Feminini

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)

Masculini

male body

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

Veniamus ad indicia corpora masculini. caput grande, capillus crassior, rubeus vel niger cum rubore, stabilis, modice inflexus, color rubeus non clari ruboris vel niger, suffusus tamen rubore, oculi paulo impressiores, minaces, subnigri, quos Graeci χαροποὺς vocant, vel glauci. cervix esse debet moderatae plenitudinis, aliquanto prolixior, vertex capitis subrectior, scapulae ingentes, humeri et superioris corporis partes usque ad umbilicum latiores, inferiores deductae paulatim plenitudine desinente, lacertosus, ossibus magnis, nodis et articulis summorum pedum et summarum manuum firmis, non tamen rigidis, sed absolutis, prope imum seiunctis atque discretis, pectore alto et prominente, iugulis absolutis, ventre lato compresso paululum intrinsecus, pectus non nimia carne contectum, solido et spisso corpore, ossibus quae sunt sub ilibus, quae a Graecis ἰσχία dicuntur, siccioribus et solidis. item masculinum corpus forte et tolerans laborum est, vocis solidae, aliquanto raucioris, interdum gravis tamquam ex abdito et concavo resonantis, ut est leonum, spiritus densior, multum aëris concipiens ac referens, passibus longis, motus corporis, cum tranquillus est animus, tardior est, cuius minor sit pars inferior ab umbilico quam est a summo capite ad umbilicum.
(Anonymous, De Physiognomonia 5)

Let us come to the signs of the masculine body. The head is large, the hair rather thick, red or black with red, straight, moderately wavy, the colour is red, but not bright red, or black, although suffused with red, the eyes are a little sunken, threatening, somewhat black, which the Greeks call χαροποί (‘dark blue’), or light blue. The neck should be of moderate thickness, somewhat extended, the top of the head rather upright, the shoulder-blades huge, the shoulders and upper parts of the body to the navel rather broad, the lower parts rather drawn in with decreasing width. He should be muscular, with big bones, the knuckles and joints at the ends of the feet and hands solid, yet not stiff, but just right, apart and separate near the end, with a high and prominent chest, detached collar-bones, a broad stomach pressed slightly inwards, a chest not excessively covered in flesh, a hard and compact body, with the bones which are below the loins, which are called ἰσχία (‘hips’) by the Greeks, rather dry and hard. Also the masculine body is strong and tolerant of hard work, has a strong voice which is rather hoarse and occasionally deep as if echoing from somewhere hidden and hollow, like that of lions, rather frequent breath which draws in and expels much air, and long steps; the movement of the body, when the mind is peaceful, is rather slow, and the part below the navel is smaller than that from the top of the head to the navel. (tr. Ian Repath)

Animus

shutterstock_243018796

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

Masculinus animus est vehemens, ad impetum facilis, odii immemor, liberalis, apertus, qui hebetari et circumveniri ingenio atque arte non possit, vincendi per virtutem studiosus, magnanimus. feminus animus est sollers, ad iracundiam pronus, tenax odii, idem immisericors atque invidus, laboris impatiens, docilis, subdolus, amarus, praeceps, timidus.
(Anonymous, De Physiognomonia 4)

The masculine character is forceful, impetuous, forgetful of hatred, generous, open, unable to be blunted and outmanoeuvred by guile or artifice, preferring to overcome through manliness, and is magnanimous. The feminine character is clever, prone to anger, clings to hatred, also pitiless and envious, not enduring hard work, teachable, deceitful, bitter, rash and timid. (tr. Ian Repath)

Viriliter

ren_donatello_david
Donatello’s David

Vasti membris animisque Gethei
corpore non animo parvus de sanguine mixto
Iesseius torta lapidem in cava tempora funda
misit; qui lapsus tremefacto pectore lata
ilice glandifera texit productior arva.
cum caderet, tellus tremuit magnamque ruinam
corporis inmensi moles dedit, ut diuturno
dilabens aevo, quae caelum vertice pulsat,
impete praecipitis Circi petit infima turris.
accurrit victor strictoque viriliter ense
amputat obnixe lentissima colla precantis.
nec mirum dextra tantum cecidisse gigantem
Iesseii; qui cum puer esset, tristibus ursis
intulit atque lupis mortem domuitque leones.
(Eupolemius 2.395-408)

