Free as a Bird: Varro de re Rustica 3

by C. M. C. Green
Free as a Bird: Varro de re Rustica 3
C. M. C. Green
The American Journal of Philology
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TERENTIUS VARRO is a most difficult writer to assess. The very high regard in which he was held by the greatest writers of his-or anytime is supported by a fragmentary structure made up of a mass of tanta- lizing titles, excerpts, and allusions gathered from later authors, the re- flection of his Res Divinae in Augustine, the extant books of his De Lingua Latina, and De Re Rustica. The last of these, De Re Rustica, is the only complete work of Varro's we possess, and therefore on it must be tested all our theories and suppositions about Varro as a writer. Un- happily, the artistic weaknesses of this work seem only too apparent.1 The subject-managing a villa economy-is not one to readily attract most readers in and of itself, and Varro's undeniable learnedness is ex- hibited to us in a narrative full of "hasty remarks, conversational lan- guage, rhetorical nostalgia, and, crowning all, the anacoluthons," all of which muddle his discussion, and produce a prose "style" that defies categorization, if not description.2

It is truly unsettling, then, that the opening of each of the books of

'Boissier (1861) is as generous as he can be, crediting Varro at least with "une cer- taine fCconditC d'invention, un gotit souvent heureux pour le dramatique et la mise en sckne, et de l'esprit et du piquant dans le dCtail du dialogue" (a certain fertility of inven- tion, an often happy taste for the dramatic and the setting, and wit and zest in the detail of the dialogue) (352). Dahlmann (1935) is more impressed by the use of the dialogue, but "Formal-stilistische und kompositionelle Ziele setzt er sich nicht" (he did not set himself stylistic and compositional goals) (1185). Others are not so kind: "Harsh and involved in style, its meaning often obscured by syntactical as well as technical difficulties" (Hooper and Ash 1993, xvii); "c'est presque un lieu commun de dire que Varron Ccrit mal" (it is al- most a commonplace to say that Varro writes badly) (Heurgon 1978, xlviii); "Little remains of Varro's voluminous production, and that little is written in a dry and often obscure style" (Conte 1994, 219). Laughton (1960) provides an elegant and meticulous analysis of the specific problems in Varro's style and concludes, much as the others do, that Varro sim- ply did not pay sufficient attention to concinnity, whether from hurry or exuberance or an abundance of things to say, or all of these together.

=See Heurgon 1978, xlvi-xlvii and (quoted) 1.

Amcnean Journal of Philology 118 (1997) 427-428 O 19YIby The Johns Hapkina University Press

De Re Rustica presents to us a Varro whose urbane wit and literary skill are much more in accord with our expectations from the immensely learned friend of all the great writers of the late Republic, and particu- larly from the author of Menippean Satires. Such is the disparity between the charm of the dialogues' setting and the dry exposition of the factual material, and so indifferently are they linked, that one could suppress the first, as Boissier suggests,3 without noticeably affecting the second. The result, a learned and somewhat tedious discussion of agriculture, would be understandable: practicality and Cato's crabbed example would naturally excuse Varro from the higher artistic requirements. Yet the dramatic dialogue suggests that the author intended more than a dry exposition of material-though it is a suggestion which is left unfulfilled and, at first sight, seems to do little more than demonstrate its irrele- vance.

My aim in this essay is to suggest that we have been taking Varro at once too seriously, and, paradoxically, not seriously enough. That is, we have been reading De Re Rustica so intently as a (lady-)farmer's vade mecum-Varro began the project, he says, at the request of his young wife who wanted to know how to manage her new estate (1.1.1-4)-that we have not given its author's wit and literary subtlety the attention they deserve. The ruthless eitherior of academic categorization has misled readers; either Varro is joking, they tend to assume, or he is serious. That he might be both at the same time is an idea that needs more help than we have so far been given. It is my contention that his wit is more care- fully wrought, and is reaching toward far more serious matters than the details of how to farm.

If we begin, first, by allowing the possibility that Varro had a pur- pose beyond packaging some important agricultural information in a de- cent volume; and if we then proceed by taking the paradoxes of De Re Rustica as being intentional, and therefore having meaning, we may at least open the door to new observations. The genre is defined (or so it seems) immediately by the opening of book 1, the dedication to Funda- nia; it is a handbook, since that is what Varro's bride asked for. Yet the dialogue form signals some kind of philosophical genre, taken more or less seriously. We look, therefore, to Xenophon's Oeconomicus, in which Ischomachus and Socrates discuss farming and, in particular, Ischo- machus' fifteen-year-old wife's management of her part of the oikox4 Then there is the dramatic framing of the three books, each with a very distinctive and rather unphilosophical setting, and dates that are mutu- ally discordant.5 This, combined with the enchanting name-play lavished on most of the characters in the dialogue: suggests a comedic in- fluence. The whole mixed bag taken together-handbook, philosophical dialogue, comedy-has overtones of Menippean satire.'

4Xenophon is the third in the long list of Greek authors to whom Varro directs Fun- dania if his own work is not adequate to her needs (1.1.8). For Ischomachus' wife see Xen. Oec. 7-11. The oikos which they are to manage together is unquestionably larger than a family plot, though it does not possess the overtones of luxurious excess implied by the vil- las in Varro's work. As a young man Cicero translated Xenophon's work, and Varro may have known that version as well as, if not better than, the Greek original. Philodemus was also very familiar with it, which suggests that the work was fairly well known in the late Re- public (cf. Pomeroy 1994,70).

'The settings are: book 1, the temple of Tellus on the festival of the Sementivae, a moveable feast celebrated after the sowing in late January or early February; book 2, Epirus during Varro's command in 67, for the war against the pirates (a more specific date may have been lost in the lacuna [intro. 61); book 3, the Villa Publica during the aedilician election of 51.

%e inclusion of several real people whose presence makes contextual sense does not detract from this. Ischomachus is also attested as a real person in fifth-century Athens, but Xenophon's use of the name is meant to characterize him as "Mr. Strong-In-Battle," the paradigm of the citizen-farmer. A prosopographical study needs to be done on the names of known individuals throughout RR, comparable to that of Linderski (1989) for the interlocutors in book 3. Varro must have known every politically and socially important Roman of the late Republic, yet the known names carry none of the weight that the char- acters in Cicero's dialogues do. Notably, also, those with "real" names (e.g., C. Licinius Stolo and Cn. Tremelius Scrofa) are amazingly difficult to identify as specific individuals (cf. Heurgon 1978, 107-11). This might be supposed merely to demonstrate our ignorance of the vast majority of Romans of the time, if only the ones we can pin down did not so of- ten turn out to have been dead when Varro was writing. Varro's narrative can be deceptive: Heurgon observes that Lucullus is spoken of as still alive, though he was certainly not at the time of composition (1.170-71). The single exception I can identify is Atticus, still alive in the mid-30s when RR was composed, whose remarkable immunity during the turmoil of the civil wars, regardless of whose side was in power, is well known.

