Aristotle's History of animals. In ten books online

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thin, tiiey are then adapted for conception. In order thai
thej may be able to conceive, such women must prepare the ^
uterus, and the contrarj that thej may not conceiTe; for
if the labia are smooth thej do not conceive : so that some
women, in order that the semen may fall outnde the uterus,
anoint themsdyes with oil of cedar, or with ceruse, or oil
^nixed with frankincense.

• 2. If it remain seven days, it is evident that conception
;has taken place, for in this period what are called the out«
pourings take place. The purification takes place in many
women after conception. Thirty days afterwards in the
case of conceiving a female child, and torij in the case of
a male. After parturition, also, the purification lasts a simi-
lar number of days, though it is not exactly the same in alL
' 8. In the same number of days after conception the dis- r

charge no longer takes its usual course, but is turned towards |

the mammflB, in which the milk begins to make its appearance. »

•At first the milk appears very small, and like a web in the |

mamma. After conception, the first sensation generally \

takes place in the iliac region, which immediateljr appeuv
•more mil in some persona ^ This is more conspicuous in
islight persons. If the child is a male,^ movement is usually
felt on the right side of the grcnn, in about forty days ; if a
female, the movement occurs on the left si<w, in about
^ninety days. TVe must not suppose, however, that an accu-
rate judgment can be formed in this wav, for it often happens
Ihat the movement is felt on the rieht side when a female
child, and on the left when a male child is conceived. All
^these, and such like thinn, vary in a greater or lais decree.
'. 4. About this period, Jso, the fbstiis becomes divided ; it
previously existed as an undivided mass of iesE ~^ it ne-
rishes within seven days^ it is called an effluxion ; if^in
forty da^ an abortion. The foetus often peririies vnthin
this period. Jf the* male foetus is excluded vrithin forty
days, and is put out into any other fluid, it becomes dis-
solved, and disappears. Ifplaoed in cold water, it becomes,
as it were, surrounded with a membrane. Whiea this in
.^aken o% the foetus appears about as large aa a large


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ant. Its parts are Tisible, both ihoie of generation, and aU
the rest ; and the ejes are yeij larjgie, as in other animals.
If the female fostns perishes within the three months, it
geiMrallj appears without dirisions. If it survives to the
fourth month, the parts appear formed.

5. The whole completion of the paits is more slow in the
female than in the male, and parturition is more frequently
delayed to the tenth month. After birth, females attain to
youth, and puberty, and old age, more rapidly than males,'
and those that have borne many children more rapidly than
others, as it was observed before.

Chaptxb IV.

1. Whxh eoncention has tsken place, the uterus usually
ilngli s i mm sfi i B liil j fu r s n ^e ii i iioiiniH In the eighth month it
opens, and the foetus, if properly developed, begins to descend
in the eighth month. If the foetus is not properly deve-
loped, but checked in the eighth month in parturition,
women who bear in the eighth month do not exclude it, nor
does the foetus advance downwards in the eighth month,
and the uterus does not ooen itself. It is a sign that it is
not properly developed, wh en it is, bom before th e circum-
stances I have describe d tak^ ptace .

2. After conception^^ ^nsuia pr feroug hQ ut their whole
Jbodr . and their sight becomes (iim,1ui(l th^ are aiuicted^
with headache. In some, these svmptoms occur very soon,
as earljr as the tenth day ; in othevs they are delayed, in^

Sroportion as they have an abundance or deficiency of'^superr '
nous matter in weir bodies. Nausea and vomiting c^en'
seise upon them, and on those especially in whom the puri*^
flcations become stagnant, and do not yet fly to the mamma. !
Some wom en suffer at the commencem ent of pregnancy, and-,
others in the more advanced stages, when the foetus be-/'
gins to grow. Betention of urine also frequently attack*
tbematJaat ^

8. Those that an pregnant with a male foetus, usually^
pass through t he time more easily, and retain a better''
colour throughout, if a iemale is conceived, the contrary is ^
the case; for they are generally more discoloured, and^

suihnDore during the neriod of gestation. In many
tiie 1^ swidly anda swdlen condition of the flesh is also ooiA*


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B. Tn.] TH£ HI8T0BT Off AWIlCAXf 185

mon.. In ■ome women, howerer, the condition it contnuy.
Pregnant women are apt to hare all aorta of fandea, which
change Tcrj rapidly. Some persona call thia longing.
These fancies are strongest when a female ia conceiTedy and
there ia but little pleasure in their gratification. In a feiw
women the condition of the bodj is better dnring preg-
nancj ; ther saffer most when the hair of the foBtns begins
to grow, fregnant wome n 1^ ^\(^ haj'' wt>iiOi grows on
the parts that are hairj at birth, while it becomea more
thicK upon the parts on which it appears subsequent to

4. A male fnwfaiw nffujly mft^^ y^^^ freelj in the womb
than a female, and the pnrtiiir*^^^ *t nnt Mt .^^"g If a fe>
male, the parturition is slower. The pain in the birth of
female children ia continuoua, and mil ; in the birth of
males it is sharp, and far more acTere. Thoae who, before
parturition, haye sexual intercourse, suffer less in the pro-
cess. Sometimes women seem to suff er, not from anj ])ain
of their own, but i^m f\xa fuming nf|]|g ||^ ^f ^^<* child ;
a nd this appears to be the commencem ^"*'- f^ *^ pain.
Other animals have a singre exact "period for parturition,
for one time is appointed for them alt The human subject
alone varies in this particular, for the period of ^tation ia
aeren, eighty or nine months, or ten at the outside, though
some have even advaiiced as far aa the eleventh month.

5. If anj are bom before the seventh month, they never
Uze^ Those of seven mgnthii jU'e.tbg fi^t tb^^ ^^ AMmU^t^^
but these are usually weakly, wherefore, also, they wrap
them in wool. Many of these infants have the paasagea,
as the eara and nostrils, imperforate. As they grow, how*
ever, they aasume a proper form, and many of them survive.
In Ilgypt, and aome other placea, where the women suffer
little pain in parturition, and where they bear manv diil*
dren with eaae, those even at the end of eieht montha are
capable of living, even although they should be monstrous ;
but in such placea children bom in the eiriitb nonth may
aurvive and oe brought up. In Greece, bowever, fisw of
them survive, and most of toem perish ; and people suspect
that if any of them aurvive, the exact period of coneepfeioii
B^uat have been mistaken bjr the mother.

(ft. Women auffer most mthe fourth and eighth mbntti


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186 Tni nisTOBT or AiriiriLs. [b. m*

and if the foetuB dies in the fourth or eichth month, ther
usuallj die alao; so tha t not only childienooniinthe eiehtn
month often'^en ah, but their mothers also perish with them.
In the same waj,th6 ^HM 6f cAn(^tl6ii probably is mistaken
hj those who have been piyg nant more than eleven months;
jlor In these dues the l>eginning of the conception escapee
the notice of females, m frequently after the uterus Las
been d istjBnded w ith flatulencej women have copulated and
o^o^^eil, &AA luypMsed that the former cbncfitioii in which
tfi^ oEsenred the usuaT symtn^s, was the commencement
of gestation, ^ - -^^^^

^^ Chaptsb V.

1. Thb human subject also differs from other animals, a9
to the number of the perfect offspring produced^j at a birth.
For the human subject differs botn from animals which
produce but one, and those which produce many; for,
generally speaking, and, in most cases, women have but
one child at a time, though cases of twins occur frequently*
and in many places, as in Egypt, three or four at a
birth have been known in some tmrticular places, as I
hare obserred before. Five at a birtn are the most that hare
been produced. This has been observed to take place in
many cases, but in one case onlr hare twenty been pro*
duced at four births, for five were bom each time, and many
of them were reared. In other animals, if the twins are
male and female, there is no more difficulty in rearing and
preserving them, than if they were both of the same sex.
In the human subject there are few cases of twins surviving^
when one was male and the other female. ^

2. The human female and the mare copulate after con^
eei^ioajm)relthan any other creatures, for all other females*
#hen they have conceived, fly from the males, except those
wluch, like the hare, become pregnant a second time during
gestation. But the mare, having once conceived, does not
mm a second foetus, but generally produces a single foaL
In the human subject it happens sometimes, though rarely^
Tlioee which are conceived a long while afterwards never
come to perfection, bnt^ from the_pain which they ctuM^
destroy toe original ftotue; and a dnerhas occurred in
wUeb twelve impeifect embiyos have been produced u


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one time. If tbe teoond conception take plice loon after
the first, thej bear and produce the foetus, as if it were %
twin. This, they saj, was tUb case with Iphicles and Her*

