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The Roman writer, historian and politician Marcius Terentius Varro (116-27 BC) was one of the most important and productive ancient authors. He was a troop leader under Pompey (106-48 BC), was captured by Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) after the Battle of Pharsalos (48 BC), but then pardoned and paid to the Empire. Librarian appointed. His extensive works cover a wide spectrum such as grammar, geography, education, science, philosophy and law. From the Roman rhetor Marcus Fabius Quintilian (35-96) he was called "the most learned of all Romans". Of his complete works, only "De re rustica" (also Res rusticae = On agriculture) has been preserved in its entirety. He wrote it at the ripe old age of 80 and dedicated it to his wife, who owned an estate. In the first of the three volumes, agriculture is described, in which viticulture is also treated. The other volumes mainly deal with livestock.

Varro names as his main source the Carthaginians Mago (500 BC) and mentions the Greek translation of his work. As further sources he calls Xenophon (426-355 BC), Aristotle (384-322 BC) and Cato (234-149 BC). In polished style and in dialogue, practical advice is given, often referring to the "good old days" when "there were only honest, industrious compatriots and no urban decadence". He writes, for example, that old wine should be at least a year old, with the particular Falernian is capable of aging. The later Roman authors Virgil (70-19 BC), Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), Columella (1st century) and Palladius (4th century) used his work as a source. Parts are also in the famous agricultural collection Geoponika from the 10th century included. See also below Ancient wines,

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