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[91a] at their second incarnation,1 into women. And it was for this reason that the gods at that time contrived the love of sexual intercourse by constructing an animate creature of one kind in us men, and of another kind in women; and they made these severally in the following fashion. From the passage of egress for the drink, where it receives and joins in discharging the fluid which has come through the lungs beneath the kidneys into the bladder and has been compressed by the air, they bored a hole into the condensed marrow which comes from the head down by the neck and along the spine [91b] which marrow, in our previous account,2 we termed “seed.” And the marrow, inasmuch as it is animate and has been granted an outlet, has endowed the part where its outlet lies with a love for generating by implanting therein a lively desire for emission. Wherefore in men the nature of the genital organs is disobedient and self-willed, like a creature that is deaf to reason, and it attempts to dominate all because of its frenzied lusts. [91c] And in women again, owing to the same causes, whenever the matrix or womb, as it is called,—which is an indwelling creature desirous of child-bearing,—remains without fruit long beyond the due season, it is vexed and takes it ill; and by straying all ways through the body and blocking up the passages of the breath and preventing respiration it casts the body into the uttermost distress, and causes, moreover, all kinds of maladies; until the desire and love of the two sexes unite them. Then, culling as it were the fruit from trees, [91d] they sow upon the womb, as upon ploughed soil, animalcules that are invisible for smallness and unshapen; and these, again, they mold into shape and nourish to a great size within the body; after which they bring them forth into the light and thus complete the generation of the living creature.

In this fashion, then, women and the whole female sex have come into existence.

And the tribe of birds are derived by transformation, growing feathers in place of hair, from men who are harmless but light-minded3—men, too, who, being students of the worlds above, suppose in their simplicity that the most solid proofs about such matters are obtained by the sense of sight. [91e] And the wild species of animal that goes on foot is derived from those men who have paid no attention at all to philosophy nor studied at all the nature of the heavens, because they ceased to make use of the revolutions within the head and followed the lead of those parts of the soul which are in the breast.4 Owing to these practices they have dragged their front limbs and their head down to the earth, and there planted them, because of their kinship therewith; and they have acquired elongated heads of every shape, according as their several revolutions have been distorted by disuse.

1 Cf. 41 D ff.

2 Cf. 73 C, 86 C.

3 Cf. Rep. 529 A ff.

4 Cf. 69 E ff.

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