancestors did well to esteem the Romans who lived in the country above those who dwelt in town. For as our peasants today contemn the tenant of a villa as an idler in comparison with the busy life of an agricultural labourer, so our ancestors regarded the sedentary occupations of the town as waste of time from their habitual rural pursuits: and in consequence they so divided their time that they might have to devote only one day of the week to their affairs in town, reserving the remaining seven for country life.[105]

So long as they persisted in this practice they accomplished two things both that their farms were fertile through good cultivation and that they themselves enjoyed the best of health: they felt no need of those Greek gymnasia which now every one of us must have in his town house, nor did they deem that in order to enjoy a house in the country one must give sounding Greek names to all its apartments, such as [Greek: prokoiton] (antechamber) [Greek: palaistra] (exercising room) [Greek: apodutaerion] (dressing room) [Greek: peristulon] (arcade) [Greek: ornithon] or (poultry house) [Greek: peristereon] (dove cote) [Greek: oporothaekae] (fruitery) and the like.

Since now forsooth most of our gentry crowd into town, abandoning the sickle and the plough and prefer to exercise their hands in the theatre and the circus rather than in the corn field and the vineyard, it has resulted that we must fain buy the very corn that fills our bellies and have it hauled in for us, yea, out of Africa and Sardinia, while we bring home the vintage in ships from the islands of Cos and Chios!

And so it has happened that those lands which the shepherds who founded the city taught their children to cultivate are now, by their later descendants, converted again from corn fields back to pastures, thus in their greed of gain violating even the law, since they fail to distinguish the difference between agriculture and grazing.[106] For a shepherd is one thing and a ploughman another, nor for all that he may feed his stock on farm land is a drover the same as a teamster: herded cattle, indeed, do nothing to create what grows in the land, but destroy it with their teeth, while the yoked ox on the contrary conduces to the maturity of grain in the corn fields and forage in the fallow land. The practice and the art of the farmer is one thing, I say; that of the shepherd another; the farmer's object being that what ever may be produced by cultivating the land should yield a profit; that of the shepherd to make his profit from the increase of his flock; and yet the relation between them is intimate because it is much more desirable for a farmer to feed his forage on the land than to sell it, and a herd of cattle is the best source of supply of that which is the most available food of growing plants, namely, manure:[107] so it follows that whoever has a farm ought to practise both arts, that of agriculture and that of grazing cattle, indeed, also that of feeding game, as is done at our country houses, since no little profit may be derived from aviaries and rabbit warrens and fish ponds. And since I have written a book concerning the first of these occupations--that of the husbandry of agriculture--for my wife Fundania because of her interest in that subject, now, my dear Turranius Niger, I write this one on the husbandry of live stock for you, who are so keen a stock fancier that you are a frequent attendant at the cattle market at Macri Campi, where, by your fortunate speculations, you have found means to make provision for many crying expenses.

I could do this on my own authority because I am myself a considerable owner of live stock with my flocks of sheep in Apulia and my stud of horses at Reate, but I will run through the subject, briefly and summarily rehearsing what I gathered from conversation with certain large stock feeders in Epirus at the time when, being in command of the fleet in Greece during the war with the pirates, I lay between Delos and Sicily.[108]

Of the origin, the importance and the economy of live stock husbandry

I.[109] When Menates had gone, Cossinius said to me: "We shall not let you go until you have explained those three points which you began to discuss the other day when we were interrupted."

"What three points," said Murrius. "Are they those concerning feeding cattle, of which you spoke to me yesterday?"

"Yes," replied Cossinius, "they are the considerations of what was the origin, what the importance, and what the economy of the husbandry of live stock. Varro here had begun to discourse upon them while we were calling on Petus during his illness, when the arrival of the physician interrupted us."

"Of the three divisions of the [Greek: historikon] or interpretation of this subject, which you have mentioned, I will venture," said I, "to speak only of the first two, of the origin and of the importance of this industry. The third division, of how it should be practised, Scrofa shall undertake for us, as one, if I may speak Greek to a company of half Greek shepherds [Greek: hos per mou pollon ameinon] (who is better qualified than I am),[110] for Scrofa was the teacher of

  1. Lucilius Hirrus, your son-in-law, whose flocks and herds in Bruttii have such reputation."

"But," interrupted Scrofa, "you shall hear what we have to say only on condition that you, who come from Epirus and are masters of the art of feeding cattle, shall recompense us and shall give public testimony of what you know on the subject: for none of us knows it all."

Having thus assumed that my share of the discussion should be the first or theoretical part of the subject (which I did, although I have a stock farm in Italy, because, as the proverb is, not every one who owns a lyre is a musician), I began:

"Doubtless in the very order of nature both man and cattle have existed since the beginning of time, for whether we believe that there was a First Cause of the generation of animals, as Thales of Miletus and Zeno of Citium maintained, or that there was none as was the opinion of Pythagoras of Samos and Aristotle of Stagira, it is, as Dicaearchus points out, a necessity of human life to have descended gradually from the earliest time to the present day: thus in the beginning was the primitive age when man lived on whatever the virgin soil produced spontaneously; thence he descended to the second or pastoral age, when, as he had formerly gathered for his use acorns,[111] strawberries, mulberries and apples by picking them from trees and bushes, so now, to satisfy a like need, he captured in the woods such as he could of the wild beasts of the field, and, having enclosed, began to domesticate them. Among these it is considered not without reason that sheep were foremost, both because of their utility and because of their docile nature, for this animal is the gentlest of all and most readily accommodated to the life of man, and supplies him with milk and cheese for food, and skins and wool to clothe his body.

"Finally, by the third step, man descended from the pastoral age to that of agriculture. In this there have persisted many relics of the two preceding ages, which, long remaining in their original state, are found even in our day: for in many places may yet be seen some kinds of our domestic cattle still in their wild state, such as the large flocks of wild sheep in Phrygia, and in Samothrace a species of wild goats like those which are called "big horns" (platycerotes) and abound in Italy on the mountains of Fiscellum and Tetrica. Every body knows that there are wild swine, unless you maintain that the wild boar is not a true member of the swine family.

"There are still many cattle running at large in Dardania, Medica and Thrace, while there are wild asses in Phrygia and Lycaonia, and wild horses in certain regions of hither Spain.

"I have now told you of the origin of the industry of feeding cattle. As to its importance, I have this to say:

"The most important persons of antiquity were all keepers of live stock, as both the Greek and Latin languages reveal, as well as the earliest poets, who describe their heroes some as [Greek: polyarnos] (rich in lambs), some as [Greek: polymaelos] (rich in sheep), and others as [Greek: polyboutaes] (rich in herds), and tell of flocks which on account of their value were said to have golden fleeces, like that of Atreus in Argos which he complained that Thyestes stole away from him: or that ram which Aeetes sacrificed at Colchis, whose fleece was the quest of those princes known as the Argonauts: or again like those so called golden apples (mala) of the Hesperides that Hercules brought back from Africa into Greece, which were, according to the ancient tradition, in fact goats and sheep which the Greeks, from the sound of their voice, called [Greek: maela]: indeed, much in the same way our country people, using a different letter (since the bleat of a sheep seems to make more of the sound of bee than of me) say that sheep "be-alare," whence by the elision of a letter as often happens, is derived the word belare (or balare), to bleat.

"If cattle had not been held in the highest esteem among the ancients the astrologers would not have called the signs of the zodiac by their names in describing the heavens: and they not only did not hesitate to place them there but many even begin their enumeration of the twelve signs with these animal names, thus giving Aries and Taurus precedence over Apollo and Hercules, whose signs, very gods as they are, are subordinated under the name of Gemini: nor did they deem that a sixth of these twelve signs was a sufficient proportion for the names of cattle, but they must even add Capricornus and make it a quarter. Furthermore, in naming the constellations they selected other names of cattle, as the goat, the kid, and the dog. And in like manner have not certain parts both of the sea and of the land taken their names from cattle, as witness the Aegean Sea, which is called after the Greek name for goat [Greek: aigeos], and Mount Taurus in Syria after the bull, and Mount Cantherius in the Sabine country after the horse, and the Thracian, as well as the Cimmerian, Bosphorus, after the ox: and again many place names on land like the town in Greece known as [Greek: hippion Argos], or horse breeding Argos. Yea, Italy itself derives its name, according to Piso, from vitula, our word for heifer.

"Who can deny that the Roman people themselves are sprung from a race of shepherds, for every one knows that Faustulus, the foster father of Romulus and Remus, who brought them up, was a shepherd. Is it not proof that they were shepherds that they chose the Parilia, or feast of the goddess of the shepherds, in preference to all other days, for the founding of the city; that a penalty even to this day is assessed in terms of cattle or sheep, according to the ancient custom; that our most ancient money, the as of cast copper, always bore the effigy of some domestic animal; that whenever a town was founded the limits of the walls and the gates were laid off with a plough drawn by a bull and a cow yoked together; that when the Roman people are purified it is done by driving around them a boar, a ram and a bull, whence the sacrifice is known as the Suovetaurilia; that we have many family names among us derived from both the great and small cattle: thus from small cattle Porcius, Ovinius, Caprilius, and from great cattle Equitius, Taurius, and some of our families have received from cattle cognomens which signify for what they are esteemed, as, for instance, the Annius family are called Capra, the Statilius family are called Taurus and the Pomponius family are called Vitulus, and so many others are derived from cattle.

"It remains now to discuss the art of animal husbandry, and on this subject our friend Scrofa, to whom this age has awarded the palm for excellence in all branches of farm management, will say what ever is to be said, as he is better qualified than am I."

