Aorgiston

poster-the-wet-nurse-c1802-307924
Marguerite Gérard, La Nourrice (1802)

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

“Σώφρονα δέ”, πρὸς τὸ συνουσίας ἀπέχεσθαι καὶ μέθης καὶ λαγνείας καὶ τῆς ἄλλης ἡδονῆς καὶ ἀκρασίας, αἱ συνουσίαι μὲν γὰρ μετὰ τοῦ τὴν πρὸς <τὸ> τρεφόμενον φιλοστοργίαν ἀποψύχειν περισπασμῷ τῆς ἐκ τῶν ἀφροδισίων ἡδονῆς ἔτι καὶ φθείρουσι τὸ γάλα καὶ μειοῦσιν ἢ τελείως ἀφανίζουσιν, τὰς διὰ τῆς μήτρας ἐρεθίζουσαι καθάρσεις ἢ συλλήψεις ἀποτελοῦσαι. διὰ δὲ τὰς μέθας πρῶτον μὲν ἡ γαλουχοῦσα βλάπτεται καὶ τῇ ψυχῇ καὶ τῷ σώματι, διὰ τοῦτο δὲ καὶ τὸ γάλα διαφθείρει· δεύτερον δὲ ὕπνῳ δυσδιεγέρτῳ κατεχομένη καταλείπει τὸ βρέφος ἀνεπιμέλητον ἢ καὶ κινδυνωδῶς ἐπ’ αὐτῷ καταπίπτει· τρίτον ἡ τοῦ πλείονος οἴνου ποιότης συναναδίδοται τῷ γάλακτι, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο νωθρὰ καὶ καρώδη, ποτὲ δὲ καὶ ἔντρομα καὶ ἀπόπληκτα καὶ σπασμώδη τὰ τρεφόμενα γίνονται βρέφη, καθάπερ συὸς τρύγα προσενεγκαμένης καροῦται καὶ σκοτοῦται τὰ γαλουχούμενα. “συμπαθῆ” δὲ καὶ φιλόστοργον, ἵνα καὶ τὰ τῆς ὑπηρεσίας ἀόκνως παρέχῃ καὶ ἀγογγύστως. ἔνιαι γὰρ οὕτως ἔχουσιν ἀπαθῶς πρὸς τὸ γαλουχούμενον, ὥστε μηδὲ ἐπὶ πολὺ κλαυθμυρίζοντος αὐτοῦ ποιήσασθαι πρόνοιαν, ἀλλὰ μηδὲ σχηματίσαι τὸ κείμενον, ἐᾶσαι δ’ ἐφ’ ἑνὸς σχήματος, ὥστε πολλάκις διὰ τὴν θλίψιν προκακοπαθοῦν ναρκᾶν τε καὶ φαύλως διατίθεσθαι τὸ νευρῶδες. “ἀόργιστον δέ”, ὅτι φύσει συνεξομοιοῦται τὰ τρεφόμενα ταῖς τρεφούσαις καὶ διὰ τοῦτο βαρύθυμα μὲν ἐξ ὀργίλων, ἐπιεικῆ δὲ ἐκ μετρίων γίνεται· καὶ ἄλλως μανιώδεις εἰσὶν αἱ θυμούμεναι καὶ φόβῳ κλαυθμυρίζον ποτὲ τὸ βρέφος ἐπισχεῖν μὴ δυνάμεναι ῥίπτουσιν ἐκ τῶν χειρῶν ἢ καταστρέφουσιν ἐπικινδύνως. διόπερ οὐδὲ δειειδαίμονα δεῖ καὶ θεοφόρητον εἶναι τὴν γαλοῦχον, ἵνα μὴ παραλογισθεῖσά ποτε καὶ μανιωδῶς σαλευθεῖσα κινδύνῳ τὸ βρέφος περιβάλῃ. καθάριον δὲ δεῖ εἶναι τὴν τιτθήν, ἵνα μὴ διὰ τὴν τῶν σπαργάνων ὀσμὴν ὁ στόμαχος ἐκλύηται τῶν νηπίων ἀγρυπνῇ τε διὰ τοὺς ὀδαξησμοὺς ἤ τιν’ ὕστερον ἕλκωσιν ὑπομένῃ. Ἑλληνίδα δέ, χάριν τοῦ τῇ καλλίστῃ διαλέκτῳ ἐθισθῆναι τὸ τρεφόμενον ὑπ’ αὐτῆς.
(Soranus, Gunaikeia 2.12(32))

And the wet nurse should be “self-controlled” so as to abstain from coitus, drinking, lewdness, and any other such pleasure and incontinence. For coitus cools the affection toward <the> nursling by the diversion of sexual pleasure and moreover spoils and diminishes the milk or suppresses it entirely by stimulating menstrual catharsis through the uterus or by bringing about conception. In regard to drinking, first the wet nurse is harmed in soul as well as in body and for this reason the milk also is spoiled. Secondly, seized by a sleep from which she is hard to awaken, she leaves the newborn untended or even falls down upon it in a dangerous way. Thirdly, too much wine passes its quality to the milk and therefore the nursling becomes sluggish and comatose and sometimes even afflicted with tremor, apoplexy, and convulsions, just as suckling pigs become comatose and stupefied when the sow has eaten dregs. ”Sympathetic” and affectionate, that she may fulfill her duties without hesitation and without murmuring. For some wet nurses are so lacking in sympathy towards the nursling that they not only pay no heed when it cries for a long time, but do not even arrange its position when it lies still; rather, they leave it in one position so that often because of the pressure the sinewy parts* suffer and consequently become numb and bad. “And not ill-tempered”: since by nature the nursling becomes similar to the nurse and accordingly grows sullen if the nurse is ill-tempered, but of mild disposition if she is even-tempered. Besides, angry women are like maniacs and sometimes when the newborn cries from fear and they are unable to restrain it, they let it drop from their hands or overturn it dangerously. For the same reason the wet nurse should not be superstitious and prone to ecstatic states so that she may not expose the infant to danger when led astray by fallacious reasoning, sometimes even trembling like mad. And the wet nurse should be tidy-minded lest the odor of the swaddling clothes cause the child’s stomach to become weak and it lie awake on account of itching or suffer some ulceration subsequently. And she should be a Greek so that the infant nursed by her may become accustomed to the best speech.

*  The Greek term neurodes probably here refers to nerves, tendons, and ligaments alike.

(tr. Owsei Temkin, with his note)

Arrusōtous

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

“Μαστοὺς δὲ ἔχουσαν συμμέτρους”· οἱ μικροὶ μὲν γὰρ ὀλίγον ἔχουσι τὸ γάλα, οἱ ὑπέρογκοι δὲ καὶ περιττότερον τοῦ δέοντος, ὥστε μετὰ τὴν τιτθείαν εἰ μὲν ὑπομένοι τὸ πλεῖον, μηκέτι νεαρὸν αὐτὸ πρὸς τοῦ βρέφους ἑλκυσθήσεσθαι, τρόπῳ δέ τινι προδιεφθαρμένον, εἰ δὲ πᾶν ἀποθηλάζοιτο δι’ ἄλλων παιδίων ἢ καὶ ἑτέρων ζῴων, καταλυθήσεσθαι <τὴν> γαλουχοῦσαν. εἶθ’ οἱ μείζονες καὶ βαροῦσιν ἐπιπίπτοντες τοῖς τρεφομένοις· ἄλλως τέ τινες ὑπολαμβάνουσιν <αὐτοὺς> ὀλιγώτερον πολλάκις ἔχειν τὸ γάλα, πρὸς τὴν αὔξησιν τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτῶν δαπανωμένης τῆς εἰς αὐτοὺς φερομένης τροφῆς καὶ οὐκ εἰς τὸ πλῆθος τοῦ γάλακτος. “χαύνους δὲ καὶ μαλακοὺς καὶ ἀρρυσώτους” καὶ μήτε φανεροῖς καταπεπλεγμένους τοῖς ἀγγείοις μήτε θρομβώδεις συστάσεις ἐναιωρουμένας ἔχοντας· οἱ πυκνοὶ μὲν γὰρ καὶ σκληροὶ καὶ καταπεπλεγμένοι τοῖς ἀγγείοις ὀλίγον τὸ γάλα ποιοῦσιν, οἱ ῥυσοὶ δὲ καὶ ῥακώδεις ὥσπερ ἐν τοῖς γραιώδεσι καὶ ἀραιοῖς συγκρίμασιν ὑδαρές, οἱ δὲ θρομβώδεις συστάσεις ἔχοντες παχὺ καὶ ὑπανώμαλον. “τὰς δὲ θηλὰς μήτε μεγάλας μήτε μικράς”· αἱ μεγάλαι μὲν <γὰρ> θλίβουσιν τὰ οὖλα καὶ τῇ καταπόσει κωλύουσι συνεργεῖν τὴν γλῶσσαν, αἱ μικραὶ δὲ δυσεπἰληπτοι τυχγάνουσιν καὶ κατ’ ὀλίγον <πέμπουσιν> ἐκφοροῦσιν τὸ γάλα, διὸ κακοπαθοῦντα τὰ βρέφη πρὸς τὰς ἐκμυζήσεις ταῖς λεγομέναις ἄφθαις εἴωθεν περιπίπτειν. “μήτε πυκνοτέρας μήτε σηραγγώδεις ἄγαν καὶ ἀθρόον τὸ γάλα προϊᾶσιν”, ὥστε κακοπαθεῖν ἐν ταῖς ἐκμυζήσεσιν τὰ βρέφη μὴ ἐπιχορηγουμένου τοσούτου γάλακτος, ὅσον ἐσπούδακεν ἐπισπάσασθαι, <αἱ> δὲ ἄγαν σηραγγώδεις κίνδυνον ἐπάγουσι πνιγμοῦ, πρὸς γὰρ τὴν ἐκμύζησιν ἀθροῦν ἐπιφέρεται τῷ στόματι τὸ γάλα.
(Soranus, Gunaikeia 2.12(32))

