previous next


It really might have been thought that I had now given an account of all the vegetable productions that are held in any degree of esteem, did there not still remain one plant, the cultivation of which is extremely profitable, and of which I am unable to speak without a certain degree of shame. For it is a well-known fact, that some small plots of land, planted with thistles,1 in the vicinity of Great Carthage and of Corduba more particularly, produce a yearly income of six thousand sesterces;2 this being the way in which we make the monstrous productions even of the earth subservient to our gluttonous appetites, and that, too, when the very four-footed brutes3 instinctively refuse to touch them.

Thistles are grown two different ways, from plants set in autumn, and from seed sown before the nones of March;4 in which latter case they are transplanted before the ides of November,5 or, where the site is a cold one, about the time that the west winds prevail. They are sometimes manured even, and if6 such is the will of heaven, grow all the better for it. They are preserved, too, in a mixture of honey and vinegar,7 with the addition of root of laser and cummin—so that a day may not pass without our having thistles at table.8

1 Probably the artichoke, the Cinara scolymus of Linnæus. See further on this subject, B. xx. c. 99.

2 About £24 sterling. "Sestertia" has been suggested, which would make the sum a thousand times as much.

3 The ass, of course, excepted, which is fond of thistles.

4 Seventh of March.

5 Thirteenth of November.

6 "Si Dîs placet."

7 Oxymel.

8 This is evidently said contemptuously.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (3 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: