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1In a soil of middling quality, the proper proportion of seed is five modii of wheat or winter-wheat to the jugerum, ten of spelt or of seed-wheat—that being the name which we have mentioned2 as being given to one kind of wheat—six of barley, one-fifth more of beans than of wheat, twelve of vetches, three of chick-pease, chicheling vetches, and pease, ten of lupines, three of lentils—(these last, however, it is said, must be sown with dry manure)—six of fitches, six of fenugreek, four of kidney-beans, twenty of hay grass,3 and four sextarii of millet and panic. Where the soil is rich, the proportion must be greater, where it is thin, less.4

There is another distinction, too, to be made; where the soil is dense, cretaceous, or moist, there should be six modii of wheat or winter-wheat to the jugerum, but where the land is loose, dry, and prolific, four will be enough. A meagre soil, too, if the crop is not very thinly sown, will produce a diminutive, empty ear. Rich lands give a number of stalks to each grain, and yield a thick crop from only a light sowing. The result, then, is, that from four to six modii must be sown, according to the nature of the soil; though there are some who make it a rule that five modii is the proper proportion for sowing, neither more nor less, whether it is a densely-planted locality, a declivity, or a thin, meagre soil. To this subject bears reference an oracular precept which never can be too carefully observed5—"Don't rob the harvest."6 Attius, in his Praxidicus,7 has added that the proper time for sowing is, when the moon is in Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, and Aquarius. Zoroaster says it should be done when the sun has passed twelve degrees of Scorpio, and the moon is in Taurus.

1 This Chapter is mostly from Columella, B. ii. c. 9.

2 In c. 19 of this Book.

3 Probably the mixture called "farrago" in c. 10 and c. 41.

4 Upon this point the modern agriculturists are by no means agreed.

5 From Cato, De Re Rust. c. 5.

6 "Segetem ne defrudes." The former editions mostly read "defruges," in which case the meaning would be, "don't exhaust the land."

7 This passage of Attius is lost, but Hermann supposes his words to have run thus:—
—serere, cum est
Luna in Ariete, Geminis, Leone, Libra, Aquario.

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