The Meadow of Senex Caecilius

The meadow lies just beyond this stand of trees, but the sheep escape the heat here when the weather is quite warm. If they wander away, this is where we find them more often than not.

Lambing season is my favorite time of year to visit the farm. The newborn lambs are so energetic and frolicsome that it does my heart good just to watch them.

Here is some additional information about sheep, goats, and textile production.

  • Sheep from Miletus in Asia Minor were imported into Italy for their reputedly fine wool. Hides were used to make writing materials like vellum and parchment.
  • Wool was usually sheared in early summer with iron shears; impurities were removed by carding using a flat iron comb with long teeth.
  • Yarn was spun by hand using a spindle and distaff. The finished thread was wound onto the spindle until it was woven into cloth.
  • Cloth was woven on a vertical loom with the warp threads being weighted with stones or with baked clay loomweights.
  • Goats were less widespread than sheep and less valuable, but provided similar products: milk and cheese, hair for ropes and felt, and skins for parchment.

    Some of the preceding information comes from Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome, written by Lesley Adkins and Roy A. Adkins and published in1994 by The Oxford University Press (New York).

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