previous next
like the creature in woman's form1 that is said to rip up pregnant females and devour their offspring, or certain savage tribes on the coasts of the Black Sea, who are alleged to delight in raw meat or in human flesh, and others among whom each in turn provides a child for the common banquet2; or the reported depravity of Phalaris.3 [3] These are instances of Bestiality. Other unnatural propensities are due to disease, and sometimes to insanity, as in the case of the madman that offered up his mother to the gods and partook of the sacrifice, or the one that ate his fellow slave's liver. Other morbid propensities are acquired by habit, for instance, plucking out the hair, biting the nails, eating cinders and earth, and also sexual perversion. These practices result in some cases from natural disposition, and in others from habit, as with those who have been abused from childhood. [4] When nature is responsible, no one would describe such persons as showing Unrestraint, any more than one would apply that term to women because they are passive and not active in sexual intercourse; nor should we class as Unrestraint a morbid state brought about by habitual indulgence. [5]

Now these various morbid dispositions in themselves

1 So Peters. Perhaps there is a reference to the Lamia of folk-lore.

2 The version follows Williams, and seems to require the emendation given in the critical note. The mss. give ‘who lend their children to each other for feasting.’

3 See below, 5.7, note.

load focus Greek (J. Bywater)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: