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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

Tame Plants

Tame Plants

(p.173) 3 Tame Plants
Vergil's Green Thoughts

Rebecca Armstrong

Oxford University Press

With this chapter, the focus of the book moves from the the numinous and divine connections enjoyed by Vergil’s plants to explore the more pragmatic aspects of human relationships with cultivated and semi-cultivated plants. After an opening definition (and acknowledgement of the difficulty of definition) of ‘tame plants’, the chapter then falls into two parts. The first addresses ways in which Vergil suggests that it is possible for humans and plants to exist in a state of harmony and even mutual benefit. In the second part, by contrast, the poet’s consciousness of the opposite state is highlighted, where humans and plants are shown to be at odds, at times even at war.

Keywords:   tame, cultivation, grain, trees, vines, grafting, military metaphors, Theophrastus

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