Aristotle, Generation of Animals

LCL 366: 174-175

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737 a περίττωμα, καὶ πάντα τὰ μόρια ἔχει δυνάμει, ἐνεργείᾳ δ᾿ οὐθέν. καὶ γὰρ τὰ τοιαῦτ᾿ ἔχει μόρια 25δυνάμει, ᾗ διαφέρει τὸ θῆλυ τοῦ ἄρρενος. ὥσπερ γὰρ καὶ ἐκ πεπηρωμένων ὁτὲ μὲν γίνεται πεπηρωμένα ὁτὲ δ᾿οὔ, οὕτω καὶ ἐκ θήλεος ὁτὲ μὲν θῆλυ ὁτὲ δ᾿ οὔ, ἀλλ᾿ ἄρρεν. τὸ γὰρ θῆλυ ὥσπερ ἄρρεν ἐστὶ πεπηρωμένον, καὶ τὰ καταμήνια σπέρμα, οὐ καθαρὸν δέ. ἓν γὰρ οὐκ ἔχει μόνον, τὴν τῆς ψυχῆς 30ἀρχήν. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ὅσοις ὑπηνέμια γίνεται τῶν ζῴων, ἀμφοτέρων ἔχει τὰ μέρη τὸ συνιστάμενον ᾠόν, ἀλλὰ τὴν ἀρχὴν οὐκ ἔχει, διὸ οὐ γίνεται ἔμψυχον· ταύτην γὰρ τὸ τοῦ ἄρρενος ἐπιφέρει σπέρμα. ὅταν δὲ μετάσχῃ τοιαύτης ἀρχῆς τὸ περίττωμα τὸ τοῦ θήλεος, κύημα γίνεται.

351[Τοῖς δ᾿ ὑγροῖς μὲν σωματώδεσι δὲ θερμαινομένοις περιίσταται, καθάπερ ἐν τοῖς ἑψήμασι ψυχομένοις 737 bτὸ περίξηρον. πάντα δὲ τὰ σώματα συνέχει τὸ γλίσχρον· ὅπερ καὶ προϊοῦσι καὶ μείζοσι γιγνομένοις ἡ τοῦ νεύρου λαμβάνει φύσις, ἥπερ συνέχει τὰ μόρια τῶν ζῴων, ἐν μὲν τοῖς οὖσα νεῦρον, ἐν δὲ τοῖς τὸ ἀνάλογον. τῆς δ᾿ αὐτῆς 5μορφῆς ἐστὶ καὶ δέρμα καὶ φλὲψ καὶ ὑμὴν καὶ πᾶν


Generation of Animals, II.

contains all the parts of the body potentially, though none in actuality; and “all” includes those parts which distinguish the two sexes. Just as it sometimes happens that deformeda offspring are produced by deformed parents, and sometimes not, so the offspring produced by a female are sometimes female, sometimes not, but male. The reason is that the female is as it were a deformed male; and the menstrual discharge is semen, though in an impure condition; i.e., it lacks one constituent, and one only, the principle of Soul.b This explains why, in the case of the wind-eggs produced by some animals, the egg which takes shape contains the parts of both sexes,c but it has not this principle, and therefore it does not become a living thing with Soul in it; this principle has to be supplied by the semen of the male, and it is when the female’s residue secures this principle that a fetation is formed.d

e[When substances which are fluid but also corporeal are heated, an outer layer forms round them, just as we find a solid layer forming round things that have been boiled, as they cool. All bodies depend on something glutinous to hold them together; and as their development proceeds and they become larger, this glutinous character is acquired by the substance known as sinew, which holds the parts of animals together (in some it is actual sinew which does this, in others its counterpart).f Skin, blood-vessels, membrane and all that class of substances are of the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-generation_animals.1942