When all eyes had been turned upon him, Scrofa began:

"Doubtless the art of breeding and of feeding cattle consists in getting the maximum profit out of those things from which the very name of money is derived, for our word for money (pecunia) comes from pecus, cattle, which is the foundation of all wealth.

"Our enquiry may be divided into nine subjects, or three parts each with three subdivisions, namely: (i) concerning small cattle, of which the three kinds are sheep, goats and swine: (2) concerning large cattle, which are likewise divided by nature into three species, neat cattle, asses and horses: and (3) concerning those instruments of animal husbandry which are not kept for profit but for convenience, namely: mules, dogs and shepherds. Each of these nine subjects must be considered under nine heads: (a) four relating to the acquisition of cattle, (b) four to the care of them, and (c) one which has to do with all the others. So there are at least eighty-one chapters for discussion of the subject, all indispensable and all of great importance.

"Under the head (a) of acquisition, it is first of all necessary, to enable you to buy good live stock, that you should know at what age it is best to buy and to keep each different kind. For instance, you may buy neat cattle for less money before they are a year old and after they are ten, because they begin to breed at two or three years and leave off soon after the tenth year, the beginning and the end of the life of all live stock being sterile. The second consideration under this head is a knowledge of the conformation of each kind of cattle and what it should be, for this is of great importance in determining the value of all animals. Thus experienced stockmen buy cattle with black horns rather than white, large goats rather than small, and swine with long bodies and short heads. The third consideration under this head is to make sure of the breeding. On this account the asses of Arcadia are celebrated in Greece, as are those of Reate in Italy, so that I remember an ass that brought sixty thousand sesterces, and a four-in-hand team at Rome that was held at four hundred thousand. The fourth consideration is of the legal precautions to be observed in buying live stock, for in order that title may pass from one to another certain formalities must intervene, since neither a contract nor even the payment of the purchase money suffices in all cases to transfer a title: thus in buying you some times stipulate that the animal is in good health, some times that it comes out of a healthy flock or herd, and some times no stipulation at all is made.

"Under the head (b) of the care of live stock, the four considerations are what should be done, after you have bought your cattle, in respect of feeding, of breeding, of raising them, and of maintaining their health. In the matter of feeding, which is the first of these considerations, the three things to be observed are where and how much, when, and on what your cattle will graze: thus it suits goats better to graze on rough and mountain land than in fat pastures, while the contrary is true of horses. Nor are the same places fit for grazing for all kinds of cattle both in summer and winter: thus flocks of sheep are driven from Apulia a long distance into Samnium to spend the summer, and are reported to the tax farmer to be registered lest they violate the regulations of the censor.[112]

"In the same way mules are driven in the summer from the prairie of Rosea to the high mountains of Gurgures.

"The rules for feeding each kind of live stock in the barn yard must also be studied, as, for instance, that hay is fed to the horse and the ox, while it will not do for swine which require mast, and that barley and beans should at intervals be fed to some kinds of stock, lupines to draft cattle and alfalfa and clover to milch cows. Furthermore, it is desirable to feed the ram and the bull more heavily for thirty days before admitting them to the flock and the herd, the purpose being to increase their strength, while on the other hand the feed of the cows is cut down at that time because it is deemed that they breed most successfully when they are thin.

"The next consideration is concerning breeding, which I call the period between conception and birth, for these are the beginning and the end of pregnancy. First of all then we should consider the stinting and the season at which this should be accomplished, for as the season from the rising of the west wind to the vernal equinox (February-March) is considered best for swine, so that from the setting of Arcturus to the setting of Aquila (May-July) is best for sheep. Furthermore, a rule should be made that the male animals are kept apart from the females for some time before they are bred, a period which neatherds and shepherds usually fix at two months. The next consideration is of the rules to be observed while the animal is pregnant, because the periods of gestation differ in the several domestic animals: thus the mare goes twelve months, the cow ten, the ewe and the goat five and the sow four.

"In Spain is reported a phenomenon of breeding which seems incredible, but is nevertheless true, namely: that on Mount Tagnus on that part of the coast of Lusitania near the town of Olisippo, mares are some times impregnated by the wind,[113] some thing which often happens with respect to chickens, whence their eggs are called [Greek: hypaenemios] (conceived by the wind),[114] but the foals born of such mares never live more than three years.

"When lambs are born in due season, or what we call chordi (that is to say those lambs which are born late and have remained beyond their season in the belly of the dam, the name chordi, being derived from [Greek: chorion] the Greek name for the membrane which is called the after birth), care must be taken to clean them and set them gently on their feet and to prevent the dam from crushing them.

"On the third consideration with respect to raising young animals, you must consider for how long they should be permitted to suck the dam and when and where, and if the mother has an insufficient supply of milk, how you may put the young one to nurse at the udder of another: in which case they are called subrumi, that is to say, under the udder, for I think that rumis is an old word for udder.

"Lambs are weaned usually at the end of four months, kids in three, pigs in two. Weanling pigs, from the fact that they are considered fit to be offered for sacrifice at that age, were formerly called sacres as Plautus calls them when he says, "What's the price of sacred pigs?"[115] In like manner stall fed cattle, which are being fattened for the public sacrifices, are called opimi.

"The fourth consideration relates to the health of the cattle, a subject as important as it is complex, for a single beast which may be sick or infected and ailing often brings a great calamity on an entire herd. There are two degrees of the healing art, one which requires consultation with a surgeon, as for men: the other which the skilful shepherd can himself practise, and this consists of three parts, namely: the consideration of what are the causes, the symptoms and the treatment which should be followed in relation to each malady. The common causes of disease in cattle are excess of heat or of cold, overwork, or its opposite lack of exercise, or, if when they have been worked, you give them food and drink at once without an interval of rest. The symptoms of fever due to heat or overwork are a gaping mouth, heavy humid breath and a burning body. The cure when such is the malady is this: bathe the animal with water, rub it with a warm mixture of oil and wine, put it on a nourishing diet, blanket it as protection against chills and give it tepid water when it is thirsty.[116] If this treatment does not suffice, let the blood, chiefly from the head.

"So there are different causes and different symptoms of the maladies peculiar to each kind of cattle, and the flock master should have them all written down.

"It remains to speak of the ninth head (c), which I mentioned, and this relates to the number of cattle to be kept and so concerns both of the other heads.

"For whoever buys cattle must consider the number of herds and how many in each herd he can feed on his land, lest his pastures prove short or more than he need, as so in either case the profit be lost. Further more, one should know how many breeding ewes there are in the flock, how many rams, how many lambs of each sex, how many culls to be weeded out. Thus, if a ewe has more lambs at a birth than she can nourish, you should do what some shepherds practise--take part of them away from her, which is done to the end that those remaining may prosper."

"Beware!" put in Atticus, "that your generalisations do not lead you astray, and that your insistence on the rule of nine does not contradict your own definition of small and large cattle: for how can all your principles be applied to mules and to shepherds, since those with respect to breeding certainly cannot be followed so far as they are concerned. As to dogs I can see their application. I admit even that men may be included in them, because they have their wives on the farm in winter, and indeed even in their summer pasture camps, a concession which is deemed beneficial because it attaches the shepherds to their flocks, and by begetting children they increase the establishment and with it the profit on your investment."

"If Scrofa's number cannot be measured with a carpenter's rule," said I, "neither can many other generalisations, as, for instance, when we say that a thousand ships sailed against Troy, or that a certain court of Rome consists of a hundred judges (centumviri). Leave out, if you wish, the two chapters relating to breeding in so far as mules are concerned."

"But why should we," exclaimed Vaccius, "for it is related that on several occasions at Rome a mule has had a foal."

To back up what Vaccius had said, I cited Mago and Dionysius as writing that when mules and mares conceive they bear in the twelfth month. "If," I added, "it is considered a prodigy in Italy when a mule has a foal, it is not necessarily so in all countries. For is it not true that swallows and swans breed in Italy, which do not lay in other lands, and don't you know that the Syrian date palm, which bears fruit in Judea, does not yield in Italy?"

"If you prefer," said Scrofa, "to make out the entire eighty-one chapters without any on the care of mules during the breeding season, there are subjects with which you can fill this double vacancy by adding those two kinds of extraordinary profit which is derived from live stock. One of these is the fleece which men shear or pull from sheep and goats, the other, which is more widely practised, that from milk and cheese: the Greek writers indeed actually treat this separately under the title [Greek: turopoiia], and have written extensively about it."

Of sheep

  1. "And now, since I have completed my task and the economy of live stock husbandry has been defined, do you, men of Epirus, requite us by expounding the subject in detail, so that we may see of what the shepherds of Pergamis and Maledos are capable."

At this challenge, Atticus (who then was known as T. Pomponius but now as Q. Caecilius retaining the same cognomen)[117] began as follows:

"I gather that I must make the beginning since you seem to turn your eyes upon me: so I will speak of those cattle which you, Varro, have called primitive, for you say that sheep were the first of the wild beasts of the field which were captured and domesticated by man.

