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Palaeamon's Success

The profits from clod-to-cuvee transformations of the landscape could be enormous. For example, around A.D. 50 the freedman, Remmius Palaemon of Vicetia, spent 600,000 sestertii on a farm in the Nomentum region:

"To the latter he gave great attention, keeping shops for the sale of ready-made clothing and cultivating his fields with such care that it is common talk that a vine which he grafted himself yielded three hundred and sixty bunches of grapes." (Suetonius, The Lives of Illustrious Men: On Grammarians, xxiii)

Eight years later he sold his grape crop for 400,000 sestertii while it was still hanging on the vine: a couple of years later again, he sold the entire farm to emperor Nero's tutor, Lucius Seneca, for an incredible 2.4 million sestertii.