College Honors Program

Title

Transforming Trees, Transcending Binaries: Gender in Augustan Poetry

Date of Creation

5-1-2022

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Aaron Seider

Abstract

Humans have been inextricably linked to nature since before the rule of Emperor Augustus in Ancient Rome. Nature feeds humans, it gives people the tools to build a society. Because of this relationship, it is no surprise that authors, both ancient and modern, incorporate various themes of the natural world into their works. Additionally, nature appears linked to human conceptions of gender, as seen in literature and real-world experience. According to the United Nations, one goal to accomplish in order to achieve sustainable development is gender equality in all countries. Gender and nature work together: when inequality exists, environmental degradation ensues. The period of Augustan poets provides an important backdrop for this discourse, as these authors communicated to one another via intertexts in their poetry, and their thoughts might inform opinions on this topic today. By closely reading passages in the original Latin and comparing the ways in which these authors use themes of nature to form claims on gender, this thesis concludes that poets in Ancient Rome thought that gender was a social construct.

Comments

Reader: Daniel Libatique

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