8. The possibility of the case is manifest, for an adulteress
has been known to produce one child like her husband, and
another like her paramour; and a case has occurred of a
woman having conceived twins, and thou conceived a third
child upon them ; and when the proper time came, the
twins were bom perfect, the other was only a foetus of five
months old, which died immediately : and in another case,
a woman produced, first of all, a footus of seven months old,
and then twins, perfectly developed ; the former perished,
but the latter survived. And some women have conceived
at the same time as they miscarried, and have ejected
one foetus while they bore the other. In most females,
who have cohabited after the eighth month after conception,
iiie child has been bom filled with a shining mucous-like
substance, and has often appeared full of the food which has
been eaten by the mother ; and if she has fed upon food
more than usually salt, the child has been bom without nails.

] Chaptxb VI. I

1. Thb milk that is produced before the seventh month is
Useless; but as soon as the child is alive the milk be*
comes good. At first it is salt^ like that of sheep. Most
women during nregnancy are affected bv wine, and if
ibey drink it the^ oecome J£n(I'aod feeble. The begin-
liing and the endmg of the reproductive power in both
sexes is marked in the male by th e emission of the
semen, in the female by the catamenuL ^ey are noXhow-
aveiy4ertne'~ when these firsr^ciur, nor while they are
Btill small and weak. The period of the commencement
»t these siims has been mentioned. In wotnen tbe cata*
^enia usuuly cease at forfy; but if they pass over this age,
•they go on to fifty ; and some have even prodaced^cbikirsn
.at thatjMociod^^but none laterThan this period,
i li.~~^e reproductive function in men usually eontinnea
active till thev are sixty years old ; if they pass oejond this
Mriod, till tney are seventy ; and some men have bad chil-
*«ieni^ seventy years old. It ficequently happens that^whstt


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188 THX HI8T0BT OF AjmiALB. [B. TIT.

auuriases are unfraitful, both men ind women become preg-
nant, if the marriage is diaaoWed and they marry again. The
same thine takes pUce respecting the birth of male and
female children, ror sometimes only children of one sex
are produced by a marriage ; and if this is dissolved, and the
parents marry a^n, children of the other sex are produced.
These things auo vary with the a^ of the parents ; for
■ome when young have female children, and!^ when older
males, though the contrary sometimes takes place.

8. The same is Jhe case with the whole of the regroductire
function. For some persons hare no children when' they
arrtoung, but bare them afterwards ; others hare children
at mvt, but none afterwards ; and there are some women
who conceive with difficulty, but when they have conceived
bear children ; others conceive easily, but the foBtus never
comes to maturity. There are also both men and women
who only produce children of one sex, as the story ^^oes of
If ercules, who had but one daughter in seventy-two children.
Those who have been barren, and either after great care, or
from any other cause, at last conceive, more frequently
bear a daughter than a son. It often happens also that men
who have engendered become impotent, and subsequently
return to their former condition.

4. Maimed parents produce maipied children ; and ffjjnHi^
lame and blind parents pnddbetSine and blind children \ and,
oil:tEewhole, cnildren are often bom inth anyiliihg contrary
to nature, or any mark which their parents may have, such aa
tumours and wounds. Such marks have often been handed
down for three generations ; as if a person had a mark on
their arm which was not seen in the son, but the grandson,
exhibited a dark confused spot on the same pla^. The
circumstances, however, are rare; and sound children are
generally produced from lame parents ; nor is there any com*
plete certainty in these matters ; and children resemble
their parents or their grandparents, and sometimes they^
Tesemble neither. This is handed down for many gene?
rations ; as in Sicily, a woman cohabited with an Etliiopian,
her daughter was not black, but her daughter's child was so.

6. Tat the most part the eirls reeembfo their mother, and
the boya their father; thoueh the contrary is often the case^
and md females resemble l^ir father, and tiie malea their


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mother, and the different jmrts of the body resemble either

EtB. Twins ha?e sometimes no resemblance to each other,
hej are generally much alike ; and one woman edui-
with a man, and conceired seven days after partori-
tion, when she bore a child as like her former as if they had
been twins. Some women, as well as other creatures, pro-
duce younff resembling themselves, others bear those which
resemble the male, as the horse called Dicea in Pharsalia.


