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On the generation of animals, in relation to wind.

One asks further about the generation of animals, in relation to the wind, whether the south wind is more suitable for generation than the north wind.

1. It seems that it is. Life depends on heat and moisture. Therefore, a hot and humid wind better results in generation. But the south wind is such as this in comparison to the north wind, and therefore, etc.

2. Moreover, according to Avicenna brute beasts flourish and grow more in a warmer region though it is just the opposite with the human. But the same reasoning seems to obtain both for the region and the wind. Therefore, a warmer wind results better in the generation of beasts. But this is the south wind; therefore, etc.

3. Moreover, the south wind better results in the generation of plants, because the north wind consumes and burns the leaves of herbs and plants. Therefore, the same reasoning holds concerning the generation of animals.

The Philosopher says the opposite and so do the medical writers. These say that the only good the south wind brings is to loosen the bowels [venter].

Next, one asks why the north wind is calm and the south wind is rain-filled.

Second, why the north wind causes the generation of males, and the south wind the generation of females.

Third, why the north wind constrains the bowels and causes the urine to flow, but the south wind loosens both.

To the first, one must say that life depends on heat and moisture. But these occur in two ways. For something may be hot and moist naturally, and one such as this is conducive to generation and life. Or something may be warm and moist accidentally, such as when water is made warm or earth moist, and such a thing, occurring by accident, does not result in generation or in the conservation of life. Now then, the south wind is warm and dry naturally, because it issues forth from just such a place, but it becomes moist on account of the places through which it travels, and is therefore moist accidentally. Or perhaps every wind is cold and dry naturally, as Aristotle says in book one of On Meteorology. For the wind's matter is a dry vapor, compressed and congealed by the cold, as the Philosopher says in book two of On Meteorology. This is why the north wind has, or preserves, natural properties, because it is cold and dry, whereas the south wind is warm and moist accidentally, because it passes through places that are warm and moist. This is why it is less conducive to generation, because on its own it weakens the powers that are in the body, while the north wind fortifies them. Because the north wind constricts the external parts, it puts the heat and spirit to flight inwards and consolidates them there, and the unified power is stronger than when it is dispersed, whereas the opposite occurs from the south wind. And this is why the north wind is better suited for generation, as the Philosopher intimates.

1. With this the response to the <first> argument is made clear.

2. To the second argument one should respond that the south wind is warm and moist per accidens, and life does not depend on this type of heat and moisture.

3. To the third, one should reply that plants are generated from cold and dry matter. Now, they take their origin from the earth, and this contributes some measure of warmth and moisture for their generation. Thus the cold and dryness of their matter are greatly increased by the north wind, and their matter is tempered rather by the south wind. But animal semen is hot and moist in its own right. As a result, it is distempered by an external warmth or moisture, and the south wind thus does not contribute to the generation of animals as it does to the generation of plants, and if it does contribute, this will be for the generation of cold animals like the serpent and the bloodless animals.

To the next inquiry it is already clear that because the north wind is dry, it is therefore calm, because it cannot raise the vapors and fumes up into the air but rather presses them downward; and because the south wind is moist, it is therefore rain-filled.

To the next, one should say that because a male is generated when the power is strong, and a female is generated only when the power is weak, and since the north wind fortifies the powers and the south wind weakens them, this is why the north wind causes the generation of males, and the south wind the generation of females.

To the next, one should say that the north wind constricts and the south wind softens, and this is why the north wind is conducive to constipation, and the south wind, as a result of its heat and moisture, causes diarrhea. Moreover, the north wind strengthens the powers, so that the digestive power is fortified and digests quite well, converts a great deal, and similarly exercises the retentive power, so that it will retain well. But the south wind brings about the opposite effects. For it softens and weakens the digestive, converting, and retentive powers, and thus it relaxes the stomach so that it cannot retain superfluity.

Moreover, the north wind dries out the nerves and, as a result, renders them excellent for motion, whereas the south wind softens, and this is why in the south all the animals are more ponderous and less well suited for movement. Nevertheless, because the bladder is fragile and situated near the external parts, when the north wind strikes it, it injures and constricts it and provokes urination. Now, both the north wind and the south wind provoke urination, although for different reasons: because, namely, the north wind constricts the belly and the south wind stimulates it.

 
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