Aristotle's History of animals. In ten books online

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ought to. do, it exhibits an inflammatoigLtend^cy) if the

secretion is regular but too sbundant^ butif the secretion

^ is irregular, or more putrid than it should be in healthy

subjects, the disease is then Quite manifes^ for it is neoet-

O sary that some pain should show that all is not weU. In A

<^ hesuthy subject, at the commencement, and the cessation of

.,^ menstruation, the secre tjon appears white and pntri d. All

c3 those subjects in whom the seci;etion is more putrid" than in

/healthy persons, or is irrcmlar, or too abundant, or deficient,
9houla receive attention, for this it is that prevents child-
bearing. ^ But in those subjects who are only irrq^ar, and
uneqim in the periods of the secretion, the disease is not
the pr eventive of child-bearing , though it shows that the
habit ft/^^A iiTAma i> rkg||j|>^tij|^«»>^ does not always re-
main the same. And this aflfectiou is sufficient to prevent
those persons from conception who are otherwise wdl die*
posed towwrds it. It is. however. J^^^jJT ft j^f*^"^, ^"^ ^
afiection which may be Tesfnrari withflwrmsaisai trestm>n^
nnleaa it ia affected by some preY Jnus fsnttr


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282 -X SQ^ 9I8T0&T i>F AimiALS. -^ t!^*^^

6. Klli^Tegdaritj and qoantity of the dischar^ is subject
to alteration, without any corresponding change in the rest of
the body, which is sometimes in a more fluid, at other times in
a more dry state, the uterus is not in fault, though it ought
to follow the habit of the rest of the body, and receive and
secrete in proportion. If the body is m a good state of
health, but undergoing a change, when this takes placOi
and there is no need of medical treatment ; but if the secre-
tion is too small from disease, and the secretion is taken
through some other source, the body suffers : and if the dis*
charge is too great, firom all the soCTetions of the body being
turned in one direction, this does not point to disease of the
uterus, but of the whole body. Whenever the catamenia
coincide with the general habit of the body, it is evident that
the fault d oes not lie with the utOTus. which would perform
its fiifliSiidns piupeilj If Che general neolth were correct.

6. SomeUuiss the ulumrirweal[,'and sometimes strong;
•ometimes too fluid, add sdirietimes too £y; and* the dis-
charge coincides with the state of the body, it is abundant
when that is full, deficient when it is less liill. If the body
is fuU of fluid, the dischar^ is watery ; if the body is dry^
it is more sanguineous ; it begins with beinff white, like milk,
and is without smell. Some are dark-coloured, and when
about to cease they become white, at the last secretion. The
white discharge has not the smell of putrid matter, but is
more harsh and disaffreeable, nor has it the smell of pus ; and
when this is the condition of the symptoms, there is no wear-
ing away, but the body becomes heated. In all that are in this
at^ the uterus is in a healthy condition for child-bearing.

Chaftsb n.

Wb must, then, first of all ^'" q ^^^ T r^ r the i i a ll th nnn p n rti
cularn are well ordered f and, next, we must learn the posi-
lai^of the body of the uterus ; for it ought to be straight ;
andif it is not so, the seminal fluid can never reach it. And
it is evident that women project their semen forwards, firom
what lu4>pens when they have lascivious dreams; for this
part of tnem then requires attention, being moistened as
thoufffa they had sexual intercourse, for they also project into
the ^ace wnere the semen of the maJe is emitted, and not into
tiie uterus; and when projected to this places the semen is


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drawn into the uterus bj inhalation, as the mucus is drawn
into the nose. For this reason they become pregnant in
eveiy position ; for the seminal fluid lioth in men and women
is always projected forwards ; but if it were projected into
the female she would not always conceire after copulation. -

2. But if the uterus is not straight, but inclined to the
hips, the loins, or the hypogastric region, it is impossible to
oonoeiTe, for the before-mentioned reason, that the uterus
cannot take up the seminal fluid. If this deformity is greats
either naturally or from disease, the disorder is incurable.
If there is a rupture, either by nature or arising from the
disease, which contracts the parts with inflammation, the
disorder will take a diflerent turn from this. But in order
that women may become pregnant, it is necessary, as it was
aaid, that the moutii of the uterus should be straight and,
moreoTer, should bewellopened. By thislmean thatwhen the
menstrual discharge commences, the os uteri should, on eon*
tact,appearsofter than before, though not distinctly exuded.
But if this is the case, let the first appearance be white.

8. But when the appearances are more the colour ni
flesh, the uterus will be evidently relaxed without pain
when it is touched, and the os uteri is neither dull nor dif-
ferent from itself; and when the discharge ceases, let the
aperture be very open and dry, but not hard, for a day and
a half or two days ; for this shows that the uterus is in a
healthy state, and fit to perform its functions. If the os
uteri IS not immediately relaxed, but appears soft, it shows
that both the uterus and the rest of the bod^ are relaxed,
and the uterus does not prevent, but flrst dischaives tiie
secretion from the os uten. And when the rest of the bod^
has discharged a great deal, and the os uteri becomei xe-
laxed, it is a sign of a healthy condition.

4. And when the appearances cease to take place directly,
ihe uterus shows that, if there is any difficulty, it will he*
come empt]f'and dr]r,and wantinff inm(»stuie,andtharewfll
be iio remains in tbe pasrage. When the uterus, tiierefors^
is capable of contractum, it shows that it is in a proper state
for receiving whatever is brought to it^ when it is in tUs
state without pain, and indeed is insensate; and it is good
that the os uteri should not be in anr other eoadifion.
Xhis shows tiuit tiiere is no reason why it shooU aol eJoee


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at tbe poper time. This is the maimer of considering the
08 nten, whether it is in a healthy condition or not.

Chaptxb III.

Thsse ought to be the symptoms of the uterus itself after
purification. First of all, that the woman should dream of
■exual intercourse, and project her seminal fluid readily, as
if a man were lying witn her ; and itihia..^nptom occur
frequently, it is better. And when she has ansen, some-
times she sbould^ require the same treatment as if she
had been \;ith a man, sometimes she should be dry ; but this
dryness should not be immediate ; but after awakinff she
should be fluid, sooner or later, about as much as half a
short day. The humidity should be of the same kind as if
she had been with a man. For all this shows that the uterus
is in a fit state to receive what is given it, and thi^ the
cotyledons are drawn up and will retain what they have
received, and be unwilling to part with it.

2. A flatulent state of the uterus is also a good sign,
when it enlarges and discharges the wind as the Dowels do
without pain, and when it bea)mes larger and smaller with-
out any symptom of disease ; for these symptoms show ^t
the uterus is not in want of what is necessary nor slug-
gish, either naturally or from disease, but that it will be
able to find room by growth for anythingthat it may re-
ceive, for it has the power of dilation. When this is not
the case, the uterus is too thick, cOr some natural defect or
disease has rendered it insensible. For this cause it cannot
nourish, but it will destroy the embryo, if the symptoms
are violent, while the emliryo is small; if they are less so,
when it is larger; if the uterus is slightly affected, tiie
offspring will m inferior, as if it had be^ fed in an inferior

8. TTpon contact, the right and left side will be found to
be alike, and all the other parts in the same war ; and in
the act of copulation moisture will be produce<dl, not fire-
quently nor in ^reat abundance. This affection is, as it
were^ a perspiration of the place, like the saliva, which is
firequently produced both in tbe use of food and in speaking;.
Tears also are shed firom the eyes, when we look upon bru-
lianl oljjects, and under cold or greater heat^ of which these



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parts also partake, when thej happen to be moist So the
uterus becomes moist when employed, when it is of a more
moist disposition* Those that are in the best health suffer
from this iJection, for which reason women always require
more or less attention, as also the mouth requires saliTa.
In some this moisture is so abundant that thej cannot
imbibe the seminal fluid of the man in a state of puritj,
on account of its admixture with this uterine mois*

4. Besides these affections, the following also is to be con«
■id^red, whether, when they dream of sexual intercourse, their
general health is good or not, as whether they are weak, and
whether they are so always, or only sometimes, and whether
they are not sometimes strong, and whether they are dry at
first and moist afterwards ; for this ought to be the condition
of a woman capable of child-bearing ; for relaxation shows
that the body has been profuse of the seminal fluid, and
that it can perform its functions ; but when the uterus ia
hvrd, it is a si^ of debility . If a woman has this affection
without any disease^ it shows that the emission takes place
naturally and as it ought to do. For if it were not so, there
would be disease and prostration of strength. Sometimesi
when the uterus is dry and afterwards be^mes moist, it is
a sign that the whole body receiyes and makes away wide
the seminal fluid, and that both the uterus and the body are
streuR; for it has been already obseryed that the uterus
absoibs the semen which is placed upon it by the process of
inhalation, for it is not emitted into it but u^n the same
place as that of the man. All that takes by inhalation ia
accompanied with force, so that it is plain that the body of
such a person must haye the power of retraction.

5. It sometimes happens tutt women who have lasciyions
dreams, or men of sk^ng pa8sions,are rcAya tnotfiromjj r^pgfth
b ut from heal th. This takes place whooia large quantity of
seminal fluid has been collected near the place from whimee
the^ emit it. If this makes its escape, they are in no ways
debilitated; for they are not relaxed by the loss of a
portion, if sufficient remains behind, or ii that whidi was
emitted was useless, nor if it was emitted easily, as if ther
parted with superfluous matter. For which reason sack
*penoiis are not robust fhrni strength but from dullness. Bat.


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286 THB HI8T0BT 07 AKULLLB. [b. Z.

wben any part is emitted which is neceasaiy for the body,
they become debilitated.

6. If a person is in good health, and of a proper age, the
seminal fluid is rapidly formed. This takes pkce in those
that ha?e not done growing and in those tbiat are grown.
Women rarely know when they are first pregnant; for
tbey do not think thst they liaye conceired unless they
perceive that the semen. |0K9 oeen emitted, suspecting that
it ought to be emitted at ^^he same time both by the fe-
male and the male; and it escapes their notice, more es-
pecially when tbey think that they are unable to conceive,
unless they have become dry, and that which they have
received has disappeared entirely; but it sometimes hap-
pens that both the male^ and Jji^ female mit more than
could poraibly di8a{>pear, and more than enough for concept
tion. when suiBcient has been drawn in and mudi left
out, they become pr^[nant without knowing it.

7. That it is possibfo that this should take place, and that
the affection does not arise from the whole of the seminal fluid,
we may leam from those animals which produce many young
ones from a sinele act of intercourse, or from the case of
twins produced by a sinde act. It is evident that they are
not produy^ frymth ^ whole sem en, but each place receives
some portion of it, but the larger^portion is left behind ; and
if many young are produc^ frpyn ^ pintle act gf interftrmr«ft,
which appears to be tbe case with swine and with twins, it
is evident that the semen cannot come from eveiy part of
the body, but it is divided out to each form. It is possible,
therefore, that it may be separated from every part of tbe
body, and that the whole may be divided among many, so

I that it is not possible that all should have every part. The

female also projects her semen into the os uteri, where the
man also emits his, when he approaches her. IVom thence
she imbibes with inhalation as if it were with the mouth or
nostrils ; for whatever is not joined to the members is either
hollow above and united by a symphysis, or is sucked in from
this place by the act of inhalation. For which reason they
take care tliat it should be drr, as if this had happened before.
8. Hie path along which it (mmscs is thus formed in
womeo. Tiiere is a tube enclosed in the body like tbe peuis
of the male. The iphalation takes place thnmgh this by a

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small WBflgft iiihnvft tlifl jmMuagQ for tl^Q yrj ne. Vhen, there *
fbiSd, tney desire sexyid Jiat^rcqune^Jb^ Ibe

.Bonie condSaon as it waai before. A folliiiff down takes place
from this passage, and the fore part of the uterus becomes
much larger than the part where it falls into this passage.
This resembles the nostrils ; for, as the nostrils have a pas-
sage into the pharynx and into the external air, so this tube
has a very small and narrow passage, like a [MMsiice out for the
wind. That to the fore part of the uterus is wide and broad,
as the nostrils are to the extemal ^a^r b etwe^m^ the moutli
and the~ phai'^iizr * Su wumuu hav^ la^er passac^e to the
fore p^ ofthe uterus, and wider than the eztemafpsssage.

9. Whaterer conjecture is formed concerning these affec-
tions, it makes to the same conclusion, that the woman
also emits a seminal fluid. The same things arise from ^
same cause, for to some it seems to be the cause of disease
or of death ; and these consider the end at the beginning
as it ought to be considered ; for to some women these are
important causes, to some of no importance ; and of these
causes some are and some are not of consequence. Ther
divide also in proportion the consequences which mar result
from them. To some it happens to pass through all these
affections ; to those who have many, tnrough many of them :
others through few; and others, again, who nave none,
through none of them.

10. There are some persons who suffer from the affection
called inflation. This ought not to be. The affection is of
this kind. In copulation thej neither eridently emit semen,
nor do they become pregnant. Wherefore thej are said to
be inflated. The exces sive dryness of the uter us is the cause
of this complaint; anSwhen it has drawn the fluid into itself
it ejects it again. This beiiomes dried up, and baring beeome
small fidls out, without anj notice beins taken of the circum-
stance on account of its size. When the uterus is violenilj'
affected in this waj, and becomes very drj, and ejects it
TCiy soon, it is nlain that pregnancy cannot take place. If
this does not take place rerj soon, impregnation *ppean for
a time to have taken place until it is ejected. The sasM
thing also takes place tk times in those wno have conceifed
properly; if a long time has elapsed, the uterus beoomes
eleyatedy sotiiat it phdnly appean as if impiegnatioii had


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1 -


taken place until it falls out. Then all becomes as it was
at first. They refer this affliction to a dirine origin. It is
curable, unless it is natural, or the disease has gone a great
waj. It is a sign that this disease is not present, when
women appear neither to hare emitted semen, nor to have
conceived aiWr sexual intercourse.

Chapter IV.

1. Preokakct is prevented also bj spasm in theuterus. This
complaint attacks the uterus when it is either distended with
inflammation, or in the act of parturition. When any lor^
quantity of matter suddenly enters it, and the os uteri is
not open, spasm then arises from distension. It is a sign of
the absence of qpasm, if the uterus does not appear to reach
inflammation in its functions : whereas, if s{jiism were pre-
sent, there would be some signs of inflammation. Again, a
swelling at the mouth of the uterus, if it is much drawn out,
will prevent conception. It is a sign that this is not the
case, when the uterus appears to open and close properly
after the discharge of the catamenia, or the use of toe male. .
2. In some, also, the os uteri is closed, either from the period
of birth, or in consequence of disease. Sometimes tnis is
curable, and sometimes not so. It is not, however, diffi-.
cult to ascertain the state of the case, for it is. not possible
either to receive or to emit anything in a proper manner.
If it appears to have received and rejected tne seminid fluid
of the male, it is an evidence of the presence of the disease.
But those who have no impediment in the way of concep*
tion, but are, as it has been said, as ibej ought to be, unless
the man is impotent, or they are not able to have children
together, being unable to emit their semen at the same
time, and differ very much, such persons will have no chil*

Charu V.

hf order to understand of sterility in the male, we must
take other svmptoms. These will appear verv easy, if ho
copulates witii other women, and impregnates toem. When
the sexes do not appear to concur with each other, although
all the before-mentioned dicumstances are present, they do
not have children together. Foritiserideiit that tibia is thcf


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only reason of sterilitj: for if the woman contributes to
the semen and generation, it is evident that both the sexes
should be concurrent: for if the man is quick, and the
woman slow, in the emission of the semen (ana manj women
are comparatively slow), this will prevent conception; for
which cause they do not produce children by sexual union
with each other. They do so, however, when they happen to
be concurrent with each other ; for if the woman is desirous,
and prepared for the intercourse, and is inclined for it, but
the man is suffering previous pain, and of a cold dispositiony
it is then also necessary that they should be concurrent.


It is quite plain when animals desire sexual intercourse ; for i

the female pursues the male, as hens pursue the cock and t

place themselves beneath him, if the male is not desirous, * ^

Other animals also do the same. But if all animals appear to r

have these affections with respect to sexual intercourse, it is J

plain that the causes must be the same throughout. This *

Dird, however, has not only the desire of receiving, but aho |

of emitting semen. This is a proof of it. If the male is
not present, she will emit the semen into herself, and be-
come pregnant, and produce barren eggs, as if she desired
both to emit semen, and when she had done so, soon ceased,
just as when the male was present. Others also do the ^

same, for a person has attempted to rear some singing lo-
custs, which ne had taken in a young state. When grown, "i
they became pregnant spontaneously.

2. From these considerations it is plain that every female
contributes to the semen, if this appears to take place in any I,

one dass of animals, for the barren animal differs in no re- ' <

spect from the other, except that it does not produce |

an animal, and this because it was formed by the union of
both sexes. For this reason all the seminal fluid of the ^!

male does not appear to be productive, but some parts are
barren, when not properly compounded from both sexes.
And wheu women nave lascivious dreams, the same affec* ('

tions of weakness and debility often occur, as if ^ber had
been lying with a male. It is plain, therefore, that ii they
appear to hare emitted a semi^ fluid in Hmt drouu, tiiej
wiU then oonjectuie that after their dream the same plaoa

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200 THB niSTOBT OF AHIMAL8. [b. X»

will become moist, and they will be obliged to bestow the
same attention upon themseiTes m if they had had sexual
intercourse. 80 that it is evident that there must be an
emission of semen from both if it is to be productiTe.

8. But the uterus does not emit its semen into itself, but
on the outside, into the place where that of the male also is
receired, and then dra ws it in to itself. For some females
produce spontaneously,^ as th^^irird produces barren eggs,
and other females do not so, as the horses and sheep;
either because the bird nroiects her semen into the uterus,
and the place upon whicn that of the male is emitted is not
external ; for which reason, if he does not copulate properly
with the female, it is poured out upon the ground. But
in quadrupeds there is another place for the reception of
the semen, both of the male and female, which m other
animals it is combined with other fluids of the body,
and is not collected in the uterus, because it does not
enter it. But in birds, the uterus receires and matures
the seminal fluid, and forms a body similar in other respects
thot^h not a living creature. It is necessaiy, therefore,
the hving creature should be derived from both sexes.


Vb must enqui rewhether women sjjeakjihe truth, when
theyjgy that mRFA InsciyjottytbrcSmThey Snd themselves

tbeyjgy t hat atrefir inscm ggBn^ they hnd themselves
dry ; lor It 18 ^\tk\A thi^t the uterus draws upwards, ^nd
if so, whjT'db not females become pregnant spontaneously,
since the male seminal flui d Is drawn in, mix e d w ith their
Own ? And why do not she goats draw that part of it
which extends outwards? for this affection tiuces place
in some that have been pr^ant many years ; for they pro*
duce what is called myle (tai amorphous mass of flesh), a
circumstance which has also happened to a certain woman ;
for having had sexual intercourse, and to all appearance
conceived, the size of the uterus increased, and everything
at first went on regularly: but when the time of partu*
rition arrived, she produced nodiing, nor did the enlarge-
ment become any smaller: but after three or four years, a
dysentery occurred, which placed her life in danger, when
sne proaticed a large mass of flesh, which they call myle.
The affection continues in some to old age^ even to the day
of their death.


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2. Does this affection arise from a warm habit of bodr,
when the uterus is warm and diy, and for this reason capablo
of drawing into itself in such a manner that it is taken up
and kept in it ? For, in persons so affected, if tibe seminiu
fluid ot both sexes is not united, but, like the barren egg, ia
taken u^ hj one sex, then the myle is produced, wmch
is not liymff creature, for it does not originate in both sexes,
norisitlifde8S,foritis taken to hare life like the banren egg«
It remains, howerer, a lon^ while, on account of the dispo-
sition of the uterus, and because the bird, which has pro*
duced many eggs in herself, when the uterus is stimulated
by these, goes and lays them : and when the first is pro*
duced, the last will also come forth in proper time : for there \

is nothing to prevent it, but the body being productive as |

soon as it is full, causes the uterus to be no longer retentife. I

But in yiviparous animals, on account of the chan^ of '

force, as the fcetus increases, and the dlTersitr of food is re* j

quired, the uterus causes parturition from a eL»^ of inflan-

8. But the flesh, because it is not alive, always requires
the same kind of food, for it does not cause anywejeht %

in the uterus, nor any inflammation. So that the a&c* i

tion would contmue, in some cases, throucbout life, un- r

less some fortunate debility should take place, as in the
woman who was attacked with dysentery. But does this i

affection arise from warmth, as it was said, or rather from a '

fluid state, because there is a fulness as it closes, either i

because the uterus is neither cold enough to reject it, nor
warm enough to bring it to maturity? Wherefore, the

Online LibraryAristotleAristotle's History of animals. In ten books → online text (page 28 of 39)