Sextus Julius Frontinus [Frontinus]
Latin (Imperial Era)
SEXTUS IULIUS FRONTINUS
DE AGRORUM QUALITATE
Agrorum qualitates sunt tres:
[There are three types of fields:]
una agri divisi et adsignati,
[first are your divided and allotted fields.]
altera mensura per extremitatem conprehensi,
[second are those that have been bound by a fence along its exterior,]
tertia arcifini, qui nulla mensura continetur.
[finally there are those that are not bound by any fence, called 'arcifini'.]
Ager ergo divisus adsignatus est coloniarum.
[And so, the divided field is the allotment of farmers.]
Hic habet condiciones duas:
[This type has two conditions:]
unam qua plerumque limitibus continetur,
[The first is mostly contained by boundaries,]
alteram qua per proximos possessionum rigores adsignatum est, sicut in Campania Suessae A<u>runcae.
[The second is alloted using landmarks near to the owners, like the Suessae Aruncae in Campania.]
Quidquid autem secundum hanc condicionem in longitudinem est delimitatum, per strigas appellatur;
[But whatever is delineated according to this type of condition along its length, is proclaimed to be "striga-wise."]
quidquid per <la>titudinem, per scamna.
[and likewise along its width, "bench-wise"]
Ager ergo limitatus hac similitudine decimanis et cardinibus continetur.
[And so, land is delineated by its evenness, and is measured in "ten-hand measures" and "wrists".]
Ager per strigas et per scamna divisus et adsignatus est more antiquo in hanc similitudinem, qua in provinciis arva publica coluntur.
[A field is divided into units called "striga*"--swathes-- and "scamna" --benches--and was alloted by long-standing practice in equal parts in the same way as public plantations are farmed in the provinces.]
Ager est mensura conprehensus, cuius modus universus civitati est adsignatus,
[A field, whose entire space is alloted to a district, or city, has its parameters taken,]
sicut in Lusitania Salma<n>ticensibus aut Hispania citeriore Pala<n>tinis et in conpluribus provinciis tributarium solum per universitatem populis est definitum.
[such as in the case of the Salmanticenses in Lusitania, or the Palantini in Nearer Spain, and in many other provinces, a single allotment of land is administered to the people as a whole.]
Eadem ratione et privatorum agrorum mensurae aguntur.
[And the dimensions of privately-owned acreage is measured in the same way.]
Hunc agrum multis locis mensores, quamvis extremum mensura conprehenderint, in formam in modum limit<ati> condiderunt.
[The measurers established that this kind of field be qualified by its type and measure, no matter how far they took their measurements.]
Ager est arcifinius, qui nulla mensura continetur.
[Then, there is the 'arcifinius', the type of field that is not put into a measured space.]
Finitur secundum antiquam observationem fluminibus, fossis, montibus, viis, arboribus ante missis, aquarum divergiis et si qua loca ante a possessore potuerunt optineri.
[It is delineated according to some old recognition of rivers, ditches, hills, roads, trees once standing, wanderings of streams, and by any landmarks that could be discerned before the land was owned.]
Nam ager arcifinius, sicut ait Varro, ab arcendis hostibus est appellatus:
[you see, the arcifinian type of field, or says Varro, is so called because it needs to be defended from foes.]
qui postea interventu litium per ea loca quibus finit terminos accipere coepit.
[later on, it began to take boundaries, by intercession of marker stones used to divide it along its placement.]
In his agris nullum ius subsicivorum intervenit.
[On these types of fields, no law regarding *subscivia intercedes.]
Subsicivum est, quod a subsecante linea nomen accepit [subsicivum].
[A subscivium is something that takes it name from an undercutting line.]
Subsicivorum genera sunt duo:
[There are two types of subscivia:]
unum quod in extremis adsignatorum agrorum finibus centuria expleri non potuit;
[the 1st type could not be completely filled in the very farthest boundaries of its allotted fields;]
aliud genus subsicivorum, quod in mediis adsignationibus et integris centuriis intervenit.
[the 2nd type of the subscivia is the one that runs between the middle of its allotments and whole centuries of population.]
Quidquid enim inter IIII limites minus quam intra clusum est fuerit adsignatum,
[you see, whatever has been closed in between less than 4 boundaries, will've been allotted out]
in hac remanet appellatione,
[it remains in this name category]
ideo quod is modus, qui adsignationi superest,
[therefore, the measure that remains for the allotment,]
linea cludatur et subsecetur.
[will later be enclosed and cut below by a line.]
Nam et reliquarum mensurarum actu quidquid inter normalem lineam et extremitatem interest subsicivum appellamus.
[To be specific, in the presence of remaining space, we call whatever that exists between the normal line and its extremity, the 'subscivum']
Est et ager similis subsicivorum condicioni extra clusus et non adsignatus;
[And the field that lies beyond enclosures and is not allotted, is similar to the condition of subsciva.]
qui si rei publicae populi Romani aut ipsius coloniae, cuius fine circumdatur,
[which, if it is surrounded by the borderline of the Roman state or one of its colonies,]
sive peregrinae urbis aut locis sacris aut religiosis a<ut> quae ad populum Romanum pertinent datus non est,
[or if it has not been assigned to the religious and local rites of a foreign city, or things that pertain to the Roman people,]
iure subsicivorum in eius qui adsignare potuerit remanet potestate.
[according to the law governing subsciva, it remains under the legal power of any man who will've been able to have it allotted.]
Ager extra clusus est <et> qui int<er> finitimam lineam et centurias interiacet;
[The field proper is whatever that is enclosed on the outside, and which lies between the outer boundary line and the century markers.]
ideoque extra clusus,
[and so it is enclosed from the exterior,]
quia ultra limites finitima linea cludatur.
[because a line around the outside is enclosure beyond their boundary stones.]