Quote of the Day (shrew-mouse edition)

November 18, 2009

According to Columella, the shrew-mouse can be quite a pest. But how to protect one’s oxen?

There is also a practice of encasing the shrew-mouse itself while still alive in potter’s clay and, when the clay is dry, hanging it round the ox’s neck. This renders the animal immune from the bite of a shrew-mouse.

– Columella Rei Rusticae 6.17.6

Quote of the Day

November 13, 2009

The state paid its civilian employees rather better. In Urso, a colony founded by Caesar in Spain in the 40s BC, the town charter set the annual salary for clerks (scribae) of the senior magistrates at HS 1,200 p.a. and for flunkies (lictors) at HS 600.

-Dominic Rathbone, “Earnings and Costs: Living Standards and the Roman Economy (First to Third Centuries AD)” in A. Bowman and A. Wilson (eds.) Quantifying the Roman Economy: Methods and Problems (2009) 312.