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p996 Rutrum

Article by James Yates, M.A., F.R.S.,
on p996 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

RUTRUM, dim. RUTELLUM, a kind of hoe, which had the handle fixed perpendicularly into the middle of the blade, thus differing from the Raster. It was used before sowing to level the ground, by breaking down any clods which adhered too long together (Non. Marc. p18, ed. Merceri). This operation is described by Virgil in the following terms, which also assign the derivation of the name: "Cumulosque ruit male pinguis arenae. (Georg. I.105). See Festus, s.v. ; Varro, de L. Lat. V p137, ed. Spengel. The same implement was used in mixing lime or clay with water and straw to make plaster for walls (Cato, de Re Rust. 10, 128; Pallad. de Re Rust. I.15; Plin. H. N. XXXVI.23 s55).


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