Classical texts

Texts, in original languages or in translation, with possible relevance to Roman Purbeck Stone studies. JP takes no responsibility for the works cited. Links marked (bib) take you only to my bibliography..

Specific works

Apicius De re coquinaria (c. AD 400): Refers to mortaria about 50 times.
Text on line from `Catiline'
Mary Ella Milham's edition (1969) on line: 1. Augsburg; 2. Packard Hum. Inst.
Wikipedia on Apicius
(bib) Parallel Latin-English texts: Flower and Rosenbaum (1958); Grocock and Grainger (2006)

M. Porcius Cato the elder (Censor) De agricultura
Text at The Latin Library
Parallel Latin-English text (Thayer).
Recipes requiring substantial amounts of dough to be handled in a mortar

A. Cornelius Celsus De medicina
(bib) Loeb ed. by W. G. Spencer, 1938
Spencer's text and trans. on line by Bill Thayer
One mention of mortarium at book 5.24.2

L. Iunius Moderatus Columella De re rustica
(bib) Loeb ed. books 1-4 by H. B. Ash, 1941
(bib) Loeb ed. books 5-12 by Forster and Heffner, 1954
Ash's ed (not trans.) at Perseus and Forster and Heffner's likewise
The same (incomplete) by Bill Thayer
Text at The Latin Library
Book 12 (de vilica) for mortars, esp. 12.57 for tipping up a mortar in making mustard, 12.59 for making a moretum

D. Iunius Iuvenalis Saturae
(bib) Ed. A. E. Housman, rev. ed. CUP 1931
(bib) Translation by Peter Green, 1982
G. G. Ramsay's Latin text at Perseus
Satire 7, 170: et quae iam veteres sanant mortaria caecos (mortaria = medicamenta).

T. Maccius Plautus Aulularia
One reference to mortars (as a thing that neighbours want to borrow) l. 94-97
(bib) Loeb edition by W. de Melo, 2011
(bib) Translation by E. F. Watling, 1965
F. Leo's edition, 1895, at Perseus
Text and trans. at VRoma ("Longman" edition?)

C. Plinius Secundus the elder Historia naturalis (Thayer); especially book XXXVI, on stone

Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, tr. John Bostock and H. T. Riley (1855)

M. Vitruvius Pollio De architectura (Thayer) Use of mortar (vessel) in making ink, 7.10.3; mortar (stuff that sets) 5.12.3, 8.6.4

Encyclopedia entry about Roman mortars (J. Yates in W. Smith ed. Bill Thayer)

M. Terentivs Varro Rerum rusticarum de agri cultura (The Latin Library)
De re rustica, parallel text (Thayer)
Nothing about mortars

Other resources

Index to Thayer's Lacus Curtius. If you don't find it here, use a search engine; I recommend Startpage (formerly Ixquick)

The Latin Library, front page

Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum (

Packard Humanities Institute, Latin texts on line index to many sites with texts Coll. of St Benedict & St John, index to many Latin resources inc. dictionaries

Woodhouse's English--Attic Greek dictionary, 1910 (Chicago)

Lewis and Short's Latin--English dictionary: directly or indirectly

William Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities and Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
Alternatively available through Univ. of Michigan/

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