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.
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