Aristotle's History of animals. In ten books online

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B. in.] Tm nisTOBT or avihals. 58

upper part of the lungs. The one reaches as far as the
spleen, the other to the liver; afterwards they both pass
over the abdomen to the pudendum.'*

Chaptbb III.

1. The opinions of other persons are nearly these; and
there are other physiologists, but they have not treated so
accurately of tne veins. But all ame in placing thdr
origin in the head and brain^ in whicn they are incorrect.
But, as I have remarked before, it is difficult to discern the
course of the veins ; indeed, it is impossible to understand
them unless a person will examine animals which, after
emaciation, have been killed by strangulation. The follow-
ing is the nature of the veins : There are two veins in the
interior of the chest, near the spine ; the larger of these is
placed forward, the smaUer is behind ; the larger is inclined
to the ri|;ht side, the smaller to the left ; and this by some
persons is callea the aorta^ from the sinewy portion which
IS seen in dead animals.

2. These veins have their origin in the heart, for they
pass completely through the other intestines, and always
preserve the character of veins. The heart is, as it were, a
part of them, and especially of the more forward and larger
one, for these veins are above and below, and the heart is in
the middle of them. The heart of all animals contains cavi*
ties, but in the heart of very small animals the largest cavity is
scarcely perceptible, in moderately sized animals the second
cavity is scarcely visible, but in large animals they are all
three distinct enough.. And when the apex of the heart is
turned forwards, as I have observed, the principal cavity is
on the right side, and above it the least is on the left side,
and the middle-sized one is between them ; the two smaUer
are fiir less than the greater.

8. All these are perforated towards the lungs, but iln*
perceptibly so from the minuteness of the passage, except
m one place. The ^reat vein is suspended mm, the upper
portion of the principal cavity, and on the right side ; after-
wards through the cavity a vein extends affain, as if the
vein were a part of the cavity in which the blood stagnates.
The aorta has its origin from the middle cavity, but in a dif*
ferent manner from the vein, for it communicates with the
heart by a much narrower pasi age^ and the veiniscontiniied


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54 THE niBTOBT 01* ASIUASM. [b. ITX.

through the heart. But the aorta passes from the heart, and
the great rein is membranous and like skin, but the aoita is
narrow and very sinewy, and as it is continued towards the
head and the lower parts of the body, it becomes narrow and
quite sinewy.

4. A portion of the great rein is first of all extended up-
wards from the heart to the luns;, and to the junction of
the aorta, this rein bein^^ undiyided and large : from this
place it dindes into two branches, the one towards the lung,
and the other to the spine and the lowest rertebra of the
neck. The branch which goes to the lungs is first divided
into two branches, and afterwards it is continued upon every
tube and passage of the lungs, greater to the greater, and
less to the less, so as to leave no part in which there is not
a passage and a small vein. These last are invisible from their
mmute size, so that the whole lung seems to be full of blood.

5. And the passages from the vein are above the tubes which
extend from the trachea. And the vein which is continued
npon the vertebra of the neck, and upon the spinal column,
returns again to the spine, asHomer writes in his poems : ''He
cut off the whole vein which passes up the back and returns
i^ainto the neck;"* and£x>mthisvein branchesextendtoeach
no and to each vertebra ; but that which is upon the vertebra
near the kidneys branches in two directions. These branches^
then, of the g^eat vein are subdivided in this manner.

6. And above these, firom that part which is continued firom
the heart, the whole is again divided into two directions, for
some reach to the sides and the clavicles, and afterwards
through the armpits to the arms, in the human subject, but
in quiMlrupeds to the fore-legs, to the wings in birds, and to
the pectoial fins in fishes. The commencements of these veins,
when they are first of all divided, are called jugular veins ;
and having branched off in the neck from the great vein, they
are continued to the trachea of the lungs. And if these
veins are hold on the outside, men fall down dead with in«^
•ennbility, with dosed eyes, but without choking.

7. Extending in this manner, and receivinff uie trachea
between them, they reach the place where the jaws unite
with'the head; and tupm firom this point they are divided
into firar veins^ one of which bends backwards and descendi


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through the neck and Bhoulder, tnd meets the fint diritiooL
of the rein by the joint of the arm ; the other portion ter-
minates in the hand and fingers ; and anotlier branch ex-
tends from each part near the ear to the brain, where it
is dirided into many small branches upon the membrane
which surrounds the brain.

