previous next


Cato,1 a man of consummate authority in all practical matters, expresses himself in relation to timber to the following effect:—"For making presses, employ the wood of the sappinus in preference. When you root up the elm, the pine, the nut- tree, or, indeed, any other kind of tree, mind and do so when the moon is on the wane, after midday, and when there is no south wind blowing. The proper time for cutting a tree is when the seed2 is ripe, but be careful not to draw it away or plane it while the dew is falling." He then proceeds to say3 —" Never touch the timber, except when the moon is on the change, or else at the end of the second quarter: at those periods you may either root up the tree, or fell it as it stands. The next seven days after the full moon are the best of all for grubbing up a tree. Be particularly careful, too, not to rough- hew timber, or, indeed, to cut or touch it, unless it is perfectly dry; and by no means while it is covered with frost or dew."

The Emperor Tiberius used also to observe the changes of the moon for cutting his hair.4 M. Varro5 has recommended that the hair should be cut at full moon only, if we would avoid baldness.

1 De Re Rust. c. 31; also cc. 17 and 37.

2 This practice is observed in modern times.

3 C. 37.

4 Pliny, no doubt, observes an analogy between the hair of the human head, and trees as forming the hair of the earth. The superstition here mentioned, Fée says, was, till very recently, observed in France to a con- siderable extent.

5 De Re Rust. 1, 37.

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 (7 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (5):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: