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Human and Animal Interrelationships from Domestication to Present - Term Paper Example

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The Romans utilized a geometric system and crop rotation to establish farming lands. They maximized land use; however, this resulted into soil depletion. The farmers donated surplus crops to the government…
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Human and Animal Interrelationships from Domestication to Present
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Task: 3. Early Agriculture in Ancient Rome Introduction Agriculture contributed to the establishment of a large Empire in Rome. The Romans utilized a geometric system and crop rotation to establish farming lands. They maximized land use; however, this resulted into soil depletion. The farmers donated surplus crops to the government to comply with the monetary tax. This system enabled the rulers to attain popularity from the public because of the free distribution of goods. This facilitated the feeding of the regions without incurring monetary cost.
Agricultural practices in Rome
The wealthy individuals owned large acres of land with peasants providing of labor. Additionally, the roman farmers used various tools for farming. They used the ard to plough the land because it could break the soil into fine particles. According to Gedacht (9) they ploughed the land in right-angled directions to create an even surface. At times, the soil was heavy because it contained roots and vines. This forced the farmers to use heavy oxen to plough the land. During harvesting, they used sickles and scythes. However, they improved the sickle by moving the lever at a slant to the hilt to ensure minimal strain on the arm. Additionally, they developed an animal driven machine that could remove the crop’s head and insert into a container. During the hot climate, irrigation was vital for favorable crop growth. The farmers constructed dams and reservoirs lined with water-resistant cement to provide the requisite water to enhance production (Gedacht, 12). Irrigation was vital in dealing with the growing population because it assisted in sustaining the food grains output.
These farmers exercised hoeing and weeding in a similar way as the present non-mechanized communities. They had adequate knowledge of growing diverse crops concurrently to minimize weed growth. Additionally, they were also conversant with the benefits of manure. This prompted them to graze their livestock on fallow land because this approach would replenish the land with manure (Frank 10). Additionally, the farmers incorporated the rotary practice in milling grain, a development that resulted to setting up of a water mill. However, the outcome of the diverse milling methods was varied flour grades. Hand milling was also an important practice among the Roman farmers. One hand controlled the mill while the remaining hand fed the machine with grains.
Animal husbandry was prevalent among the Romans. They used donkeys and oxen during work and reared sheep for milk and wool. Apart from provision of food, the farmers reared goats because they provided hair for making ropes. They considered birds such as ducks as gourmet assets. They reared them with adequate care in either aviaries or ponds. They also initiated a system of breeding livestock for improved qualities, a science presently used to improve livestock breeds (Frank 12). The Romans left a positive mark on the knowledge of animal husbandry. They directed their efforts on training plough oxen to walk at the preferred pace when pulling ploughs. Additionally, the staple crops among the Romans included cereals, olives and grapes with cereals providing the main bread for all the citizens in Rome. Moreover, Olive oil and wine was their leading exports.

Conclusion
The roman economy did not develop into anything complex compared to contemporary economies. It was a slave-based economy whose prime concern was to feed the vast population. However, the Romans contributed to the growth and progress of agricultural-based practices in the society.
Works Cited
Frank, Tenney. An Economic History of Rome. New York: Cosimo Classics, 2005. Print.
Gedacht, Daniel. Economy and Industry in Ancient Rome. New York: Power Kids Press, 2004. Print. Read More
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