8. The brain never contains blood in any animal^ nor does
any Toin, small or great, terminate upon it ; but some of
the other branches that e](tend from tnis rein surround the
brain in a circle, and others, end upon the organs of sense
and the teeth in rerj small veins. In the same manner,
also, the branches of the smaller vein, which is called the
aortiE^ are divided : they are continued beside those of the
great vein, but the tul>es are smaller and the branches less
than those of the great vein.

Chaptxs IV.

1. The veins, then, are thus distributed in the parts above
the heart, but the part of the great vein whidi is below the
heart passes through the middle of the diaphragm, and is
united to the aorta and spinal column by membranous flaodd
passages. From this a short and vride vein passes through
the liver, from which many similar branches extend to the
liver, and disappear upon it. There are two branehes of the
vein, one of which terminates upon the diaphragm, and what
is called the prsecordia, the other returns through the arm*
pit to the right arm, and unites with the other veins near
the interior part of the elbow. For this reason phjrsidaiis
treat certain diseases of the liver by venesection in this vein.
2. From the left of this there is a short and wide vein,
which reaches to the spleen, and the branches of this vein
are lost upon this organ, and another portion branching off ^
in the same way from the left the great vein p asses up to
the left arm, except that the last-mentioned pass through
the liver, but this one through the spleen. Other branches
also separate from the great vein, the one to the omentum, ^
the other to the pancreas ; and £h>m this many veins extend *
through the mesenterium, and all end there in one great
vein, which passes through the whole intestine and the
stomach, as ur as theoMophagus; and many veins braaek
off from them around these paits.


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56 THB HI8T0BT 07 AUniALS. [b. HI.

8. Both the aorta and the great yein contintie as far as
the kidney each as a single duct ; from this point they are
more closely united to the spinal column, and are each di-
Tided into two parts, like the letter lambda (A), and the
great rein is nlaced farther back than the aorta. The
aorta is more aosely united to the spinal column, near the
heart, and the junction is formed by small sinewy reins.

4. The aorta leares the heart as a large hoUow passage,
but as it advances it becomes narrower and more sinewy.
From the aorta, veins extend also to the mesenterium, like
those from the great vein, but far -inferior in size, for they are
narrow and muscular. They terminate in small hollow
muscular veins. No branch of the aorta extends to the
liver and the spleen, but the branches of either vein extend
to each hip, and both touch upon the bone. Branches
reach the kidney both from the great vein and the aorta ;
they do not, however, enter the cavity, but are taken up in
the' substance of the kidney.

5. Two other strong and continuous passages reach from
the aorta to the blaodery and others from the cavity of
the kidney; but these do not communicate with the
great vein. From the centre of each kidney a hollow
sinewy vein passes through the other veins to the spinal
column; first of all they disappear upon each hip, and
then appear again in branches towards the hip ; their ex.-
tremities are distributed upon the bladder and penis in
tiie male, and upon the uterus in the female ; no branch
of the great vein passes to the uterus, but many and thick
ones reach it from the aorta.

6. From the aorta and great vein branches are distributed
to the nates ; at first they are large and hollow, afterwards
thev pass through the legs, ending upon the feet and toes ;
and others again pass through the nates and thighs, alter-
nately from right to left^ and they join with oUier veins
below the knees.

7. The nature and origin of the veins are evident from this
description. In all sanguineous animals, the nature and oriein
of the principal veins are the saine,but the multitude of smaUer
veins is not alike in all, for neither aretiieparts of the same
nature, nor do all possess the same parts. B^or are the veins
CfuaUy apparent in aU animals ; but they are more manifest i)ii


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B. in.] THV HI8T0BT 01* iKIMJiLt. 67

tbose which have most blood, and in the largest creaturM; hut
in those animals which are small, and hare not much blood,
either by nature or from excess in fat, they are not so etsil j
investigated, for some of the passages are confused, like
rivulets that are lost in beds of mud ; and there are some
animals which have but few, and these fibres instead of veins.
The great vein is very conspicuous in all, even the smiUest


1. The following is the nature of the sinews of animsls.
The origin of these, also, is in the breast, for there is a
sinew in the nriucipal cavity of the heart itself )* and that
which is callea the aorta is a sinewy vein, for its termina-
tions are always sinewy, for they are not hollow, and are
extensible, like the sinews wluch end upon the bending of
the bones : for it is not the nature of sinews to be con*
tinuous from one origin, like the veins, for the veins have
the whole form of the body as in outline sketches, so that
in emaciated subjects the whole mass i^pears full of veins,
for the same place is occupied by veins in lean persons that
in fat ones is flesh.

