1887

n Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie - Konsepte van oorerwing in Grieks-Romeinse tye : research and review article

Volume 20, Issue 3_4
  • ISSN : 0254-3486
  • E-ISSN: 2222-4173

Abstract

<b>Concepts of inheritance in Graeco-Roman times</b> <br>The earliest genetic concepts arose from the mists of antiquity. In the 6&lt;sup&gt;th&lt;/sup&gt; century BC the so-called Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers started to postulate concepts based on the assumption that hereditary factors from mother and father were transferred to the child via the male and female semen (or semen equivalent).The Hippocratic doctors (5&lt;sup&gt;th&lt;/sup&gt; and 4&lt;sup&gt;th&lt;/sup&gt; centuries BC) consolidated existing wisdom by way of a complex theory which stated that hereditary factors (sex and general characteristics) transferred via male and female semen, determined the appearance of the child, but only after modifying factors such as volume, consistency and origin of semen, the elements heat, cold, moistness and dryness, and the position of foetus in the uterus, had played a role. Aristotle (4&lt;sup&gt;th&lt;/sup&gt; century BC) postulated a very different theory, based on the assumption that the male was superior to the female, and that his strong semen would determine the hereditary process. Ideally this would lead to the birth of a male child, resembling his father. It was, however, possible that due to factors such as a strongly 'concocted ' (enriched) female generative substance (menstrual blood, as she had no semen), specific weather conditions, the age of and interaction between parents, as well as the type of water drunk, the male dominance could be qualified, resulting in a sub-ideal child - e.g. a male child with the mother's characteristics, or even a female child. Subsequent philosophers and physicians including Galen (2&lt;sup&gt;nd&lt;/sup&gt; century AD), added little new to these two main doctrines, and Roman writers in particular tended to introduce elements of mysticism and superstition.

Die vroegste konsepte van oorerwing kom uit die newels van die oudheid. Reeds teen die 6de eeu v.C. het die sogenaamde pre-Sokratiese Griekse filosowe die basis begin lê van 'n teorie wat gepostuleer het dat oorerwing op samesmelting van manlike semen / saad en vroulike "semen" (of semen-ekwivalent) as draers van erflikheidsfaktore berus. Die Hippokratiese geneeshere (5de en 4de eeue v.C.) het bestaande sienings gekonsolideer in 'n komplekse dogma met die uitgangspunt dat geslags- en ander liggaamskenmerke vanaf ouers via die semen na die embrio oorgedra word. Hierdie oordrag is telkens gekwalifiseer is deur veranderlikes soos die volume, samestelling en oorsprong van semen. Die elemente hitte, koue, natheid en droogheid by die ouers en of bevrugting in die regter- of linkeruterusholte plaasgevind het, het ook 'n rol gespeel. Aristoteles (4de eeu v.C.) se siening het berus op die aanname dat die vrou minderwaardig tot die man is en dat manlike semen oorheersend die erflikheidsproses bepaal. As ideaal sal 'n vrou dus manlike kinders met eienskappe van die vader voortbring. Soms, weens faktore soos buitengewone 'konkoksie' (veredeling) van die vroulike generatiewe element (die menstruele bloed), weersomstandighede, die ouderdom van en die verhouding tussen die ouers, en die tipe water wat gedrink is, word 'n minder ideale wese, en selfs 'n vrou gebore. Latere filosowe en geneeshere, selfs Galenus (2de eeu n.C.), het min nuuts tot hierdie twee teorieë bygevoeg en veral Romeinse skrywers was geneig om met minder wetenskaplike mistiese teorieë en bygeloof na vore te kom.

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/content/aknat/20/3_4/EJC20296
2001-09-01
2019-10-16

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