[Ruralia commoda. Italian]
Piero Crescientio De agricultura vulgare.
Impressum Venetiis: [A. Bindoni], die nono mesis Iulii anno dni M.D.XIX [9 July 1519] Leaves 201-234 numbered 202-235; other incidental errors in foliation. References: BM STC Italian, 1465-1600. Manuscript notes throughout.
This is an Italian edition of Crescenzi's Ruralia commoda, the first printed work on agriculture (1471). It includes information on gardens, plants, trees, soil, cattle, and bee-keeping. While there is little that is new in this work, it was very popular and remained as an authority until the eighteenth century. The book contains very practical information for many aspects involved in running a farm, and advice for troubleshooting when things go wrong.
The book is divided into twelve parts. The first part discusses the proper location for a manor, villa, or farm. Part two gives necessary background information on various crops. Part three describes the proper methods for building a granary and threshing floor, and also discusses the cultivation of cereal crops. Part four covers winemaking, while part five describes arboriculture and part six horticulture. Part seven discusses meadows and woods, and part eight became a model for various gardening books. Part nine covers animal husbandry as well as bee-keeping. Part ten discusses hunting and fishing. Part eleven gives a general summary and part twelve details a calendar of duties to be accomplished month by month. Parts five and six are really best described as an herbal since the author stresses medicines which could be made from fruits and herbs. Crescenzi saw himself as a compiler, working to provide information which would help others. His work was so popular that it was eventually translated from Latin into Italian, French, German, and Polish. Three chapters were even translated into English in 1924 by Sir Frank Crisp. This edition contains delightful woodcuts as well as a table of contents.
Subjects: Agriculture; Bees.