2. The sinews are drawn round the joints and flexures of
the bones ; but, if their nature were continuous, the con-
tinuation would be evident in emaciated persons. Tlie
principal parts of the sinews are around the psrt of the
body appropriated to leaping, and this is called the poplee.
Another double sinew is the tendon of the neck, and the epi-
tonus and the sinew of the shoulder, which aid in the support
of the body. The sinews around the joints have not re-
ceived any name, for all the bones where they *re contiguofos
are bound together by the sinews.

8. And there are many sinews round all the bones ; there
are none in the hc«d ; but the sutures of the skull are
adapted to each other. It is the nature of sinew to tear
reaoily lengthwise, but across the fibre it is indivisible,
and it is verv extensible. The sinews are surrounded by
a mucous, white, and gelatinous fluid, br which they are
nourished^ and firom whidithey seem to dierive their origin.
The vein does not alter its form by eombustioii, but tiie
sinew is entirely destroyed. Neithier does it unite after


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68 THE HI8T0BT OF AHnCALS. [b. in.

4. Numbness does not take place in tbose parts of the
body which contain no sinews. The sinews are most abnnd«
ant on the hands and feet, and on the ribs and shoulder*
blades, and round the neck and arms. All sanguineous
animals haye sinews ; but in those which have not jointed
limbs, and are without feet and hands, the sinews are small
and inconspicuous, so that in fishes thej are most distinct
near the fins.

Chaptsb VI.

1. Thi fibres are between the sinews and the reins ; but
some of them are moistened with serum, and thejr extend
from the sinews to the veins, and from the reins to the
sinews. There is also another kind of fibre, which is pro-
duced in the blood of most, but not of all animals. Wnen
this is extracted from the blood, it does not coagulate, but
if it is not taken out of the blood it coagulates. These
fibres are present in the blood of most animals, but not in
that of the stag, prox,* and bubalis,' and some others ; so
that their UomL does not coagulate like that of other
animals: the blood of stags is very like that of hares;
for in both of these coagulation takes place; not firm, as
in other animals, but tremblinp;, like that of milk, if no co-
agulating substance is put into it. The blood of the
bubalis coagulates more thicklj, only a little less so than
that of sheep. This is the nature of veins, sinews^'and

chapteb yn.

1. Thb bones of animals depend upon one bone, and are
connected with each other, like the veins ; and there is no
■uch thins as a separate bone. In all animals with bones
the spinu column is their origin. The spinal column is
made up of vertebne, and extends firom the head to the hips.
All the vertebnD are perforated; the upper part of the
bead ia a bone joined to the last vertebral and is cslled the
akully the saw-like part is the suture.

2. This is not alike in all animals, for the cranium of
some consists of a single bone, as in the iog; in others it
it compound, as in the human subject The female hoa

'1 OnrfkOq^teoliiiiCrCXdtfDa. * Antilope gnoii.

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Digitized b

B. IIL] the HI8T0BT OF AKIMXLB. 59 1

one suture, in a circle ; the male has three, meeting at the '
top of the head, like a tilangle ; and human skulls hare heen
seen without sutures. The h«id is not composed of four
bones, but of six ; two of these are placed aooye the ears,
and are small compared with the rest.

8. From the head the jaw-bones descend. All other ani-
mals move the lower jaw, the riyer-crocodile alone moTCS
the upper jaw. In the jaws are the order of the teeth, which
are honj, m some parts they are perforated, in others ther
are not. These are the only bones too hard to be enjgraTed.

4. From the spinal-column, which is the point of union, ori*
ginate the clavicles and ribs ; the breast luso is placed upon
the ribs, and some of these are united, others are not, for
no animal has a bone round the stomach. There are also
the scapuhe upon the shoulders, and these are conti*
nued upon the arms, and those again to the hands ; and
in all animals with fore legs the nature of the bone is
the same.

5. At the extremity of the lower part of the spinal co-
lumn, and next to the hij), is the socket, and the bones
of the lower extremity, with those of the thigh and kg,
which are called the colenes. The ancles form a portion
of these, and the part called the spur in all creatures with
ancles. Continuous with these are the bones of the feet.
Viviparous animals with blood and feet do not differ much
in their bones, but rather by analogy, in hardness, softness,
and size. Again, some of the bones contain marrow, whilst
others, in the same animal, have none.

6. Some animals do not appear to have any marrow at all
in their bones, as the lion, whose bones are very small and
slight : or there may be marrow in a few of its bones, as ii
those of the thigh and fore leg ; otherwise, in the lion, thi
bones are particularly solid, for they are sufficiently bard U
emit fire uke stones on concussion. The dolphin abo bai
bones, but it has no spine, like fish. Some sanc;uineoii8 ani
malsdifferpartiallyfromthese,asthedassofbirdB. Inothen
as fish, the Dones are only analogous, for viviparoua fiah hav
a cartUaginous spine, like those which are called adachea
the oviparous fisb have a spina, which is like the backlK»i

7. It is a peculiarity in fish that some species haiTe tiiui


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60 THB HI8T0BT 01* AHIICALS. [b. IU.

r» in the flesh separated from each other. Serpents are
fishy for their hack-bone is spinous ; among oviparous
quadrupeds the greater animals hare a bony vertebral
column ; the lesser have a spinous one.

8. For all sanguineous animals have either a bony, or a
apinous column. The remamder of the bones exist in some
animals, but not in others, for if thejr have the limbs, they
have the bones belonging to them ; for those that have not
hind and fore legs lulve not hams, nor are they present
in those animals which possess limbs unlike those of quad-
rupeds, for in these they vaiy in size and proportion. Thia
is the nature of the bones of animals.

Chaptxb VIII.

1. Cabtilaob is of the same nature as bone, but it differs
in tiie greater and less, and neither bone nor cartilage are
reproduced if they are cut off. In sanguineous and vivi-
narous animals living on the land the cartilage is imper-
forate, and does not contain marrow, like the b^es ; but the
flat selachea, which have a cartilaginous s]^ine, have a carti-
lage analogous to bone containing a liquid marrow.^ Vivi-
parous animals, with feet, have cartilage about their ears^
nostrils, and extremities of their bones.

Chaptbb IX.

1. Thebb is another class of parts, which, though not the
same as these, are not very different, as nails, hooft, daws,
and horns, and besides these, the beak of birds which alone
possess this part For these are both flexible and fissile.
But bone is neither flexible nor fissile, but brittle ; and
the colour of horns, nails, daws, and hoofs follow the
colour of the skin and the hair; for in black animals the
horns are black, and so are the daws and hoo£i in those
with daws; in white animals they aro white. There are
also intermedbte colours, the nails also are of the same

2. But the teeth are like bones; wherefore, in bkck men,
XUiiopiana, and such like, the teeth and the bones are
wUta, but the nails are black, like the rest of the skin.


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B. m.J THV HI8T0BT OF ijmiAL8. 61

The honiB of most animals are hollow at their base, and
aurronnd a bony process on their heads ; but at the ex*
tremitr the horn is solid and single. The stag's horns are
solid throughout, and dirided ; and these animals alone cast
their horns; this is done annually, if they are not cut
off. Concerning those that are cat off, we shall speak here*

8. The horns are more nearly allied to skin than to bone,
so that in Phrygia and elsewhere there are oxen which
bare the power of moving their horns, as they do their
ears ; and of those which hare nails (and all that hare
toes have nails, and those that have feet have toes, except
the elephant, which has its toes undivided, and scarcely
diitinfi;uished, and no nails at all)— and of those with nails»
some have straight nails, like men, others crooked, aa the
lion among beasts, and the eagle amongst birds.

Chaptib X.

1. This is the nature of hair and its analogues and skin.
All viviparous animals, with feet, have luur; oviparoua
animals, with feet, have scaly plates ; and those fish alone
which produce friable ova are covered with scales ; for the
conger and murmia amonglong fish have not such ova, and
the eel produces no ova. The hair differs in thickness, thin*
ness, and size, according to its situation, both in the parts of
the body which it occupies, and the nature of the skin, for
upon thick skins the hair is generally harsh and thick,
the hair is both thicker and longer in the hollow and
moist parts of the body, if they are such as to be covered
with hair.

