Aristotle's History of animals. In ten books online

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nivorous. Some persons have observed them in the act of
sexual intercourse, but whether one or both had stings or
not, was not seen. Some wild wasps slso have been seen in
the act of intercourse, one of them had a sting, whether the
other had was not observed. Their offspring does not seem
to be produced from this intercourse, out is always larger
than the offspring of the wasp should be.

7. If a person Ukes hold of the legs of a wasp, and per-
mits it to Duzs with its wings, those that have no stings will
fl J towards him, which those with stings will, not do, and
some persons consider this to be a sign that the one are males,
the other femsles. Some are taken in caverns during the
winter with stings, and others without them. Some of them
make small nests and few in number ; others make many
large nests. Many of those caUe4 mother wasps are taken
at the turn of the season in the neighbourhood of elms, for
they coUect the sticky and fflutinous matter. There are a
great many mother wasps, when wasps have been abundant
during thto previous year, and the weather rainy. They are
captured in the neiffhbourhood of precipitous places and
stnight fissures in the earth, and all appear to nave stingsJ
This, then, is the nature of wasps.

Chafteb XXIX.
1. Thx wild bees do not live by gathering honey from flowers
like the bees, but are entirely carnivorous, for which reason
they frequent the neichbournood of dung ; for they pursue
large flies, and when tiie^ have taken them they tear off the
heM and flv away, carrying the rest of the body with them.
They will also eat sweet fruit. This, then, is the nature of
their food. They have rulers, like the bees and wasps ; and
in proportion to the siie of the wild bee these nuers are
larger than those of the bees and wasps. Their rolers also
keep in the nest, like those of the wasps.

2. The wild bees make their nest unmr the son, which they
remove like the ants. They never swarm Ifte bees, neither
do wasps; but the young ones always remain with them, and
as the nest increases thqr carry out the heap of earth. The
Bests become large; and from a flourishiBg nest three or


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four bftBkett of comb lutTe been taken. Thej do not laj up
any food Uke beee, but conceal themBeWei during the winter.
The greater number of them die, but it it not anown whe>
ther all' of them perish. There in nerer more than one ruler
in tike nest as in the swarm of bees, or th^ would diride
the nest.

8. When some of the wild bees wander finom the nest, thej
turn aside to some material and form another nest, such as
are often seen on the surface of the soil, and in this thej
work themselves out a ruler ; and when he is grown he goes
out and leads them with him to take possession of a nest, in
which they may dwelL No one has ever made anj obserra-
tion on the mode of sexual intercourse in the wild l>ee, nor on
the origin of their offspring. Among bees the drones and
kings have no stings, and some of the wasps also are without
stii^ as it has been remarked already ; but all the wild bees
appear to have stings, but more accurate inquiry should be
instituted as to the rulers, whether they have stmgs or not.


Thi humble bees produce their young under stones on the
surface of the ground in two or a few more cells. The com«
mencement of a kind of inferior honey la found in them. The
tenthredo is like the wild bee, but it is variegated, and as
broad as the bee. It is a dainty creature, and tiie only
one which resorts to kitchens, and enjoys fish and such likjs
things. It deposits its young under the earth like the
wasps. It is a very productive creature, and its nest is
much lai^ and longer than that of the wasp. This is the
nature of the work and economy of bees, wasps, and their

Chaptxb XXXL

1. It has been already observed that we can distinguish a
difference in the dispositions of animals, especially in the
courage and cowardice, and then in tiieir mildness and fieroe*
ness, even in wild unimals. The lion in his manner of feed-
ing is jery cruel ; but when he is not hungry, and is full fed»
his disposition is centle. He is not either jealous or suspi-
cious. He is fond oi playing with and affectionate towards
those animals which have hwk brought up witii him, and t»


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which he has become ftocustomecL When hunted, he has
nerer been seen to retreat or be alarmed; and if compelled
to yield to the numbers of his hunters, he retreats slowly
and leisurely, and turns himself round at short inter-
Tals. If overtaken in a thicket, he flies rapidly till he
reaches the open plain, and then again he withoraws slowly.
If compelled by numbers to retreat openly on the plain
ground, he runs at full stretch, and does not leap. His
manner of running is continuous, like that of a dog at full
stretch. TVThen pursuing his prey, he throws himsdf upou
it when he comes within reach.

2. It is, however, true, as they say, that the lion is afraid
of the fire, as Homer also writes, "The burning faggots
which he fears when urged against him ;" and that he ob-
serves tiie person who strikes him and attacks him ; and if
a person aims a blow at him without hitting him, the lion, if
he can rush upon and seize him, does not do him any injury,
nor tear him with his daws, but shakes and frightens him,
and then leaves him. They are more dispos^ to enter
towns and attack mankind wnen they grow old ; for old age
tenders them unable to hunt, from the disease which attacks
their teeth. They live many years ; and a lame lion has
been captured which had man^ of its teeth broken, which
some persons considered as a sign that it had lived many
years. For this could not have happened except by the
lapse of time.

8. There are two kinds of lions. One of these has a round
body and more curly hair, and is a more cowardly animal.
The other is of a longer form, has straight hair, and is more
courageous. Sometimes, when retreating, they stretch out
their tails like dogs ; and a lion has been at times observed^,
when about to attack a hog, to retreat when that animal
erected its bristles. The lion is weak if struck in the belly,
but will bear many blows on other parts of the body, and
its head is very strons. If they oite or tear anything,
a large quantity of yellow serum flows from the wound,
whidi can never be stopped hj banda^ or sponges. The
mode of healing is the same as in the bite of a dog.

4. The jadcsl is an animal attached to roankina. It does
not injure men, nor is it much afimid of them, but it will
flght witii the do^ and the lion« They are not, therefore^


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found in the same locality. The small jackal ia the beat
Some persona saj that there are two, others that there aro
three sorts ; but, like some fish, birds, and quadrupeds, the
jackal changes at difierent seasons, and has a different coloBr
m summer and in winter* In summer it is smooth; in win-
ter, rough.

Chapteb XXXTT.

1. Thb bonassus is found in Peonia, in Mount MessapiuS|
which forms the boundary between Peonia and Media.
The P»onians call it monajpus. It is as large as a bull, and
more heayilr built ; for it la not a long animal, and its skin,
when stretched out, will oorer a couch for seven persons to
recline upon. In form it resembles a bull, but it haa a
mane as uur as the point of the shoulder like the horse, but
its hair is softer than that of the horse, and shorter. The
colour of its hair is red. The hair is deep and thick as &r
down as the eyes, and in colour between ash-coloured and
red, not like that of roan horses, but darker. Its hair below
is like wool. They are never either very black or very red.

2. Their voice is like that of the ox. Their horns are
crooked and bent together, of no use for defence, a span long
or a little more, so thick that each of them would hold half
a measure or a little more. The black part of their horn is j

good and smooth. The fore lock is so placed between the
eyes that the creature can look sideways better than for*
wards. Like the ox, it has no upper teeth in firont, neither
have any homed animals. Its legs are rough and its hwA t

cloven. Its tail is small in proportion to its size, like that rf ^

the ox, and it tears up the ground and digs witii its hoof ]

like the bull. The skin upon its sides is strong. Its flodi |

is excellent food, and for this it is hunted. |

8. When wounded it retreats, and stays when it can ^ro- '

oeed no ftrther. It defends itself by kickins; and ejecting ]

its dung, which it can do to the distance of four iathoma ]

from itsel£ It uses this means of defence easilr and fre* \

ouently. Its duujg is sa caustic as to bum the nair from j

cogs. The dung is only caustic when the creatare is dia-
tumed and alarmed. It is not so when undisturbed. TUb
is the form and nature of thia creature. At the seaaon of
parturitioQ they collect ti^gether in numbers in the moun-



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274 THE HI8T0BT 07 ASTUALB. [b. It.


tmins, ttnd make a circle of tbeir dung round the place, as it
were a fortification, for this animal ejects a large quantity
of this excrement. '

Chaptxb TYXTTT.

Of all wild animals the elephant is the most tame and
^ntle; for many of them are capable of instruction and
intelligence, and they have been taught to worship the king.
It is a Tory sensitive creature, and abounding in intellect.
The male never again touches a female that he has once
impregnated. Some persons say that the elephant will live
for two hundred years, others an hundred and twenty, and
the female lives nearly as Ions; as the male. They arrive at
perfection when sixty years old. They bear winter and cold
weather very badly. It is an animal that lives in the neigh-
bourhood of rivers, though not in them. It can also walk
through rivers, and will advance as long as it can keep its
prolxMcis above the sur&ce; for it blows and breathes
through diis orean, but it cannot swim on account of the
weight of its body.

Chaptkb XXXIV.

Cakzls refuse to have sexual intercourse with their dams,
even when forced; for once a camel driver, who was in
want of a male camel, veiled the dam and introduced her
young to her. When the covering fell off in the act of
copumtion, he finished what he was about, and soon after-
wards bit the camel driver to death. It is said also that the
king <rf Scythia had an excellent mare, which always pro-
duced cood colts. He wished to have acoH out of the mare
b^ the best of these horses, and introduced him for copula-
tion, but be would not do it When she vras coverea up,
however, he performed the act unwittingly. As soon as the
form of the mare was shown after copu&tion« and the horse
saw what was done, he ran away and threw himself down a

ciiApnB xxxy.

1. Ahoko marine animals there are many instances re-
ported of the mild, gentle disposition of the dolphin, and of
itsloreof itschildren, and its affection, in the neighbonriux)d


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B. IX.] THI HI8T0BT Of AimCALS. 27?

of Tarentum, Garia, and other places. It it said that wbea
a dolphin was captured and wounded on the coast of Cana»
so great a number came up to the harbour, that the flsbiaineii
let him go, when they all went away together. And one
large dolphin, it is said, always follows the young <mes, to
take care of them ; and sometimes a herd of large and small
dolphins has been seen, together, and two of these haring left
appeared soon after, supporting and carrying on their bade
a small dead dolphin, tnat was ready to sink, as if in pity
for it, that it might not be devouied by any other wild

2. Some incredible things are also told of their swiftnees,
for it appears to be the swiftest of aU animals, whether
marine or terrestrial They will leap oyer the sails of large
ships. This is especiaQy the case when they pursue a fish
for the sake of food ; for their huneer will make them pur-
sue their prey into the depths of the sea, if it retreats to
the bottom. And when they hare to return firom a great
depth, they hold their breath, as if they were reckoning
the distance, and then they gather themselyes up, ana
dart forward like an arrow, £sirous of shortening their
distance from a breathing-place. And if they meet with
a ship they will throw themselyes OTcr its saus. Dirers
also do the same thins when they hare sunk themselyes
into deep water, for tiier also Bpiher up their strength
in order to rise to the surfaco. The males and females fiye
in pairs with each other. There is some doubt as to the
reason why they cast themselves on the land, for they
say that sometimes they appear to do this without any

Chaptsb XXJLVL

1. As the actions of all animals agree with their diipositicms,
so also their dispositions will dumge with their actions, and
some of their puts also. This takes place arnoo^ birds; for
hens, when they hare conquered the cock, desire to copn-
la4» with others, and their crest and rump beoome derated,
so that it is difficult to say whether thcrf are hens or not
In some, also, small spurs are found ; ana some males, after
the death of the female, have been seen to take the same care
of the young as the female would hate done^ leading then

t %


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about and feeding them, and neither crowing, nor desiring
sexual intercourse. And some male birds have been seen to
be so efieminate from their birth, that they neither crowed^
nor desired sexual intercourse, and would submit themseWes
to any males that desired them.

8. Many birds at particular seasons chance both their
colour and thoir Toice, as the blackbird, wnich becomes
russet instead of black, and assumes another Toice, for it
sings in the summer time, but in winter it chatters and
screams Tiolently. The thrush also alters its colour, for in
winter it is grejy and in summer is Tariegated on the neck ;
but its Toice does not alter. The nightingale sings unceas-
ingly for fiftem days and nights, when the mountains
b^me thick with kaTcs. As the summer adrances it
utters another Toioe, not quick andTaried, but simple; its
colour also is altered, and in Italy it is called by another
name at this season of the year. It only shews itself for a
short time, for it lies concealed.

8. The erithacus, and the bird called phoenicurus, are
chanced one into the other. The erithacus is a winter bird,
the phcanicurus a summer bird ; they differ in nothing but
the colour. The sycalis and mekncoryphus are the same, for
these also are interchanged. The sycalis is found in the
autumn, and the melancoryphus immediately after the end
of the autumn. They also differ from each other in nothing
but their colour and Toice, and to proTO that it is the same
bird, each kind has been seen immediately after the change
took place; and when the change was not quite complete,
there was nothing characteristic of either form. Kor is it
absurd to su[moee that these birds change their Toioes or
their colours, lor tiie dore utters no sound in the wintcnr,
unless it may be on a fine day in a serere winter, when it
will utter its sound to the astonishment of those that know
its habits ; and as soon as soring commences, it begins to
utter its Toice : and, on the whole, birds make the greatest
number and Tarietr i^Toioes at the season of coition.

4. Theeuckoo also changes its colour, and its Toiee is not
distinct, when it is about to leave us. It goes away about
the time when the dog-star rises, it haying been with us
from the commencement of spring to that time. The
q»M U fith e^ as it is called, disappears when Birius rises, and


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comes again when it sets, for tometimes it retreats befinro
the cold, and sometimes before the heat. The hoopoe also
changes its colour and its forms, as .Sschjlus writes. ** He
had Tariegated this hoopoe^ the witness of its own erih, and
has displayed the bold bird that dwells in the rode in
all armour. In tiie early spring it shakes the feathers
of the white hawk ; for it nas two formsy that of the
young bird and of itself from one origin. And when tlie
young com of the hanrest begins to grow, it is clothed in
spotted feathers; and it always hates this place of Pal-
lenCy and inhabits deserted forests and mountains. **

6. Some birds dust themselres, and others bathe. Some
neitiier dust nor bathe. Those that do not fly, but live <m
the ground, dust themselves, as the domestic fowl, partridge^
grouse, lark, and pheasant. Those birds which hare
straight daws, and live near riTcrs, marshes, and the sea»
bathe themsdves. Some, like the pigeon and sparrow, both
dust and bathe. Most of those with crooked daws do nei-
ther the one nor the other. This is their nature in these
matters. The act of breaking wind backwards is peculiar
to some birds, as the turtle. Such birds make a strong
motion with their rumps when they utter tiieir Toice.

chaptsb xxxm.

1. AmifALS not only change their forms and dispositions at
particular ages and seasons, but also when castrated. All
animals that haye testides may be castrated. Birds and
oviparous quadrupeds hsTO internal testides near their loins.
In yiyiparous animals with feet, ther are generally external,
though sometimes internal ; in all tney are situated at the
extremity of the abdomen. Birds are castrated near the
rump, the part with which they touch the female in copn-
lation, for ii they are burnt in that part two or three times
with irons after tiiey are full grown, the comb turns TeUow,
and they cease to crow, and no longer desire sexual inter-
course.^ Ifthey are not fiill grown, tiiese parts neferxeadi

2. The same is the case with the human subject^ bt it m
boy is castrated, the hair that is produced after birth nofer
appws, nor does his Toice change, but continues sharp;
but if a fiill grown man is castrated, all the hair prodnoed


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M after birth falls off except ibat on the pubes, ihia becomes

jl weaker, but still remains. JPhe bair pr(Kluced at birth does

!. not fall off, for the eunuch never becomes bald. The Toice

ij also of castrated animals changes to that of the female. Other

'I animals, if not castrated when young, are destroyed by the

I' operation ; with the boar it maikes no difference. All ani-

I mals, if castrated when young, become larger and more

\\ graceful than those not castrated ; but if already grown^

!• wey neyer become any laiger.

8. If stags are castrated before the^ are old enough to

. j baye horns, these noyer appear ;^ but if castrated after they

baye horns, their sise never yaries, nor are they subject to

ij • their annual change. Calyes are castrated at a year old, if

not they become bad and inferior. The steer is castrated in

!| this manner : they lay down the animal and cut the scrotum,

'I and press out tne testicles; they next contract the root

of the testicle as much as possible, and fill up the wound

jl with hair in order that the aischarfl;e may escape, and if it

inflames, they cauterize and sprinkle the scrotum. If adult

- - bulls are castrated| they are still apparently capable of

I sexual intercourse.

4. The capria of the sow is also cut out, so that they
j should not desire coition, but fatten rapidly. They are cut

after fasting two days. ^ They hang, them up by the hind
lees and make an incision in the lower part of the belly,
where the testicles of the male are generally found; the
c«>ria is there formed upon the matrix, from which they cut
off a portion, and sew up the wound i^ain.

6. The female camels also are cut wnen they wish to take

them to war, that they may not become pregnant. Some of

those in the upner parts of Asia possess as many as three

_ thousand. Sucn camels, when they run, are far more swift

than the Nissan horses, from the length of tiieir stretch.

And on the whole, castrated animals are longer-bodied than

those not castrated.

6. All animals that ruminate, derire as much use and

i pleasure from rumination as from eating. Animals that

naye not cutting-teeth in both jaws ruminate, as the ox,

sheep, and goat. No obserrationa have been made on wild

animals except those which occasionally associate with men,

as tiieitag^tnoai^tiiis animal ruminates. They all lie down


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• I

to romixuiie, and do so most in the winter; thoee which are

brought up in shelter ruminate for nearly seven montha. | i

Gniose that live in herda, ruminate finr a ahorter period, for

thevliveoutof doora. Some animala with eutting teeth in \

both jaws, ruminate^ aa the Pontic mice and the fiah, which, |

from thia process, is odled merjrx. Animals with long lege I

have loose bdliea, and those with broad chests Tomtt more

eaaily than others^ in quadrupeds, birds^ and the geoenltty )

ofmanhind, f


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Chapter I.

Iv men and women, after they hare reached a certain age,
do not have children after cohabition, the fault aometimea
resta with both, and aometimea in only one of them. And
first, it ia re^uiaite to ei:apgjngi.thftj|teru8^of the female, that
if the fault liertfiere it may be reliev^Tby proper treatment.
If the faulLia nottfaere,' ^lentioii must be paid to some other
cause of-aterility. We may conclude that this organ ia in
a healthy state, when, like the other parts of the bod^, it
performs its functions without pain,^^d is free from fatigue
after the functioiris-performecL^ Just' as^e eye is in a
healthy state if it sufiers no ^ain in seeing, and is not dis-
ordered with the exercise of its function, or unable to per-^
form it a^ain, so the uterus is healthy which Buffers no
pain, and la well able to perform ita functions, whatever
they may be, and after they are performed ia not impotent,
but is me from fatigue.

2. 3W^u|grUB-ir said to be disordered, when, even if it
performs its functtm»^|^ropei4y- and without pain, it does
nqtr hinder its function by any part of itself.* As there
ia nothing to prerent an eye from seeing accurately, although
all its parts are not penect, or if there happens to be a
tumour in it ; so the utems may have received no injury
in this respect, if it is properly situated in the right place.
In the first place, then, the heslthy uterus will not be situ«
ated in thia place or in that, but will alwaya be in ^ Mp})ai»
po dtion; but it ia not di£Elcult io decide whether it ia not
pGBMit too great a distance without sufferinff and pain, or
whether it is dovoid of aensation when toncheoT That these
parts oupht to be properly placed is evident firom the follow-
mg conaiderationa, for if the uterua ia not near, it will not
be aUa to imbibe the semeni for the place from which it

* ▲ eompl pMMfs.

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^ ought to receire it will be at too great a distance. If the
^ uterus is near, and not able to retire further, it will be use*
' *^ less, for it will be always touched so as to refuse to open ;
^ but it ought to do this, and to be obedient to its function.
^ These things ought to be thus ordered, and if they are not^
O the case requires attentioiL

o 8. The catamenia ^W "hffU^^ P^'^^^Tftd ff^'''^***^^! that is, if

*-^ the general health is good, they should last for their proper

^ time, and not come irregularly, for when the catamenia are

^ right, the uterus will open properly, and receiye the fluids

O of the body whenexer they are secreted; but when they

\\ make their appearance too often, or not often enough, or

^ irregularly, while the rest of the body does not sympathise

:^ with them, and the general health is good, we must look to

-^ the uterus for the cause of their irregularity. The dui-

_^ ness of the uterus prerents its being opened at the proper

time, so that it receives but a small portion, or rather the

uterus imbibes the fluid from some inflammation of the

parts. So that it shows that it requires attention, like the

eyes, the bladder, the stomach, and other parts. For sll the

parts, when inflamed, imbibe the fluid which is secreted into

each place, but not sudi a fluid, or in so great quantities.

4. in like manner, if th e ytter ua-^aecretes mmjJJian it

Online LibraryAristotleAristotle's History of animals. In ten books → online text (page 27 of 39)