How can these ideas be linked to the ancient sources? Focusing first of all on women's contribution to arable cultivation and arboriculture, we immediately face the first of many blanks. To the best of my knowledge, we do not have any explicit evidence of ploughing by women in the Greco-Roman world. Only two lines from Hesiod's Works and Days seem to establish a connection between women and ploughing: according to Hesiod, a proper head of a household would need ‘first of all a house, and then a woman and oxen for ploughing – a slave woman, not a wife, to follow the oxen [or: to care for the oxen]’ (405 f.). In the fourth century B.C., however, the second line that specifies the status and the function of the desired woman was apparently not yet part of the received text, since Aristotle could still regard her as a free woman (Pol. 1252a llff). Not until the first century B.C. did Philodemos of Gadara quote and defend the reading that defined Hesiod's woman as a slave labourer. Even so, the wording does not make it clear whether this woman was meant to follow the harnessed oxen, that is, to do the ploughing, or to care for the oxen in the stable.