2. And the case is similar in those animals which are
covered with plates or scales. It animals covered with soil
hair are placed in good pastures their hair will become
coarser ; and, on the contnry, it becomes finer and leaa in
those that have coarse hair. Warm and cold situationa also
make a difference, for the hair of natives of vrarm dimatee
is harah, but it is soft in those of colder dimatea. Straight
hair is soft, crisped hair is harsh.

8. It is the nature of hair to split; and different kinds
of hair are dissimilar in excess and deficiency ; some are to
ehanged bj harshneis aa to bear slight resemblance to hair^


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82 THB HI8T0BT 07 AJSTDIAIB. [b. in.

and are more like spinet, as in the hedgehog, wherein they
resemble nails. So again the nails in some animals are not
different from bones in point of hardness.

4. Man has the thinnest skin in proportion to his size«
There is a mucous, glutinous fluid in the skin of all animals,
less in some, more in others, as in the skins of oxen, from
which glue is made ; and sometimes ^lue is made from fishes.
When the skin alone is cut it is insensible, especially
that u[>on the head, from the absence of flesh between that
and the bone. Wherever the skin is without flesh it does
not unite again after being cut, as the thin part of the
cheek, the prepuce, and the eyelid. In all animals the skin
is continuous, and it is only wanting in places where there
are natural passages for exudation, and at the mouth
and nails. All sanguineous animals hare a skin; all,
however, have not mur, but those which are described


5. The colour of the hair changes in men as they grow
old, and the hair becomes grev. This takes place in other
animals, but not so remarkably as in the horse. The hair
be^;ins to grow white from the extremity. Most white
animals are white from their birth, wherefore it is plain
that whiteness does not arise from dryness, as some persons
suppose, for no animal is bom dry. ^ In the exanthematous
disease, called whiteness, all the hair becomes hoary ; and
some patients, who have suffered from illness, after the hair
has fifulen off on recovery, have regained their dark-coloured
hair. Hair which is covered up becomes white more
readily than that which is exposea to the air ; in man the
temples are the first to grow grey, and the fore part of
the nead before the hind part, and last of all the hair on
the pubes.

6. Some of the hair exists on the body at the period
of birth, and some appears afterwards. In man alone the
hair on the head, eyelashes, and eyebrows exist at birth.
The hair on the pubes, in the armpits, and on the chin ap^
pear successively after birth, so that the parts on which
the hair appears at birth, and those onwhidS it mms after*
wards are the same in number. Li old age the nair on the
head especially is the fiirst to fiul, and falls off. This is
only in fronts for no one ever becomes bald on the back


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B. m.T THX msTOBT ot imuAiA.. 63

• • "^ •

of the head. The Bmoothiiess on the crown of the head
18 called baldness, that upon the eyebrows depiktion;
neither of these takes place before the commencement of

7. Children, women, and eunuchs nerer become bald. If
a person be castrated before puberty, the hair which crows
after birth nerer makes its appearance ; if after puberty
these alone fall off, except the hair on the nubes. Women
have no hair upon the chin, excepting a lew of those in
whom the catamenia have ceased, and the priestesses in
Caria : and this appears ominous of future events. Women
also hare other hair, but not much. There are some
persons, both male and female, who from their birth are
without the hair which grows after birth ; but those per-
sons are barren who have not hair on the pubes.

8. The rest of the hair grows proportionally, either more
or less. That upon the h^ ^ws the most, then that on
the chin, and thm hair most oi all. The eyebrows crow so
thick upon some aged persons as to be cut off, for they arsi
placed upon the symphysis of the bone ; and this Doing
separated in old persons, a more abundant moisture exudes.
Those on the eyelids do not grow, but they fall off,
when persons come to puberty, and especially in those off
warm sexual desires ; they become grey very slowly. If the
hair is plucked out during the period of growth, it comes
again, but not after it has done growing.

9. Every hair has at its root a glutinous moisture, which
will adhere to anything with which it comes in contact,
eoon after it is drawn out. In spotted animals the spots
exist both in the hair and upon the skin, and upon the skin
of the tonffue. As for the beard, some persons have a thick

Online LibraryAristotleAristotle's History of animals. In ten books → online text (page 7 of 39)