Marcus Terentius Varro was born in Reate (now Rieti) near Rome in 116 BC. He fought on the side of Pompey against Julius Caesar during the civil war. After the war Varro was pardoned by Caesar who commissioned him to set up a large public library in Rome. Varro was a writer as well as a collector of books. He wrote about a wide range of subjects including agriculture, history, politics, science, music, religion, medicine and architecture. Varro died in 27 BC.
Precautions must be taken in the neighbourhood of swamps... because there are certain very small creatures which cannot be seen by the eyes, which float in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose and there cause serious diseases.