By Anthony Corbeill
From the instant a baby in old Rome started to communicate Latin, the encircling international turned populated with items owning grammatical gender—masculine eyes (oculi), female bushes (arbores), neuter our bodies (corpora). Sexing the World surveys the various ways that grammatical gender enabled Latin audio system to arrange elements in their society into sexual different types, and the way this id of grammatical gender with organic intercourse affected Roman perceptions of Latin poetry, divine strength, and the human hermaphrodite.
Beginning with the traditional grammarians, Anthony Corbeill examines how those students used the gender of nouns to spot the intercourse of the thing being signified, whether that item was once animate or inanimate. This proficient the Roman poets who, for a time, replaced at whim the grammatical gender for phrases as likely useless as "dust" (pulvis) or "tree bark" (cortex). Corbeill then applies the assumption of fluid grammatical gender to the elemental tenets of Roman faith and kingdom politics. He appears to be like at how the ancients tended to build Rome's earliest divinities as comparable female and male pairs, an inclination that waned in later sessions. the same swap characterised the dual-sexed hermaphrodite, whose sacred and political importance declined because the republican executive grew to become an autocracy. all through, Corbeill indicates that the fluid barriers of intercourse and gender grew to become more and more mounted into opposing and particular categories.
Sexing the World contributes to our knowing of the facility of language to form human perception.
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Additional resources for Sexing the World: Grammatical Gender and Biological Sex in Ancient Rome
Sexing the World: Grammatical Gender and Biological Sex in Ancient Rome by Anthony Corbeill