Tuesday, September 20, 2022



Plutarch, Life of Marius 21.3 (tr. Bernadotte Perrin):
Nevertheless, it is said that the people of Massalia fenced their vineyards round with the bones of the fallen, and that the soil, after the bodies had wasted away in it and the rains had fallen all winter upon it, grew so rich and became so full to its depths of the putrefied matter that sank into it, that it produced an exceeding great harvest in after years, and confirmed the saying of Archilochus​ [fragment 292 West] that "fields are fattened" by such a process.

Μασσαλιήτας μέντοι λέγουσι τοῖς ὀστέοις περιθριγκῶσαι τοὺς ἀμπελῶνας, τὴν δὲ γῆν, τῶν νεκρῶν καταναλωθέντων ἐν αὐτῇ καὶ διὰ χειμῶνος ὄμβρων ἐπιπεσόντων, οὕτως ἐκλιπανθῆναι καὶ γενέσθαι διὰ βάθους περίπλεω τῆς σηπεδόνος ἐνδύσης ὥστε καρπῶν ὑπερβάλλον εἰς ὥρας πλῆθος ἐξενεγκεῖν καὶ μαρτυρῆσαι τῷ Ἀρχιλόχῳ λέγοντι πιαίνεσθαι πρὸς τοῦ τοιούτου τὰς ἀρούρας.
Bijan Omrani, Caesar's Footprints. A Cultural Excursion to Ancient France: Journeys Through Roman Gaul (New York: Pegasus Books, 2017), p. 42:
Even the modern French name of the valley, Pourrières, is said to come from the Latin campi putridi, the 'fields of putrescence'.

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