Καὶ ὅτι μὲν ἄχρι γε αἰσθήσεως τῆς τε ἄλλης ὀργανώσεως τῆς τε κατὰ τὰ αἰσθητήρια καὶ τῆς κατὰ σάρκα ὁμοίως ἡμῖν διάκειται*, πᾶς σχεδὸν συγκεχώρηκεν. καὶ γὰρ οὐ μόνον τῶν κατὰ φύσιν παθῶν τε καὶ κινημάτων τῶν διὰ τούτων ὁμοίως ἡμῖν κεκοινώνηκεν, ἀλλ’ ἤδη καὶ τῶν παρὰ φύσιν καὶ νοσωδῶν ἐν αὐτοῖς θεωρουμένων. οὐκ ἂν δέ τις εὖ φρονῶν διὰ τὸ ἐξηλλαγμένον τῆς ἕξεως τοῦ σώματος ἄδεκτα λογικῆς εἴποι διαθέσεως, ὁρῶν καὶ ἐπ’ ἀνθρώπων πολλὴν τὴν παραλλαγὴν τῆς ἕξεως κατά τε γένη καὶ ἔθνη, καὶ ὅμως λογικοὺς συγχωρῶν πάντας. ὄνος μέν γε κατάρρῳ ἁλίσκεται, κἂν εἰς πνεύμονα αὐτῷ ῥυῇ τὸ νόσημα, ἀποθνῄσκει ὥσπερ ἄνθρωπος· ἵππος δὲ καὶ ἔμπυος γίνεται καὶ φθίνει, ὥσπερ ἄνθρωπος, καὶ τέτανος λαμβάνει ἵππον καὶ ποδάγρα καὶ πυρετὸς καὶ λύσσα, ὁπότε καὶ κατωπιᾶν λέγεται. καὶ ἡ κύουσα ἵππος, ἐπειδὰν ὀσφρήσηται λύχνου ἀπεσβεσμένου, ἀμβλίσκει ὡς ἄνθρωπος. πυρέττει δὲ καὶ βοῦς καὶ μαίνεται, καθάπερ καὶ ὁ κάμηλος. κορώνη δὲ ψωριᾷ καὶ λεπριᾷ, ὥσπερ καὶ κύων· οὗτος μέν γε καὶ ποδαγριᾷ καὶ λυσσᾷ. ὗς δὲ βραγχᾷ, καὶ ἔτι μᾶλλον κύων, καὶ τὸ πάθος ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ ἀπὸ τοῦ κυνὸς κυνάγχη κέκληται. Καὶ ταῦτα μὲν γνώριμα, ἐπεὶ σύννομα ταῦτα ἡμῖν τὰ ζῷα, τῶν δὲ ἄλλων ἐσμὲν ἄπειροι διὰ τὸ ἀσύνηθες. καὶ εὐνουχιζόμενα δὲ μαλακίζεται· οἱ μέν γε ἀλεκτρυόνες οὐδὲ ᾄδουσιν ἔτι, ἀλλὰ τὴν φωνὴν ἐπὶ τὸ θῆλυ μεταβάλλουσιν ὥσπερ ἄνθρωποι, βοός τε κέρατα καὶ φωνὴν οὐκ ἔστι διαγνῶναι τομίου καὶ θήλεος· οἱ δὲ ἔλαφοι οὐκέτι ἀποβάλλουσι τὰ κέρατα, ἀλλὰ συνέχουσιν, ὡς εὐνοῦχοι τὰς τρίχας, μὴ ἔχοντες δὲ οὐ φύουσιν, ὥσπερ οἱ πρὶν πώγωνα φῦσαι ἐκτμηθέντες. οὕτως σχεδὸν ἁπάντων τὰ σώματα ὁμοίως τοῖς ἡμετέροις κατὰ τὰ πάθη.

* sc. τὰ ζῶα

(Porphyrius, Peri Apochēs Empsuchōn 3.7.2-7)

Almost everyone agrees that animals are like us in perception and in organisation generally with regard both to sense-organs and to the flesh. They share like us not only in natural experiences and the movements they cause, but even in unnatural and unhealthy experiences which are observed in them. No sensible person would say that animals are incapable of a rational disposition because they are quite different in their bodily constitution, seeing that in human beings too there is great variation of constitution according to race and people, yet also agreeing that all are rational. Donkeys catch colds, and if the illness descends to the lung, the donkey dies as a human does; horses have abscesses and consumption like humans, get tetanus and gout and fever and rabies, and sometimes ‘cast down their eyes’. A pregnant mare miscarries, like a human being, if she smells a light which has been snuffed. Cattle get fever and go mad, and so do camels. Crows suffer from mange and leprosy, as do dogs; and dogs also suffer from gout and rabies. Pigs become hoarse, dogs even more so, and the illness in humans is called ‘dog-choker’ from dogs. These instances are well-known because these animals live with us, but we lack experience of other animals because we are not familiar with them. Animals also become soft when castrated: cocks cease to crow, and change their voice to the female kind as humans do; the horns and voice of a castrated bull cannot be distinguished from those of the female. Deer no longer shed their antlers, but retain them, as eunuchs do their hair; but if they have no horns they do not grow them, as with men who were castrated before their beard grew. Thus the bodies of almost all animals are like ours as regards illness. (tr. Gillian Clark)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: