Aristotle's History of Animals

Page 3 of 14

[Pg 46]


Chapter I.

1. We have treated of the other internal parts of animals, their number, their nature and varieties. It now remains for us to speak of the organs of generation. In females these are always internal; but there is much difference in males, for some sanguineous animals have no testicles at all, in others they are internal; and in some animals with internal testicles, they are placed near the kidneys, in others near the abdomen; in other animals they are external. The penis of these last is sometimes united to the abdomen, in others it is loose as well as the testicles; but in promingent and retromingent animals it is suspended from the abdomen in a different manner. Neither fish nor any other animal with gills, nor the whole class of serpents, have testicles; neither has any apodal animal which is not internally viviparous.

2. Birds have testicles, but they are internal and near the loins, and so have oviparous quadrupeds, as the lizard, tortoise, and crocodile, and among viviparous animals, the hedgehog. In some viviparous animals they are situated internally upon the abdomen, as the dolphin among apodal creatures, and the elephant among quadrupeds. In other animals the testicles are external. It has been previously observed, that the manner and position of their junction with the abdomen is various, for in some they are joined on and do not hang down, as in swine, in others they hang down as in man.

3. It has also been observed that neither fishes nor serpents have testicles, but they have two passages hanging down on each side of the spine from the diaphragm, and these unite in one passage above the anus, by above, we mean nearer the spinal column. At the season of coition these passages are full of semen, which exudes on pressure; the differences [Pg 47] among these may be seen by dissection, and in another place they will each be considered more particularly.

4. All oviparous animals, whether bipeds or quadrupeds, have their testicles placed in the loins below the diaphragm, some of a white colour, others ochreous, but in all surrounded with small veins; from each of these a passage is produced, which afterwards become united in one, and, as in fish, open near the anus. This is the penis, which is inconspicuous in small animals; but in the larger, as the goose and such like, it becomes more conspicuous immediately after coition.

5. And these passages, both in fish and other animals, are joined to the loins below the stomach and between the entrails and the great vein, from which passages proceed to each of the kidneys; and, as in fish, the semen may be seen entering them at the period of coition, when these passages become very conspicuous, but when this season is passed the passages again become invisible. So also the testicles of birds are either small or entirely invisible when not excited, but when urged by desire they become very large; this is so remarkable in pigeons and partridges, that some persons have supposed that they had no testicles during winter.

6. In some of those animals in which the testicles are placed forwards, they are internal and upon the abdomen, as in the dolphin; in others they are externally conspicuous upon the extremity of the abdomen. These animals are similar in other respects, but differ in this, for in some the testicles are uncovered, and others that have external testes they are placed in a scrotum.

7. This is the nature of the testicles of all viviparous animals with feet: from the aorta, passages like veins proceed to the head of each testicle, and two others from the kidneys, these last are full of blood, but those from the aorta contain no blood. From the head of each testicle to the testicle itself, there proceeds a thicker and more muscular passage, which is in each testicle reflected back to the head of the testicle, and from this point they again unite upon the penis towards the fore-part of it.

8. And both these passages which are reflected back upon themselves, and those which are seated upon the testicles, are covered with the same membrane as the testes themselves, [Pg 48] so that unless this membrane is taken away, they all appear to be one passage. These last passages, which are seated upon the testicle, contain sanguineous fluid, but less than those above from the aorta; but in the reflected passages of the duct which is upon the penis, the fluid is white. A passage also leads from the bladder, and is united to the upper part of this duct, which is enclosed in the part called the penis as in a husk. The accompanying diagram will illustrate the position of these parts.

9. The origin of the passage from the trachea, a; the head of the testes and the descending passages, b b; the passages which proceed from these, and are seated upon the testicle, c c; the reflexed passages which contain the white fluid, d d; the penis, e; the bladder f; the testicles, g g. But when the testicles are cut out or otherwise destroyed, the upper passages are retracted; in young animals castration is performed by bruising the testicles, in older animals by excision. And it has happened that a bull has begotten young if admitted to the female immediately after castration. This is the nature of the testicles of animals.

10. The uterus of the females that possess this organ is not of the same nature, nor alike in all, but they differ from each other both in viviparous and oviparous animals. The uterus is double in all those animals in which it is situated near the external organ of generation, one part lying on the right side, the other on the left, but the origin is one, and there is but one os uteri, which is like a very fleshy tube, and in most animals, especially those of a large size, it is cartilaginous. One part of this organ is called the uterus and delphys (whence the word adelphi, brothers), and the vagina and os uteri are called metra.

11. In all viviparous animals, whether bipeds or quadrupeds, the uterus is placed below the diaphragm, as in the human female, the bitch, sow, mare, and cow, and it is the same in all horned animals. At the extremity of the uterus most animals have a convoluted part called the horns; these are not distinct in all oviparous animals; but in some birds they are placed near the diaphragm, and in some fishes below, as in the viviparous bipeds and quadrupeds. But they are thin, membranaceous, and long, so that in very small fish each part of the roe appears as one ovum, as if the fish [Pg 49] which are said to have a crumbling roe had but two ova, for it is not one ovum but many, and therefore it may be resolved into many.

