No bites yet on nature in the Aeneid. But I did just receive notice of a new Georgics website:

"Vergil's Garden" by Holt Parker
"Vergil's Garden is an illustrated guide to the plants in Vergil's Georgics. I plan to expand the site later to include the Eclogues and Aeneid."

"My students and I are triply removed from Vergil's world. First, we are almost all city kids. We barely know a oak from an elm. Second, we're Americans. Even if we have some vague mental picture of a pine tree, we're probably thinking of an American Christmas tree, a scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) or the like, and not what Vergil saw: pinus the huge, spreading Italian Umbrella Pine (Pinus pinea). Third, we're separated by time. We read rosa, but we think huge hybridized tea roses or long-stemmed Valentine roses the color of coagulated blood, rather than the simpler flower of Vergil's day.

"This means that when we're reading Vergil, we look up ilex and we find "holmoak." All we've done is translate one word we don't know into another we don't know. The purpose of Vergil's Garden is to give us at least some idea for what Vergil saw and smelled and tasted and heard.

"Ideally, of course, the only thing to do is for me and students to pack our copies of Vergil and go to Italy. We'd spend the mornings going to farms, parks, forests, and especially wineries, and the afternoons (post nap) reading Latin together. Donations are gladly accepted."

Dr. David Wilson-Okamura
English Department          Virgil reception, discussion, documents, &c
East Carolina University    Sparsa et neglecta coegi. -- Claude Fauchet
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