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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: 23 September 2021

Wild Plants

Wild Plants

Chapter:
(p.233) 4 Wild Plants
Source:
Vergil's Green Thoughts
Author(s):

Rebecca Armstrong

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199236688.003.0004

The final chapter assesses Vergil’s portraits of wild plants, and his engagement with the problems of defining the wild. His flowers are revealed as more than pretty ornaments; rather, they offer complex reflections on the space between wildness and cultivation, and on the human tendency to assign moral worth to some plants rather than others. On similar lines, Vergil’s weeds emerge as particularly fascinating types of plant that can represent the harshest kinds of opposition between man and nature yet also stand for a nostalgic vision of lost innocence. The importance of Theophrastus’ influence on Vergil is felt throughout the chapter, even while other (often poetic) associations come to prominence in a variety of ways.

Keywords:   wild, flowers, bees, weeds, brambles, degeneration, spontaneous growth, Theophrastus

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