previous next


The other animals are born with1 teeth, whereas man has them only at the seventh2 month after his birth. While other3 animals keep their teeth to the time of their death, man, the lion, the beasts of burden, the dog, and the ruminating animals, all change them; the lion and the dog, however, change none4 but the canine teeth. The canine tooth of the wolf, on the right side, is held in high esteem as an amulet.5 There is no animal that changes the maxillary teeth, which stand beyond the canine teeth. With man, the last teeth, which are known as the " genuini," or cheek teeth,6 come about the twentieth year, and with many men, and females as well, so late even as the eightieth; but this only in the case of those who have not had them in their youth. It is a well-known fact, that the teeth are sometimes shed in old age, and replaced by others. Mucianus has stated that he, himself, saw one Zocles, a native of Samothrace, who had a new set of teeth when he was past his one hundred and fourth year. In addition to these facts, in man males have more teeth than females,7 which is the case also in sheep, goats, and swine. Timarchus, the son of Nicocles the Paphian, had a double8 row of teeth in his jaws: the same person had a brother also who never changed his front teeth, and, consequently, wore them to the very stumps. There is an instance, also, of a man having a tooth growing in the palate.9 The canine teeth,10 when lost by any accident, are never known to come again. While in all other animals the teeth grow of a tawny colour with old age, with the horse, and him only, they become whiter the older he grows.

1 Very few other animals are born with teeth, in their natural state. Apes, dogs, and cats are not born with teeth.

2 From the fourth to the eighth month in reality, during which the four central incisors appear.

3 The only ones that do not change are those which have three molars on each side of the jaw.

4 This is erroneous: they change the incisors and molars as well.

5 See B. xxviii. c. 78.

6 By us known as the "wisdom" teeth.

7 This is not the fact: they have usually the same number, but there are exceptions on both sides. The same is also the case with sheep, goats, and swine.

8 This is not very uncommon.

9 Not at all an uncommon occurrence.

10 Of the second set.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

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

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (3):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: