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Vergil's Green ThoughtsPlants, Humans, and the Divine$
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Rebecca Armstrong

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199236688

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199236688.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 September 2021

Numinous Habitats

Numinous Habitats

(p.53) 1 Numinous Habitats
Vergil's Green Thoughts

Rebecca Armstrong

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the gods’ influence—whether as recognizable named divinities or vaguer numinous presences—on woodlands and on plants in cultivated settings. The first part moves through accounts of divinely connected trees and forests in the Eclogues to the evolution and variation of such ideas in the Georgics, with the most extended discussion reserved for the many numinous woods and groves of the Aeneid, both in the underworld and the world above. In the second part, the element of divine connection to agricultural plants in the Eclogues and Aeneid serves as preface to a longer examination of the gods of cultivated plants in the Georgics, especially Ceres and Bacchus. The section ends with discussion of the uses of divine metonymy as another mode of Vergilian illustration of the connections between gods and plants.

Keywords:   numen, forests, tree-felling, underworld, civilization, Ceres, Bacchus, grain, vines, metonymy

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