The Symbolic Value of Grafting in Ancient Rome

Lowe, Dunstan (2010) The Symbolic Value of Grafting in Ancient Rome. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, 140 (1). pp. 461-488. ISSN 0065-9711. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Some scholars have read Virgil’s grafted tree (G. 2.78–82) as a sinister image, symptomatic of man’s perversion of nature. However, when it is placed within the long tradition of Roman accounts of grafting (in both prose and verse), it seems to reinforce a consistently positive view of the technique, its results, and its possibilities. Virgil’s treatment does represent a significant change from Republican to Imperial literature, whereby grafting went from mundane reality to utopian fantasy. This is reflected in responses to Virgil from Ovid, Columella, Calpurnius, Pliny the Elder, and Palladius (with Republican context from Cato, Varro, and Lucretius), and even in the postclassical transformation of Virgil’s biography into a magical folktale.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Classical and Archaeological Studies
Depositing User: Dunstan Lowe
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2012 14:15
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2013 11:54
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/30966 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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