Geoponika: Farm Work - A Modern Translation of the Roman and Byzantine Farming Handbook

Geoponika: Farm Work - A Modern Translation of the Roman and Byzantine Farming Handbook


By (author) Andrew Dalby

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  • Publisher: PROSPECT BOOKS
  • Format: Hardback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 238mm x 38mm | 762g
  • Publication date: 2 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Blackawton
  • ISBN 10: 1903018692
  • ISBN 13: 9781903018699
  • Sales rank: 443,354

Product description

Geoponika is one of the most celebrated texts to come out of the Byzantine renaissance promoted by the 10th-century emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus. It was a gathering together of many classical and post-classical agricultural works, from Pliny in ancient Rome to the 7th-century Cassianus Bassus and the 4th-century Vindonius Anatolius. Many of these no longer survive, making the Geoponika the more valuable. It is a source both for ancient Roman agricultural practice in the West, and for understanding Near Eastern agriculture and what went on in Byzantine Anatolia. It was once translated into English, in the early 19th century, but has usually only been accessible to scholars of Greek. The history of the manuscript is extremely complicated. Andrew Dalby provides a modern and intelligent translation. He does not explore in any detail textual and linguistic matters, wishing to concentrate on questions of agriculture and food production (meanwhile a definitive Greek text is in preparation elsewhere). This will be an essential tool for students of the classical and medieval worlds.

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Author information

Andrew Dalby is a classical and food historian whose translations of Cato and of Byzantine dietary texts (Prospect) have been welcomed, and whose dictionary of classical food (Routledge) and history of spices (California and British Museum) have been universally praised.

Table of contents

Translator's introduction. Contents of the original text: Of the atmosphere, and of the rising and setting of the stars. Of general matters appertaining to agriculture, and of the different kinds of corn. Of the various agricultural duties suitable to each month. Of the cultivation of the vine. Of the making of wine. Of the cultivation of the olive and the making of oil. Of horticulture. Of the animals and insects injurious to plants. Of pigeons and other birds. Of natural sympathies and antipathies, and of the management of bees. Of horses, donkeys and camels. Of the breeding of cattle. Of the breeding of sheep. Of dogs, hares, deer, pigs, and of salting meat. Of fishes.