Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a historical overview of Greek and Roman agronomy as a literary phenomenon, touching on major sources such as Hesiod, Xenophon, Cato, and Columella together with numerous minor authors. It tracks the ever-expanding boundaries of what was considered agronomy during the Classical era, plus trends towards specialization and encyclopedism in writers from Hellenistic and Roman times. The most common feature of this heterogeneous body of writings is a concern to communicate what the authors believe to be best practices in agriculture—which may not always be the same as standard or widespread practices. Interest in agricultural paradoxography is shown to be an enduring and essential feature of the genre. Agronomists did not attempt to take into account the methods of the ancient natural sciences, save for astronomy, which was productively assimilated by the authors of farmers’ calendars.

Keywords: Bolus of Mendes, Cato, Columella, Hesiod, Mago, parapegma, Theophrastus, Varro, Vergil, Xenophon

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.