"In the first place you should buy good sheep, and they are so judged primarily in respect of their age, that they are not what is known as aged nor yet undeveloped lambs, because neither can yield you any profit, the one no longer, the other not yet: but you may deem that age which holds out a promise preferable to that whose only future is death. So far as concerns conformation, a sheep should have a round barrel, wool thick and soft and with long fibre, and, while heavy all over the body, it should be thickest on the back and neck, and yet the belly also should be covered, for unless the belly was covered our ancestors were wont to call a sheep apica and throw it out. They should have short legs,[118] and, if they are of the Italian breed, long tails, or short tails if they come from Syria. The most important point to guard is that your flock is headed by a good sire. The quality of a ram can usually be determined from his conformation and from his get. So far as concerns conformation, a ram should have a face well covered with wool, horns twisted and converging on the muzzle, tawny eyes, woolly ears, a deep chest, wide shoulders and loin, a long and large tail. You should see also whether he has a black or a spotted tongue,[119] for such rams usually get black or spotted lambs. You may judge them by their get, if their lambs are of good quality. In buying sheep we practise the formalities which the law requires, following them more or less strictly in particular cases. Some men in fixing a price per head stipulate that two late lambs or two toothless ewes shall be counted as one. In other respects the traditional formula is employed thus: the buyer says to the seller, "Do you sell me these sheep for so much?" And the seller answers, "They are your sheep," and states the price. Whereupon the buyer stipulates according to the ancient formula: "Do you guarantee that these sheep, for which we have bargained, are in such good health as sheep should be; that there is none among them one-eyed, deaf or bare-bellied; that they do not come out of an infected flock and that I will take them by good right and title?"

"Even when this is done the title to the flock does not pass until they have been counted, but, nevertheless, the purchaser can hold the seller to the bargain if he does not make delivery, even though the purchase money has not passed, and by a like right the seller can hold the buyer if he does not pay up.

"I will next speak about those other four subjects which Scrofa outlined, namely: the feeding, breeding, raising and physicking of sheep. In the first place, one should see that provision is made for feeding the flock throughout the entire year, as well indoors as out. The stable should be in a suitable location, protected against the wind, looking rather to the East than the South, on cleared and sloping ground so that it can be easily swept out and kept clean, for moisture not only rots the wool of the sheep but their hoofs as well and causes scab. When sheep have stood for several days you should strew the stable with new bedding, so that they may be more comfortable and be kept cleaner, and thus eat with more appetite. You should also contrive stalls separated from the others in which you may segregate the ewes about to yean, as well as any which may be ailing. This precaution is practicable, however, only with sheep fed at the steading, but those who graze their sheep in the mountain pastures and far from cover, carry with them wicker hurdles or nets, and other such conveniences with which they contrive folds for such separation. Sheep indeed are grazed far and wide so that often it happens that their winter quarters are many miles from their summer pastures."

"I know that to be true," said I, "for my flocks winter in Apulia and spend the summer in the mountains above Reate: thus the public cattle drifts between these two localities balance the separated pastures, as a yoke balances two baskets."[120]

Atticus resumed: "When sheep are fed continually in the same locality distinction must be made in the times of feeding them according to the seasons: thus in summer they are driven out[121] to pasture at day break because then the dewy grass is more appetizing than at midday, when it is dry. At sunrise they are driven to water, to make them more lickerish on their return. About noon and during the heat of the day they are permitted to lie in the shade of rocks or under broad spreading trees until the fresher evening air invites them to feed again until sunset.[122] A sheep should always graze with the sun behind it, because its head is very sensitive to heat. At sunset the flock should be given a short rest and then driven again to water, and so brought back to feed again until it is dark, for at that time of day the grass has renewed its pleasant savour. This routine is usually followed from the rising of the Pleiades until the autumn equinox.

"After the harvest it is of two-fold advantage to turn the flock in on the stubble, as they will fatten on the shattered grain and improve the land for next year's planting by spreading their manure in the trampled straw.

"The rules for pasturing sheep in winter and spring differ from the summer rules in this, that at those seasons the flock is not driven to pasture until the hoar frost has evaporated and they feed all day long, one watering about noon being enough.

"This is about all there to say on the subject of feeding sheep, so I pass to the consideration of breeding. The rams which you are about to use for breeding should be separated from the flock for two months before the season, and fed heavily by giving them a ration of barley when they come into the stable from the pasture: it will make them stronger for their duty.

"The best breeding season is from the setting of Arcturus to the setting of Aquila, (May-July) because lambs begotten later are apt to be born runts, and weak. As a ewe is pregnant for one hundred and fifty days, this arrangement causes her to drop her lambs at the end of autumn when the temperature is mild and the grass is renewed by the first rains. During the breeding season the flock should drink only the same kind of water, since a change not only makes spotted wool but injures the offspring. When all the ewes have been stinted, the rams should be separated from them again, because it injures ewes to be teased while they are pregnant. Ewe lambs should never be bred before they are two years old, as they cannot earlier produce strong lambs, but will themselves degenerate: indeed, it is better to keep them until the third year. To this end some shepherds protect their ewe lambs from the ram by tying baskets made of rushes or something of that kind over their rumps, but it is better to feed them apart from the flock.

"I come now to the consideration of how lambs should be raised.

"When the ewes begin to yean they are driven into a stable which has stalls set apart for the purpose, where the new born lambs can be placed near a fire to strengthen them, and there the ewes are kept two or there days until the lambs know their dams and are able to feed themselves. Thereafter the lambs are still kept up but the ewes are driven out to pasture with the flock, being brought back to them in the evening to be suckled and then once more separated, lest the lambs be trampled by the ewes at night. In the morning before the ewes go out to pasture they are given access to their young again until the lambs are satisfied with milk. After about ten days have elapsed the lambs are picketed out of doors, being tethered with fibre or such other light material, to stakes planted some distance apart so that the little fellows may not injure themselves as they frisk together all day.

"If a lamb will not suck, it should be held up to the teat and its lips greased with butter or suet, and so made to smell at the milk. A few days later some soft vetch or tender grass may be given them before they go out to pasture and after they come in. And so they are nursed until they are four months old.

"There are some shepherds who do not milk the ewes during the nursing period, but those who do not milk them at all do better, as thus they bear more wool and more lambs.

"When the lambs are weaned great attention is necessary to prevent them from wasting away in their longing for the dam: they should be tempted to eat by giving them appetizing food, and care should be taken that they do not suffer from cold or heat. When at last they have forgotten the taste of milk and no longer yearn for the dam, they may be driven out with the flock.

"A ram lamb should not be altered until he is five months old, nor yet in very hot or very cold weather. Those which you wish to keep for rams should be chosen as far as possible from dams who are in the habit of having twin lambs.

"Most of these recommendations apply equally to those fine wool sheep which are called pellitae, because they are jacketed with skins, as is done at Tarentum and in Attica, to protect their wool from fouling, for by this precaution the fleece is kept in better plight for dyeing, washing or cleaning. Greater diligence is required to keep clean the folds and stables of such sheep than is necessary for the ordinary breeds: so they are paved with stone to the end that no urine may stand anywhere in the stable.

"Sheep eat whatever is put before them--fig leaves, marc, even straw. Bran should be fed to them in moderation, lest they eat either too much or too little of it, in either of which cases it is bad for the digestion, but clover and alfalfa agree with them best and make both fat and milk with the utmost facility.

"So far as concerns the health of the flock, there are many things I might add, but, as Scrofa has said, the flock master keeps his prescriptions written down in a book and carries with him what he needs in the way of physic.

"It remains to speak of the number of sheep in a flock. Some make this more, some less, for there is no natural limit. In Epirus almost all of us have a rule not to allow more than one hundred short wool sheep or fifty fine wool jacketed sheep to a shepherd."

Of goats

  1. As Atticus stopped, Cossinius took him up. "Come, my dear Faustulus," he cried, "you have bleated long enough. Take now from me, as from a late born Homeric Melanthius,[123] a small offering from my flock of goats, and at the same time learn a lesson in brevity. He who wishes to form a flock of goats should consider in choosing them: first of all that they are of an age capable of breeding, and that for some time to come, for a tiro is more useful for that purpose than a veteran. As to conformation, see to it that they are strong and large, with a smooth body and thick coat: but beware of the short haired goat, for there are both kinds. The she goat should have two excrescences, like little teats, hanging under the muzzle: those which have them are fecund:[124] the larger the udder the more milk and butter fat she will yield. The qualities of a buck are that his coat should be largely white: his crest and neck short and his gullet long. You will have a better flock if you buy at one time goats which have been accustomed to run together, rather than by putting together a lot of goats picked up here and there.

"Concerning breeding, I refer to what Atticus has said about sheep, with this difference: that while you select a breed of sheep which are slow of foot, because they are of quieter disposition, all goats are as excitable as they are agile. Of, this last characteristic Cato records in his book Origines: 'In the mountains of Socrate and Fiscellus there are wild goats which leap from rock to rock a distance of more than sixty feet.' For as the sheep which we feed are sprung from wild sheep, so the goats which we herd are sprung from wild goats: and it is from them that the island of Caprasia, near the coast of Italy, gets its name.

"As it is recognized that the best breed of goats is one which bears two kids at a birth, breeding bucks are chosen from such a race whenever possible. Some fanciers even take the trouble to import bucks from the island of Melia, where are bred what are considered the largest and most beautiful specimens of the race.

"I hold that the formula for buying sheep cannot altogether apply to goats because no sane man ever guaranteed that goats are without malady, for the fact is that they are forever in a fever. For this reason the usual stipulation has had a few words cut out of it for use in respect of goats, and, as Manilius gives it in his treatise on the law of Sales, runs as follows: 'Do you guarantee that these goats are well today; that they are able to drink, and that I will get good title to them?'

"There is a wonderful fact concerning goats which has been stated by certain ingenious shepherds and is even recorded in the book of Archelaus, namely, that they do not breathe through their nostrils, like other animals, but through their ears.[125]

"Upon Scrofa's four considerations which relate to the care of goats I have this to say. The flock is better stabled in the winter if its quarters look toward the Southeast, because goats are very sensitive to cold. So also, as for most cattle, the goat stable should be paved with stone or brick that the flock may be less exposed to damp and mud. When the flock passes the night out of doors, a place should be selected having the same exposure and the fold strewn with leaves to protect the flock from fouling themselves.

