female body

This is part 3 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

Veniamus ad indicia corporis feminini. caput breve, capillus niger vel a rubeo fuscior, quem Graeci φαιὰν τρίχα, rario, idem flexibilior ac mollior, cervix exilior eademque longior, color candidus vel cum pallore nigrior, quem Graeci μελάγχλωρον vocant, pupillae, quas Graeci κόρας dicunt, subnigrae vel evidenter nigrae, vultus omnis lenis, inoffensus ac mollis, serenus, affabilis, labia compressa tamquam sint incisa, iuguli cohaerentes atque constricti, ab humeris usque ad umbilicum corpus angustius et brevius, ab umbilico usque ad genua prolixius ac plenius, a genibus usque ad pedum ima deductius, imae manus ac pedes subtiles et eleganter circumscripti, planta concava et a reliquo vestigio elatior, vox tenuis, moderata, acceptissima auribus, sermo volubilis ac facilis, incessus decens, brevibus passis et acceleratis.
(Anonymous, De Physiognomonia 6)

Let us come to the signs of the feminine body. The head is small, the hair black or darker than red, which the Greeks call φαιὰ θρίξ (‘grey hair’), rather thin, at the same time somewhat flexible and soft, the neck is rather slender and also long, the colour is white or rather black with paleness, which the Greeks call μελάγχλωρος, the pupils, which the Greeks call κόραι, are somewhat black or obviously black, the whole face is smooth, placid and soft, calm and affable, the lips are compressed as if incised, the collar-bones are bound and stuck together, the body is narrower and smaller from the shoulders to the navel, from the navel to the knees it is more extended and thicker and from the knees to the ends of the feet it is more drawn in, the ends of the hands and feet are slender and elegantly delineated, the soles are hollow and higher than the rest of the step, the voice is thin, moderate, very pleasing to the ears, the speech is fluent and easy, and the gait is comely, with short and quick steps. (tr. Ian Repath)

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