1. Thb seminal fluid in its emission is preceded by wind.
The manner of its emission exhibits this ; for nothing is
expelled to a great distance without pneumatic force. If the
seminal fluid is taken up by the uterus and retained there,
it becomes inclosed in a membrane. For if it is expelled
before it becomes articulated, it appears like an ovum inclosed
in a membrane, but without any shell, and the membrane is
full of veins. All animals, whether furnished with fins, feet,
or wings, whether viviparous or oviparous, are produced in
the same manner, except that the umbilicus in viviparous
animals is turned towu^s the uterus, and in others to the
ovum ; and in some cases both ways, as in a certain kind offish.
Some of them are surrounded by a membrane^, others by a
chorion. First of all, the foetus is contained within the last
envelope. Then there is another membrane over this, which
is in part united to the matrix and is partly separate, and
contains water. Between these is a watery or sanguineous
fluid, which in women is called prophorus.

2. All animals that have a navel increase by the navd ;
and in those which have acetabula the navel is united to the
acetabulum ; and in those which have a smooth uterus the
navel is united to the uterus upon a vein. The position of all
quadrupeds in the uterus is stretched out; that of fishes is on
toe side ; bineds, as birds, are folded together. The human
foetus lies folded up with its nose between its knees and its
eyes upon them, and its ears turned outwards. Allanimalsars
alike m having the head placed upwards at first As ther
grow, the head turns round, and the birth of all animals is
naturally with the head forwards; for even in those that are
folded together the presentation of the feet is nnnatund.
39ie embryo of quadrupeds contains exerementitioiis mMtig


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190 THB HI8T0BT Off llOltALS. [B. TII.

at soon as it is matured, both fluid and solid. The latter is
contained in the extreme parts of the intestine, the former
in the bkdder.

3. If animals hare acetabula in the uterus, these aoeta*
bula always become smaller as the foetus ^ws, and at
last disappear. The umbilical cord is a corenng for yeinsy
of whicQ the origin is in the uterus. In those crea»
tures which have acetabula it originates in them ; in those
that have not acetabula it originates in the vein. In the
larger animals, such as the foetus of oxen, there are four
reins ; in smaller animals, two ; in reiy smdl animals^ as in
birds, there is but one. Two Tcins reach the foDtus through
the liver, from that part called the gates of the liver, towards
the great vein ; and two go to the aorta, where it is divided
into two parts ; and there are membranes round each pair
of veins, and the umbilical cord surrounds these membranes
like a covering. As the foetus increases, these veins diminish.
The embrjo, as it grows, advances into the viscera, where
its movements are manifest. Sometimes it remains rolled
up near the pudendum.

Chapteb YIII^

1. Webv the pains of parturition come on, thev extend to
manj and various parts of the body, but especially to one or
other of the thighs. Those who 'suffer most in the bowels are
delivered most rapidhr ; those who suffer much in the loins
are delivered with ^fficultj; those whose pain lies in the
Bubumbilical re^on, more quickly. If the child is a male,
a liquid, serum^e discharge, of a pale yellow colour, pre-
cedes ; if a female, this diMharge is sanguineous, but still
fluid. Some women have neither during the period of par-

2. In other animals narturition is not painful, and it is
evident that they suner but moderately in the pains of
labour. In women the psins of parturition are more violent,
especially in those that are inactive or that are not well made
in their sides, and are unable to hold their breatlu They
also suffer more in parturition, if they breathe in the meat-
time, compelled by the necessity of respiration. At first a
fluid escapes when the fostos comes to the birth| and the mem;


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3. Til.] THI HI8T0BJ OF jiimf AX8. 101

liranea are ruptured; afler thiB, the embryo is excluded, tbe
Uterus being turned, and the uterus being turned inside-out.

Chaptbii IX.

1. Ths diTision of tlie urobilicsl cord often requires the care*
ful attention of the midwife ; for bj skilfulness she may not
only assist in difficult labours, but should attend carefully
to the circumstances, and apply the ligature to the umbilical
cord of the child; for if the secundines fall out with the
^ehiid, the umbilical cord must be bound ^ith a ligature of
Vorsted, and cut above the ligature, and where it is bound
^it joins together, and that which is joined with it falls off.
If the ligature becomes loose, the child dies from loss of

^blood. If the secundines do not come out at once, while
they remain within, and the child is outside, the umbilical
' cord must be tied and divided.

2. Frequently the child, if weak, has appeared as if boni
dead, until the umbilical cord was tied, lor the blood flowed
from the child to the navel and the surrounding parts; but
some skilful midwife being present, by pressure on the navel
from within has revived the child, just as if it had been filled
with blood from the first. It has been already observed, that
aU animals are naturally bom with the head u>rwards. Chil-

- dren also have their hands pressed down against their sides.

