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Libri de re rustica [L’Agriculture],

7, 500 

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Cato’s Agriculture
preserved in its armorial morocco binding.

Rabelais owned a copy of the Libri de re rustica.

A precious and beautiful copy with the arms of Louis Bizeau.


Caton, Veron. Libri de re rustica.
Paris, Robert Estienne, 1543.

Followed by:
Vettori, Piero. Explicationes suarum in Catonem, Varronem, columellam castigationum.
Paris, Robert Estienne, 1543.

Followed by:
Merula, Beroalde, Manuce. Enarrationes vocum priscarum in libris De re rustica…
Paris, Robert Estienne, 1543.

Followed by:
Estienne, Charles. De latinis et Graecis nominibus arborum, fructicum, herbarum…
Lutetia, Robert Estienne, 1547

4 works in one volume 8vo [161 x 100 mm] of (113) ll., (7) ll., (72) ll., (84) ll., 104 pp., (8) ll.

Olive green morocco, double frame of double gilt fillets on covers, LB cipher in the corners, arms stamped in gilt in the center, ribbed spine with small gilt tools with LB repeated between raised bands, decorated leading edges, gilt over marbled edges. 17th century binding.

The rare and important reunion of the most famous ancient texts on agriculture by Cato the elder, Varro, Columella and Palladius.

Esteemed edition printed with great care by Robert Estienne with the new italic font cut by Claude Garamond.” (Renouard, pp. 55-56)

This beautiful collection is made up of different parts numbered separately.” (A. A. Renouard)

Rabelais owned a copy of the Libri de Re rustica.

Marie-Louise Polain recently discovered on the title page of a book in the municipal library of Chaumont an autograph by Rabelais. This book was titled Libri de re rustica.” (Revue d’histoire franciscaine, VIII, p.398)

Rabelais mentions the Libri de re rustica in a passage in Gargantua.

En banquetant du vin aigu [mêlé d’eau] séparaient l’eau, comme enseigne Caton, De rustica… avec un gobelet de lierre, ils lavaient le vin en plain bassin d’eau…” (Gargantua, chapitre XXIV)

Rabelais had learned to collect plants with the monks of Maillezais.

Edited by Robert Estienne, these texts are about the work in the fields, gardening, apiculture, fishing, rural economy, cooking recipes, medicine…

The De agricultura is the only one of Cato’s works that made it to us intact. It broaches themes like the cultivation of cereals, wine, arboriculture, horticulture ; the text also deals with the obligations of the farmer, cake baking, medicinal wines or how to treat fractures and dislocations.

Varro’s Res rusticae is made up of three books presented in the original form of a dialogue.

The first book is on agriculture ; the second on raising livestock and the third one on farm animals.

In his book, Columella tells us that he writes at a time when Rome is going through a terrible agricultural crisis. According to the author, the city had to import the necessary wine and cereal.

Columella considers his treaty to be a work of national interest.

Following that is the famous Latin-French dictionary of botanical terms and natural history by Charles Estienne.

A beautiful and precious copy, ruled, preserved in its 17th century morocco binding with arms and cipher in gilt of Louis Bizeau. (O. Hermal, plche 486)

Handwritten ex-libris on white leaf and ex-libris on endpaper.

Additional information





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