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The ancient writers on agriculture: for instance (among the Greeks), the philosopher Democritus, and in later times, Xenophon, in his OEconomicus. No other Greek works of the kind have come down to us, except the collection called Geoponica. This consists of twenty books, and contains extracts from writers of the most widely distant periods. The compiler was a Bithynian, Cassianus Bassus, who lived about the middle of the 10th century A.D., and undertook the work at the suggestion of the Emperor Constantine VII. He based it upon a collection of extracts made by a certain Vindanios Anatolios. Agriculture was hold in high esteem by the Romans, and the subject was in consequence a favourite one with their men of letters. A number of their works on it have come down to us: the Res Rustica of the elder Cato, a similar work by the encyclopaedic scholar, Marcus Terentius Varro, the Georgics of Vergil, and after Christ the writings of Columella, Gargillus Martialis, and Palladius. The Georgics of Vergil are a poem: and one book of Columella is in verse.
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