'Which is not to commit a new error of categorization by calling this a Menippean satire. For one thing, the absence of even a hint of poetry (except for the invocation to the agricultural gods as a mild parody of the invocation of the Muses, 1.1.5-6) would make such an attempt difficult, even though I doubt whether Varro's Menippeans invariably (Conte, Latin Literature 217) displayed a mixture of prose and poetry. Nevertheless, Con- te's assessment of the Menippean is worth quoting: "The comic pursuit of the Menippean, in fact. continually produces a meta-literary effect: the satiric text, with critical conscious-

The dramatic framing indeed calls attention to itself; and because the setting for each book is so very specific-and yet in some important details, not quite appropriate for the topic-Varro seems to be, if not subverting his own work, at least sending it in two directions at once. For example, the dialogues of the first and the third books take place in Rome, even though all the speaking characters, including Varro himself, have country places where they practice their farming. Cicero's dialogue Academics, in which Varro himself is a character, notably takes place at Cicero's villa in Cumae (Cic. Ad Fam. 9.8.2), so villas were a perfectly ac- ceptable setting for a dialogue. Varro's second book is odder still, for it is set in Epirus, which is not quite Greece; but, very noticeably, neither is it Italy. Even more peculiarly, this book is dated almost two decades ear- lier, at the time of Pompey's war against the pirates. Atticus may have been farming at the time, but Varro himself was in command of the fleet protecting Greece, and it was well known that this was when he won the corona navalis which Pompey awarded him (Pliny NH 7.31, 16.3). Thus, through this civic honor and the war that occasioned it, the setting seems to point, not only to farms and agriculture, but also, very firmly, to the political and military conflicts of the late Republic, as part of Varro's subject.

Further, although the temple of Tellus (where the speakers meet in Rome in book 1) is in itself appropriate enough (as is the festival of the Sementivae), the absence of the temple sacristan (aeditumus or aedi- tuus), their host whose invitation brought them together (1.2.2), is (or ought to be) unsettling. His name is Fundilius (1.2.11),8 which means "Farmer" or perhaps "Estate-Owner." He has been called away by a summons from the aedile who supervises the temple; and at the conclu- sion of book 1the sacristan's freedman comes to them with the terrible

ness and detached malice, casts an ironic eye upon the models of grand poetry and the rules by which they are constructed. From Varro to Seneca, the spoudogeloion genos turns 'serious' literature into a repertory for itself, a repertory that is constant and of unfailing impact, announced by numerous quotations and explicit allusions. . . . Balancing on the edge between the form of the satiric book and the tradition of the moral-allegorical fable, Menippean satire often treats subjects of lively, contemporary Roman life, from literary polemic to political criticism."

The Fundilii may indeed have been neighbors of Varro's and members of the same tribe (cf. Linderski 1989, 126 n. 96); but, once again, with the name and the function-of course the temple of Divine Earth should be overseen by a Farmer-being so closely con- nected it is difficult to suppose that it is the reality of the person, rather than the signiti- cance of the name, which indicates Varro's underlying purpose.

news that his master has been stabbed, and that though the crowd had not seen the killer, a voice had been heard saying that the murder had been a "mistake."g Quite possibly the "mistake" is that the intended vic- tim was the aedile. It is an aedilician election that brings together the characters in book 3 in the Villa Publica (3.2.1)-an election (and dia- logue) disrupted by the arrest of a man caught stuffing the ballot boxes (3.5.18)-and the conclusion of that election finally terminates their dis- cussion (3.17.10). Books 1and 3 are therefore linked by this offstage but significant character, the aedile. The aedile is the magistrate in charge of the city, its temples, the distribution of grain, the games. "We were wan- dering and straying about like visitors in our own city," Cicero says to Varro, "and your books led us, so to speak, right home."lO Cicero, that subtle politician, is surely right. Varro must be using his settings to call attention to the city, to the res publica of Rome. Oeconomicus, similarly, is set in Athens and is redolent of Xenophon's lifelong conviction that the skills needed in managing a home, slaves, horses, and dogs are the same skills required to lead in politics or war." Is it possible, then, that the discussions in De Re Rustica may be considered as a commentary (or even a satire, in its widest and most Menippean sense) on the social and political state of Rome, so that the dialogue is therefore also on the care and the cultivation of Rome, with farming as a Xenophontic, or Cincin- natan, metaphor for wise government?

Let us look at the setting of book 3 and, in particular, the dramatic date of the dialogue. This, as Linderski (1985) has so convincingly dem- onstrated, is set in 50 B.c.E., at the last aedilician election held before Caesar advanced across the Rubicon (3.2.1). The dialogue and the elec-

9Boissier (1861,354-57) has seen that the violence of the civil wars, by implication, enters the narrative here: that the allusion to Varro's service in book 2 is important, as is the aedilician election of book 3. Yet he does not see any connection between them beyond their demonstration that, even as he wrote about agriculture, Varro could not conceal his concern for Rome.

10Cic. Acad. 1.3 (trans. H. Rackham, Cambridge, Mass. 1979).

lIE.g., Oec. 4.5-16 (the Persian king as cultivator and protector of the land); 5.1-17 (Socrates' general statement about the interdependence of the farm and the state, and of the skills of managing both); 8.2-3 (comparison of the orderliness of a household and of a chorus); 8.4-10 (comparison of the orderliness of the household and orderliness of armies and navies). Xenophon's setting of Athens for his dialogue is not remarkable. Wealthy Athenians, at least, lived in town but had their farms within a morning's walk, as does Ischomachus (Oec. 11.14-18). This was certainly not true of the Roman villas that are the subject of Varro's dialogues.

