Beekeeping in the world of ancient Rome

publication date: Aug 3, 2010
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Bee World Vol.75 (3) 1994 pp.118-134
Article Title

Beekeeping in the world of ancient Rome


Eva Crane


Surviving Roman books on agriculture that include beekeeping

Ancient Rome left an important beekeeping legacy, based largely on passages in certain surviving Latin texts on agriculture and natural history written between about 200 BC and AD 400. No pictures of beekeeping in Roman times survive, and no Roman hives have been excavated - which is not surprising, since the hives Roman writers favoured were of (biodegradable) plant materials. Roman descriptions were based on two thousand years of previous beekeeping, which has been brought to life for us in the past few decades by discoveries of pictures that show men harvesting combs from hives in Ancient Egypt, and of hives from Ancient Greece that have been excavated.

KeywordsAncient Rome, Beekeeping, beekeeping archaeology,
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