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date: 03 December 2022

Palladius (1), Rutilius Taurus Aemilianuslocked

Palladius (1), Rutilius Taurus Aemilianuslocked

  • M. Stephen Spurr


Palladius (1), Rutilius Taurus Aemilianus, author of the only surviving agricultural treatise from late antiquity (c. mid-5th cent. ce: the date is disputed) in 15 books: book 1 contains 32 wide-ranging short topics; books 2–13 outline the year's work by month; book 14 treats veterinary matters, book 15 (in elegiacs) grafting. Palladius owned properties in Italy near Rome, 3. 25. 20) and Sardinia (4. 10. 16) and possibly Gaul (cf. the detailed description of a Gallic reaping machine, 7. 2. 2–4). His practical experience (cf. 2. 2. 1; 4. 10. 24) ensured a critical approach to his main sources *Columella and *Gargilius Martialis (cf. 1. 28. 5, 4. 10. 16). The purposefully plain prose style (cf. 1. 1. 1) and absence of discussion of slaves (except for 1. 6. 18) suggest that he was writing instructions for a workforce of free tenants—against a background of agricultural recession (cf. 3. 18. 6; 7. 1).


  • Late Antiquity
  • Latin Literature

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