"There is not much difference in the method of handling goats in the pasture from sheep, but goats have this characteristic, that they prefer the mountain woodland pastures to meadows, for they feed eagerly on the brushwood and in cultivated places crop the shrubbery; indeed, their name caprae is derived from carpere, to crop. For this reason it is customary to stipulate in farm leases that the tenant shall not graze any goat on the leased land, for their teeth are the enemies of all planted crops: wherefore the astrologers were careful to station them in the heavens outside of the pale of the twelve signs of the zodiac, but there are two kids and a goat not far from Taurus.

"So far as concerns breeding, it is the custom to separate the bucks from the pastured flock at the end of autumn and confine them apart, as has been said with respect to rams. The nannies which conceive at this time drop their kids in four months, and so in the spring. In what regards rearing the kids, it is enough to say that when they are three months old they are raised and may join the flock. What shall I say of the health of these animals who never have any? yet the flock master should have written down what remedies are used for certain of their maladies and especially for the wounds which often befall them by reason of their constant fighting among themselves and their feeding in thorny places. It remains to speak of number: this is less to the herd in the case of goats than with sheep because of the wantonness and wandering habit of the goat: sheep, on the other hand, are wont to flock together and keep in one place.

"For another reason it is the custom in Gaul to divide the goats into many flocks rather than concentrate them in large ones, because a pestilence quickly takes possession of a large herd and sweeps it to destruction. About fifty goats is considered to be a large enough flock.

"The experience of Gaberius, a Roman of the equestrian order, will illustrate the reason for this: for he, who had a thousand jugera of land near Rome, met one day a certain goatherd leading ten goats to town, and heard him say that he made a denier[126] a day out of each goat, whereupon Gaberius bought a thousand goats, hoping that he might thereby derive from his property an income of a thousand deniers a day: but so it fell out that he lost all his goats after a brief illness. On the other hand, among the Sallentini and near Casinum they graze their goats in flocks of one hundred.

"Almost the same difference of opinion exists as to the relative number of bucks to nannies, for some, and I am among them, allow a buck to every ten nannies, but others, like Menas, make it fifteen, and some even twenty, like Murrius."

Of swine

  1. "And now," concluded Cossinius, "which of you Italian swine breeders will stand forth and tell us of his herd? Surely he should be able to speak with the most authority whose cognomen is Scrofa."

At this pleasantry, Tremelius turned upon Cossinius and said: "You seem to be ignorant why I am called Scrofa, but, in order that our friends sitting beside you may understand, you should know my family did not always bear this swinish cognomen, nor am I of the race of Eumaeus. The first of us to be called Scrofa was my grandfather who, when he was quaestor under the praetor Licinius Nerva, and was left in command of the army in the province of Macedonia during the absence of the praetor, it so happened that the enemy thought they had an opportunity to gain a victory and began to attack the camp. My grandfather, in exhorting the soldiers to take up their arms and go out against the enemy, exclaimed that he would soon scatter them as a sow (scrofa) does her pigs, and he was as good as his word. For in that battle he so overwhelmed and discomfited the enemy, that on account of it the praetor Nerva was hailed Imperator and my grandfather obtained his cognomen and so was called Scrofa.[127] So, while neither my great grandfather nor any of my ancestors of the Tremelian family was ever called Scrofa, yet as I am not less than the sixth of our family in succession who has attained praetorian rank, it ill becomes me to run away in the face of your challenge, so I will tell you what I know about swine. Indeed from my youth I have been devoted to agriculture, so that I am perhaps as well acquainted with that animal as is any of you great stockmen: for who of us cultivates a farm but keeps hogs, and who has not heard his father say that that man is either lazy or a spendthrift who hangs in the meat house a flitch of bacon obtained from the butcher rather than from his own farm.

"He who wishes to have a proper herd of swine ought to choose them, in the first place, of the right age, and in the second place, of good conformation: which means large everywhere except in the head and feet and of a solid colour rather than spotted: but the boar should have without fail a thick neck in addition to these other qualities. Swine of good breed may be known from their appearance, if both boar and sow are of good conformation; from their get, if they have many pigs at a birth; and from their origin, if you buy them in a place with a reputation for producing fat rather than lean hogs. The usual formula for buying runs thus: 'Do you warrant that these hogs are in good health; that I shall take good title to them; that they have committed no tort, and that they do not come out of a diseased herd?'

"Some add a particular stipulation that they are not affected with cholera.

"In the matter of pasture, a marshy place is well fitted for hogs, because they delight not only in water, but in mud, the reason for which appears in the tradition that when a wolf has fallen upon a hog he always drags the carcass into the water because his teeth cannot endure the natural heat of hog flesh.

"Swine are fed mostly on mast, though also on beans, barley and other kinds of corn, which not only make them fat but give the meat an agreeable relish. In summer they go out to pasture early in the morning and before the heat of the day: at midday they are brought into some shady place, preferably where there is water: in the afternoon, when the heat has abated, they are fed again. In the winter time they do not go out to pasture until the hoar frost has evaporated and the ice has melted.

"In the matter of breeding, the boar should be separated from the herd for two months before the season, which should be arranged between the rising of the west wind and the vernal equinox, for thus it will befall that the sows (which are big for four months) will have their litters in summer when forage is plenty. Sows should not be bred under a year old, but it is better to wait until the twentieth month so that they may have pigs at two years. They are said to breed regularly for seven years after the first litter. During the breeding season they should be given access to muddy ditches and sloughs, so that they may wallow in the mud, which is the same relaxation to them that a bath is to a man. When all the sows are stinted, the boars should be segregated again. A boar is fit for service at eight months and so continues until his prime, after which his vigor decreases until he is fit only for the butcher to make of his flesh a dainty offering for the people. Our name for the hog, sus, is called [Greek: hus] in Greek, but formerly it was [Greek: thus], derived from [Greek: thuein], meaning to offer as a sacrifice, for it seems that victims were chosen from the race of swine for the earliest sacrifices; evidence of which remains in the tradition that pigs are sacrificed at the initiation to the mysteries of Ceres, that when a treaty is ratified peace begins with the slaughter of a pig, and that in solemnizing a marriage the ancient kings and mighty men of Etruria caused the bride and the bridegroom to sacrifice a pig at the beginning of the ceremony, a practice which the earliest Latins and the Greek colonists in Italy seem also to have followed: nam et nostrae mulieres, maxime nutrices, naturam qua feminae sunt in virginibus appellant porcum, et graecae [Greek: choiron], significantes esse dignum insigni nuptiarum.[128]

"The hog is said to be created by nature for the food of man[129] and so life and salt perform the same functions for him, as they both preserve his flesh.

"The Gauls[130] are reputed to put up not only the largest quantity but the best quality of pork: evidence of its quality being that even now hams, sausage,[131] bacon and shoulders are imported every year from Gaul to Rome: while Cato writes concerning the amount of pork cured by the Gauls: 'In (northern) Italy the Insubres are wont to put up three or four thousand cuts of pork [the bulk of which can be appreciated from the fact that among that people][132] the hog some times grows so fat that it is not able to stand on its feet or to walk, so that it is necessary to put it on a cart to move it any where.' Atilius the Spaniard, who is a truthful man and learned in many things, tells of a hog which was killed in further Spain or Lusitania from which two chops, sent to the Senator L. Volumnius, were found to weigh three and twenty pounds, the fat on them being so thick that it measured a foot and three fingers from the skin to the bone."

"I can testify to some thing not less extraordinary than what you have related," said I, "for in Arcadia I saw with my own eyes a hog which was so fat that not only was it unable to get up but a shrew mouse having eaten a hole in its back had there made its nest and was rearing a family. I have heard that this same thing happened in the country of the Veneti."

"Usually," resumed Scrofa, "the fecundity of a sow may be learned from her first litter, for in later litters she does not vary much from the number of pigs in the first.

"In the matter of rearing young swine, which we call porculatio it is customary to leave pigs with the sow for two months, and then when they are able to feed themselves to separate them. Pigs born in the winter are apt to be runts on account of the cold and because the sow refuses to suckle them, partly by reason of her lack of milk at that season and partly to protect her teats from the teeth of the hungry pigs.

"Each sow should suckle her pigs in her own stye, because a sow will not drive strange pigs away from her, and it results that if the litters are mingled the breed deteriorates. The year is naturally divided for the sow into two parts, because they breed twice a year, being heavy in pig for four months and suckling for two. The stye should be built about three feet deep and a little more in width and such a height from the ground as will permit a pregnant sow to get out without straining herself, as that might cause her to abort. A good measure of the proper height from the ground is what is necessary to enable the swineherd to keep watch that no little pigs are crushed by the sow, and to clean out the bedding easily. There should be a door to the stye with the lower sill elevated a foot and a palm high so as to prevent the pigs from following the sow when she goes out. As often as the swineherd cleans out the stye he should strew the floor with sand, or some thing else to absorb moisture.

"When a sow has had her pigs she should be fed liberally to enable her to make milk: for this the ration is usually two pounds of boiled barley, indeed some feed this both at morning and at night if other feed is lacking. When pigs are taken from their dam they are sometimes called delici or weanlings being then no longer lactantes or sucklings.

"Pigs are considered to be clean ten days after birth, and for that reason were then called by the ancients sacred, as being then first fit for sacrifice: and so in the Menaechmi of Plautus, when a character thinking some one in Epidamnus to be out of his wits and seeking to purify him, asks: 'How much are sacred pigs here.'

"If the farm affords them, pigs should be fed grape husks and stalks.

"After they have lost the name of lactantes the shoats are called nefrendes because they are not yet able to break down (frendere that is frangere) the bean stalks. Porcus is the ancient Greek name for them but is fallen into disuse, for the Greeks now call them [Greek: choiros].

"While she is giving suck the sow should be watered twice a day to promote the flow of milk. A sow should bear as many pigs as she has teats: if she has less it is considered that she is unprofitable, but if more, a prodigy. In this respect there is the ancient tradition that the sow of Aeneas bore thirty white (albos) pigs at Lavinium,[133] which portended that after thirty years the inhabitants of Lavinium would found the town of Alba: indeed, vestiges of this sow and of her pigs may still be seen at Lavinium where there is a brazen image of them now in the public square, and the true body of the sow is shown by the priests, preserved in pickle.

"Sows are able at first to suckle eight little pigs, but as they grow larger half of them are usually taken away by experienced swineherds, because the sow cannot supply milk enough for all, and too many pigs fed together do not prosper in any event. A sow should not be driven out of the stye for ten days after having her litter except for water, but after that time she is permitted to graze in a paddock so conveniently near at hand that she may return to the stye frequently to suckle the pigs. When the pigs are large enough they are permitted to follow the sow to pasture, but at home they should be penned apart from the sow and fed by themselves until they overcome their yearning for the dam, which usually happens in ten days. The swineherd should train his shoats to do every thing at the sound of the trumpet. This training is begun by letting the shoats hear the trumpet outside their pens and then at once come out to a place where barley has been scattered broad cast (for thus less is wasted than if the feed is put in heaps and more of the shoats can get to it easily). By such education it is possible to collect pasturing hogs at the sound of a trumpet and prevent their being lost when scattered in the woods.[134]

"Boars are altered most successfully when they are a year old, but in no case should this be done when they are less than six months old. After the operation they are no longer called boars, but barrows.

"Concerning the health of swine, I will say one thing only by way of example: if the sow is not able to supply milk the sucking pigs should be fed, until they are three months old, on roasted wheat (for when it is raw it loosens the bowels) or on barley boiled in water.

"As to number: it is considered that ten boars to an hundred sows is enough; some even reduce this proportion.

"The practice varies as to the number to a herd, but my judgment is that a hundred is a moderate number: some make it more, say 150: some feed two herds together, and some do even more than that. A small herd is less expensive than a large one because the swineherd requires less assistance. A swinefeeder should fix the number to be fed as a herd on a principle of utility, not by the number of boars he may happen to have, for that is determined by nature."

So far Scrofa.

Of neat cattle

  1. At this point we were joined by the Senator Q. Lucienus, a man as learned as he is agreeable and intimate with us all. "Hail, my fellow citizens of Epirus," he exclaimed in Greek,[135] "and you, my dear Varro, 'shepherd of men,' for I have already greeted Scrofa this morning."

While one saluted him, another reproached him for having come so late to our club.

"I will see to that, my merry men, for I am about to offer you my back and a scourge: or else, Murrius, you who are my friend: come with me while I pay a forfeit to the goddess Pales, so that you may bear me witness if our friends here seek to make me do it again."

"Tell him," said Atticus, turning to Murrius, "what we have been talking about and what is still on the programme, so that when his turn comes he may be prepared. In the meantime we will take up the second order of domestic live stock and proceed to a discussion of the larger cattle."

"In this," said Vaccius, "my name would seem to assign me a part, since cows (vaccae) are included in that category. Wherefore I will tell what I know about neat cattle, so that he who knows less may learn, while he who knows more may correct me when I fall down."

"Be careful what you do, Vaccius," said I, "for the genus Bos is of the first importance among cattle, certainly in Italy, which is thought to have taken its very name from that family, for, as Timaeus records, in ancient Greece a bull was called [Greek: italos], whence is derived our word vitula, and from this Italy is supposed to have taken its name because of the number and beauty of its breed, of cattle (vituli). Others claim that the name comes from that of the famous bull Italus which Hercules drove out of Sicily into this country.

"The ox is indeed the companion and fellow labourer of man and the minister of Ceres: wherefore the ancients, holding him inviolable, made it a capital offence to kill an ox.[136] Both Attica and Peloponnesus bear witness of the regard in which the ox was held: for he who first yoked oxen to the plough is celebrated at Athens under the name Buzyges and at Argos under that of Homogyros."

"I know," replied Vaccius, "the importance of the ox and that his very name is used to signify that quality, as in words like [Greek: bousukon](big fig), [Greek: boupais](a big boy), [Greek: boulimos] (a ravenous hunger),[Greek: boopis] (large eyed), and again that a certain large grape is called bumamma (cow teat). Furthermore, I know it was the form of a bull that Jupiter assumed when he wooed Europa and bore her across the sea from Phoenicia: that it was a bull which protected the children of Neptune and Melanippe from being crushed in a stable by a herd of cattle: I know too that the bees which give the sweetest honey are generated from the carcase of an ox, whence the Greeks call them [Greek: bougeneis] (born of an ox), an expression which Plautius latinized on the occasion where the praetor Hirrius, was accused at Rome of having libeled the Senate. 'But be of good cheer, I will give you at least as great satisfaction as did he who wrote the Bugonia.'[137]

"In the first place there are said to be four ages of cattle, during which they are known by the successive designation of calf (vitulus), yearling (juvencus), prime (novellus) and aged (vetulus). These designations are further divided according to sex, as bull-calf and heifer-calf, or bull and cow.

"A cow which is sterile is called taura: when pregnant, horda, from which last name a certain festival is called the hordicalia (Fordicidia) because cows in calf are sacrificed upon it.

"He who wishes to buy a herd of neat cattle should take care first that they are of an age to produce, rather than past breeding; that they are well set up, clean limbed, square bodied, large, with black horns and broad brows, large black eyes, hairy ears, flat cheek bones, snub-nosed, not hump-backed but rather with the back bone slightly roached, wide nostrils, blackish lips, a neck muscular and long with dew laps hanging from it, the barrel large and well ribbed, the shoulders broad and the quarters good, a tail sweeping the heels, the end being frizzled in a heavy brush, the legs rather short and straight with knees projecting a little and well separated, the feet narrow and not inclined to spread in walking, the hoofs not being splayed but consisting of light and even bones, and a hide which is not rough and hard to the touch. The best colour is black, next red, third chestnut and last white: for a white coat indicates weakness, as black indicates endurance: of the other two colours red is more common than chestnut, and both than black and white. In addition you should be particular that the bull is of good breed, which is determined from his conformation and his get, as calves usually reproduce the qualities of their sire. And, finally, it is of importance whence they come. Gallic cattle are considered in Italy to be the best for work, while on the other hand Ligurian cattle are worthless. The foreign cattle of Epirus are not only better than all the Greek cattle but even than the Italian: nevertheless, there are those who choose Italian cattle for victims and to serve as offerings to the gods on account of their size: and without doubt they may be preferred for such holy offices, so great is the distinction of their majestic bulk and their candid coats: and they are the more suitable for such use because white cattle are not so common in Italy as in Thrace at the gulf of Melas, where there are few of any other colour.

"When cattle are bought already broken for work we stipulate thus: 'Do you guarantee these cattle to be in good health and warrant me against liability for any tort committed by them?'

"When we buy them unbroken, we say: 'Do you guarantee these yearlings to be in good health and to come out of a healthy herd, and warrant me against liability for tort?'

"When butchers buy for the shambles they use a fuller formula recommended by Manilius: but those who buy for the altar do not usually stipulate for health in their victims.

"Neat cattle pasture best in groves where there is brushwood and much leafage: and so when they are wintered by the sea they are driven up to pasture in summer in the hills where shrubbery abounds.

"These are my breeding rules:

"For a month before breeding I cut down the food and drink of the cows because it is deemed that they breed more certainly when they are thin. On the other hand, I fatten the bulls up on grass and straw and hay for two months before the breeding season, and during that time I keep them apart from the cows. Like Atticus, I have two for seventy cows, one a yearling, the other two years old. When that constellation has risen which the Greeks call Lyra, and we Romans, Fides, I turn the bull into the herd again. The bull indicates whether a male or a female calf has been conceived by the side on which he leaves the cow: if male, on the right; if female, on the left. "Why this is so," said Vaccius, turning to me, "I leave to you who read Aristotle."

"A cow should not be served under two years, so that she may have her first calf in the third year: it would be better in the fourth. Most cows bear for ten years, some even more. The most suitable time for stinting cows is during the forty days following the rising of the Dolphin, or even a little later, for thus they will drop their calves at the most temperate season of the year, for a cow goes ten months pregnant. On this subject I have come upon an extraordinary statement in a book that a bull which has just been altered can get a cow with calf.

"Breeding cows should be pastured where there is abundant grass and plenty of water, and care should be taken to protect them from crowding too close together, and from being struck, or from fighting with one another: moreover, to protect them against being worried in summer by cattle flies and those minute insects which get under their tails, some farmers shut them up during the heat of the day in pens, which should be strewn with leaves or some other bedding on which they can rest comfortably. In summer they are driven to water twice a day, in winter once. Against the time when they are due to drop their calves you should arrange to give them access to fresh forage near the stable which they can eat with appetite as they go out, for at that time they are very dainty about their food. A watch out must be kept to prevent their frequenting chilly places, for cold depresses the vitality as much as hunger.

"These are the rules for raising neat cattle: the suckling calves should not be suffered to sleep with their dams, for they might crush them, but should be given access to them in the morning and when they return from pasture. When the calves are weaned the dams should be comforted by having green stuff thrown into their stalls for them to eat. The floor of a calf stable, like most others, should be paved with stone to keep their hoofs from rotting. The calves may be pastured with their dams after the autumn equinox. Bull calves should not be altered before they are two years old, as they recover with difficulty if the operation is performed sooner, while if it is done later they are apt to be stubborn and useless.

"As in the case of other cattle, the herd should be gone over every year and the culls thrown out because they occupy the room of those which might be profitable. If a cow loses her calf she should be given another to nurse, taken from a cow which has not a sufficient supply of milk. Calves six months old are fed wheat bran and barley meal and young grass, and care should be taken that they are watered morning and evening.

"The rules for taking care of the health of neat cattle are many. I have those which Mago has recorded written out and I take care that my herdsman reads them frequently.

"I have already said that a yearling and a two-year old bull should be provided for every sixty cows, though some have more or less cows in the herd: thus Atticus has two bulls for every seventy cows. Some observe one rule as to the number of cattle to the herd, some another. I am among those who think that one hundred is enough, but Atticus here, like Lucienus, has one hundred and twenty."

So far Vaccius.

Of asses

  1. While Vaccius was speaking, Murrius had returned with Lucienus and now began:

"I propose to tell about asses as well I may, because I am from Reate where the best and the largest are found; indeed, I have sold to the Arcadians themselves asses of this race and of my own breeding. He who wishes to establish a good herd of asses should see in the first place that he procures jacks and jennies of prime age so that they may breed as long as possible, strong, well made in all parts, of full body and of a good breed, that is to say derived from those localities whence the best specimens come; thus the Peloponnesians, so far as possible, buy asses bred in Arcadia and we in Italy those from the valley of Reate. For if the best of those delicious fish we call muraenae flutae are taken on the coast of Sicily and the best sturgeons at Rhodes, it does not follow that they are of equal delicacy in all seas.

"There are two kinds of asses, one wild, which is called the onager, of which there, are many herds in Phrygia and Lycaonia; the other domestic, as they are all over Italy. The onager is fit for use for breeding because he is easily tamed and once domesticated never reverts to a wild life.[138]

"Because their young take after their parents, it is important to choose both jack and jenny of good conformation. The conditions of buying and selling asses are much the same as for other kinds of cattle and include stipulations as to their health and against tort. They are best fed on corn and barley bran. The jennies are bred before the solstice so that they may have their foals at the same season in the following year, for their period of gestation is twelve months. The jennies should be relieved from work while in foal for fatigue at that time injures the offspring: but the jacks, on the contrary, are worked all the time, because it is lack of exercise which is bad for them.

"In the matter of rearing, practically the same rules apply to asses as to horses. The foals are not separated from their dams for the first year after they are born: during the second year they are permitted to stay with their dams at night, but they should then be tied with a loose halter or some other such restraint. In the third year you begin to break them for whatever service they are intended.

"As to the number: they are not usually kept in herds unless it may be for transport service; generally they are used to turn the mill, or for carrying about the farm, or even for the plough where the soil is light, as in Campania. Herds of asses are some times employed by merchants, like those who transport wine, or oil, or corn, or any other commodity, from Brundisium or Apulia to the sea, by pack trains."

Of horses

  1. Here Lucienus took up the discourse. "It is my turn," he said, "to open the barrier and drive in my horses: and they are not only stallions, of which, like Atticus, I keep one for every ten breeding mares, but mares as well, such as Q. Modius Equiculus, that gallant soldier, was wont to esteem for use even in war nearly as much as stallions.[139]

"He who wishes to have such studs of stallions and mares as may be seen in Peloponnesus and in Apulia should first consider age and see that he obtains them not less than three nor more than ten years old. The age of a horse, as also of nearly all animals whose hoofs are not cloven, even horned animals, may be known from the condition of the teeth: thus at thirty months of age a colt is said to lose the milk incisors from the middle of his mouth, two above and two below. At the beginning of the fourth year, in like manner he sheds the same number, being the incisors adjoining those previously lost, and at that age also the teeth called canine begin to appear. At the beginning of the fifth year he loses two more incisors, and at that time the new teeth show hollow. In the sixth year the new teeth begin to fill out their cavities, and by the seventh usually all have been renewed and the permanent mouth is made. What is the age of a horse beyond this point it is not possible to determine accurately, except that when the teeth project and the eye brows are white and have hollows under them, it is considered that a horse is sixteen years old.

"A breeding mare should be of medium size, for it is not fitting that they should be either very large or very small, but the quarters and belly should be broad.

"A breeding stallion on the other hand should be chosen with a large body, well made and all his parts in harmony. What sort of horse it will turn out to be can be determined from the points of the foal, for it should exhibit a small head: limbs well knit together: a black eye, wide nostrils: ears well pricked: a mane which is thick, dark and curly, of fine hairs and falling on the right side of the neck: a breast broad and well developed: strong shoulders: a moderate belly: the loins flat and rising to the quarters: long shoulder blades: a back bone well doubled [with ridges of meat] but if these are not prominent in no event should the bone itself stand out: a tail large and curly: legs straight and even and rather long: knees round and small and not turned in as you look at them: hard hoofs: veins visible all over the body (for a horse of this kind is fit for treatment when he is sick).

"The breed is of the greatest importance, for there are many. In this respect the celebrated breeds take the names of the countries from which they come: thus in Greece we have the Thessalian breed: in Italy the Apulian from Apulia, and the Rosean from Rosea.[140]

"It is a sign that they will make good horses if, when at pasture with the herd, the colts contend with one another for superiority in running or in any thing else, or if when a stream is to be crossed they leap it at the head of the herd and do not look back for the others.

"Horses are bought in almost the same manner as cattle or asses, because they change ownership by similar formalities, all of which are set forth in the book of Manilius.

"Horses should be pastured whenever possible in meadows of grass, and in the stable and stall they are fed on hay.

"When a mare has foaled she should be fed on barley and watered twice a day.

"In the matter of breeding, the period of service is from the vernal equinox to the solstice so that the foal may come at a suitable season, for they are supposed to be born on the tenth day of the twelfth month after the mare was stinted. Those which are born after the time are usually defective and unfit for use. When the season has come the stallion should be admitted to the mare twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, under the direction of the origa (so the studgroom is called), for a mare held in hand is stinted more quickly, nor does the stallion waste his seed by excess of ardor. When a mare is stinted she makes it known by defending herself. If the stallion shows an aversion for a mare, her parts should be smeared when she is in heat with the marrow of a shrimp macerated in water to the consistency of honey, and the stallion allowed to smell of it.

"Although it may seem incredible, what I am about to relate is true and should be remembered. Once upon a time a studgroom tried to make a stallion cover his mother, but could never get him to come near her: so one day the groom muffled the stallion's head and put him to his mother successfully: but when the bandage was removed and the stallion saw what he had done, he fell upon the groom and killed him with his teeth.

"When the mares have been stinted it must be seen to that they are worked only in moderation and are kept out of cold places, because cold is of the greatest prejudice to a mare in that condition. For this reason the floor of their stable should be kept dry and the windows and doors should be kept shut: and furthermore the mares should be separated one from another by long poles fastened back from the manger so that they may not fight.

"Mares in foal should neither be over-fed nor starved.

"There are some who breed their mares only every other year and claim they get better colts, on the same principle that as corn land is exhausted by continuous cropping, so is a mare which is bred every year.[141]

"The foal should be led out to pasture with its dam on the tenth day after it is born, so to avoid burning its tender hoofs by standing on manure in the stable. When five months old a colt should be fed, whenever he is brought into the stable, a ration of barley meal whole with its bran, or any other product of the earth which he will eat with appetite. When they are a year old they may be fed barley in the grain mixed with bran, and this should be kept up as long as they suckle, for they should not be weaned until they have completed the second year. From time to time while they are still with their dams they should be handled so that they may not be wild after they are separated. To the same end it is well to hang bridles in their stalls so that while they are still colts they may become accustomed to the sight of them and the sound of their clanking as well. When a colt has learned to come to an outstretched hand you should put a boy on his back, for the first two or three times stretched out flat on his belly, but afterwards sitting upright. The time to do this is when the colt is three years old, for then he has his full growth and is beginning to develop muscles.

"There are those who say that a colt may be broken at eighteen months, but it is better to wait until the third year. Then is the time too to begin to feed him that mixture of grain in the milk which we call farrago, for this is very good for a horse as a purgative. It should be fed for ten days to the exclusion of all other food. On the eleventh day and until the fourteenth you should feed barley, adding a little to the ration every day for four days and then maintaining that quantity for the ten days succeeding: during this period the horse should be exercised moderately, and when in a sweat rubbed down with oil. If it is cold a fire should be lit in the stable.

"As some horses are suitable for military service, some for the cart, some for breeding, some for racing, and others for the carriage, it follows that the methods of handling and looking after them all are not the same. Thus the soldier chooses some and rears and trains them for his particular use, and so in turn does the charioteer and the circus rider. Nor does he who wishes a cart horse choose the same conformation or give the same training as to a horse intended for the saddle or the carriage: for as the one desires mettle for military service, the other prefers a gentle disposition for use on the road. It was to provide for this difference of use that the practice of castrating horses was inaugurated, for horses that are altered are of a quieter disposition: they are called geldings, as hogs in the same state are called barrows and chickens are called capons.