And “her breasts should be of medium size”: for small ones have little milk, whereas excessively large ones have more than is necessary so that if after nursing the surplus is retained it will be drawn out by the newborn when no longer fresh, and in some way already spoiled. If, on the other hand, it is all sucked out by other children or even other animals,* <the> wet nurse will be completely exhausted. Besides, the bigger breasts also weigh heavy when they fall upon the nursling; some people even are of the opinion that <such breasts> often have less milk because the food which is brought to them is spent for the increase of their flesh and not for the amount of milk. “Lax and soft and not wrinkled” and having neither a network of visible vessels nor clotted concretions suspended in them. For the breasts which are compact, hard, and have a network of vessels produce little milk; those which are shriveled and wrinkled as in old and thin bodies make it watery, while those which have clotted concretions make it thick and somewhat uneven. “Nipples which are neither big nor small”: <for> the big ones bruise the gums and hinder the tongue fronm co-operation in swallowing, while small ones are difficult to seize and <make> the milk <come out> in small amounts for the sucklings. Therefore, the newborn suffers in suckling and is usually afflicted with so-called aphthai.** “Neither compact nor too porous and giving forth milk overabundantly”: for if they have narrow ducts they do not easily bring forth the milk without being squeezed; consequently in suckling the newborn suffers, since not as much milk is furnished as it is eager to obtain. If, on the other hand, <they> are too porous, they bring on the danger of suffocation, for in suckling the milk is brought to the mouth overabundantly.

* This seems to suggest that young animals were sometimes employed to empty the breasts.
** I.e. thrush.

(tr. Owsei Temkin, with his notes)

 

Titthēn

1024px-Louis_XIV_as_an_infant_with_his_nurse_Longuet_de_la_Giraudiére
Henri & Charles Beaubrun, Louis XIV et la Dame Longuet de La Giraudière (ca. 1640)

