Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 352: 530-531

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Book VII

IV. Transformation of females into males is not anchange of sex. idle story. We find in the Annals that in the consulshipa of Publius Licinius Crassus and Gaius Cassius Longinus a girl at Casinum was changed into a boy, under the observation of the parents, and at the order of the augurs was conveyed away to a desert island. Licinius Mucianus has recorded that he personally saw at Argos a man named Arescon who had been given the name of Arescusa and had actually married a husband, and then had grown a beard and developed masculine attributes and had taken a wife; and that he had also seen a boy with the same record at Smyrna. I myself saw in Africa a person who had turned into a male on the day of marriage to a husband; this was Lucius Constitius, a citizen of Thysdritum. . . .b (It is said that) at the birth of twins neither the mother nor more than one of the two children usually lives, but that if twins are born that are of different sex it is even more unusual for either to be saved; that females are born more quickly than males, just as they grow older more quickly; and that movement in the womb is more frequent in the case of males, and males are usually carried on the right side, females on the left.

V. All the other animals have a fixed season bothHuman re-production. for copulation and for bearing offspring, but human reproduction takes place all the year round and the period of gestation varies—in one case it may exceed six months, in another seven, and it may even exceed ten; a child born before the seventh month is usually still born. Only those conceived the day before or the day after full moon, or when there is no moon, are born in the seventh month. It is a common thing

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938