At Eleusis also, Triptolemus, the son of Celeus, who was said to have invented the plough and to have been sent by Demeter round the world to diffuse the knowledge of agriculture, had a temple and threshing-floor.
Tearing up the soil with the plough is regarded as an invasion of the domain of the earth-mother, punished by the all-devouring hunger for wealth, that increases with increasing produce.
For the scribe, as for the man at the plough-tail, the Law was the rule of life.
Plough the fallow in early spring, and plough frequently - twice in winter, twice in summer unless your land is poor, when a light ploughing in September will do.
The plough consists of several parts made of seasoned wood.
The following are typical passages: " April is a good season for fallowing, if the earth breaks up behind the plough; for second fallowing after St John's Day when the dust rises behind the plough; for seed-ploughing when the earth is well settled and not too cracked; however, the busy man cannot be always waiting on the seasons."
" At sowing do not plough large furrows, but little and well laid together, that the seed may fall evenly."
The Book of Husbandry begins with a description of the plough and other implements, after which about a third part of it is occupied with the several operations as they succeed one another throughout the year.
" In some places," he says, " a horse plough is better," and in others an oxen plough, to which, upon the whole, he gives the preference.
By feeding the sheep, the land is dunged as if it had been folded; and those turnips, though few or none be carried off for human use, are a very excellent improvement, nay, some reckon it so, though they only plough the turnips in without feeding."
Small's swing plough and Andrew Meikle's threshing-machine, although invented some years before this, were now perfected and brought into general use, to the great furtherance of agriculture.
Improvements in the plough, harrow and roller were introduced, adapting those implements to different soils and purposes.
The steam-engine first took the place of horses as a threshing power in 1803, but it was not until after 1850 that it was applied to the plough and cultivator.
The decrease in the demand for labour is attributable chiefly to the reduction of the cultivated area and the laying down to pasture of land once under the plough, and to the increasing use of agricultural machinery.
The hillsides have gradually to be terraced with the plough, upon almost an exact level.
In the moist bottom-lands along the rivers it is the custom to throw the soil up in high beds with the plough, and then to cultivate them deep. This is the more common method of drainage, but it is expensive, as it has to be renewed every few years.
Their implements are very primitive, consisting of a plough fashioned from a fork of a tree, and a rude harrow.
Observe his instructions to Little John "Loke ye do no housbonde harme That tylleth with his plough; No more ye shall no good yeman That walketh by grene wode shawe; Ne no knyght ne no squyer That wolde be a good felawe: These bysshoppes and thyse archebysshoppes Ye shall them bete and bynde; The hye sheryfe of Notynghame Hym holde in your mynde."
As these waste places have been gradually brought under the plough, in England and Scotland particularly, the haunts and means of subsistence of the linnet have been curtailed, and hence its numbers have undergone a very visible diminution throughout Great Britain.
Aeetes required of Jason that he should first yoke to a plough his bulls, given him by Hephaestus, which snorted fire and had hoofs of brass, and with them plough the field of Ares.
Athena was said to have invented the plough, and to have taught men to tame horses and yoke oxen.
On his farm Smith carried out his experiments in deep and thorough draining, and also invented a reaping machine, the subsoil plough and numerous other valuable appliances.
On some of the strongest land it was formerly the practice to add to and plough into it burnt clay, with the object of making the land work more easily.
The turf is taken off either with the breast plough - a paring tool pushed forward from the breast or thighs by the workman - or with specially constructed paring ploughs or shims. The depth of the sod removed should not be too thick or burning is difficult and too much humus is destroyed unnecessarily, nor should it be too thin or the roots of the herbage are not effectually destroyed.
This operation, performed in the garden by means of the spade, is carried on in the field on a larger scale by the plough,' which breaks the soil and by inverting the furrow-slice, exposes fresh surfaces to the disintegrating influence of air, rain and frost.
The ultimate origin of "plough" is unknown.
All these types of plough are virtually hoes pulled through the ground, breaking but not inverting the soil.
Small, of Berwickshire, brought out a plough in which beam and handle were of wrought iron, the mould-board of cast iron.
The working parts of the plough are the coulter, the share, and the breast or mould-board.
The hake moves laterally on a quadrant and it is thus possible to give the plough a tendency to left or right by moving the hake in the reverse direction.
In the wheeled plough some of the weight and downward pull due to its action on the ground is taken by the wheels; the sliding friction is thus to some extent converted into a rolling friction, and the draught is correspondingly diminished.
By the share and then inverted by the curve of the breast as the plough moves forward.
Subsequently the digging plough came into vogue; the share being wider, a wider furrow is cut, while the slice is inverted by a short concave mould-board with a sharp turn which at the same time breaks up and pulverizes the soil after the fashion of a spade.
Certain important variations of the ordinary plough demand consideration.
A third type is made on the "balance" principle, two plough beams with mould-boards being placed at right angles to one another, so that while the right-hand plough is at work the left-hand is elevated above the ground.
The weight of these implements necessitates some provision for turning them at the headlands, and this is supplied either by a bowl wheel, enabling the plough to be turned on one side, or by a pair of wheels cranked so that they can be raised by a lever when the plough is working.
Plough was known as early as the 17th century, but, till the introduction of the latter device by Ransome in 1873, cannot be said to have been in successful use.
The "sulky" or riding plough is little known in the United Kingdom, but on the larger arable tracts of other countries where quick work is essential and the character of the surface permits, it is in general use.
In this form of plough the frame is mounted on three wheels, one of which runs on the land, and the other two in the furrow.
The furrow wheels are placed on inclined axles, the plough beam being carried on swing links, operated by a hand lever when it is necessary to raise the plough out of the furrow.
In the disk plough, which is built both as a riding and a walking plough, the essential feature is the substitution of a concavo convex disk, pivoted on the plough beam, for the mould-board and share of the ordinary plough.