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ANAHITA  March 1998

ANAHITA March 1998

Subject:

Re: The goddess Roma

From:

Rudolf Rydstedt <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 17 Mar 1998 16:54:53 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (38 lines)

goldberg marilyn wrote:

> A student who is investigating the female personifications of states asked
> me why all (Western European in origin) are female.  Off the top of my
> head I said that Marianne for example probably is derived from Roma who is
> probably based on the model of Athena, although the latter is not the
> personification of the state.  At some point the Amazons get mixed into
> this.  I do not know of any bibliography on Roma.  Can anyone make any
> suggestions

The standard explanation for Rhetorica, Philologia etc. being females is that
most abstract nouns in Latin are feminine since some frequent suffixes used
for creating abstract nouns are  (-ia, -itia, -tudo, etc.), at least that is
what I have been told. This suggests two possible influenses on  the gender
of the personifications for  states: (1) the names for the states might be
feminine for purely grammatical reasons; (2) all the  personifications
established for abstract nouns in the allegorical tradition might serve as a
paradigm.

--
Rudolf Rydstedt
Dept. of Swedish, Göteborgs universitet, Sweden
http://svenska.gu.se/~rydstedt

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