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That portion of land used to be known as a "jugerum," which was capable of being ploughed by a single "jugum," or yoke of oxen, in one day; an "actus"1 being as much as the oxen could plough at a single spell, fairly estimated, without stopping. This last was one hundred and twenty feet in length; and two in length made a jugerum. The most considerable recompense that could be bestowed upon generals and valiant citizens, was the utmost extent of land around which a person could trace a furrow with the plough in a single day. The whole population, too, used to contribute a quarter2 of a sextarius of spelt, or else half a one, per head.

From agriculture the earliest surnames were derived. Thus, for instance, the name of Pilumnus was given to him who invented the "pilum," or pestle of the bake-house, for pounding corn; that of Piso was derived from "piso," to grind corn; and those of Fabius, Lentulus, and Cicero, from the several varieties3 of leguminous plants in the cultivation of which respectively these individuals excelled. One individual of the family of the Junii received the name of "Bubuleus,"4 from the skill he displayed in breeding oxen. Among the sacred ceremonials, too, there was nothing that was held more holy than the marriage by confarreation,5 and the woman just married used to present a cake made of spelt.6 Careless cultivation of the land was in those times an offence that came under the cognizance of the censors; and, as we learn from Cato,7 when it was said that such and such a man was a good agriculturist or a good husbandman, it was looked upon as the very highest compliment that could be paid him. A man came to be called "locuples," or "rich," from being "loci plenus," or "full of earth." Money, too, received its name of "pecunia,"8 from "pecus," "cattle." At the present day, even, in the registers of the censors, we find set down under the head of "pascua," or "pasture lands," everything from which the public revenues are derived, from the fact that for a long period of time pasture lands were the only sources of the public revenue. Fines, too, were only imposed in the shape of paying so many sheep or so many oxen; and the benevolent spirit of the ancient laws deserves remark, which most considerately enjoined that the magistrate, when he in- flicted a penalty, should never impose a fine of an ox before having first condemned the same party to the payment of a sheep.

Those who celebrated the public games in honour of the ox received the name of Bubetii.9 King Servius was the first who impressed upon our copper coin10 the figures of sheep and oxen. To depasture cattle secretly by night upon the unripe crops on plough lands, or to cut them in that state, was made by the Twelve Tables11 a capital offence in the case of an adult; and it was enacted that the person guilty of it should be hanged, in order to make due reparation to the goddess Ceres, a punishment more severe, even, than that inflicted for murder. If, on the other hand, the offender was not an adult, he was beaten at the discretion of the prætor; a penalty double the amount of the damage was also exacted.

The various ranks, too, and distinctions in the state had no other origin than the pursuits of agriculture. The rural tribes held the foremost rank, and were composed of those who possessed lands; while those of the city, a place to which it was looked upon as ignominious to be transferred, had the discredit thrown upon them of being an indolent race. Hence it was that these last were only four in number, and received their names from the several parts of the City which they respectively inhabited; being the Suburran, the Palatine, Colline, and Exquiline tribes. Every ninth day12 the rural tribes used to visit the city for the purpose of marketing, and it was for this reason that it was made illegal to hold the comitia upon the Nundinaæ; the object being that the country people might not be called away thereby from the transaction of their business. In those days repose and sleep were enjoyed upon straw. Even to glory itself, in compliment to corn, the name was given of "adorea."13

For my own part, I greatly admire14 the modes of expression employed in our ancient language: thus, for instance, we read in the Commentaries of the Priesthood to the follow- ing effect:—"For deriving an augury from the sacrifice of a bitch,15 a day should be set apart before the ear of corn appears from out of the sheath,16 and then again before it enters the sheath."

1 Four Roman feet in width, and 120 in length.

2 Quartarius.

3 "Faba," a bean; "Lens," a lentil; and "Cicer," a chick-pea.

4 A "bubus," from "oxen." Caius Junius Bubulcus was twice Consul, and once Master of the Horse.

5 "Farreum" was a form of marriage, in which certain words were used, in presence of ten witnesses, and were accompanied by a certain religious ceremony, in which "panis farreus" was employed; hence this form of marriage was called "confarreatio."

6 Farreum.

7 De Re Rust. Preface.

8 See B. xxxiii. c. 13.

9 St Augustin, De Civ. Dei., mentions a goddess, Bubona, the tutelar divinity of oxen. Nothing seems to be known of these games.

10 See B. xxxiii. c. 13. Macrobius says that it was Janus.

11 Table vii. s. 2.

12 On the "Nundinæ," or ninth-day holiday: similar to our market-days. According to our mode of reckoning, it was every eighth day.

13 From "ador," the old name for "spelt:" because corn was the chief reward given to the conqueror, and his temples were graced with a wreath of corn.

14 In the first place, it is difficult to see what there is in this passage to admire, or "wonder at," if that is the meaning of "admiror;" and then, besides, it has no connection with the context. The text is probably in a defective state.

15 See c. 69 of this Book.

16 "Vagina." The meaning of this word here has not been exactly ascertained. It has been suggested that the first period alludes to the appearance of the stalk from its sheath of leaves, and the second to the formation of the ear.

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