432 C. M. C. GREEN

tion come to a close together (3.17.10).The dialogue is held in the Villa Publica. As we shall see in a moment, the Villa Publica is treated as both a real and a symbolic place. The combination of date and place virtually demands that we consider the res publica as part of the subject of the dialogue. Varro is writing De Re Rustica in his eightieth year, that is, 37 or 36 B.C.E. (1.1.1).Within the fifteen years bounded by those two dates, the dramatic date and the date of composition, there occurred all the events that put a definitive end to the Republic and, at least in the West, established Octavian as princeps. Antony and Cleopatra were still a po- tential threat, but no one desiring the restoration of the Republic would look in hope to the latter's Egyptianized court of Macedonian kings.

The strange absence, and mistaken assassination, of the aeditumus of the temple of Tellus in book 1, coupled with the last free election of aediles-magistrates whose responsibilities were for the care and main- tenance of Rome-as the setting of book 3, suggests a compelling corre- lation between the cultivation of the villa and the care of the Villa Pu- blica. Further, it is as though all the dialogues in all three books take place during a magisterial hiatus, an interval when no one is truly in charge. This casts a shadow, during the dialogue of book 3, on the elec- tion that is taking place offstage, since an election is perhaps the noblest of all activities associated only with the City, and one which defines the City in a certain way-not as just an urbanization of human beings, but as a polis: for the Romans, as the res publica. The Villa Publica is a sym- bolic representation of the concept of the res publica: specifically, it sym- bolizes the origin of Rome's republic (idealized, of course) as a collec- tive of farmers, countrymen, who elected magistrates to manage their estate (res publica, villa publica).l2

Let us turn now to the actual text. At the opening of book 3 Varro meets Quintus Axius, a member of his tribe, during the election which (as with all elections of the comitia tributa) was held in the Ovile-"the sheep penw-just adjacent to the Villa Publica. They agree to go to- gether to the Villa Publica (which was, it would seem, an open area with trees, and porticoes around its boundaries) to await the results of the

'2Cf. Cancik 1985-86. The subject, particularly in relation to Varro, needs to be more thoroughly discussed. Cancik is certainly right to include the augurs' lines of vision from the arx and from the Collis Latiaris, the "system of visual axes" (252), as well as the traditional processional paths between sacred places, or around the city, as essential sym- bolic systems by which Rome's sacred identity was defined.

election.13 Appius Claudius, the augur, whom they meet there, asks Varro.

"Isn't this villa, which our ancestors built, simpler and better than that elaborate villa of yours at Reate? Do you see anywhere here citrus wood or gold, or vermilion or azure, or any colored or mosaic work? At your place everything is just the opposite. Also, while this villa is the common property of the whole population, that one belongs to you alone; this one is for citizens and other people to come to from the Campus, and that one is for mares and asses; and furthermore, this one is serviceable for the transaction of public business-for the cohorts to assemble when sum- moned by the consul for a levy, for the inspection of arms, for the censors to convoke the people for the census."14 (3.2.3-4)

Appius is comparing the actual Villa Publica to Varro's estate at Reate; but Axius responds to the other, symbolic meaning, to the Villa Publica as Rome itself:

"Do you really mean," replied Axius, "that this villa of yours on the edge of the Campus Martius15 is merely serviceable, and isn't more lavish in lux- uries than all the villas owned by everybody in the whole of Reate?"


Rome, the public villa that is the res publica, in fact is more lavish, more endowed with luxuries like sculptures by Lysippus and paintings by An- tiphilus (3.2.5), than all the imaginable villas put together. This conversa- tion, by allowing the speakers to confound each other with their differ- ing, mutually contradictory, and unexplained definitions of a villa, leads

WSee L. Richardson 1992, s.v. "Villa Publica." 14This and all following quotations are from the translation of Hooper and Ash ([I9331 1993).

151he phrase in campo Martio extremo, which Hooper and Ash translate as "on the edge of the Campus Martius," deserves a much closer look. In fact the altar of Mars, the earliest cult center of that god in Rome, and probably responsible for the name Campus Martius, was in the Villa Publica (L. Richardson 1992, S.V. "Mars, Ara"). 'Rat altar defined the place where the census was taken, i.e., in the Villa Publica. Thus it is very odd to de- scribe the Villa Publica (the place, with its porticoes) as being "on the edge" of the Campus Martius, even if Varro were being geographically vague (the use of extremo suggests other- wise). It is the conceptual Villa Publica, Rome itself, which is "on the very edge of the Campus Martius."


Appius to acknowledge, with a smile, that he doesn't, in fact, know what a villa is (3.2.7). Thereupon Axius and Merula (one of the men sitting on a bench with Appius when Varro and Axius arrive) have a minor set-to, in which two of Axius' villas, one in the countryside by Lake Velinus and the other nearer Reate itself, are contrasted, the latter being identified by its elaborate decorations and the pasturing there of Axius' expensive ass, referred to as the villa's "co-owner7' (3.2.9-10).16 It is the "pastur- ing" of the ass, Merula jokingly implies, that keeps Axius' more deco- rated country home safely within the category of "villa." Using the joke as a basis, he then suggests-since Axius' villa is so called because it feeds (pascitur) and stables cattle (Axius' asinus has been transformed from a specific animal into pecus, a generic "herd of quadrupeds")-that a villa must, therefore, also be a place from which great profit is derived on account of its pasturing (3.2.10). "What does it matter," Merula asks, "whether the profit you take is from sheep or birds?" (3.2.11).

These, as the use of pastio (3.2.10-11) makes clear, are animals kept in "flocks7' or "herds," like cattle, and thus a villa is now further defined by the equation made between Axius' pecus-the herd that as defined so far is (a) an ass (b) a source of great profit and (c) co-owner of the villa-and flocks of sheep or birds which also make a profit (magni fruc- tus). We are clearly still within the realm of wordplay and contemporary allusions, but have we left behind the symbolic villa, the res publica as the estate of the Roman people? If we consider Merula's two flocks- sheep and birds-that create a profit for the owner of a villa, we find our answer. The connection of sheep with the Villa Publica is of course clear: Varro and Axius have just come from the Ovile, the sheep pen, where the Romans are voting for an aedile.17 So the Villa Publica does have its flock of sheep, and a sheep pen for them. Birds might at first seem less amenable to such an interpretation-until we remember those sitting with Appius.

When Axius and Varro meet Appius Claudius Pulcherls in the Villa Publica, the augur is sitting on a bench with some distinguished Ro-

161 suspect a joke here, a pun on the word asinus (see below, note 37).

