Columella, Rules of Husbandry

Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella (4 AD - 70 AD)

Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella (4 AD – 70 AD)

“Let him, who applies himself to the study of Husbandry, know, that those principal things following, and of the greatest importance, must be called to his assistance :

  1. Prudence and knowledge of his business;

  2. Ability to spend and lay out money upon it; and

  3. a Willingness to act.

For, after all, as Tremellius fays, “He will have the best cultivated lands, who both knows how to cultivate them, is able to do it, and has also a willing mind.” For, neither knowing nor willing can be of any use to any person whatsoever, without those expenses which the business requires: nor, on the other hand, can a willingness to do, and to lay out money, be of any advantage, without art; for ’tis the principal point in all business, to know what must be done, especially in Husbandry; in which the will, and the ability to support the expenses, without knowledge, frequently bring losses upon the landlords; since works, imprudently done, render all expenses ineffectual. Wherefore a diligent master of a family, who has it at heart to follow a sure method of increasing his substance, by the culture of his land, ought, above all things, to be careful to advise with, and consult the wisest Husbandmen of his own time, upon every thing; and search diligently the histories and writings of the ancients; and to consider the opinions, precepts, and directions of every one of them; and examine whether all the things, which the ancients have left us, upon record, are agreeable to the Husbandry of this present time j or if some things are not disagreeable to it.”

One Response to Columella, Rules of Husbandry

  1. Michael Family Farm June 4, 2016 at 2:30 am #

    Note that this idea of “living off the land”, with no money, has nothing to do with ancient agriculture or husbandry.

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