"As to medicine for the horse, there are so many symptoms of their maladies and so many cures that the studgroom must have them written down: indeed, on this account in Greece the veterinarians are mostly called [Greek: hippiatroi] (horse leeches)."

Of mules

  1. While we were talking a freedman came from Menas and said that the sacrificial cakes were cooked and every thing ready for the sacrifice--that whoever wishes to take part had only to come.

"But I will not suffer you to go," I protested, "until you have fulfilled your promise and given me the third chapter of our subject, that concerning mules and dogs and shepherds."

"What is to be said about mules,"[142] replied Murrius, "may be said briefly. Mules and hinnies are mongrels and grafts as it were on a stock of a different species, for a mule is got by an ass out of a mare, and a hinny by a horse out of a she ass. Both have their uses, but neither is fit to reproduce its kind. For this purpose it is the custom to put a newborn ass colt to nurse to a mare because mares' milk will make it more vigorous: it is considered better than asses' milk, or indeed than any other kind of milk. Later they are fed on straw, hay and barley. The foster mother must be given good attention also, as she must bring up her own colt in addition to her service as a wet nurse. An ass raised in this way is fit to get mules when he is three years old, nor will he contemn the mares because he has become used to their kind. If you use him for breeding earlier he will quickly exhaust himself and his get will be poor.

"If you have no ass foal to have brought up by a mare and you wish a breeding jackass, you should buy the largest and handsomest you can find; the best breed, as the ancients said, was that of Arcadia, but nowadays we who know maintain that the breed of Reate is best: where breeding jacks have brought thirty and even forty thousand sesterces ($1,800-$2,000).

"Jacks are bought like horses, with the same stipulations and guarantees. We feed them principally on hay and barley, increasing the ration at the breeding season so as to infuse strength into their get by means of their food. The breeding season is the same as for horses, and, like them again, we have the jack handled by a studgroom.

"When a mare has dropped a mule colt or filly we bring it up with care. Those which are born in marshy and swampy country have soft hoofs, but if they are driven up into the mountain in summer, as we do at Reate, their hoofs become hardened.

"In buying mules you must consider age and conformation, the one that they may be able to work under a load, the other that the eye may have pleasure in looking at them: for a team of two good mules is capable of drawing any kind of a wagon on the road.

"You, my friend from Reate," Murrius added, turning to me, "can vouch for what I have said, as you yourself have herds of breeding mares at home and have bred and sold many mules.

"The get of a horse out of a she ass is called a hinny: he is smaller in the body and usually redder in colour than a mule, and has ears like a horse, but mane and tail like an ass. Hinnies are carried by the dam twelve months, like a horse, and, like the horse too, they are raised and fed, and their age can be told by their teeth."

Of herd dogs

  1. "It remains," said Atticus, "to speak of the last of the quadrupeds on our programme, that is to say, of dogs, which are of the greatest importance to us who feed the woolly flock, for the dog is the guardian of such cattle as lack the means to defend themselves, chiefly sheep and goats. For the wolf is wont to lie in wait for them and we oppose our dogs to him as defenders. Hogs can defend themselves, as well pigs, boars, barrows and sows, for they are near akin to the wild boar, which we know often kills dogs in the woods, with their tusks. What shall I say of large cattle? I know of an instance of a herd of mules pastured together, which, when they were attacked by a wolf, joined in forming a circle about him and killed him with blows of their hoofs: and again, bulls often stand together, rump to rump, and drive off wolves with their horns. But of dogs there are two kinds, hunting dogs, which are used against wild beasts and game, and herd dogs, which are used by the shepherd. I will discuss the latter methodically, following Scrofa's nine heads.

"Of the first importance is the choice of dogs of suitable age, for puppies and old dogs cannot protect themselves, much less the sheep, and so often become themselves the prey of wild beasts.

"In appearance they should be handsome, of good size, with black or tawny eyes: a symmetrical nose: lips blackish or ruddy, neither drawn back above nor hanging underneath: a short muzzle, showing two teeth on either side, those of the lower jaw projecting a little, those above rather straight and not so apparent, and the other teeth, which are covered by the lips, very sharp: a large head, ears large and turned over: a thick crest and neck: long joints: straight legs, rather bowed than knock-kneed: feet large and well developed, so that in walking they may spread out: toes slightly splayed: claws hard and curved: the pad of the foot neither horny nor hard but as it were puffed and soft: short-coupled: a back bone neither projecting nor roached: a heavy tail: a deep bark, and wide gaping chops. The colour to be preferred is white because it gives the dog a lion-like aspect in the dark.[143] Finally, the females should have large teats equally distributed. Care should be taken that they are of good breed, such as those called for their place of origin, Laconian, Epirot and Sallentian. Be careful not to buy a sheep dog from a professional hunter or a butcher, because the one is apt to be lazy about following the flock, while the other is more likely to make after a hare or a deer which it might see, than to tend the sheep.

"It is better either to buy, from a shepherd, dogs which are accustomed to follow sheep or dogs which are without any training at all. While a dog does readily whatever he has been trained to do, his affection is apt to be stronger for the shepherds than for the flock.[144]

"Once P. Aufidius Pontianus of Amiternum bought certain flocks of sheep in further Umbria, the dogs which herded them being included in the bargain, but not the shepherds, who were, however, to make the delivery at the Saltus of Metapontum and the market of Heraclea: when these shepherds had returned home, their dogs, longing for their masters, a few days later of their own will came back to the shepherds in Umbria, having made several days journey without other food than what the fields afforded. Nor had any one of those shepherds done what Saserna advises in his books on agriculture,

'Whoever wishes to be followed by a dog should throw him a cooked frog.'[145]

"It is of importance that all your dogs should be of the same breed, for when they are related they are of the greatest aid to one another.

"Now as to Scrofa's fourth consideration, that concerning the manner of buying: this is accomplished by delivery by the former owner to the purchaser.

"The same stipulations as to health and against liability for tort are made as in the case of cattle, leaving out whatever is inapplicable to dogs. Some make a price on dogs at so much per head, others stipulate that the puppies shall go with the mother, others that two puppies shall count as one dog--as two lambs usually count as a sheep. Usually it is provided that all the dogs which have been accustomed to be together should be included in the bargain.

"The food appropriate for dogs is more like that of man than of sheep, for they are fed on scraps and bones rather than on grass and leaves. Care must be taken that they are fed regularly, for, if food is not provided, hunger will lead them in search of it away from the flock, unless, indeed, they shall find it in one another, thereby contradicting the old proverb,[146] or perchance they may realize the fable of Actaeon and turn their teeth against their master himself. You would do well to feed them on barley bread soaked in milk, because when they have become accustomed to that diet they will not readily desert the flock. They should never be suffered to taste the flesh of a carrion sheep lest the relish should tempt them to indulge in such food again. They may be fed also broth made out of bones, or bones themselves when broken up, for that makes their teeth stronger and the mouth wider: and thereby the jaws are stretched, while the zest of the marrow makes the dog fiercer. They should be accustomed to take their food in the day time where the flock is feeding and at night where the flock is folded.

"In the matter of breeding it is the practice to line the bitch at the beginning of spring, for then she is said to be in heat, that is to say, to show a readiness for breeding. When they are lined at this season they pup about the solstice, for they go three months. While they are in pup they should be fed barley bread rather than wheat bread, for it is more nourishing and makes more milk.

"In the matter of bringing up the puppies after birth: if there are many in the litter you should choose those you wish to keep and destroy the others: the fewer you keep the better they will be nourished, for then their portion of the mother's milk will be larger.

"Chaff or some thing else of that sort should be spread under them, because the better they are bedded the more easily they are brought up. Puppies open their eyes twenty days after birth.[147] During the first two months they are not separated from their mother, but wean themselves gradually. A number of puppies should be kenneled together, where they may be encouraged to fight, which will make them fiercer, but they should never be suffered to tire themselves since weariness develops cowardice. They should also be accustomed to be tied, at first with a light leash, and if they attempt to gnaw it they should be punished by whipping, so that they may not get the habit. On rainy days their kennels should be bedded with leaves or grass, for two reasons: that they may not soil themselves or suffer from cold. Some castrate their puppies thinking them less likely to leave the flock, but others do not, thinking that the operation makes them less fierce. Some rub their ears and between their toes with a suffusion of bitter almonds steeped in water because flies, ticks and fleas usually develop sores in those parts, unless it is your practice to so anoint them. To protect them from wounds from wild beasts we place collars on them, of the kind which we call melium, which is a girth around the neck made from strong leather studded with nails and lined with soft leather to protect the neck from being chafed by the hard iron heads of the nails: for if a wolf or other wild beast is once wounded by these nails all the other dogs are safe from his attack, even if they have no collars.

"The number of dogs to be kept is determined by the size of the flock, usually one dog for every shepherd is considered enough, but the practice varies. Thus there should be more in localities where wild beasts are plentiful, and those increase the number also who are wont to drive their flocks over the long forest drift ways to their summer or their winter feeding grounds.

"But two dogs are enough for a flock kept on a farm: in which case they should be male and female, for they are more attached and, by emulation, fiercer, and if one is sick for a protracted time the flock will not be without a dog."

Here Atticus looked around as if to enquire whether he had omitted any thing.

"This is the silence," said I, "which summons another player on the boards."

Of shepherds

  1. "The rest of this act," I added, "relates to how many and what kind of shepherds are necessary."

Cossinius took the cue. "For large cattle," he said, "men of full age are required; for small cattle boys will do: but in either case those who drive their flocks and herds on the drift ways must be stouter than those who remain on the farm and return to the steading every day.

