Teleōtaton

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Καθάπερ οὖν ἄνθρωπος ἁπάντων ζῴων ἐστὶ τὸ τελεώτατον, οὕτως ἐν αὐτῷ τούτῳ πάλιν ἀνὴρ γυναικὸς <τελεώτερος>. ἡ δ’ αἰτία τῆς τελειότητος ἡ τῆς θερμότητος ὑπεροχὴ, τοῦτο γάρ ἐστι πρῶτον ὄργανον τῆς φύσεως. ἐν οἷς οὖν ἐλλιπέστερον, ἐν τούτοις ἀναγκαῖον ἀτελέστερον εἶναι καὶ τὸ δημιούργημα. οὔκουν θαυμαστὸν οὐδὲν, εἰ τὸ θῆλυ τοῦ ἄῤῥενος εἰς τοσοῦτον ἀτελέστερον, εἰς ὅσον ψυχρότερον. ὥσπερ οὖν ἀτελεῖς ἔσχεν ὀφθαλμοὺς ὁ ἀσπάλαξ, οὐ μὴν οὕτω γε ἀτελεῖς, ὡς οἷς οὐδ’ ὅλως ἐστὶ ζώοις οὐδ’ ὑπογραφή τις αὐτῶν, οὕτω καὶ γυνὴ τοῖς γεννητικοῖς μορίοις ἀνδρὸς ἀτελεστέρα· διεπλάσθη μὲν γὰρ ἔνδον, αὐτῆς ἔτι κυουμένης, τὰ μόρια, προκύψαι δὲ καὶ ἀνατεῖλαι πρὸς τοὐκτὸς ἀῤῥωστίᾳ θερμότητος οὐ δυνάμενα τὸ μὲν διαπλαττόμενον αὐτὸ ζῶον ἀτελέστερον ἀπειργάσατο τοῦ πάντη τελείου, τῷ δ’ ὅλῳ γένει χρείαν οὐ σμικρὰν παρέσχεν, ἔδει γὰρ εἶναί τι καὶ θῆλυ. μὴ γὰρ δὴ νομίσῃς, ὡς ἑκὼν ἄν ποτε τὸ ἥμισυ μέρος ὅλου τοῦ γένους ἡμῶν ὁ δημιουργὸς ἀτελὲς ἀπειργάσατο καὶ οἷον ἀνάπηρον, εἰ μή τις κᾀκ τούτου τοῦ πηρώματος ἔμελλεν ἔσεσθαι χρεία μεγάλη.
(Galen, De Usu Partium 14.6)

Now just as mankind is the most perfect of all animals, so within mankind the man is more perfect than the woman, and the reason for his perfection is his excess of heat, for heat is Nature’s primary instrument. Hence in those animals that have less of it, her workmanship is necessarily more imperfect, and so it is no wonder that the female is less perfect than the male by as much as she is colder than he. In fact, just as the mole has imperfect eyes, though certainly not so imperfect as they are in those animals that do not have any trace of them at all, so too woman is less perfect than the man in respect of the generative parts. For the parts were formed within her when she was still a foetus, but could not because of the defect in the heat emerge and project on the outside, and this, though making the animal itself that was being formed less perfect than one that is complete in all respects, provided no small advantage for the race; for there needs must be a female. Indeed, you ought not to think that our Creator would purposely make half the whole race imperfect and, as it were, mutilated, unless there was to be some great advantage in such a mutilation. (tr. Margaret Tallmadge May)

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