Crescentius, Peter

, or, as he called himself, de Crescentiis, was born at Bologna about 1233, and after studying philosophy, medicine, and natural history, engaged in a course of law, but did not take his doctor’s degree; by which means, although he might plead causes, he was not at liberty to give lectures, a privilege which belonged only to doctors. For thirty years he was employed as assessor, or judge to the civil and military governors of various cities in Italy, an office of which he discharged the duties with impartiality, and witb the happiest effect in preserving peace in those places. In the mean time having contracted a taste for agriculture, wherever he removed, he collected such observations as might improve his knowledge of that branch, and on his return to Bologna, which he had left during the political dissentions there, he wrote in 1304 a treatise on agriculture, with the title of “Ruralia Commoda,” dedicated to Charles II. king of Naples. The first edition appeared in 147 1 at Augsburgh, fol. under the title of “Petri de Crescentiis rurahum commodorum, libri duodecim.” It was translated into Italian, Florence, 1478, fol. but the two best editions are that of Cosmo Giunta, ] 605, and that of Naples, 1724, 2,vols. 8vo. It is a book of considerable value, and gives a very correct display of the modes of agriculture in Italy at that time, which are said to approximate nearer to the modern than could have been expected. Crescentius died in 1320, nearly eighty-seven years old. 2


Ibid, Gingueji6 Hist, Lit. d’ltalie. —Saxii Onomast,