Roman Farm Management
The present editor made the acquaintance of Cato and Varro standing at a book stall on the Quai Voltaire in Paris, and they carried him away in imagination, during a pleasant half hour, not to the vineyards and olive yards of Roman Italy, but to the blue hills of a far distant Virginia where the corn was beginning to tassel and the fat cattle were loafing in the pastures. Subsequently, when it appeared that there was then no readily available English version of the Roman agronomists, this translation was made, in the spirit of old Piero Vettori, the kindly Florentine scholar, whose portrait was painted by Titian and whose monument may still be seen in the Church of Santo Spirito: in the preface of his edition of Varro he says that he undertook the work, not for the purpose of displaying his learning, but to aid others in the study of an excellent author. Victorius was justified by his scholarship and the present editor has no such claim to attention: he, therefore, makes the confession frankly (to anticipate perhaps such criticism as Bentley's "a very pretty poem, Mr. Pope, but don't call it Homer") and offers the little book to those who love the country, and to read about the country amidst the crowded life of towns, with the hope that they may find in it some measure of the pleasure it has afforded the editor.
The texts and commentaries used have been those of Schneider and Keil, the latter more accurate but the former more sympathetic.