"The name surely refers not only to the shape of the Ovile (also called the Saepta, the "enclosure") but also to the organized procession of voters, through chute-like areas enclosed by wooden fences and over the pontes, in order to vote. Cf. Taylor 1966,47-56.

18Appius is the only individual in this dialogue besides Varro himself who has left a mark on the historical record. He was indeed an augur, but the most signficant personal fact Varro has him mention, his youthful poverty (3.16.1-2), is very doubtful. Tatum (1992)

mans, Cornelius Merula ("Blackbird"), Fircellius Pavo ("Peacock"), Mi- nucius Pica ("Magpie"), and Marcus Petronius Passer ("Sparrow"). Axius asks, "Will you let us come into your aviary, where you are sitting among the birds?" (3.2.2). Thus the Villa Publica has its own aviary, man- aged by a most distinguished augur. Further, it is only right that Appius should be in charge of the aviary, for he is an augur, and a writer on au- gury.l9

Linderski saw that Varro the satirist lurks behind this gentle mock- ery of the Ciceronian dialogue, and that Aristophanes too is part of the joke.20 In Aristophanes' Birds two Athenians set out on a journey to the birds (also, by punning reference to a commonplace expression, a jour- ney to destruction).21 When they meet the birds, they persuade them to set up a community of their own, a polos-polis in the sky. Aristopha- nes' bird-citizens are the direct literary ancestors of Merula and Passer and Co.

That Varro has dedicated this book to "Pinnius7'-"the Feathered Onen-emphasizes the point. In this context, "Pinnius" means nothing more or less than "citizen": Everybird as Everyman.22 We ought, as well,

is right to reject impoverishment of the Claudii Pulchri on the basis of this passage. It seems to me, however, that we should look more to a metaphorical or symbolic meaning for Pulcher's poverty, particularly since the connection between bee civilization and the proper conduct of human society is so traditional (Xen. Oec. 7.31-39; Verg. Georg. 4.8-115). Bees are, as Appius says, like men (ut homines, 3.16.4). 'Re hive is the empire, the bees are all the people who administer it and feed of its wealth. Appius and all the ruling class like him had been put out of business, impoverished, as it were, by Octavian's appropriation of the res publica to himself.

19Cf. Linderski 1989, which provided the essential basis for this part of the article (though I had already come to most of its conclusions independently). Linderski's excel- lent examination of the opening passage has shown that these birds are all names well at- tested for Romans and, indeed, that the joke is all the better in that Appius, as augur, re- ports on bird signs. In every case LinJerski's understanding of Varro's wise, allusive humor has been a guide to my own thinking.

20Linderski 1989,120 (though I find the echo much clearer than he does).

21The phrase is k5 xoeaxa~ ("to perdition," lit. "to the crows"), Av. 27-28.

22Pinnius is an attested Roman name. Cicero wrote a letter on behalf of a certain

T. Pinnius who had made Cicero guardian of his son and second heir to his fortune (Ad Fam. 13.61). It is possible that Varro is dedicating this book to a real Pinnius, just as Xenophon's Ischomachus may have been a real person. Once again, however, we must rec- ognize that the reality of the name, and even the expectation that readers would have as- sumed that a specific, known Ischomachus or Pinnius was meant, would not preclude the author's selection of that name for metaphorical or allegorical reasons. Varro gives his rea-

to recall that among Rome's eclectic collection of foundation myths and ancestral tales, among the shepherds, kings, nurturing wolves, nymphs, and fauns, there was a founding woodpecker: "Picus, tamer of horses," as Vergil styles him, the son of Saturn and grandfather of Latinus (Ov. Met. 14.320; Verg. Aen. 7.189; Juv. 8.131).23

Varro's Roman audience, educated and powerful men (and some women), were too enmeshed in the compromises of power, and too cos- mopolitan-especially in their vices-to be attacked successfully with earthy Aristophanic mockery. It is rather the case that Varro's awareness of the distance between the Aristophanic world of Athens during the Peloponnesian War, and Rome in the civil wars, refined and sharpened his satirical edge; while at the same time his own experiences-during a life that extended from the period right after the Gracchi to Octavian's transformation into the Divi filius and Augustus-made him no less cau- tious and circumspect than Juvenal. Varro did join Pompey's forces in 49, but there is no sign that before that he had been notably partisan, least of all in his writing. Marcus Terentius Varro did not survive to his nineti- eth year without learning the art of the subtext, whose subversive com- mentary could circumvent even a clever dictator or princeps.

So the setting of the dialogue is a signal to the reader that Rome, in the guise of the Villa Publica and its flocks, is also under discussion. But having prepared this scene so elegantly, how is Varro to say anything sig- nificant, given his subject, the "steadings" of a villa? In fact there is no adequate term in English for the subsection of farming he has in mind, since the distinction between this and the keeping of chickens and sheep is not sufficiently clear to us. It may not have been entirely clear to other ancient agricultural writers, either; Varro certainly says that no one be- fore him has treated the subject separately (3.1.8). This was no doubt be- cause the distinction was not a matter of agriculture, but rather of law, the law of usucapio (possession). Book 41 of the Digest concerns itself, among other things, with usucapio, and is full of fascinating information. Of especial significance for us here is that this discussion of usucapio

sons for the dedication as Pinnius' closeness to Varro and the fact that Pinnius had "deco- rated" his villa with his own writings, to which collection RR is to be added (3.1.10),which strongly suggests the name conceals, rather than reveals, the identity of the dedicatee. (And see below.)

Z3Aristophanes has a comedic variation on this, for Peisetairos tells the birds that birds ruled over everything before the gods, before even Kronos and Titan and Earth ex- isted (Av.465-85). The Roman birds are imperialists all.

opens with a statement about the hunting, and resultant possession, of wild animals. It is worth quoting, for on it depends our understanding of Varro's separation of the subjects of book 2 and book 3:

1.2.Now all animals which are captured on land or sea or in the air, that is to say wild beast, birds, and fish, become the property of their captors;2. so do their offspring when born in one's power. 3. For what belongs to no one is allowed by natural reason to the first taker. Nor, as regards wild beasts and birds, does it matter whether a man captures them on his own land or on another's. .. . Now any such animal a man captures is considered his so long as it is kept under his control; but when it has escaped from this con- trol and recovered its natural liberty it ceases to be his and becomes once more the property of the first taker; . . ..5. Now an animal is considered to recover its natural liberty when either it has escaped from sight, or, though still in sight, its pursuit is difficult. . . . bees also are wild by nature. . . .The nature of peacocks and doves is wild, and it is not relevant that they often have a habit of flying from and to (their homes); for bees also do the same, and it is agreed that their nature is wild; moreover some people keep deer so far tamed that they go off to the woods and come back, and yet no one denies that their nature is wild. However, in the case of these animals which are apt to form a habit of going and returning, the following rule has been established, that they are considered a man's property so long as they keep the intention of returning, but that if they cease to have that inten- tion they cease to be his property. . . . They are considered to have lost the intention of returning when they have given up the habit of returning. The nature of hens and ducks is not wild; for it is clear that wild hens and wild ducks are distinct species. . .. Also things captured from the enemy be- come immediately, by the law of nations, the property of the captors; 6. (so do the offspring of animals subjected by the same law to one's ownership;)

7. so much so that even free men are reduced to slavery; nevertheless, if they escape from the power of the enemy, they recover their liberty un- impaired.24

So, in the law of usucapio, the "natural liberty" of men and wild animals is the same. Wild animals captured by hunters and men captured by the enemy are in similar fashion legitimately owned by their captors unless and until they can escape, at which time they regain their natural liberty unimpaired. The law of hunting and the law of war are two aspects of the same situation (cf. Plato Laws 823b).

24De Zulueta's translation is used throughout. The ellipses are elaborations and dis- tinctions of the major points.

The distinction between animals that are wild and those that are not may seem obvious, but in fact Roman law recognizes that many ani- mals "kept" by men are wild nevertheless: bees, peacocks, doves, and deer are named specifically, and a distinction is recognized between wild chickens or ducks and their domestic cousins. Tameness in behavior is not itself the essential factor, nor is the length of time the animal has been kept, even if it extends to generations, as it would with bees; what makes the difference is the artirnurn revertendi, the intention of returning (to the animal's home), the means by which a mute being signals its con- sent to being possessed. As soon as the absence of intent is clear, the ani- mal is no longer possessed, but must be (re)captured, and will be owned only by the one who captures it.

Thus the subject of book 3, which may seem much the same as the care of herds in book 2, is in fact, from a legal point of view, quite differ- ent. As Varro and Axius move from the Ovile, the sheep pen, to the Villa Publica, they signal movement of the discussion from the care of flocks of domesticated animals to the care of fundamentally wild animals, that is, animals that inherently possess a natural liberty. Such animals are le- gitimately held in captivity, as possessions-like soldiers or civilians cap- tured by the enemy in war. This is first indicated by Merula, speaking to Axius after pigeons fly into the Villa Publica: "If you had ever built a dovecote you might think these were your doves, wild though they are" (3.7.1). In fact, they are res nullius, they belong to no one, until and un- less they are captured; further, they will belong to that person only so long as they stay captured. The simple fact of their flying into the Villa Publica makes them "wild," for they can fly out again-just as Merula and Pavo can.

Varro's intent is made very clear later, however, in a delightful vi- gnette where we find Appius teaching Axius how to keep snails:

Non istuc tam simplex est, inquit Appius, quam tu putas, o Axi noster. Nam et idoneus sub dio sumendus locus cochleariis, quem circum totum aqua claudas, ne, quas ibi posueris ad partum, non liberos earum, sed ipsas quaeras. Aqua, inquam, finiendae, ne fugitivarius sit parandus. (3.14.1)

"The thing is not so simple as you think, my dear Axius," replied Appius. "You must take a place fitted for snails, in the open, and enclose it entirely with water; for if you do not, when you put them to breed it will not be their young which you have to search for, but the old snails. They have to be shut in, I repeat, with water, so that you need not get a runaway- catcher."

There is a pun on "children" (liberi), and the logical individuals to expect to try to escape are those who are "free" (liberi). It is not the children, Appius says, but the adult, breeding snails who will make a dash for freedom, and force you to employ a fugitivarius (3.14.1). The use of the technical term fugitivarius-the individual who tracks down escaped slaves-to refer to the slave boy assigned to chase down renegade snails is characteristic Varronian wit; but, particularly after the pun on liberos, it is wit that cuts deep. Snails are wild animals. Even a snail will try to re- gain its natural liberty. Human beings, of course, form one other cate- gory of animal that has "natural liberty," an animal which can be hunted and kept in captivity.25 Book 3, on both levels, is about animals that have natural liberty, animals which were free, if sometimes hunted, but which have come in times recent to Varro's own to be kept in villa enclosures.

The origin of the pastio villatica is therefore hunting, and the game- keeping that must arise from it when wild animals are desired but hunt- ing is (for whatever reason) too unreliable. Hunting and war, the capture of animals and the capture of enemies, are two aspects of the same prin- ciple of law. That some of these animals are not the raging beasts of the trackless mountain forests, and that expensive and elaborate structures are built to contain them until needed, is neither here nor there. The raising of bees, snails, and dormice, Varro says (3.3.3), is simply another subdivision of the keeping of boar, roe, or hare. Originally those who dined off hare or fieldfares or mullet did so only when hunters, fowlers, or fishermen were successful in the wild. When game preserves made it possible to think of raising deer or specific fish as one chose,26 practical men saw that there was a market for these animals, and the game ani- mals were kept for more than an occasional hunt. Such "wild game" management arose not all that far back in time for the Romans, since Axius is challenged to deny that his father hardly ever saw more than a lepusculum, a little hare, when he hunted (3.3.8).

25Bees also can become "runaways" (3.16.21) and therefore can reclaim their nat- ural liberty. The similarity of bee civilization and human civilization is a familiar trope; cf. Verg. Georg. 4.8-115. Also, the mild pun on Appius' name, connecting him with apes, bees, is extended when, at the conclusion of the election, he leaves for his hortos-"gardens" literally, but horti can also mean a country house (Linderski 1989,116-17).

Z6Three classes of craftsmen (artifices) are needed for the three basic types of steading: a fowler for the birds, a hunter for the land animals, and a fisherman forthe fish (RR 3.3.4). Plato explicitly condemns aquatic "hunting," i.e., fishing, and he disapproves of hunting birds (Laws 823b).

