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Des arbres au féminin : la nymphe, les fruits, et le grammairien

Abstract : Antoine Meillet attributed to an archaic belief in the animated nature of plants the fact that the Latin names of trees were grammatically feminine. Was this hypothesis grounded on ancient authorities? For the Latin grammarian Varro, who did not consider trees as animated beings, the grammatical gender of their names was arbitrary. On the contrary, for the poet Ovid, whose Greco-Roman erudition was a source of creation, the links between women and trees in the archaic cults of nymphs formed a traditionnal association from which he designed several metamorphoses of women in trees. But the poem does not figure trees as essentially feminine beings: young boys and old men can also change into trees. In fact, all these characters have the common caracteristic of refusing sexuality or being deprived of it.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 12, 2019 - 10:26:17 AM
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Marine Bretin-Chabrol. Des arbres au féminin : la nymphe, les fruits, et le grammairien. Mètis - Anthropologie des mondes grecs anciens, Daedalus/EHESS, 2012, N.S.10, pp.309-329. ⟨10.4000/books.editionsehess.2778⟩. ⟨halshs-02097610⟩



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