By Ambroise Pare, Janis L. Pallister
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Extra info for On Monsters and Marvels
Marvels are things which happen that are completely against Nature as when a woman will give birth to a serpent, or to a dog, or some other thing that is totally against Nature, as we shall show hereafter through several examples of said monsters and marvels, which examples I have gathered along with the illustrations from several authors, such as the Histoires prodigieuses of Pierre Boistuau, and from Claude Tiesserand, from Saint Paul, Saint Augustine, Esdras the Prophet, and from certain ancient philosophers, to wit from Hippocrates, Galen, Empedocles, Aristotle, Pliny, Lycosthenes, and others who will be quoted as deemed appropriate.
5[ CHAPTER THREE I. Figure of a colt with a man's face The aforementioned ancients estimated that such marvels often come from the pure will of God, to warn us of the misfortunes with which we are threatened, of some great disorder, and also that the ordinary course of Nature seemed to be twisted in [producing] such unfortunate offspring. Italy gave sufficient proof of this, for the travails she endured during the war that took place between the Florentines and the Pisans, after having seen in Verona, in the year 1254, a mare who foaled a colt which had the well-formed head of a man, while the rest of him was a horse.
The sixth, the narrowness or smallness of the womb. The seventh, the indecent posture of the mother, as when, being pregnant, she has sat too long with her legs crossed, or pressed against her womb. The eighth, through a fall, or blows struck against the womb of the mother, being with child. The ninth, through hereditary or accidental illnesses. The tenth, through rotten or corrupt seed. The eleventh, through mixture or mingling of seed. The twelfth, through the artifice of wicked spital beggars.