Menologia rustica

Ancient Roman farmers' almanacs (in Latin, menologia rustica) are a type of Roman calendar providing month-by-month information on conditions and activities pertaining to agriculture. They were displayed as public inscriptions. Menologia Rustica Colotianum measures 0'654 cm in height, 0'410 cm in width.[1] Examples that survived to the modern era are the Menologium Rusticum Colotianum and the Menologium Rusticum Vallense, both dating to the period 19–65 AD[2] or 36–39 to the end of the 1st century AD.[3] Both were discovered in the 16th century, but the Menologium Valense has been lost.[4]


The Menologium Rusticum Colotianum was discovered by Angelo Colocci, and is held by the Naples Museum.[5] It appears on a four-sided marble altar base, inscribed in twelve columns. Each column contains:

  • a zodiac sign
  • month name
  • number of days in the month
  • date of the Nones
  • number of daylight and nighttime hours
  • astrological house through which the sun passed
  • tutelary deity of the month
  • agricultural tasks
  • religious holidays that a farmer was expected to observe.[6]

Villas on working estates often displayed mosaics and wall painting depicting seasonal or monthly agricultural activities, in some sense illustrations of the menologia rustica.[7]

Van L. Johnson conjectured that the four-sided form of the menologia preserved an original four-month Roman "year" or festival cycle.[8]


  • Attilio Degrassi, Inscriptiones Italiae 13: fasti et elogia. Fasciculus 2: Fasti anni Numani et Iuliani, accedunt ferialia, menologia rustica, parapegmata (Rome: Libreria delle Stato, 1963).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Karakus, Onur Sadık (2017). "MENOLOGIA RUSTICA COLOTIANUM: Roma Taşrasına Ait İstisnai Bir Takvim". PAU J Soc Sci Ins. 2017 (26): 317.
  2. ^ Michele Renee Salzman, On Roman Time: The Codex Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 1990), p. 170.
  3. ^ Joseph Patrich, Studies in the Archaeology and History of Caesarea Maritima (Brill, 2011), p. 84, note 53.
  4. ^ John Edwin Sandys, Latin Epigraphy: An Introduction to the Study of Latin Inscriptions (Cambridge University Press, 1919), p. 174.
  5. ^ Sandys, Latin Epigraphy, p. 174.
  6. ^ James Chidester Egbert, Introduction to the Study of Latin Inscriptions (New York, 1896), p. 368.
  7. ^ Annalisa Marzano, Roman Villas in Central Italy: A Social and Economic History (Columbia University Press, 2007), p. 297.
  8. ^ Van L. Johnson, "Natalis Urbis and Principium anni," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 91 (1960), p. 110.