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Lucius Iunius Moderatus Columella (Columella)

Lucius Iunius Moderatus Columella (Columella)

Flourishing mid first century c.e.

Agricultural writer


Specialist on Villas. Columella was born in Gades in Spain, but owned farms in Italy. His writings, which were aimed for upper-class literate farmers, show that he knew firsthand about agricultural practices all over Italy. He defended large slave-intensive villas as being efficient farming units and advocated efficient business practices as well as rationally applied farming practices. He was critical of astrologers and religion in agricultural management. His work emphasized viticulture over that of cereals.


M. Stephen Spurr, “Columella, Lucius lunius Moderatus”, in The Oxford Classical Dictionary, edited by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, third edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 367.

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