Jesse’s son, small in body but not in spirit, of mixed ancestry, whirled a sling and shot a stone against the hollow temples of the Gittite, Goliath, who was awesome in both limbs and courage. After Goliath’s heart was made to tremble with fear and he fell, he stretched out, longer than an acorn-producing holm oak, and covered broad fields. When he fell, the earth trembled and the mass of his huge body caused great ruin, just as a tower, which strikes the heavens with its peak but which is collapsing from extreme age, topples down to the lowest point from the onset of a rushing northwest wind. The victor ran up and, with sword manfully drawn, resolutely severs Goliath’s very tough neck as he pleads for mercy. No wonder that so great a giant fell by the right hand of Jesse’s son; when David was a boy, he inflicted death upon grim bears and wolves, and he subdued lions. (tr. Jan M. Ziolkowski)

Pothos

Digenis Akritas

Καὶ εὐθὺς περὶ ἔρωτος ὑμᾶς ἀναμιμνῄσκω·
ῥίζα γὰρ οὗτος καὶ ἀρχὴ καθέστηκεν ἀγάπης,
ἐξ ἧς φιλία τίκτεται, εἶτα γεννᾶται πόθος,
ὃς αὐξηθεὶς κατὰ μικρὸν φέρει καρπὸν τοιοῦτον,
μερίμνας μὲν διηνεκεῖς, ἐννοίας καὶ φροντίδας,
εὐθὺς κινδύνους παμπληθεῖς καὶ χωρισμὸν γονέων.
νεότης γὰρ ἀκμάζουσα καρδίας ἀνασπάει,
εἶτα πάντα κατατολμᾷ τῶν ἀνεπιχειρήτων,
θαλάττης μὲν ἐφίκεσθαι, πῦρ μηδόλως πτοεῖσθαι·
δράκοντας δὲ καὶ λέοντας καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ θηρία
οὐδοτιοῦν λογίζεται στερεωθεὶς ὁ πόθος
καὶ τοὺς λῃστὰς τοὺς τολμηροὺς ἀντ’ οὐδενὸς ἡγεῖται,
νύκτας ἡμέρας προσδοκᾷ καὶ τὰς κλεισούρας κάμπους,
ἀγρυπνίαν ἀνάπαυσιν καὶ τὰ μακρὰν πλησίον·
πολλοὶ καὶ πίστιν τὴν αὐτῶν ἀρνοῦνται διὰ πόθον.
καὶ τοῦτο μηδεὶς ἄπιστον ἐξ ὑμῶν λογισθήτω,
μάρτυρα γὰρ ἐπαινετὸν εἰς μέσον παραστήσω
ἀμιρᾶν τὸν πανεύγενον καὶ πρῶτον τῆς Συρίας,
ὃς εἶχε κάλλη πάντερπνα καὶ τόλμην θηριώδη
καὶ μέγεθος πανθαύμαστον, ἰσχὺν γενναιοτάτην,
καὶ μᾶλλον δεύτερος Σαμψὼν αὐτὸς ἐπενοήθη·
ἐκεῖνος γὰρ ἠρίστευσε χερσὶ λέοντα σχίσας,
οὗτος δὲ πλῆθος ἄπειρον ἀπέκτεινε λεόντων.
παύσασθε γράφειν Ὅμηρον καὶ μύθους Ἀχιλλέως
ὡσαύτως καὶ τοῦ Ἕκτορος, ἅπερ εἰσὶ ψευδέα.
(Digenes Akrites (Grottaferrata version) 4.4-28)

And immediately I remind you about passion,
for this is established as the root and beginning of love,
from which affection is begotten, then desire is born,
which as it increases gradually bears such fruit
as constant anxieties, worries and concerns,
and immediately brings abundant dangers and separation from parents.
For youth in its prime breaks hearts,
then dares every deed that has never been ventured,
to reach the sea and have no fear at all of fire;
ogres and lions and other wild beasts
desire, once established, considers as trifles,
and it regards bold brigands as worth nothing;
it reckons night as day and mountain passes as plains,
sleeplessness as rest and what is far off as near.
And many renounce their faith because of desire.
And let none of you consider this incredible,
for I shall set before you a renowned witness,
the most high-born emir and first man of Syria,
who possessed the most handsome grace and savage daring,
and quite amazing stature, most noble strength,
and indeed was thought to be a second Samson.
For Samson achieved distinction by rending a lion with his bare hands,
but the emir killed a boundless host of lions.
Cease writing of Homer and the legends of Achilles
and likewise of Hektor: these are false.
(tr. Elizabeth Jeffreys)