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History of Animals   


rennet, after being kept a good while, and also hare's rennet, is good
for diarrhoea, and the best of all rennet is that of the young deer.
In milk-producing animals the comparative amount of the yield
varies with the size of the animal and the diversities of pasturage.
For instance, there are in Phasis small cattle that in all cases
give a copious supply of milk, and the large cows in Epirus yield each
one daily some nine gallons of milk, and half of this from each pair
of teats, and the milker has to stand erect, stooping forward a
little, as otherwise, if he were seated, he would be unable to reach
up to the teats. But, with the exception of the ass, all the
quadrupeds in Epirus are of large size, and relatively, the cattle and
the dogs are the largest. Now large animals require abundant
pasture, and this country supplies just such pasturage, and also
supplies diverse pasture grounds to suit the diverse seasons of the
year. The cattle are particularly large, and likewise the sheep of the
so-called Pyrrhic breed, the name being given in honour of King
Pyrrhus.
Some pasture quenches milk, as Median grass or lucerne, and that
especially in ruminants; other feeding renders it copious, as
cytisus and vetch; only, by the way, cytisus in flower is not
recommended, as it has burning properties, and vetch is not good for
pregnant kine, as it causes increased difficulty in parturition.
However, beasts that have access to good feeding, as they are
benefited thereby in regard to pregnancy, so also being well nourished
produce milk in plenty. Some of the leguminous plants bring milk in
abundance, as for instance, a large feed of beans with the ewe, the
common she-goat, the cow, and the small she-goat; for this feeding
makes them drop their udders. And, by the way, the pointing of the
udder to the ground before parturition is a sign of there being plenty
of milk coming.
Milk remains for a long time in the female, if she be kept from
the male and be properly fed, and, of quadrupeds, this is especially
true of the ewe; for the ewe can be milked for eight months. As a
general rule, ruminating animals give milk in abundance, and milk
fitted for cheese manufacture. In the neighbourhood of Torone cows run
dry for a few days before calving, and have milk all the rest of the
time. In women, milk of a livid colour is better than white for
nursing purposes; and swarthy women give healthier milk than fair
ones. Milk that is richest in cheese is the most nutritious, but
milk with a scanty supply of cheese is the more wholesome for
children.
22

All sanguineous animals eject sperm. As to what, and how, it
contributes to generation, these questions will be discussed in
another treatise. Taking the size of his body into account, man
emits more sperm than any other animal. In hairy-coated animals the
sperm is sticky, but in other animals it is not so. It is white in all
cases, and Herodotus is under a misapprehension when he states that
the Aethiopians eject black sperm.
Sperm issues from the body white and consistent, if it be healthy,
and after quitting the body becomes thin and black. In frosty
weather it does not coagulate, but gets exceedingly thin and watery
both in colour and consistency; but it coagulates and thickens under
the influence of heat. If it be long in the womb before issuing out,
it comes more than usually thick; and sometimes it comes out dry and
compact. Sperm capable of impregnating or of fructification sinks in
water; sperm incapable Of producing that result dissolves away. But
there is no truth in what Ctesias has written about the sperm of the
elephant.
Book IV
1

We have now treated, in regard to blooded animals of the parts

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