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VI´LLICUS, VI´LICUS (ἐπίτροπος in Greek writers, Plut. Crass. 4), a slave who had the superintendence of the villa rustica, and of all the business of the farm, except the cattle, which were under the care of the magister pecoris (Varro, R. R. 1.2). The duties of the vilicus were to obey his master implicitly and to govern the other slaves with moderation, never to leave the villa except to go to market, to have no intercourse with soothsayers, to take care of the cattle and the implements of husbandry, and to manage all the operations of the farm (Cato, R. R/ 5, 142). His duties are described at great length by Columella (11.1 and 1.8), and those of his wife (vilica) by the same writer (12.1) and by Cato (100.143).

The vilicus is properly distinct from the actor (οἰκονόμος) who had charge of finance, payments, &c. The vilicus is, however, sometimes called actor praedii. (Marquardt, Privatleben, 139.)

[P.S] [G.E.M]

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