Tui or Parson Bird Prosthemadera Novae Zealandiae. From: 'A history of the birds of New Zealand' by Walter Lawry Buller | OUR Heritage

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[Scriptores rei rusticate]



18 September 1496


Shoults Itc 1496 S
HC 14569*; BMC VII 1090; Goff S349; Kaplan 427; ISTC is00349000



Reggio Emilia: Dionysius Bertochus
The first actual printing in Reggio Emilia (Italy) was by Bartholomaeus and Laurentius de Bruschis (Bottonus) with an issue of Perottus, Rudimenta grammaticae, 29 July 1480. Dionysius Bertochus, who also operated in Venice about 1494, appears at Reggio, printing the second of three editions of the Latin writers on husbandry, i.e. this particular book, on 18 September 1496. During these latter years, Bertochus was at Scandiano, assisting his associate Peregrinus de Pasqualibus. He later moved to Modena, and then travelled back to Reggio Emilia.


Plain calf binding (scuffed). Spine title reads: Rei Rustic/ Scriptor/ Regii/ 1496.
Triangular title-page, Catonis Enarrationes Brevissimae (f.2a; aaii), first page of Palladius's work with initial, binding, colophon, bookplate.


This collection of four agricultural writers - Cato, Columella, Varro and Palladius -was frequently published during the Renaissance and is often referred to as the Scriptores rei rusticae. The authors span the period from the second century B.C. to the fourth century A.D. All were upper class Romans who had had experience in running farms on their estates, though undoubtedly few of them ever experienced much of the actual labor. Scriptores rei rusticate contains: Cato's 'De Agri Cultura', 'a collection of general precepts on how the land owner should behave...'; Varro's 'De Re Rustica' which deals with agriculture, livestock and raising barnyard animals, bees and fish; Columella's 'De Re Rustica', which deals successively with 'the cultivation of fields, trees, and vines, the raising of large animals and barnyard animals, the raising of bees, vegetables, and flower gardens, and the duty of the bailiff and his wife'; and Palladius' 'Opus Agricultura', which 'presents the point of view of the landed proprietor in the West, facing rapid technological innovation and social change that would lead to a different organization of work.' (Conte, Latin Literature).


Paper. [272] l., the last blank; 305 x 205 mm (fol.).
Roman and Greek type.
F.1a Title-page: Opera Agricolationum: Columellae: Varronis: Catonisq;: necnon Palladii: cum excriptionibus & commeta riis D. Philippi Beroaldi within triangular cut on prelim. page.
Some repairs to first few leaves.
General colophon: Opera agricolationum: Columellae: Varronis: Catonisq: necnon Palladii: cum excriptionibus D. Phillippi Beroaldi: & cometariisque. Impressa Regii impensis Dioysii Bertochi Regien. Impante diuo Hercule Este. MCCCCLXXXXVI. Xiii. Kalen. Octobris.
Woodcut initials.
Annotated throughout.


1. Christopher Tower, Esq., Weald Hall
2. Canon William Ardene Shoults
3. Selwyn College; Otago University Library


Columella; Varro; Cato; Palladius (Edited by Philippus Beroaldus, after Merula and Colucia), “[Scriptores rei rusticate],” | OUR Heritage, accessed June 25, 2018,

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