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Most of the inhabitants of the Roman world lived by farming. The kinds of farming they practised varied as Roman domination spread north of the Alps. This book deals with the tools they used, in all their variety, and with the way they used them. It describes in detail agricultural implements, both simple and complex, from shovels, spades, saws and sickles to ploughs, harrows and reaping machines. Each description carries full references to the sources of information, including allusions in literature and the evidence of monuments and mosaics. The book ends with a catalogue raisonné of the implements illustrated in the text. The author uses practical knowledge of agriculture, as well as learning, to identify and interpret the objects under examination; this is, literally, scholarship brought down to earth.
Notes on the plates; Preface; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. Description of Manual Implements: 1. Spades and shovels; 2. Mattocks, hoes and axes; 3. Knives, sickles, hooks and scythes; 4. Forks; 5. Saws; 6. Shears; Part II. Description of Machines: 7. Ploughs; 8. Harrows; 9. Drags and threshing machines; 10. Reaping machines; Part III. Catalogue Raisonné of All Implements Illustrated in the Text: Manual implements; Machines; Appendices; Bibliography; General index; List of Greek words; List of Latin words; List of passages cited.