12. In the uterus of birds the vagina is below, fleshy and tough, but the part near the diaphragm membranaceous and very thin, so that the eggs appear to be outside the uterus. In large birds the membrane is more conspicuous, and if inflated through the vagina, it swells and enlarges at places; in small birds these parts are not conspicuous. The uterus of oviparous quadrupeds, as the tortoise, lizard, frog, and such like, is of the same nature, for the vagina below is one and fleshy, but the division and the ova are higher up and near the diaphragm.

13. In those apodal creatures which are outwardly viviparous and inwardly oviparous, as the sharks and selachea—[The selachea are apodal, furnished with gills, and viviparous]—the uterus is divided, and as in birds, it commences below and extends towards the diaphragm. The ova are situated between the division, and above near the diaphragm; and the animal is produced from the ovum after this has descended into the open space.

14. The difference between the uteri of these fish and others may be studied more accurately in drawings of dissections. Serpents also differ much both among themselves and from other animals, for all serpents except the viper are oviparous; this one is viviparous, though at first internally oviparous, wherefore, in many respects, its uterus resembles that of the cartilaginous fishes. The uterus of the serpent is long, like the body, and descends downwards, beginning from one duct and continuing on either side of the spine as far as the diaphragm, as if each were a passage, in which the ova are placed in order; these ova are not extruded singly, but connected together like a chain.

15. In all animals that are either internally or externally viviparous, the uterus is situated above the abdomen; in all oviparous creatures it is placed below, near the loins. Those that are externally viviparous, but internally oviparous, partake of both characters, for the lower part in which the ova are situated is near the loins, the other part whence the ova are extruded above the intestines. And there is also this difference in the uteri of animals: those which have horns [Pg 50] and not teeth in both jaws have cotyledons in the pregnant uterus, and some of those also with teeth in both jaws, as the hare, the mouse, and the bat. But other viviparous animals with teeth in both jaws, and with feet, have a smooth uterus. The embryo is not united to the cotyledon, but to the womb. This is the manner of the internal and external heterogeneous parts of animals.

Chapter II.

1. Of the homogeneous parts of animals, the blood is common to sanguineous animals; and so is the part in which it is contained, which is called a vein; analogous to these, in exsanguineous animals are the serum and the fibre. That which especially constitutes the body is flesh or its analogue: the bone and its analogue; the spine and the cartilage. Next to this we place the skin, membranes, sinews, hair, nails, and their analogue; after these, adeps, fat, and excrementitious matters; then are fces, phlegm, and bile, both the yellow and the black.

2. But inasmuch as the blood and the veins seem to occupy the chief place, we will first of all speak of these, both for other reasons, and because former writers do not appear to have described them rightly. The difficulty of understanding them is the reason of their errors, for in dead animals, the nature of the principal veins is obscure, for they collapse as soon as the blood has escaped, and it pours out of them as from a vessel. No part of the body, except the veins, contains any blood, except the heart, which has a little; but it is all in the veins. In living creatures their nature cannot be distinguished, for they are internal, and out of sight; so that those who consider them only in dead and dissected animals, cannot see their principal origins. But some, by the examination of emaciated persons, have distinguished the origin of the veins, from the appearance of those which are external.

3. For Syennesis,[89] a Cyprian physician, speaks thus: "The larger veins are thus constituted. From the navel around the loins, through the back to the lungs, under the breasts; that from the right to the left, and that from the [Pg 51] left to the right. That from the left, through the liver to the kidney and the testicle; that from the right to the spleen, the kidney, and the testicle, and from thence to the penis."

4. Diogenes[90] of Apollonia writes thus: "The veins are thus placed in man. There are two very large ones, which extend through the stomach by the spine of the back, one to the right and the other to the left, each to the leg nearest itself, and upwards to the head by the collar-bone, and through the neck. From these great veins others extend through the whole of the body, from the right to the right side, and from the left to the left side. The largest are two from the heart, surrounding the spine of the back; and others, a little higher up, through the breasts under the arm-pits, each to the hand nearest itself; and the one is called the splenetic, the other the hepatic vein.

5. "The extremity of these veins is divided, one branch goes to the thumb, and another to the wrist, and from these many small branches are extended upon each hand, and the fingers; and others, smaller still, branch off from these first veins, from the right side to the liver, from the left to the spleen and kidneys. The veins, which go to the legs, are divided near the junction, and extend through the whole thigh; but the largest of these extends to the back of the thigh, and appears thick; another, less thick, passes through the inside of the thigh, and afterwards veins extend by the knee to the leg and foot. As on the hands, they are distributed upon the tarsus of the foot, and from thence to the toes.

6. "A number of small veins are distributed on the stomach and the lungs. Those that extend to the head, through the jugular region, appear large in the neck. From the extremity of each of these many veins are distributed upon the head, some on the right side to the left, others on the left side to the right, they all end near the ear. And there is a second vein upon the neck on each side, somewhat less than the other, to which the principal veins of the neck are united. These pass inwards, through the neck, and from each of them veins pass beneath the shoulder-blade and to the hands; and near the splenetic and [Pg 52] hepatic veins there appear others a little less, which they divide when any disease attacks the skin; but the hepatic and splenetic veins are divided for any disease in the neighbourhood of the stomach.

7. "Other veins pass from these, beneath the breasts; and there are other small ones, which proceed from each of these through the spinal marrow to the testicles, and others beneath the skin, through the flesh, reach the kidneys; in men they terminate upon the testicles, in women on the uterus. The first veins from the stomach are wider, and afterwards become smaller, until they pass over from the right to the left, and from the left to the right; these are called the spermatic veins. The thickest blood is beneath the flesh, but that which is in excess in these places becomes thin, and warm, and frothy." These are the opinions of Syennesis and Diogenes.

8. Polybus[91] writes thus: "There are four pair of veins, one from the back of the head through the neck, on the outside, near the spine on either side, as far as the thighs and the legs, afterwards through the legs to the ancles, on the outside, and to the feet. Wherefore, in complaints of the back and thigh, they divide the veins upon the poplitic region, or ancles, on the outside. Another pair of veins pass from the head, by the ears, through the neck, these are called the jugular veins; and others within, near the spine, lead by the loins to the testicles and the thighs, and through the poplitic region on the inside, and through the leg to the inner part of the ancle, and the feet; wherefore, in complaints of the loins and testicles, they bleed in the poplitic region and ancles.

9. "The third pair of veins, from the temple through the neck, and beneath the scapula, reach the lungs; those from the right to the left, under the breast, to the spleen and kidneys; and those from the left to the right side, from the lungs, under the breast, and liver, and kidney; and both end beneath the testicles. The fourth pair from the forepart of the head and the eyes, under the neck and collar-bones; from thence they extend through the humerus to the elbow, and through the cubitus to the wrist and the fingers, and through the lower part of the arm to the arm-pits, and the [Pg 53] 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."

Chapter III.

1. The opinions of other persons are nearly these; and there are other physiologists, but they have not treated so accurately of the veins. But all agree in placing their origin in the head and brain, in which 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 following 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 smaller is behind; the larger is inclined to the right side, the smaller to the left; and this by some persons is called 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 cavities, 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 smaller are far less than the greater.

3. All these are perforated towards the lungs, but imperceptibly so from the minuteness of the passage, except in one place. The great vein is suspended from the upper portion of the principal cavity, and on the right side; afterwards through the cavity a vein extends again, 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 different manner from the vein, for it communicates with the heart by a much narrower passage, and the vein is continued [Pg 54] through the heart. But the aorta passes from the heart, and the great vein is membranous and like skin, but the aorta 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 vein is first of all extended upwards from the heart to the lung, and to the junction of the aorta, this vein being undivided and large; from this place it divides into two branches, the one towards the lung, and the other to the spine and the lowest vertebra 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 minute 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 upon the vertebra of the neck, and upon the spinal column, returns again to the spine, as Homer writes in his poems: "He cut off the whole vein which passes up the back and returns again to the neck;"[92] and from this vein branches extend to each rib and to each vertebra; but that which is upon the vertebra near the kidneys branches in two directions. These branches, then, of the great vein are subdivided in this manner.

6. And above these, from that part which is continued from 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 quadrupeds to the fore-legs, to the wings in birds, and to the pectoral 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 held on the outside, men fall down dead with insensibility, with closed eyes, but without choking.

7. Extending in this manner, and receiving the trachea between them, they reach the place where the jaws unite with the head; and again from this point they are divided into four veins, one of which bends backwards and descends [Pg 55] through the neck and shoulder, and meets the first division of the vein by the joint of the arm; the other portion terminates in the hand and fingers; and another branch extends from each part near the ear to the brain, where it is divided into many small branches upon the membrane which surrounds the brain.

8. The brain never contains blood in any animal, nor does any vein, small or great, terminate upon it; but some of the other branches that extend from this vein surround the brain in a circle, and others, end upon the organs of sense and the teeth in very small veins. In the same manner, also, the branches of the smaller vein, which is called the aorta, are divided: they are continued beside those of the great vein, but the tubes are smaller and the branches less than those of the great vein.

Chapter IV.

1. The veins, then, are thus distributed in the parts above the heart, but the part of the great vein which is below the heart passes through the middle of the diaphragm, and is united to the aorta and spinal column by membranous flaccid passages. From this a short and wide vein passes through the liver, from which many similar branches extend to the liver, and disappear upon it. There are two branches of the vein, one of which terminates upon the diaphragm, and what is called the prcordia, 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 physicians 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 passes 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 from 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 far as the sophagus; and many veins branch off from them around these parts.

