Marcus Terentius Varro

Roman scholar, polymath and author (116–27 BC)

Marcus Terentius Varro Reatinus (116 – 27 BC) was a Roman writer. He wrote many books, but only one work survives completely - Three books on Agriculture. In this work, he describes farming in Roman times.

Marcus Terentius Varro

Scholars say this book has a little microbiology and epidemiology. Varro warned his contemporaries to stay away from swamps and marshes:

...there are bred certain minute creatures which cannot be seen by the eyes, but which float in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose and cause serious diseases.[1][2][3]


  1. Varro, Marcus Terentius (2014) [1934]. De Re Rustica. Loeb Classical Library. I.12.2 – via Bill Thayer's Website.
  2. Thompson, Sue (March 2014). "From Ground to Tap" (PDF). The Mole: 3 (sidebar). Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  3. Hempelmann, Ernst; Krafts, Kristine (October 2013). "Bad Air, Amulets and Mosquitoes: 2,000 Years of Changing Perspectives on Malaria". Malaria Journal. 12: 232. doi:10.1186/1475-2875-12-232. ISSN 1475-2875. PMC 3723432. PMID 23835014.