Communis omnium parens: Mother Earth and agriculture in Latin treatises from Cato to Varro and Columella

Main Article Content

F. Boldrer

Abstract

DOI: 10.14673/IJA2018341032


In ancient Rome, the earth was considered to be a common good (despite land being owned privately), to be regarded as both a mother nourishing all her children and a raw material (soil) to be transformed and exploited by human beings. As a result, agriculture was the most important economic activity in the ancient world. We find both aspects in the Latin treatises on agriculture, which were appreciated and carefully handed down by posterity. The authors – Cato, Varo and Columella – not only gave technical advice in their works; they also provided religious precepts while offering social, moral and philosophical recommendations. This is clear evidence of the wide culture, the commitment and the global vision that were shared by these authors. Their double purpose – professional and educational – aimed at two goals: the improvement of human agricultural work in order to know and make the most of the resources of the earth, and the consideration of nature as an animated and divine being, full of generative force, to be treated with care and respect while sharing or exchanging roles between the common mother of all and her children, bound to grow up and to become more aware of their responsibilities.

Article Details

How to Cite
Boldrer, F. (2018). Communis omnium parens: Mother Earth and agriculture in Latin treatises from Cato to Varro and Columella. International Journal of Anthropology, 33(3-4), 181-191. Retrieved from https://pontecorbolipress.com/journals/index.php/ija/article/view/28
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Articles
Author Biography

F. Boldrer, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici University of Macerata

Boldrer F.
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici
University of Macerata
Via Garibaldi 20
62100 Macerata - Italy
Email: francesca.boldrer@unimc.it