'As soon as they are bom they begin to cry and brin^ their
hands to their mouth. They emit excrements, some imme-

: diately, others very soon, but all in the course of a day. Tliis

, excrementitious matter is very abundant, considering the size
of the child. Women call it the meconium. Its colour is like

'.that of blood, and it is black and pitch-like. Afterwards it
•becomes milky, for the child immediately draws the breast.
The child never cries before it is entirely in the world, not

z even thoujOfh its head is protruded in difficult cases, while

; the body is within the uterus.

t 8. Those women in whom a flooding has preceded the

period of delivery are delivered with more difficulty, and if

. the jpurifications are small after parturition, and only as mudi
as they are at first, and do not continue for more than finrty

. dm,8uch women are stronger, and more ready for conception.
After children are bom, tor forty days they neither laagh
nor weep when awake, but sonietimes do bou in their deq)!


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Id2 THl H18T0RT OF AlTnfALS. [b. m.'

nor do tbej uraaUj fed when thej are tickled, but thej sleep ;
the greater part of their time. As thejr ^w, the period ot :
wakefulness continually increases ; and it is evident that thev
dream, but it is some time before thej remember their imagi-
nations. There is no difference in the bones of other ani-
mals, but thej are all bom perfect. In children the bone
called bregma is soft, and does not become stronff for some
time. Some animals are bom with teeth, but children begin
to cut their teeth in the seventh month. The firont teeth
naturallj appear first, sometimes the upper teeth and some*
times the under. Children cut their teeth more easilj if
their nurses have warmer milk.

Chaptzb X.

Arm parturition and purification women betome full
of milk; and in some it not oulr flows through the nipples
but through other parts of the breast, and sometimes from
toe cheeks ; and if this fluid is not matured nor secreted,
but remains full, hard knots are formed, wf^j^h rAm^m for
A^QB^jtupe; for everj pari oi tbe Dreasi is so spongy that,
if a hair is swallowed with the drink, pain ensues in the
breasts, until it either esciqpes spontaneouslr with the milk,
or is sucked out, this is <^led fitj^t^^* Tnej continue to
baro milk until thej conceive again. It then ceases, and
it (juenched in other creatures as well as in the human
subject The catamenia seldom take place while milk is
secreted, though this sometimes occurs in women while
nursing. On the whole, an effusion of fluid seldom takes
place mm manj parts of the bodj at the same time, uid
those that have nsmorrhoids have usuallj less punfica-
tion. In some it takes place through ixi» (varices), and
bsecreted from the loins before it reives the uterus; and
those who vomit blood when tike purific atigajs sup^ieased
•nflSgjio harm,

CsumsM XL

Chtldbbit are verr subject to spasms, and especiaUj those
that are in a gooa condition and have abundance of ridi
milk, or whose nurses are bt "Wine is injurious in this
coflsplaint, and dark-coloured wines more so than those that
9n pak^ and food that is not fluid| and windj ^limmitf^ and


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Bioppa^ in the bowels. Children with this complaint gene-
rally die before the soTenth daj : wherefore also this dajr
has received a name, as if it gave some hope of the recorenr
of the child. Children suffer most at the full moon. Chil*
dren are in great danger when the spasms originate in the
back, especially if they are advancing in age.'

^ The seventh book ends veiy abniptl;^, aad hence it has been thought
that what if now called the tenth book, in which the lulgeot of rcpro*
doction ie continued, would have tti proper place here, as a continua-
tion of the screnth. Whether a portion of the genuine work oC
Aristotle has been k>st whioh would have complete tlie subject is
another question ; but there can be little doubt that the tenth book, ia
the form in whioh we have it, is no genuine work of Aristotle t some of
the opinions are eontrarjr to those which he has expressed, and tiie
whole style and language is diiferent from that of Aristotle. Sdineidsr
therefore hss placed the tenth book at the end of the work, that he maf
neither entirerjr exclude that which in former times was considered a
portion of Aristotle's treatise on Animals, nor yet alknr a lotitioM
book to interrupt the genuine writiop of hia Author.


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Chaptbb L

1. Tbb Datiiie of Boimah and their mode of reproduction
baa now been described. Their actiona and mode of life

Online LibraryAristotleAristotle's History of animals. In ten books → online text (page 19 of 39)