Abstract

From at least as early as Varro, Roman scholars and grammarians occupy themselves with cataloguing peculiar instances of grammatical gender. The practice, with little extant precedent in Greek tradition, finds the grammarians consistently placing great importance upon the identification of grammatical gender with biological sex. I attempt to explain this fascination with "sex and gender" by assessing ancient explanations for the fluid gender of nouns, and by considering the commonest practitioners of grammatical gender-bending (in particular Vergil). By dividing the world into discrete sexual categories, Latin vocabulary works to encourage the pervasive heterosexualization of Roman culture.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2575-7199
Print ISSN
2575-7180
Pages
pp. 75-105
Launched on MUSE
2008-07-11
Open Access
No
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