Game preserves signify a certain quality of life: wealth, of course, and the kind of excess that can be called luxury. But as Varro reminds us throughout, they above all exemplify power. A villa with a well-stocked game preserve is a paradigm of imperial power, and a traditional symbol of such power. Game preserves had long been associated with kings- Cyrus the Great had them (Xen. Cyr. 1.11), the Macedonian kings had them, and when the Romans conquered Macedonia, Lucius Aemilius Paulus gave his son, Scipio Aemilianus, free run of them (Polyb. 31.29). It is no accident that Polybius describes Scipio hunting in Macedonia "as a king." Scipio's career, through Polybius' concerned management, really begins when the traditional imperial and martial implications are drawn from his success at hunting. Varro claims that this particular construct and codification of imperial power was not common in generations ear- lier than theirs.

Game preserves were now, however, all the fashion in Italy, a fash- ion which is represented most dramatically in De Re Rustica by Quintus Hortensius' place in Laurentum. There the preserve extended over fifty iugera, enclosed with a wall, and guests dined in the woods, where an "Orpheus" would appear, sing, and attract a crowd of stags, boars, and other animals (3.13). It sounds like a combination of picnic, petting zoo, and "happening." Appius claims it reminded him of the hunts held by the aediles in the Circus Maximus "without the African beasts," that is, without the wild cats such as panthers (3.13.3). In a most charming, po- etic way, the picnic in Hortensius' game preserve and the venationes of the aediles have been equated for us. Hortensius presides over a very peaceful kingdom, while the aediles present wild beasts at their most violent. One kind of power may be more admirable (not least because it is rarer and without physical coercion); but both are public exercises of power over what is by nature free and untamed. The very strangeness of the animals (whether because stags and boars normally did not attend gentlemen's picnics, or because panthers were not native to Italy) sym- bolizes the extraordinary extent of Roman imperial power.

Not surprisingly, the best known game preserve in De Re Rustica is Varro's own aviary in his villa at Casinum (3.5.9-17). The actual re- construction is a matter of considerable debate, but the following out- lines would, I think, command general assent.27 Along the banks of a

?'For those who have argued that the aviary is a dining room see Fuchs 1962, Soyer 1977, and van Buren 1919. For Keil's views, supported (apparently) by Hooper and Ash, see below, note 29.

stream28 there is a walk; off this walk, and facing out on open country, is the aviary, shut in on either side by high walls and shaped like a writing tablet (a nice conceit for a bird preserve owned by a writer). At the bot- tom are cages and the entrance into the open area. There are colonnades on either side, with dwarf trees instead of columns in the middle. There is, we should notice, a certain similarity between Varro's aviary and the Villa Publica. In the aviary, the space from the wall to the architrave on the columns is covered with net, which falls to the base of the columns, thus keeping the birds in the colonnade.

At the upper end of the aviary is a tholos, a round building whose dome, since there are no walls, rests on columns. Between the columns and the outside wall is planted a forest. Again, a net falls along the outer columns; thus the birds can see out to the forest, but not fly there. An- other net falls along the inner columns. Between the columns is built up, as it were, a theatridion avium, a small bird-theater. Modillions are fas- tened at frequent intervals to all the columns, as sedilia avium, bird-seats. Water is brought in through a small pipe, and food is tossed under the net.

In the middle of the tholos is a pond. The birds seated in the theatridion watch the goings-on in the pond. Around the pond, it is generally agreed, are the navalia anatium, the duck-docks. In the middle of the pond is an island with a column in the center, which holds a post sup- porting a wheel with spokes, set horizontally. The rim of the wheel is curved, two and a half feet wide, and a palm in height. This is turned by a boy, so that everything to eat and drink is placed on it at once and re- volved around to all the "guests."

So much is clear. What is not so immediately clear is the identity of these convivae. The majority of scholarly opinion holds that the guests at this dinner table must be real, human guests. This cannot be so. Varro has already emphasized the problem Lucullus had when he attempted to combine an aviary and a dining room, a problem which Keil also pointed out in his edition.29 An aviary is a beautiful thing to look at from the

2RThe translation by Hooper and Ash (1993) somewhat misrepresents the Latin. Varro's "stream" is aflumen fifty-seven Roman feet wide, with bridges. This is not, by most definitions, a mere "stream."

29"Nam in eo ab illis erratum est, quod apparatum convivii in ornithone instituti a Varrone describi putaverunt, quamquam id ipsum in Luculli ornithone supra 4,3 improbaverat, neque certa epularum significatio in ipsis verbis inest." (For in this matter they [commentators who think this was a human dining room] have gone astray, because they

outside; but, as Lucullus discovered (3.4.3),a confined place where the droppings of hundreds of birds fall is not a pleasant place to dine. An aviary is not at all like Hortensius' game preserve, where guests could dine in the open and the animals only appeared when summoned by "Orpheus." Here, by contrast, the birds reside in the tholos all the time; their droppings and the dankness of the ponds would scarcely provide a pleasant dining ambience, not to mention the peculiar sensation of hav- ing the ducks underfoot, and perhaps on the table or couch with one, hoping to share one's dinner. Besides, the rather clever device of the single boy serving all the guests food and water indiscriminately is en- tirely antithetical to the luxus of such an implicitly extraordinary dining room-and we would expect wine, not warm and cold water, to flow to human guests.30 The food thrown in under the nets and the water in channels is for the songbirds in the bird theater (3.5.14),but the wheel on the island brings food and water to the ducks.

Thus I share Keil's view that in fact the ducks do own the place, or the dinner wheel at least, and that when they visit the island-their equivalent of the Insula Tiberina31-they are the convivae.They come from under where the couch covers would be, if there were covers, which there are117.3~ Varro mentions humans not at all. The cold and warm water flowing from the wooden wheel is more like a fountain with turncocks than a dinner table, and is clearly an inventive and efficient kind of service platform for distributing both food and water to the ducks.

have supposed that the furniture of a dinner party installed in the aviary was being de- scribed by Varro, although this very thing he had condemned in Lucullus' aviary, above 4.3, and there is no certain indication of sumptuous dinners in the words themselves.) (Keil, I1 245).

30The water pipes are surely for the benefit of the ducks. "One who wishes to keep flocks of ducks and build a duck-farm should choose, first, if he has the opportunity, a place which is swampy, for they like this best of all; if this is not available, a place prefer- ably where there is a natural pond or pools or an artificial pond, to which they can go down by steps. . . in this is a continuous trough, in which food is placed for them and water is ad- mitted. . . the entire enclosure is covered with a wide-meshed net.. . . Any ponds in the enclosure should have a large inflow of water, so that it may always be fresh" (RR 3.11).

31"The end of the island seems to have been treated as an almost featureless plat- form" (L. Richardson 1992, s.~."Insula Tiberina").

320bserve Varro's pun: ex suggest0 faleris, ubi solent esse peripetasmata, prodeunt anates in stagnum ac nant (3.5.16). He also captures the sense of that earnest forward wad- dle of ducks, and the damp concluding "plop" of their drop into the water.

Inside the dome of the rotunda a morning star and an evening star rotate at appropriate times (to show the hour), and there is a compass (like the horologium at Athens) and a weather vane to inform those in- side which way the wind is blowing. Again, scholars are divided over the identity of those for whom such amenities are provided; but it is my view, again, that it must be the birds-those sitting on their bird-seats in the bird theater, and the ducks swimming in the pond and launching them- selves from their duck-docks-that are the ones watching these signs. Birds may be the instruments of augury, the bearers of divine messages to men; but in captivity their movements signify nothing, and they, like humans, must look to machines to know which way the wind is blowing: and they look out at the wood, and the wall beyond, and the woven net of gut that keeps them in (3.5.3).

What do the birds think about this? Varro has already told us. Merula has described an aviary-for-profit, a "domed building, or a peri- style covered with tiles or netting." It should have, Merula advises, a low, narrow door and few windows, so that the trees and birds outside cannot be seen, for the sight of these, and the longing for them, makes the im- prisoned birds grow thin (quod earum aspectus ac desiderium marcescere facit volucres inclusas, 3.5.3). In other words, surrounded as it is by the sight of woodland and of free birds settled in the trees, the Varronian aviary is a study of-shall we say?-physically comfortable but spiritu- ally tormenting confinement. There is a theater, as in Rome; basic food and water are supplied in abundance, as in Rome; but there is no way out. The birds are in a huis clos. Readers could draw their own conclu- sions.

There can be no doubt that Varro's aviary is a small city-like struc- ture for bird-citizens. It is centered on the water, docks line the banks, feathered observers sit among the colonnades and watch the passing show. In 414 Aristophanes' birds rebelled from the domination of men and negotiated with the gods. In 36 Varro's birds can see the outside world; they cannot fly there, but they are well entertained and all their needs are supplied. Natural liberty is yours only if you are not caught. "For those who once granted imperium, the fasces, legions, everything, now restrain themselves and anxiously await two things: bread and cir- cuses" (Juvenal10.78-81). Varro's aviary makes the same point a century earlier.

The discussion of this aviary is cut short by shouts from the Cam- pus Martius. Pantuleius Parra (Pantuleius "Barn Owlm)-an owl sighted unexpectedly is a bird of evil ~men~~-comes up and tells them that someone has been caught stuffing the ballot boxes. Fircellius Pavo leaves to check on the rigged election. A little while later, both election and dia- logue are over-the last republican election, the last republican dia- logue-and Varro and Axius calmly prepare to leave the Villa Publica and the stage on which they have enacted their little drama. Their candi- date for aedile has been successful, and they escort him to the Capito- line. The path they would most naturally take was by way of the portico that led from the Villa Publica to the Atrium Libertatis, thence along the Clivus Argentarius up the Capitoline The Atrium Libertatis had originally been constructed as the headquarters for the censors and as a repository for their records (Livy 43.16.13, 45.15.5), but it had recently been rebuilt, splendidly, by Asinius Pollio, who installed the first public library in Rome there (Suet. Aug. 29.5).35

Surely "Pinnius," the dedicatee of the book, must have understood that he too was one of the birds in this political aviary of the Villa Pu- blica, that he was Everybird as Everyman. During the proscriptions, Oc- tavian and Antonius and Lepidus had hunted citizen-birds, and had duly reaped an enormous profit, as Sulla and Marius had done before them. From that profit the triumvirs, especially Octavian, had begun to rebuild the Villa Publica, that is, the state; to fasten the nets that kept the birds in; and to arrange for the feeding and entertainment that would keep them content. In book 1Fundilius ("Farmer"), the aeditumus of the temple of Tellus (Divine Earth), is murdered in a civil disturbance- hunted, and killed, by mistake. Fundilius, as his name and position re- veal, stands for the estate owner, like Ischomachus, who learns from the earth both justice and the best way of defending his country (Oec.

33Linderski 1989, 116.

34L. Richardson 1992, s.v. "Atrium Libertatis."

35Possibly this was suggested to Varro by the fact that Ischomachus and Socrates hold their dialogue in the stoa of Zeus Eleutherios (Oec. 7.1). Traditionally, Zeus acquired the title Eleutherios ("Giver of Freedom") when Athens was freed from the Persian threat, but in Varro's day two important paintings-Theseus with Democracy and the Peo- ple and The Defeat of the Thebans at Mantinea (Paus. 1.3.3-4)-had extended the meaning to encompass a far greater historical sweep. In the painting of the battle of Mantinea, Xenophon's son, Gryllos, was shown killing Epaminondas. That may have been a sufficient reason for Xenophon to set his dialogue there, but the metaphorical implications of the setting for the meaning of his dialogue have also been overlooked (cf. Pomeroy 1994, 264-65). The implicit link between the stoa of Zeus, Giver of Freedom, in Athens, and the Hall of Liberty in Rome, intensifies the metaphorical implications of Varro's topography.

5.12-13; Varro RR 3.1.4-5); and the destruction of this class of men, citi- zens who believed they shared the ownership of the Villa Publica and the responsibility for its management, was the unintended but necessary condition for the end of the civil wars.

Book 2, set in Epirus, recalls Varro's experience as a legitimate hunter-when pirates were the prey, and he won the corona navalis. But with the estate owner murdered, with the guardian of Divine Earth slain, the distinction between fellow citizen and enemy could no longer be sus- tained. First Pompey died, then Caesar; Varro's own estate and library were pillaged by Antony's henchmen (Cic. Phil. 2.103-5); and Varro himself was named among the citizens hunted during the worst years of the proscriptions, being forced to hide in Calenus' Campanian villa (App. B.C. 4.48). Varro knew, from personal experience, that wild birds and "the enemy" were subject to the same ineluctable law. The villa had changed, from a place of which the citizen was proud guardian, to a prison-like refuge, where citizens like Varro had to hide from the men in power. Octavian had released Varro from that captivity, but only so that he might grace the imperial aviary which the Villa Publica had become. The citizen-birds sitting on the bench beside their augur might see free- dom from their perches, but they could not fly there.

