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Sexing the World – Grammatical Gender and Biological Sex in Ancient Rome - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Sexing the World: Grammatical Gender and Biological Sex in Ancient Rome

Anthony Corbeill


From the moment a child in ancient Rome began to speak Latin, the surrounding world became populated with objects possessing grammatical gender—masculine eyes (oculi), feminine trees (arbores), neuter bodies (corpora). This book surveys the many ways in which grammatical gender enabled Latin speakers to organize aspects of their society into sexual categories, and how this identification of grammatical gender with biological sex affected Roman perceptions of Latin poetry, divine power, and human hermaphrodites. Beginning with the ancient grammarians, the book examines how these scholars used t ... More

Keywords: grammatical gender, Latin speakers, biological sex, hermaphrodites, Latin poetry, divine power, nouns, ancient Rome, Roman religion, state politics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780691163222
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691163222.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anthony Corbeill, author
University of Kansas