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Bill Thayer

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Chapters 61‑69

This webpage reproduces a section of
De Agricultura

Cato the Elder

published in the Loeb Classical Library, 1934

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
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Chapters 74‑90

Marcus Cato
on Agriculture

70[link to original Latin text] Remedy for oxen: If you have reason to fear sickness, give the oxen before they get sick the following remedy: 3 grains of salt, 3 laurel leaves, 3 leek leaves, 3 spikes of leek, 3 of garlic, 3 grains of  p81 incense, 3 plants of Sabine herb, 3 leaves of rue, 3 stalks of bryony, 3 white beans, 3 live coals, and 3 pints of wine. You must gather, macerate, and administer all these while standing,72 and he who administers the remedy must be fasting. Administer to each ox for three days, and divide it in such a way that when you have administered three doses to each you will have used it all. See that the ox and the one who administers are both standing, and use a wooden vessel.

71 1   [link to original Latin text] If an ox begins to sicken, administer at once one hen's egg raw, and make him swallow it whole. The next day macerate a head of leek with a hemina of wine, and make him drink it all. Macerate while standing, and administer in a wooden vessel. Both the ox and the one who administers must stand, and both be fasting.

72 1   [link to original Latin text] To keep oxen from wearing down their feet, smear the bottom of their hoofs with melted pitch before you drive them anywhere on a road.

73 1   [link to original Latin text] Give the cattle medicine every year when the grapes begin to change colour, to keep them well. When you see a snake skin, pick it up and put it away, so that you will not have to hunt for one when you need it. Macerate this skin, spelt, salt, and thyme with wine, and give it to all the cattle to drink. See that the cattle always have good, clear water to drink in summer-time; it is important for their health.

The Editor's Note:

72 This seems to be part of the magic implied in the use of the number three. Some commentators interpret sublimiter, in this formula and the one following, as equivalent to sub divo, "under the open sky."

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Page updated: 18 Sep 04