The 1st century AD was an era of splendor and political expansion for the Roman Empire. Military conquests and the discovery of new, far-distant trade routes resulted in a large-scale economic boom. Small vendors as well as offices offering services from architectural design to dancing or rhetorical education characterized Rome's urban economic scene. For one of the oldest arts, however, there existed neither schools nor teachers: agriculture, the backbone of the Roman economy, was a neglected topic. What did those who aspired to become leaders of an agricultural farm need to know, and how could they acquire this knowledge? How should they train their staff? Were there specific qualities or competencies agricultural leaders should possess? How could they be identified and taught?