Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Palladius (4th century ad). Next to nothing is known about the life of this agrarian writer of Ancient rome. He is the author of a treatise called, like Varro’s earlier work, De re rustica, in 15 books. The first book is a general introduction to farming; the last two comprise a guide to veterinary medicine and an account of grafting. The remaining 12 books deal with the tasks to be carried out throughout the agricultural year, one book for each month; Palladius has more to say about the vine than about any other crop. What he says, however, is sound but not original: he relies heavily on earlier authors, especially columella (and, to a lesser extent, pliny and varro). Unlike cato, Varro, and Columella he was well known in the Middle Ages and in the early Renaissance: he is quoted by Albertus Magnus, Vincent of Beauvais, and petrus de crescentiis, and an anonymous Middle English translation of his work, connected with Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, survives. There is no direct evidence for his influence on medieval English wine producers, however.