In the opening chapters of book 3, when Axius suggests to Varro that they go to the Villa Publica for the shade, Varro agrees by quoting a proverb: "Bad advice is worst for the adviser7' (3.2.2). It is a clumsy quo- tation, and Varro must turn it around to be understood, which calls fur- ther attention to the proverb. Varro wants to say that Axius has given ad- vice which is good for both the adviser and the advised. The reversed proverb comes from a tale which, fortunately, we know from accounts by Pliny (NH 34.22) and Aulus Gellius (6.5).There was a statue of Horatius Cocles set up in the Comitium, where, until the second century, Romans had assembled by tribes to pass laws.36 This statue had been struck by lightning: unquestionably an omen, about which Etruscan haruspices

36This had only been changed by G. Licinius, and RR 1in fact is our source for it (1.2.9): Eiusdem gentb C. Licinius tr. pl. cum esset . . . primus populum ad leges accipiendas in septem iugera forensia e comitio eduxit. ("Of the same family was that Gaius Licinius who, when he was tribune of the plebs, 365 years after the expulsion of the kings, was the first to lead the people, for the hearing of the laws, from the comitium into the 'farm' of the forum.") Hooper and Ash translate septem iugera forensia (the forensic seven acres) as "the farm of the forum" because that was the amount traditionally assigned to each citizen after the expulsion of the kings (Pliny NH 18.18). The Villa Publica is the villa of the res publica, and-clearly-the forum is its "farm."

were consulted. Because the Etruscans were hostile to Rome, the advice the haruspices gave was bad: they told the Romans to move the statue from its place in the sun to a site where it would be obscured, forever in the shade. The bad advice of the haruspices was exposed, they were put to death, and the statue was moved back out into the sunlight. So when Varro follows Axius into the shade of the colonnades of the Villa Pu- blica, he reminds his friend of a story in which Rome was deprived of a great citizen's protection when his image was put in the shade. Then, as Varro indicates by clumsily reversing the proverb, placing a citizen in the shade had been bad advice; but today it is good. In so doing, he marks that point at which the citizens of Rome-once the great protectors of the state-had to step into the shade where the nets would fall around them. They would be fed and entertained, and the water clocks and weather vanes would tell them all they were once able to know for them- selves about the world outside their enchanting ornithon.

There is one more curious and perhaps significant passage to ex- amine in book 3, part of Varro's dedication to "Pinnius," "the Feathered One":

For just as you had a villa noteworthy for its frescoing, inlaid work, and handsome mosaic floors, but thought it was not fine enough until its walls were adorned also by your writings, so I, that it might be further adorned with fruit, so far as I could make it so, am sending this to you, recalling as I do the conversations which we held on the subject of the complete villa.


We should, in this context, remember the portico that connected the Villa Publica to the Atrium Libertatis, the Hall of Liberty, and the li- brary so magnificently founded there by Asinius Pollio. Pollio himself wrote a history of the civil wars, among so many other works by others that did, indeed, decorate both the library and Rome itself. He was also a close friend and admirer of Varro's-among the busts of distinguished writers that were placed in the Atrium Libertatis, Varro's was the only one of a living author (Pliny NH 7.115). Pollio had fought for Caesar, and would soon fight for Antony; certainly he and Varro must have had many a discussion on how to run the Villa Publica as well as a private villa. I would suggest that Pollio is Pinnius.37 The advice, to step into the

371t is possible that he was in some way closely associated with Axius (Gr. Axios, "the Worthy One"), the interlocutor to whom so much is explained. This would give point to the jokes about Axius' "ass" (asinus)at his villa near Reate.

shade and accept that the nets had fallen-as indeed they had, whether Octavian, or Antony, won in the end-was good advice, as Varro says, for both the adviser and the advised.

Boissier's study of Varro, a writer whose literary and intellectual achievements were so undeniable, and yet-even in Boissier's sympa- thetic view-so difficult to appreciate and admire, concludes with a striking tribute:

. lui donnerais 1'Cloge qu'Auguste, un jour de franchise et de remords, accordait a CicCron, et je dirais: c7Ctait un savant homme, qui aimait bien son pays, Aoyw~&vilenai $~hona-c~y


I would accord him the praise that Augustus, one day, out of honesty and remorse, accorded Cicero, and say: this was a learned man, who dearly loved his country.

Even those less fond of Varro than Boissier would not quarrel with this judgment. He did love his country, but it was a more complex and far- seeing passion than has been realized. Varro the learned man, the writer of satires, lived and wrote during the most traumatic period of Roman history, and in De Re Rustica we have a small part of his response, his commentary, on those events. There is wit and passion for his country in De Re Rustica, and both are as integral to the dry discourse on agricul- ture as wildflowers to a meadow carefully chosen to pasture the pride of the herd. The first book of De Re Rustica opens with the pun on Varro's new wife's name. She is Fundania, and she has just bought a fundus, an estate. We must not forget, however, that fundus also means the ground, the foundation of a thing. The verb fundo, "to establish, fix, confirm" (LSJ S.V. 2.11) is used particularly of the foundation of the city and the power of Rome. Rome, in Varro's view, never could be separated from the farmers who were its true founders, or from the land, its true founda- tion.


38The Greek is a quotation from Plutarch (Cic.49). Augustus once discovered, so the story goes, one of his grandsons reading Cicero. Terrified, the boy tried to hide the book, but Augustus noticed and took the book away from him. After perusing it for some time, he handed the book back to the boy and said, "A learned man, my child, a learned man-and a lover of his country."


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Nicolet, Claude. 1970. "Le libre I11 des 'Res rusticae' de Varron et les allusions au dkroulement des cornices tributes." REA 72.2:113-37. Pomeroy, S. B. 1994. Xenophon, 0economicus:A Social and Historical Commen- tary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Richardson, J. S. 1983. "The Triumph of Metellus Scipio and the Dramatic Date of Varro, RR 3." CQ 33:456-63. Richardson, Lawrence, Jr. 1992. A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Soyer, Alexis. [I8531 1977. Pantropheon, orA History of Food and Its Production in Ancient Times. Reprinted Wisbech, Cambs.: Paddington Press. Tatum, W. J. 1992. "The Poverty of the Claudii Pulchri: Varro, De Re Rustica 3.16.1-2." CQ, n.s. 42.1:190-200. Taylor, Lily Ross. 1966. Roman Voting Assemblies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. van Buren, A. W., and R. M. Kennedy. 1919. "Varro's Aviary at Casinum." JRS 959-66.

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