Designation (analogous to "agricultural work") for Greek and Latin literature on nutrition and agriculture from the antiquity and the Middle Ages. These include works by the Carthaginians Mago (4th century BC), the Greek authors Xenophon (430-354 BC), Aristotle (384-322 BC) and Nikandros (197-130 BC), as well as the Roman authors Cato the Elder (234-149 BC), Varro (116-27 BC), Virgil (70-19 BC), Pliny the Elder (23-79) and Columella (1st cent.). It is also used on other late-antique authors, whose works are no longer preserved. The Geoponika is concerned with the knowledge of ancient food and nutrition drinking culture, as well as viticulture and winemaking of great, influential value.
The collection was created around the year 950 at the direction of the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII. Porphyrogenitus (905-959) in connection with the construction of a "library of knowledge". The ruler is especially known for his successful agricultural reforms. Most probably the basis of this collection comes from the Greek-language work "Eclogae de re rustica" by the scholar Cassianus Bassus Scholastikus, who lived in the Eastern Roman Empire about three centuries earlier. For his part, Bassus used works by various authors of the fourth century AD, one of his main sources being, for example, the Greek scholar Vindonius Anatolius of Beirut (also known as Vindanius or Berytius).
The Greek original work written before the 10th century is not preserved in the original version, but it could be partly reconstructed on the basis of later literature and translations into other languages. It was translated into Arabic, Syriac, Armenian and from Burgundian Pisanus (1119-1193) into Latin. An English version published in 2011 by the British cultural historian Andrew Dalby. A large part of the total of 20 books (namely book 4 to 8 on 120 pages with 166 keywords) consists of a list of rules and techniques on viticulture and the winemaking, Especially for wine literature in the Middle Ages Geoponika was a much-used source of many authors. See also below literature and Viticulture personalities,