[Ruralia commoda. Latin]
De omnibus agriculturae partibus, & de plantarum animaliumq[ue] natura & utilitate lib. XII. : non minus philosophiae & medicinae, quam oeconomiae, agricolationis, pastionumq[ue] studiosis utiles.
Per longo rerum usu exercitatum optimum agricolam & philosophum Petrum Crescentiensem principem Reipub. Bononiensis, probata fide & doctrina conscripti ad Carolum Sicile regem, ante an. CXXX. ad autoris tempo rescripta exemplaria denuo collati & emendati. Basileae: Per Henrichum Petri, 1548. Second Petri ed. --Cf. Hunt 58. References: Hunt 58. Includes index.
Ruralia commoda was written by Crescenti in the 1300's and in 1471 became the first printed book on agriculture. This copy is the second edition by Petri, and includes many fine woodcuts. Crescenzi took much of his information from old Roman authors, such as Cato, Columella, Varo and Palladius, with little that is new or original. Nevertheless, it proved to be a very popular work. Crescenzi has provided his readers with an organized manual of procedures, divided into twelve sections each addressing a specific agricultural topic. Book I discusses the location and arrangement of a manor, villa, or farm. Book II provides botanical background for raising every type of crop. Book II gives instructions foru building a granary and a threshing floor, as well as directions for the cultivation of food crops. Book V is on arboriculture and BookVI discusses horticulture. Book VII covers meados and woods, and Book VIII gives information on gardens. This particular book became a model for gardening books of the 16th and 17th centuries. Book IX discusses animal husbandry and bee-keeping, Book X concerns hunting and fishing, Book XI summarizes the work, and Book XII provides a calendar of duties and tasks to be performed. The work also contains a complete index to all subjects covered.