Philip Thibodeau

in Playing the Farmer

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268326
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950252 | DOI:

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What kind of person counted as a farmer—an Agricola—for the Romans? To gain a purchase on Roman discourse about agricolae this chapter begins by addressing a series of topics, all of them economic in the ancient sense of the term. First, how were the duties of labor and management divided up among various persons on a Roman estate. Second, how in terms of operation did the estates owned by the rich and powerful differ from those of the poor. Third, how did the farmers familiar to Vergil's readers from ordinary life differ from the idealized concept of the Agricola. It concludes by examining some passages from the poem and considering the status of the poet and his audience; but the first goal is to answer St. Augustine's question: quid facit Agricola?

Keywords: agricolae; Roman estate; farmers; Vergil; Georgics

Chapter.  7478 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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