J.R.C. Cousland, «‘Her Flesh Was as Grass’: Vita Adam et Evae 10.1», Vol. 81 (2000) 507-510
The Vita Adam et Evae uses an unusual metaphor to describe Eve’s state when she ceases her penitential immersion in the Tigris river: ‘her flesh was as grass from the cold of the water’ (caro eius erat sicut herba). While a number of points of comparison have been adduced to explain the metaphor, including movement and texture, it is more likely to be the colour of Eve’s skin — she is as pale as grass from the cold of the water.
abnormal bodily state. For Sappho and Daphnis the ‘sweet sickness’ of love is the culprit; for Eve in the Vita, it is not unrequited love that has made her as pale ‘as grass’, but hypothermia.