Roman Agriculture is something that was not just a necessity but also something that was performed by the elite people as a way of their life. It was Cicero which was considered as the best occupation for the Romans.
The staple crop then was wheat. Bread was an important part of the Roman times meals.
Most of the farms in those times were quite small and were owned by the families. Crop rotation was the technique that was used then. A lot of modern and improved methods of Roman agriculture were used at that time.
Contribution of Animals in Farming
Cows used to provide milk and the oxen used to carry the heavy burden. Cheese producer of those times were the sheep and the goats. Sugar production was quite dependent on the method of beekeeping.
At that time, there were three types of farms- small farms, medium farms and large farms. The farm management was of four types- direct work that was done by the owner and his family, sharecropping, having slaves working in the field and when the farm was given on lease.
Roman Agriculture Farming Facts
Some of the crops that were grown in the Roman land included- mustard, basil, leeks, parsnip, mint, thyme, rue, coriander, artichokes. And these were some crops that were made available from outside; they included saffron, parsley, cabbage, grapes, figs, onions, radish, cucumber, poppy, beets, etc.
The ownership of the land was dominated by the factor of the aristocracy of a person. The more land the person owned, the more important he was considered. So a lot of people used to earn money and invest that money in purchasing land.
Even the soldiers in those days were awarded land as a gratitude for the service that they have provided. The farms were pretty much dependent upon the freemen, citizens and also on the slaves. There were some people who were specifically given this work of farming.
So if a person wanted to acquire a farm, there were three ways of doing so. The first one is to purchase the land from another person. A lot of farmers from the lower class society owned very small lands. The maintenance and the growing of crop on such a little area were very difficult. In order to overcome this disadvantage, they sold their land to the wealthy people.
Another way of acquiring land was in the form of reward. The soldiers of the very high rank were awarded small pieces of land in the form of acknowledgment for their services.
The last was of acquiring land was in terms of inheritance. When a man died, then his son would become the legal owner of the land. This is how the land was acquired.
Roman Farming Tools
More info on- Roman Farm animals