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

Ἐκλεκτέον δὲ τὴν τιτθὴν οὔτε νεωτέραν ἐτῶν εἴκοσιν οὔτε πρεσβυτέραν ἐτῶν τεσσαράκοντα, προκεκυηκυῖαν δὶς ἢ τρὶς, ἄνοσον, εὐεκτοῦσαν, εὐμεγέθη τῷ σώματι, καὶ εὐχρουστέραν, μαστοὺς ἔχουσαν συμμέτρους, χαύνους μαλακοὺς ἀρρυσώτους, καὶ θηλὰς μήτε μεγάλας μήτε μικροτέρας καὶ μήτε πυκνοτέρας μήτε ἄγαν σηραγγώδεις καὶ ἀθροῦν ἀφιείσας τὸ γάλα, σώφρονα, συμπαθῆ καὶ ἀόργιστον, Ἑλληνίδα, καθάριον. τούτων δὲ ἕκαστον παρακειμένους ἔχει τοὺς ἐπιλογισμούς. ἀκμάζουσαν μὲν γάρ, ὅτι αἱ νεώτεραι <μὲν> ἄπειροι παιδοτροφίας ὑπάρχουσιν καὶ ἀμελεστέραν ἔτι καὶ παιδικὴν ἔχουσι τὴν γνώμην, πρεσβύτεραι δὲ διὰ τὴν ἀτονίαν τοῦ σώματος ὑδαρέστερον γεννῶσι τὸ γάλα, ταῖς δὲ ἀκμαζούσαις συνευτονεῖ πᾶν φυσικὸν ἔργον. “προκεκυηκυῖαν δὲ δὶς ἢ τρίς”, ὅτι αἱ πρωτοτόκοι μὲν ἀκμὴν παιδοτροφίας ἀγύμναστοι καὶ παιδικὸν ἔτι καὶ ἀμέγεθες καὶ πυκνότερον τὸ σύγκριμα τῶν μαστῶν ἔχουσιν, αἱ δὲ πολλάκις μὲν ἀποκυήσασαι, πολλάκις δὲ νηπιοτροφήσασαι, ῥακώδεις οὖσαι, λεπτὸν καὶ οὐκ ἀκμαῖον ἀποτελοῦσι το γάλα. <“ἄνοσον δέ”, ὅτι ὑγιὲς μὲν τὸ γάλα> καὶ τρόφιμον ἐξ ὑγιεινοῦ σώματος, νοσῶδες δὲ καὶ φαῦλον ἐκ νοσεροῦ, καθάπερ καὶ τὸ διὰ τῆς γῆς φαύλης ῥέον ὕδωρ καὶ αὐτὸ γεννᾶται φαῦλον ταῖς ἐκ τῶν εὐρυχωριῶν διαφθειρόμενον ποιότησιν. “εὐεκτοῦσαν δέ”, τοῦτ’ ἔστιν εὔσαρκόν τε καὶ ῥωμαλέαν, καὶ τοῦ αὐτοῦ μὲν χάριν, ἤδη δὲ καὶ τοῦ μὴ ῥᾳδίως εἰς τὰς ὑπηρεσίας καὶ τὰς νυκτερινὰς φροντίδας ἐξασθενεῖν, διὰ τοῦτο δὲ καὶ τὸ γάλα μεταβἀλλειν ἐπὶ τὸ χεῖρον. “εὐμεγέθη δὲ τῷ σώματι”· τροφιμώτερον γὰρ τῶν ἄλλων ἐπ’ ἴσης ἐχόντων τὸ ἀπὸ μεγάλων σωμάτων γάλα. “εὐχρουστέραν δέ”· μείζονα γὰρ ἐπὶ τῶν τοιούτων ἀγγεῖα ἐπὶ τοὺς μαστοὺς ἀναφέρει τὴν ὕλην, ὥστε πλεῖον τὸ γάλα γίνεσθαι.
(Soranus, Gunaikeia 2.12(32))

One should choose a wet nurse not younger than twenty nor older than forty years, who has already given birth twice or thrice, who is healthy, of good habitus, of large frame, and of a good color. Her breasts should be of medium size, lax, soft and unwrinkled, the nipples neither big nor too small and neither too compact nor too porous and discharging milk overabundantly. She should be self-controlled, sympathetic and not ill-tempered, a Greek, and tidy. And for each of these points the reasons are as follows:
She should be in her prime because younger women are ignorant in the rearing of children and their minds are still somewhat careless and childish; while older ones yield a more watery milk because of the atony of the body. In women in their prime, however, every natural function is at its highest. “She should already have given birth twice or thrice,” because women with their first child are as yet unpractised in the rearing of children and have breasts whose structure is still infantile, small and too compact; while those who have delivered often have nursed children often and, being wrinkled, produce thin milk which is not at its best.  <“Healthy”: because healthful> and nourishing <milk> comes from a healthy body, unwholesome and worthless milk from a sickly one; just as water which flows through worthless soil is itself rendered worthless, spoiled by the qualities of its basin. And “she should be of good habitus,” that is, fleshy and strong, not only for the same reason, but also lest she easily become too weak for hard work and nightly duties with the result that the milk also deteriorates. “Of large frame”: for everything else being equal, milk from large bodies is more nourishing. And “of a good color”: for in such women, bigger vessels carry the material up to the breasts so that there is more milk. (tr. Owsei Temkin)