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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1865 edition. Excerpt: ...disproved nor denied. Dickson, in his elaborate work on ancient husbandry, cites the usual authorities, without calling them in question. And Wallace, another author distinguished for his learned researches, in his treatise on the numbers of mankind, makes these subdivisions of the Roman soil one of his arguments for the superiority of the ancient populousness of the earth over the modern. Nor do I recollect that the sagacious and sceptical Hume, who maintains an opposite opinion, has criticised the alleged size of the Roman farms. Still, however, it is difficult, more perhaps for Americans than for a more compact people, to conceive in what manner a family, averaged at six only, (and the number was probably greater in the early rate of increase, ) could be fed and otherwise provided for by the product of such specks of ground. The puzzle is the greater if it be understood that half of the farm only was annually in cultivation, the other half being fallow. And the fact would be altogether incredible if, according to Columella, the increase of the seed was not more than four-fold. This, however, must refer to a later period of the Republic, or rather to his own time, when the soil had been deprived of its primitive fertility, or its productiveness impaired by a degenerated husbandry. For so small a space as even four acres could not possibly, at that rate of increase, suflice for a family, without supposing the quantity of seed given to the earth to have been beyond all measure, when it was more probably reduced in its proportion by peculiar care in sewing and harvesting the crop. In the dibbling mode sometimes practised in England, which produces the greatest of crops, the quantity of seed, if I rightly remember, is somewhere about a peck..show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 13mm | 449g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236968212
  • 9781236968210