[Pg 56]

3. Both the aorta and the great vein continue 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 divided into two parts, like the letter lambda (), and the great vein is placed farther back than the aorta. The aorta is more closely united to the spinal column, near the heart, and the junction is formed by small sinewy veins.

4. The aorta leaves the heart as a large hollow 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 bladder, 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 extremities are distributed upon the bladder and penis in the 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 they pass through the legs, ending upon the feet and toes; and others again pass through the nates and thighs, alternately from right to left, and they join with other veins below the knees.

7. The nature and origin of the veins are evident from this description. In all sanguineous animals, the nature and origin of the principal veins are the same, but the multitude of smaller veins is not alike in all, for neither are the parts of the same nature, nor do all possess the same parts. Nor are the veins equally apparent in all animals; but they are more manifest in [Pg 57] those which have most blood, and in the largest creatures; but in those animals which are small, and have not much blood, either by nature or from excess in fat, they are not so easily 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 smallest animals.

Chapter V.

1. The following is the nature of the sinews of animals. The origin of these, also, is in the breast, for there is a sinew in the principal cavity of the heart itself; and that which is called the aorta is a sinewy vein, for its terminations are always sinewy, for they are not hollow, and are extensible, like the sinews which end upon the bending of the bones: for it is not the nature of sinews to be continuous 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 appears 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 continuation would be evident in emaciated persons. The principal parts of the sinews are around the part of the body appropriated to leaping, and this is called the poples. Another double sinew is the tendon of the neck, and the epitonus and the sinew of the shoulder, which aid in the support of the body. The sinews around the joints have not received any name, for all the bones where they are contiguous are bound together by the sinews.

3. And there are many sinews round all the bones; there are none in the head; but the sutures of the skull are adapted to each other. It is the nature of sinew to tear readily lengthwise, but across the fibre it is indivisible, and it is very extensible. The sinews are surrounded by a mucous, white, and gelatinous fluid, by which they are nourished, and from which they seem to derive their origin. The vein does not alter its form by combustion, but the sinew is entirely destroyed. Neither does it unite after division.

[Pg 58]

4. Numbness does not take place in those parts of the body which contain no sinews. The sinews are most abundant on the hands and feet, and on the ribs and shoulder-blades, and round the neck and arms. All sanguineous animals have 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 they are most distinct near the fins.

Chapter VI.

1. The fibres are between the sinews and the veins; but some of them are moistened with serum, and they extend from the sinews to the veins, and from the veins to the sinews. There is also another kind of fibre, which is produced in the blood of most, but not of all animals. When 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,[93] and bubalis,[94] and some others; so that their blood 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 trembling, like that of milk, if no coagulating substance is put into it. The blood of the bubalis coagulates more thickly, only a little less so than that of sheep. This is the nature of veins, sinews, and fibres.

Chapter VII.

1. The bones of animals depend upon one bone, and are connected with each other, like the veins; and there is no such thing as a separate bone. In all animals with bones the spinal column is their origin. The spinal column is made up of vertebr, and extends from the head to the hips. All the vertebr are perforated; the upper part of the head is a bone joined to the last vertebra, and is called the skull, 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 dog; in others it is compound, as in the human subject. The female has [Pg 59] one suture, in a circle; the male has three, meeting at the top of the head, like a triangle; and human skulls have been seen without sutures. The head is not composed of four bones, but of six; two of these are placed above the ears, and are small compared with the rest.

3. From the head the jaw-bones descend. All other animals move the lower jaw, the river-crocodile alone moves the upper jaw. In the jaws are the order of the teeth, which are bony, in some parts they are perforated, in others they are not. These are the only bones too hard to be engraved.

4. From the spinal-column, which is the point of union, originate the clavicles and ribs; the breast also 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 scapul upon the shoulders, and these are continued 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 column, and next to the hip, is the socket, and the bones of the lower extremity, with those of the thigh and leg, 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 in those of the thigh and fore leg; otherwise, in the lion, the bones are particularly solid, for they are sufficiently hard to emit fire like stones on concussion. The dolphin also has bones, but it has no spine, like fish. Some sanguineous animals differ partially from these, as the class of birds. In others, as fish, the bones are only analogous, for viviparous fish have a cartilaginous spine, like those which are called selachea; the oviparous fish have a spine, which is like the backbone of quadrupeds.

7. It is a peculiarity in fish that some species have small [Pg 60] spines in the flesh separated from each other. Serpents are like fish, for their back-bone is spinous; among oviparous quadrupeds the greater animals have a bony vertebral column; the lesser have a spinous one.

8. For all sanguineous animals have either a bony, or a spinous column. The remainder of the bones exist in some animals, but not in others, for if they have the limbs, they have the bones belonging to them; for those that have not hind and fore legs have not hams, nor are they present in those animals which possess limbs unlike those of quadrupeds, for in these they vary in size and proportion. This is the nature of the bones of animals.

