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Bill Thayer

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Varro: De Re Rustica

The Author and the Manuscripts

Varro's life and career are covered in an Introduction, and a separate section of this introductory material covers the Manuscripts of Varro's and Cato's agricultural works, which were by and large transmitted together.

The Text on LacusCurtius

The Latin text is that of Goetz in the Teubner edition of 1929, with cosmetic changes as printed in the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1934. The English translation is by W. D. Hooper and H. B. Ash, printed in the same edition. Both text and translation are in the public domain pursuant to the 1978 revision of the U. S. Copyright Code, since the copyright was not renewed in 1961 or 1962. (Details here on the copyright law involved.)

As usual, I retyped the text rather than scanning it: not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if successful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

This transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents below, the sections are therefore shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme. Should you spot an error, however . . . please do report it.

Further details on the technical aspects of the site layout follow the Table of Contents.


1: Agriculture.

2: Sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, asses, horses, dogs, and herdsmen.

3: Poultry, bees, fish, dormice.

Chapter and Section Numbering, Local Links

Both chapters (large numbers) and sections (small numbers) mark local links, according to a consistent scheme; you can therefore link directly to any passage.

In the Latin text, each American flag [American flag] is a link to the corresponding section of the English translation, opening in another window; in the English text, each Vatican flag [Flag of the Holy See] is a link to the corresponding section of the Latin text, opening in another window.

Apparatus and Notes

On the Latin side, the Loeb edition provides no comprehensive apparatus criticus, but occasionally marks a variant or a crux; and on the English side, it provides a few notes. I'm including both sets of notes.

[image ALT: A stylized drawing of a long rectangular building with a square tower at either end, in an even more stylized park. It is a 4c mosaic from the depicting an ancient Roman farm, and serves as the icon for Varro's 'de Re Rustica' on my site.]

I know of no contemporaneous portrait of Varro; the icon I use to indicate this subsite is a recolorized version of a 4c mosaic from the Bardo Museum in Tunis depicting a villa rustica.

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Site updated: 1 May 17