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Horace’s satires include a variety of foods but make little reference to cheese and milk. This absence is understandable: they are products—and symbols—of the pastoral world. Vergil’s Georgics and Eclogues claim cheese for the country, yet make it a link via commerce to the city. Varro’s De re rustica places cheese on the margins: its proper place now is away from Rome; and the right time for it at Rome was before the city’s foundation. Taken together these three texts show that the presence or absence of cheese at Rome is a matter of place and time, genre and ideology.