Chapter VIII.

1. Cartilage is of the same nature as bone, but it differs in the greater and less, and neither bone nor cartilage are reproduced if they are cut off. In sanguineous and viviparous animals living on the land the cartilage is imperforate, and does not contain marrow, like the bones; but the flat selachea, which have a cartilaginous spine, have a cartilage analogous to bone containing a liquid marrow. Viviparous animals, with feet, have cartilage about their ears, nostrils, and extremities of their bones.

Chapter IX.

1. There is another class of parts, which, though not the same as these, are not very different, as nails, hoofs, claws, 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, claws, and hoofs follow the colour of the skin and the hair: for in black animals the horns are black, and so are the claws and hoofs in those with claws; in white animals they are white. There are also intermediate colours, the nails also are of the same nature.

2. But the teeth are like bones; wherefore, in black men, Ethiopians, and such like, the teeth and the bones are white, but the nails are black, like the rest of the skin. [Pg 61] The horns of most animals are hollow at their base, and surround a bony process on their heads; but at the extremity the horn is solid and single. The stag's horns are solid throughout, and divided; and these animals alone cast their horns; this is done annually, if they are not cut off. Concerning those that are cut off, we shall speak hereafter.

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

Chapter X.

1. This is the nature of hair and its analogues and skin. All viviparous animals, with feet, have hair; oviparous animals, with feet, have scaly plates; and those fish alone which produce friable ova are covered with scales; for the conger and murna among long fish have not such ova, and the eel produces no ova. The hair differs in thickness, thinness, 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. If animals covered with soft hair are placed in good pastures their hair will become coarser; and, on the contrary, it becomes finer and less in those that have coarse hair. Warm and cold situations also make a difference, for the hair of natives of warm climates is harsh, but it is soft in those of colder climates. Straight hair is soft, crisped hair is harsh.

3. It is the nature of hair to split; and different kinds of hair are dissimilar in excess and deficiency; some are so changed by harshness as to bear slight resemblance to hair, [Pg 62] and are more like spines, 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 glue is made from fishes. When the skin alone is cut it is insensible, especially that upon 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 have a skin: all, however, have not hair, but those which are described above.

5. The colour of the hair changes in men as they grow old, and the hair becomes grey. This takes place in other animals, but not so remarkably as in the horse. The hair begins 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 born dry. In the exanthematous disease, called whiteness, all the hair becomes hoary; and some patients, who have suffered from illness, after the hair has fallen off on recovery, have regained their dark-coloured hair. Hair which is covered up becomes white more readily than that which is exposed to the air; in man the temples are the first to grow grey, and the fore part of the head 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 appear successively after birth, so that the parts on which the hair appears at birth, and those on which it grows afterwards are the same in number. In old age the hair on the head especially is the first to fail, and falls off. This is only in front, for no one ever becomes bald on the back [Pg 63] of the head. The smoothness on the crown of the head is called baldness, that upon the eyebrows depilation; neither of these takes place before the commencement of puberty.

7. Children, women, and eunuchs never become bald. If a person be castrated before puberty, the hair which grows after birth never makes its appearance; if after puberty these alone fall off, except the hair on the pubes. Women have no hair upon the chin, excepting a few of those in whom the catamenia have ceased, and the priestesses in Caria: and this appears ominous of future events. Women also have 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 persons are barren who have not hair on the pubes.

8. The rest of the hair grows proportionally, either more or less. That upon the head grows the most, then that on the chin, and thin hair most of all. The eyebrows grow so thick upon some aged persons as to be cut off, for they are placed upon the symphysis of the bone; and this being 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 of 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, soon 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 tongue. As for the beard, some persons have a thick one, both beneath the chin and upon it; in others, these parts are smooth, and the beard is on the cheeks. Those who have smooth chins are least likely to become bald. The hair grows in some diseases, as in phthisis especially, and in old age, and upon dead bodies, and the hair becomes harder instead of softer. The same is the case with the nails. In persons of strong passions, the hair that is born with them decreases, while that which comes after birth increases.

10. Those who suffer from enlarged veins are less likely [Pg 64] to become bald; and if they have this disease after they are bald, the hair sometimes grows again. The hair, when cut off, does not grow again from the extremity, but increases by growth from the root. The scales of fishes become harder and thicker, and in those that are growing thin and old they become still harder. The hair and wool of old animals becomes thicker, though the quantity decreases; and the hoofs and claws enlarge as they grow old, and the beaks of birds. And the claws grow in the same way as the nails.

11. Feathered animals, like birds, do not change their colour by age, excepting the crane, for this bird is ash-coloured, and becomes black by age. But from the change of season, when it becomes cold, some of those having but one colour, black or grey, become white, as the crow, sparrow, and swallow; but none of those which are white become black. At different seasons of the year many birds change the colour of their plumage, so as to render it difficult for those who are not acquainted with them to recognise them.

12. And many animals change their colour with a change of water; for in one place they are black, and in another white; and the same thing takes place at the season of coition. There are many waters of such a nature that if sheep drink of them before sexual intercourse, they produce black lambs; as at that which is called the cold river in the Thracian Chalcis (in Astyritis). And in Antandria there are two rivers, one of which turns the sheep white, the other black; and the Scamander appears to make the sheep yellow, wherefore some people think that Homer called the Scamander the Xanthus.

13. Other animals have no hair internally, nor upon the bottom of their feet, though it is on the upper part. The hare alone has hair on the inside of its cheeks, and upon its feet, and the mysticetus[95] has no teeth in its mouth, but hairs, like hog's bristles. The hair, if it is cut off, increases below, but not above. Feathers do not grow either above or below, but fall out. The wing of the bee, if it is plucked off, does not grow again, nor that of any other creature which has an undivided wing; nor does the [Pg 65] sting of the bee grow after it is plucked out, but the animal dies.

Chapter XI.

1. There are membranes in all sanguineous animals. Membrane is like a dense thin skin, but it differs in kind, for it is neither divisible nor extensible. There is a membrane round every bone and every intestine, both in the greater and smaller animals; they are inconspicuous in small animals, owing to their thinness and small size. The principal membranes are two, which surround the brain, one round the bones of the head, and this is stronger and thicker than that round the brain itself; and after these, the membrane which surrounds the heart. A thin membrane does not unite after it has been cut asunder, and the bones, when deprived of their membranes, become inflamed.

2. The omentum is a membrane. All sanguineous animals have an omentum; in some it is fat, in others it contains no fat. In viviparous animals, with cutting teeth in both jaws, it has its origin and is suspended from the middle of the stomach, where it appears like a suture of this organ. In those that have not teeth in both jaws, it is suspended in the same way from the principal stomach.

3. The bladder also is membranous, but its character is different, for it is extensible. All animals have not a bladder, but all viviparous animals have this organ, and the tortoise alone of oviparous animals. When the bladder is cut it does not re-unite, except at the very origin of the urethra, or only very rarely, for it has happened sometimes. No moisture passes into the bladder of dead animals; but in living creatures there are dry compounds, from which are formed the stones that are found in persons labouring under this disease; sometimes they are of such a nature in the bladder as to differ in nothing from shells. This, then, is the nature of veins, sinews, and skins, and of muscle and membrane; and of hair, nails, claws, hoofs, horns, teeth and beaks, and of cartilage, bone, and their analogues.

Chapter XII.

1. In all sanguineous animals, flesh, and that which is like flesh, is between the skin and the bone, or what is analogous [Pg 66] to bone: for the same relation which a spine bears to a bone, is also borne by flesh to that which is like flesh, in animals possessing bones and spines. The flesh can be divided in every direction, and so is unlike sinews and veins, which can only be divided in their length. The flesh disappears in emaciated animals, giving place to veins and fibres. Those animals which can obtain abundance of good food have fat instead of flesh.

2. Those that have much flesh have smaller veins and redder blood, and their intestines and stomachs are small; but those which have large veins and dark blood, and large intestines and great stomachs, have also less flesh, for those that have fat flesh have small intestines.

Chapter XIII.

1. Adeps and fat differ from each other, for fat is always brittle, and coagulates upon cooling, but adeps is liquid, and does not coagulate; and broths made from animals with adeps do not thicken, as from the horse and hog, but that made from animals with fat thickens, as from the sheep and goat. These substances also differ in situation, for the adeps is between the skin and the flesh; but the fat only exists upon the extremity of the flesh. In adipose animals the omentum is adipose, in fat animals it is fatty: for the animals with cutting teeth in both jaws are adipose, those that have not cutting teeth in both jaws are fat.

2. Of the viscera in some animals the liver is full of adeps, as in the cartilaginous fishes, for oil is procured from these during the process of decomposition, the cartilaginous fish are particularly free from adeps on their flesh, but the adeps is separated on the stomach. The fat also of fishes is adipose, and does not coagulate; and some animals are furnished with adeps on the flesh, and others apart from the flesh; and those creatures in which the adeps is not separated from the flesh have less of this substance on the stomach and omentum, as the eel: for these creatures have little fat on the omentum. In most animals the adeps collects principally upon the abdomen, especially in those which take little exercise.

3. The brain of adipose animals is unctuous, as in swine; that of fatty animals is dry. Of all the viscera the kidneys [Pg 67] are surrounded by the greatest quantity of adeps in all animals; that on the right side is always the least adipose; and let there be ever so much adeps, there is always a space left between the kidneys. They are also the most fatty of the viscera, and especially in sheep, for this animal sometimes dies from the entire concealment of its kidneys in fat. This excessive fat around the kidneys arises from good pasture, as in the Leontine territory of Sicily; wherefore also in the evening they drive away the sheep which have been feeding during the day, in order that they may take less food.

4. The fat around the pupil of the eye is common to all animals; for all have fat in this part, that possess it, and are not hard-eyed. Fat animals, both male and female, are more inclined to be barren, and all old animals become fat more readily than young ones, especially when they increase in depth, having obtained their proper width and length.

Chapter XIV.

1. The following is the nature of the blood. This is most essential and common to all sanguineous animals, and is not superadded, but exists in all animals that are not in a perishing condition. All the blood is in a vessel called the veins, but in no other part of the body, except the heart. The blood of all animals has no sense of touch, nor has the excrementitious matter in the stomach; neither have the brain, nor the marrow, any sensation of touch; but wherever the flesh is divided, the blood flows in the living subject, unless the flesh is perishing. It is the nature of the blood to have a sweet juice, as long as it is healthy and a red colour, and that is bad which either by nature or disease is black. The best kind of blood is neither very thick nor thin, unless it is vitiated either by nature or disease.

2. In living animals it is always warm and moist, but when taken out of the animal the blood of all creatures coagulates, except that of the stag and deer, and perhaps some others of the same nature. The blood of all other creatures coagulates, unless the fibre is taken out of it. Bullock's blood coagulates faster than that of any other animals. Amongst sanguineous animals, those which are both internally and externally viviparous, have the most blood, and [Pg 68] after them the oviparous sanguineous animals; those which are well disposed, either by nature or by health, have not a great deal of blood, as in those that have just drank; nor a very little, as in those which are very fat. Fat animals have pure blood, though the quantity is small; as they become more fat they lose a portion of their blood, for fat is free from blood. Fat is not corruptible, but blood and the parts that contain blood are very corruptible; of these the parts surrounding the bones are most corruptible.

3. Man has the thinnest and purest blood, that of the ox and ass is the thickest and blackest of all viviparous animals. The blood is thicker and blacker in the lower than in the upper part of animals. The blood palpitates in the veins alike in all animals; this alone of all the fluids exists in every part of the body of living subjects, and as long only as they are alive. The blood first of all exists in the heart of all animals before it is distributed through the body. When deprived of their blood, or if the greater part escapes, they faint away; but when a very great deal is lost, they die. When the blood becomes very much liquefied, illness ensues, for it becomes like serum, and flows through in such a manner, that some have perspired blood; and when taken out of the body, it does not coagulate into a mass, but into separate and divided portions.

4. In sleeping animals, the blood in the extremities is diminished, so that it does not flow freely when they are pricked. Blood is formed from serum, and fat from blood. When the blood becomes diseased, hmorrhoids are produced, either in the nose or anus, and a disease called ixia.[96] When the blood becomes corrupted in the body, pus is formed, and from pus a scab. The blood in females differs from that of males, for it is more thick and black in females of similar health and age. In the whole of the body the quantity of blood is less in females, but internally they are more full of blood. Of all females, women have the most blood, and the catamenia are more abundant in them than in other females.

5. When this blood is diseased, it is called a flooding. Women have a less share in other diseases; but a few are afflicted with ixia, and with hmorrhoids and bleeding [Pg 69] from the nose; when any of these take place, the catamenia decrease. The blood differs in proportion to the age in quantity and appearance, for when very young, it is more like serum, and very abundant; in the aged it is thick, black, and in less quantity; in those in the prime of life it is between these. In aged persons the blood coagulates quickly in the body, or on the surface; but in young persons this does not take place. Serum is imperfect blood, because it has not ripened, or because it has become more fluid.

Chapter XV.

1. Concerning marrow, for this is one of the fluids which exist in some animals. All the natural fluids of the body are contained in vessels, as the blood in the veins, and the marrow in the bones, and others in membranes, skin, and cavities. The marrow is always full of blood in young animals; but when they grow older, in the adipose it becomes adipose, in fat animals fatty. There is not marrow in all the bones, but only in those that are hollow, and not even in some of these, for some of the bones of the lion have no marrow, others but little; wherefore some persons say the lion has no marrow at all, as was before observed. In the bones of swine there is very little marrow, in some none at all.

Chapter XVI.

1. These fluids are nearly always co-existent with animal life; but milk and the spermatic fluid are produced afterwards. Of these the milk is always secreted in those animals in which it is present. The spermatic fluid is not secreted in all, but in some as in fishes are what are called melts. All animals having milk have it in the mamm. All animals that are both internally and externally viviparous have mamm, that is, all that have hair, as man, and the horse, the cetacea, as the dolphin, seal, and whale, for these also have mamm and milk.

2. Those animals that are only externally viviparous, and oviparous animals, have neither mamm nor milk, as fish, and birds. All milk has a watery serum, which is called whey, and a substantial part called curds; the thicker kinds of milk have the most curds. The milk of animals without [Pg 70] cutting teeth in both jaws, coagulates, wherefore cheese is made from the milk of domestic animals. The milk of those with cutting teeth in both jaws does not coagulate, but resembles their adeps, and is thin and sweet; the milk of the camel is the thinnest of all, next is that of the horse; in the third place that of the ass. Cow's milk is thicker.

3. Under the influence of cold, milk does not coagulate, but becomes fluid; by heat it is coagulated, and becomes thick. There is no milk in any animal before it has conceived, or but rarely; but, as soon as it has conceived the milk is produced; the first and last milk are useless. Sometimes milk has come in animals not with young, from partaking of particular kinds of food; and even in aged females it has been produced so freely when sucked, as to afford nourishment for an infant. And the shepherds round ta, when the shegoats will not endure the approach of the males, cut their udders violently against a thorn, so as to cause pain; at first, when milked, they produce bloody, and afterwards putrid milk, but at last their milk is as good as that of those which have young ones.

4. The males, both of man and other animals, rarely produce milk; nevertheless, it is found in some cases: for in Lemnos, a he-goat has given from the two nipples, which are always found on the penis, so much milk, that cakes of cheese were made from it. The same thing happened to another he-goat, which was produced from this one; but such things as these are considered ominous: for, on inquiry being made of the god of Lemnos, he replied that there should be an additional supply of cattle. A small quantity of milk has been forced from some men after puberty; from others a great quantity has been produced by suction.

5. There is a fatness in milk which becomes oily when it is cooked. In Sicily, and other countries, when there is an abundant supply of goat's milk, they mix ewe's milk with it, and it coagulates readily, not only because it contains abundance of curd, but also because it is of a drier nature. Some animals have more milk than enough for the support of their offspring, and this is useful for making cheese, and for putting aside. The best is that of the sheep and goats, and next, that of the cow. Mare's milk and ass's milk are combined with the Phrygian cheese. There is [Pg 71] more cheese in the milk of the cow than of the goat: for the shepherds say, from an amphora of goat's milk they can make nineteen cakes of cheese, each worth an obolus, and thirty from cow's milk. Other creatures have only enough for their young, and no superabundance useful for making cheese, as all those animals which have more than two mamm, for none of these have a superabundance of milk, nor will their milk make cheese.

6. Milk is coagulated by the juice of figs, and by rennet; the juice is placed upon wool, and the wool is washed in a little milk; this coagulates upon mixture. The rennet is a kind of milk, which is found in the body of sucking animals. This rennet is milk, containing cheese, for the milk becomes cooked by the heat of the body. All ruminating animals contain rennet, and the hare among those with cutting teeth in both jaws. The older coagulum is the better, for such rennet is useful in diarrha, and so is that of the hare. The rennet of the fawn is the best.

7. The greater or less quantity of milk drawn from those animals which have milk, differs in the size of the body, and the variety of the food. In Phasis there are very small cows, each of which gives a great deal of milk; and the large cows of Epirus give an amphora and half of milk from each of their two mamm; and the person who milks them stands up, or only leans a little, because he cannot reach them sitting down. The other animals of Epirus are large except the ass, but the largest are the cows and the dogs. These large cattle require more pasture; but the country has a great deal so excellent, that they can be changed to fit places every hour. The oxen are the largest, and the sheep, called Pyrrhic; they have received this name from king Pyrrhus.

8. Some kinds of food check the milk, as the medic grass, especially in ruminating animals. The cytisus and orobus have a very different effect; but the flower of the cytisus is unwholesome, and causes inflammation; the orobus does not agree with pregnant cattle, for it causes difficulty of parturition. On the whole, those animals which are able to eat the most food, as they are better adapted for parturition, will also give the most milk, if they have enough food. Some of the flatulent kinds of food, when given to [Pg 72] animals, increase the quantity of milk, as beans given freely to the sheep, goat, ox, and chimra,[97] for they cause the udder to be distended; and it is a sign that there will be plenty of milk when the udder is seen below before parturition.

9. The milk lasts a long time in those that have it, if they remain without sexual intercourse, and have proper food; and in sheep it lasts longer than in any other animals, for the sheep may be milked for eight months. Altogether the ruminating animals produce milk in greater abundance, and more fitted for making cheese. Around Torona the cows fail in their milk a few days before calving, but give milk all the rest of the time. In women dark-coloured milk is better for the children than that which is white; and black women are better nurses than white women. The most nutritious milk is that which contains the most cheese, but that which contains less cheese is better for infants.

Chapter XVII.

1. All sanguineous animals eject the spermatic fluid; the office it performs in generation, and how it is performed, will be treated of in another place. In proportion to his size man ejects more than other animals. This fluid, in animals covered with hair, is glutinous, in others it is not glutinous; in all it is white, so that Herodotus is mistaken when he says that the Ethiopians have black semen.[98] The semen comes out white and thick if it is healthy, but after ejection it becomes thin and black; it does not thicken with cold, but becomes thin and watery, both in colour and density. By heat it coagulates and thickens, and when it has been ejected for any time into the uterus, it comes out more thick, and sometimes dry and twisted together. That which is fruitful sinks in water, but the barren mixes with it. All that Ctesias said about the semen of the elephant is false.

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