The Ancient Library

The Geoponica (Agricultural Pursuits)

Geoponika: Agricultural Pursuits by Thomas Owen (1805-06). Scanned by the Michigan State University Library. Because of the low resolution of the scans, this edition does not include OCR.

The Geoponica is a 20-volume work on "agricultural" topics assembled in the 10th century from earlier compilations. Prominent among these are compilations by Vindonius Anatolius (c. 350) and Cassianus Bassus (c. 600), to whom the entire work is sometimes ascribed. Ultimate sources stretch to the Hellenistic period and before.

Its contents are extremely varied, incorporating thunder divination (brontoscopy), medicinal wines, horse opthamology, raising pidgeons, eel bait, and—my favorite—"fixing" olive oil when a mouse has been (or perhaps died) in it.


1.Of the atmosphere, and of the rising and setting of the stars
2.Of general matters appertaining to agriculture, and of the different kinds of corn
3.Of the various agricultural duties suitable to each month
4–5.Of the cultivation of the vine
6–8.Of the making of wine
9.Of the cultivation of the olive and the making of oil
10–12.  Of horticulture
13.Of the animals and insects injurious to plants
14.Of pigeons and other birds
15.Of natural sympathies and antipathies, and of the management of bees
16.Of horses, asses, and camels
17.Of the breeding of cattle
18.Of the breeding of sheep
19.Of dogs, hares, deer, pigs, and of salting meat
20.Of fishes

Online Resources

* from Anthon's Manual (above)

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