"So in the wood pastures (saltus) it behooves one to have young men and usually armed men, while on the farm boys or even girls may tend the flock. Those who use the distant feeding grounds should require their shepherds to feed their flocks together all day, but at night to remain each one with his own flock. They should all be under the supervision of one flock master, who should be older and more experienced than the others, because they will obey more cheerfully one who surpasses them in age and knowledge; and yet the flock master should be of such years that he may not be prevented by age from hard work: for neither old men nor boys can endure the steeps of the drift ways, nor the ardours and roughness of the mountains, which must be suffered by those who follow flocks, especially cattle and goats, to whom the rocks and the forests are pleasant grazing places.

"So far as concerns the conformation of the men chosen for these occupations, they should be strong and swift and active, with ready limbs not only able to follow the cattle but to defend them from the incursions of wild beasts and of brigands: men who can load the packs on the sumpter beasts: can run and throw a javelin.[148]

"Every nation is not fit for tending cattle, especially the Basculi and the Turduli [of Spain]. The Gauls are the best of all, particularly for draught cattle.

"In the matter of the purchase of shepherds, there are six usual methods of obtaining lawful title to a slave: (i) by inheritance, (2) by due form of mancipation, which is delivery of possession by one who has the legal right, (3) by the legal process called surrender in court (cessio in jure) from one who has that right, the transfer taking place where it should, (4) by prescriptive use (usucapion),

  1. by purchase of a prisoner of war "under the crown" (6) by auction at the distribution of some one's property by order of court under the process known as bonorum emptio.[149]

"The peculium or personal property of the slave usually passes with him to a new master unless it is specially excepted in the terms of sale: there is also the usual guaranty as to the health of the slave and that he has committed no theft or tort for which his master is legally responsible, and, unless the purchase is by mancipation, the bargain is bound by an obligation of double indemnity, or in the amount of the purchase price alone, if that is the agreement.

"The shepherds should take their meals separately during the day, each one with his flock, but in the evening they should meet at a common supper under the supervision of the flock master.[150] It should be the duty of the flock master to see that every thing is provided which may be required by the flock or by the shepherds, chiefly the victuals for the men and medicine for the flock: for which the master should provide beasts of burden, either horses or some thing else which can carry a load on its back.

"As to what relates to the breeding of shepherds, it is easy, so far as concerns those who remain on the farm all the time because they can have a fellow servant to wife at the farmstead, for Venus Pastoralis demands no more. Some hold that it is expedient also to furnish women[151] for those who pasture the flocks in the Saltus and the forests and have no residence but find their shelter from the rain under improvised sheds: that such women following the flocks and preparing the food for the shepherds keep the men better satisfied and more devoted to their duty. But they must needs be strong though not deformed, and not less capable of work then the men themselves, as they are in many localities and as may be seen throughout Illyricum, where the women feed the flocks or carry in wood for the fire and cook the food, or keep watch over the household utensils in their cottages.

"As to the method of raising their children, it suffices to say that the shepherd women are usually both mothers and nurses at the same time."

At this Cossinius looked at me and said: "I have heard you relate that, when you were in Liburnia, you saw women big with child bringing in fire wood and at the same time carrying a nursing child, or even two of them, thus putting to shame those slender reeds, the women of our class, who are wont to lie abed under mosquito bars for days at a time when they are pregnant."

"That is true," I replied, "and the contrast is even more marked in Illyricum, where it often happens that a pregnant woman whose time has come will leave her work for a little while and return with a new born child which you would think she had found rather than borne.[152]

"Not only this, the custom of that country permits the girls as much as twenty years of age, whom they call virgins, to go about unprotected and to give themselves to whomever they wish and to have children before marriage."

"As to what pertains to the health of man and beast," resumed Cossinius, "and the leech craft which may be practised without the aid of a physician, the flock master should have the rules written down: indeed, the flock master must have some education, otherwise he can never keep his flock accounts properly.[153]

"As to the number of shepherds, some make a narrow, some a broad, allowance. I have one shepherd for every eighty long wool sheep: Atticus here has one for every hundred. One can reduce the number of men required in respect of large flocks (like those containing a thousand head or more) much more readily than in respect of comparatively small flocks, like Atticus' and mine, for I have only seven hundred head of sheep, and you, Atticus, have, I believe, eight hundred, though we are alike in providing a ram for every ten ewes. Two men are required to care for a herd of fifty mares: and each of them should have a mare broken for riding to serve as a mount in those localities where it is the custom to drive the mares to pasture, as often happens in Apulia and Lucania."

Of milk and cheese and wool

  1. "And now that we have fulfilled our promise, let us go," said Cossinius.

"Not until you have added some thing," I cried, "concerning that supplemental profit from cattle which was promised; namely, of milk and cheese and the shearing of wool."

So Cossinius resumed:

"Ewes' milk, and, after it, goats' milk, is the most nourishing of all liquids which we drink. As a purgative, mares' milk ranks first, and, after it, in order, asses' milk, cows' milk and goats' milk, but the quality depends upon what has been fed to the cattle, upon the condition of the cattle, and upon when it is milked.

"So far as concerns the food of the cattle, milk is nourishing which is made from barley and stover and other such kinds of dry and hard cattle food.

"So far as concerns its purgative qualities, milk is good when made from green stuff, especially if it is grass containing plants which, taken by themselves, have a purgative effect upon the human body.

"So far as concerns the condition of the cattle, that milk is best which comes from cattle in vigorous health and from those still young.

"So far as concerns the time of milking, that milk is best which comes neither from a 'stripper' nor from a recently fresh dam.

"The cheese made of cows' milk is the most agreeable to the taste but the most difficult to digest: next, that of ewes' milk, while the least agreeable in taste, but the most easily digested, is that of goats' milk.

"There is also a distinction between cheese when it is soft and new made and when it is dry and old, for when it is soft it is more nourishing and digestible, but the opposite is true of old and dry cheese.

"The custom is to make cheese from the rising of the Pleiades in spring to their rising in summer, and yet the rule is not invariable, because of difference in locality and the supply of forage.

"The practice is to add a quantity of rennet, equal to the size of an olive, to two congii of milk to make it curdle. The rennet taken from the stomachs of the hare and the kid is better than that from lambs, but some use as a ferment the milk of the fig tree mixed with vinegar, and some times sprinkled with other vegetable products. In parts of Greece this is called [Greek: opos], elsewhere [Greek: dakruos]."

"I am prepared to believe," I said, "that the fig tree standing beside the chapel of the goddess Rumina[154] was planted by shepherds for the purpose you mention, for there is it the practice to make libations of milk rather than of wine or to sacrifice suckling pigs. For men used to use the word rumis or ruma where we now say mamma, signifying a teat: hence even now suckling lambs are called subrumi from the teat they suck, just as we call suckling pigs lactantes from lac, the milk that comes from the teat."

Cossinius resumed:

"If you sprinkle your cheese with salt it is better to use the mineral than the marine kind.

"Concerning the shearing of sheep, the first thing to be looked into before you begin is that the sheep are not suffering from scab or sores, as it is better to wait, if necessary, until they are cured before shearing.

"The time to shear is between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice, when the sheep begin to sweat (it is the sweat which gives new clipped wool its name sucida). As soon as the sheep are sheared they are smeared with a mixture[155] of wine and oil, some add white wax and hogs' grease. If they are sheep which are kept blanketed, the inside of the blanket should be anointed with this mixture before it is put on again.

"If the sheep has suffered any wound during the shearing, it should be treated with liquid tar.

"Long wool sheep are usually sheared about the time of the barley harvest: in some places before the hay harvest.

"Some men shear their sheep twice a year, as in hither Spain, investing double work because they think they get more wool, just as some men mow their meadows twice a year. Careful shepherds are wont to shear on a mat so as not to lose any of the wool. A clear day should be chosen for the shearing and it is usually done between the fourth and the tenth hours (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) since wool sheared in the hot sun is softer, heavier and of better colour by reason of the sweat of the sheep. Wool which has been collected and packed in bags is called vellera or velamina, words derived from vellere, to pull, whence it may be concluded that the practice of pulling wool is older than shearing. Those who pull the wool today make a practice of starving their sheep for three days before, because when they are weak the wool yields more readily."

"Speaking of shearing," I said, "it is reported that the first barbers were brought into Italy from Sicily in the year 453 after the foundation of Rome (B.C. 300) by P. Ticinius Menas, as appears from the inscription in the public square of Ardea. The statues of the ancients show that formerly there were no barbers because most of them have long hair and a heavy beard."[156]

Cossinius resumed:

"As the wool of the sheep serves to make clothes, so the hair of goats is employed: on ships, in making military engines and certain implements of industry. Certain nations, indeed, are clad in goat skins, as in Gaetulia and Sardinia. Their use for this purpose by the ancient Greeks is apparent, because old men in the tragedies are called [Greek: diphtheriai], from the fact that they were clad in goat skins: and it is the custom also in our comedies to dress rustic characters in goat skins, like the youth in the Hypobolimaeus (the Counterfeit) of Caecilius, and the old man in the Heautontimorumenos (the Self Tormentor) of Terence.

"It is the practice to shear goats in the greater part of Phrygia because there the goats have heavy coats, of which cilicia (so called because the practice of shearing goats began in the city of that name) and other hair cloth materials of that kind are made."

With this Cossinius stopped, and, while he was waiting for criticism of what he had said, Vitulus' freedman, coming into town from the gardens [of his master] turned to us and said, "I was on my way to your house to invite you to come early so as not to shorten the holiday."

And so, my dear Turranius Niger, we separated: Scrofa and I going to the gardens of Vitulus; the others, some home and some to see Menas.

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