The marra, an iron weeding hook with a broad head and teeth, was
used by Roman farmers to cut out weeds and clear fields of unwanted growth (see
De Re Rustica
for a discussion of Egyptian farming implements in the Roman period, including
the marra). It is listed among the farm tools about which Pliny the
Elder speaks in Naturalis Historia, where he narrates the
defense of Gaius
Furius Chresimus, a freed slave and small farm owner, who was indited by the
curule aedile Spurius Albinus for casting spells on his wealthy neighbors'
Juvenal mentions the marra in a later satire (Satura 15.167), where he again employs the metaphor of farming implements to reprise the theme of contemporary Rome's evils.