in Greek writers, Plut.
. 4), a slave who had the superintendence of the
and of all the business of
the farm, except the cattle, which were under the care of the magister pecoris
(Varro, R. R.
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
The vilicus is properly distinct from the actor
) who had charge of finance,
payments, &c. The vilicus is, however, sometimes called actor praedii.