A Philological Essay Concerning the Pygmies of the Ancients
Edward Tyson

Part 2 out of 2

brought them: If I can do this, I shall think my time not wholly lost, nor
the trouble altogether useless, that I have had in this Enquiry.

My Design is not to justifie all the Relations that have been given of
this _Animal_, even by Authors of reputed Credit; but, as far as I can, to
distinguish Truth from Fable; and herein, if what I assert amounts to a
Probability, 'tis all I pretend to. I shall accordingly endeavour to make
it appear, that not only the _Pygmies_ of the Ancients, but also the
_Cynocephali_, and _Satyrs_ and _Sphinges_ were only _Apes_ or _Monkeys_,
not _Men_, as they have been represented. But the Story of the _Pygmies_
being the greatest Imposture, I shall chiefly concern my self about them,
and shall be more concise on the others, since they will not need so
strict an Examination.

We will begin with the Poet _Homer_, who is generally owned as the first
Inventor of the Fable of the _Pygmies_, if it be a Fable, and not a true
Story, as I believe will appear in the Account I shall give of them. Now
_Homer_ only mentions them in a _Simile_, wherein he compares the Shouts
that the _Trojans_ made, when they were going to joyn Battle with the
_Graecians_, to the great Noise of the _Cranes_, going to fight the
_Pygmies_: he saith,[A]

[Greek: Ai t' epei oun cheimona phygon, kai athesphaton ombron
Klangae tai ge petontai ep' okeanoio rhoaon
'Andrasi pygmaioisi phonon kai kaera pherousai.] i.e.

_Quae simul ac fugere Imbres, Hyememque Nivalem
Cum magno Oceani clangore ferantur ad undas
Pygmaeis pugnamque Viris, caedesque ferentes._

[Footnote A: _Homer. Iliad_. lib. 3. ver. 4.]

Or as _Helius Eobanus Hessus_ paraphrases the whole.[A]

_Postquam sub Ducibus digesta per agmina stabant
Quaeque fuis, Equitum turmae, Peditumque Cohortes,
Obvia torquentes Danais vestigia Troes
Ibant, sublato Campum clamore replentes:
Non secus ac cuneata Gruum sublime volantum
Agmina, dum fugiunt Imbres, ac frigora Brumae,
Per Coelum matutino clangore feruntur,
Oceanumque petunt, mortem exitiumque cruentum
Irrita Pigmaeis moturis arma ferentes._

[Footnote A: _Homeri Ilias Latino Carmine reddita ab Helio Eobano Hesso_.]

By [Greek: andrasi pygmaioisi] therefore, which is the Passage upon which
they have grounded all their fabulous Relations of the _Pygmies_, why may
not _Homer_ mean only _Pygmies_ or _Apes_ like _Men_. Such an Expression
is very allowable in a _Poet_, and is elegant and significant, especially
since there is so good a Foundation in Nature for him to use it, as we
have already seen, in the _Anatomy of the Orang-Outang_. Nor is a _Poet_
tied to that strictness of Expression, as an _Historian_ or _Philosopher_;
he has the liberty of pleasing the Reader's Phancy, by Pictures and
Representations of his own. If there be a becoming likeness, 'tis all that
he is accountable for. I might therefore here make the same _Apology_ for
him, as _Strabo_[A] do's on another account for his _Geography_, [Greek:
ou gar kat' agnoian ton topikon legetai, all' haedonaes kai terpseos
charin]. That he said it, not thro' Ignorance, but to please and delight:
Or, as in another place he expresses himself,[B] [Greek: ou gar kat'
agnoian taes istorias hypolaepteon genesthai touto, alla tragodias
charin]. _Homer_ did not make this slip thro' Ignorance of the true
_History_, but for the Beauty of his _Poem_. So that tho' he calls them
_Men Pygmies_, yet he may mean no more by it, than that they were like
_Men_. As to his Purpose, 'twill serve altogether as well, whether this
bloody Battle be fought between the _Cranes_ and _Pygmaean Men_, or the
_Cranes_ and _Apes_, which from their Stature he calls _Pygmies_, and from
their shape _Men_; provided that when the _Cranes_ go to engage, they make
a mighty terrible noise, and clang enough to fright these little _Wights_
their mortal Enemies. To have called them only _Apes_, had been flat and
low, and lessened the grandieur of the Battle. But this _Periphrasis_ of
them, [Greek: andres pygmaioi], raises the Reader's Phancy, and surprises
him, and is more becoming the Language of an Heroic Poem.

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph_. lib. 1. p.m. 25.]

[Footnote B: _Strabo_ ibid. p.m. 30.]

But how came the _Cranes_ and _Pygmies_ to fall out? What may be the Cause
of this Mortal Feud, and constant War between them? For _Brutes_, like
_Men_, don't war upon one another, to raise and encrease their Glory, or
to enlarge their Empire. Unless I can acquit my self herein, and assign
some probable Cause hereof, I may incur the same Censure as _Strabo_[A]
passed on several of the _Indian Historians_, [Greek: enekainisan de kai
taen 'Omaerikaen ton Pygmaion geranomachin trispithameis eipontes], for
reviewing the _Homerical_ Fight of the _Cranes_ and _Pygmies_, which he
looks upon only as a fiction of the Poet. But this had been very
unbecoming _Homer_ to take a _Simile_ (which is designed for illustration)
from what had no Foundation in Nature. His _Betrachomyomachia_, 'tis true,
was a meer Invention, and never otherwise esteemed: But his _Geranomachia_
hath all the likelyhood of a true Story. And therefore I shall enquire now
what may be the just Occasion of this Quarrel.

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph_. lib. 2. p.m. 48.]

_Athenaeus_[A] out of _Philochorus_, and so likewise _AElian_[B], tell us a
Story, That in the Nation of the _Pygmies_ the Male-line failing, one
_Gerana_ was the Queen; a Woman of an admired Beauty, and whom the
Citizens worshipped as a Goddess; but she became so vain and proud, as to
prefer her own, before the Beauty of all the other Goddesses, at which
they grew enraged; and to punish her for her Insolence, Athenaeus tells us
that it was _Diana_, but _AElian_ saith 'twas _Juno_ that transformed her
into a _Crane_, and made her an Enemy to the _Pygmies_ that worshipped her
before. But since they are not agreed which Goddess 'twas, I shall let
this pass.

[Footnote A: _Athenaei Deipnosoph_. lib. 9 p.m. 393.]

[Footnote B: _AElian. Hist. Animal_. lib. 15. cap. 29.]

_Pomponius Mela_ will have it, and I think some others, that these cruel
Engagements use to happen, upon the _Cranes_ coming to devour the _Corn_
the _Pygmies_ had sowed; and that at last they became so victorious, as
not only to destroy their Corn, but them also: For he tells us,[A] _Fuere
interius Pygmaei, minutum genus, & quod pro satis frugibus contra Grues
dimicando, defecit._ This may seem a reasonable Cause of a Quarrel; but it
not being certain that the _Pygmies_ used to sow _Corn_, I will not insist
on this neither.

[Footnote A: _Pomp. Mela de situ Orbis_, lib. 3. cap. 8.]

Now what seems most likely to me, is the account that _Pliny_ out of
_Megasthenes_, and _Strabo_ from _Onesicritus_ give us; and, provided I be
not obliged to believe or justifie _all_ that they say, I could rest
satisfied in great part of their Relation: For _Pliny_[B] tells us, _Veris
tempore universo agmine ad mare descendere, & Ova, Pullosque earum Alitum
consumere_: That in the Spring-time the whole drove of the _Pygmies_ go
down to the Sea side, to devour the _Cranes_ Eggs and their young Ones. So
likewise _Onesicritus_,[B] [Greek: Pros de tous trispithamous polemon
einai tais Geranois (hon kai Homaeron daeloun) kai tois Perdixin, ous
chaenomegetheis einai; toutous d' eklegein auton ta oa, kai phtheirein;
ekei gar ootokein tas Geranous; dioper maedamou maed' oa euriskesthai
Geranon, maet' oun neottia;] i.e. _That there is a fight between the_
Pygmies _and the_ Cranes (_as_ Homer _relates_) _and the_ Partridges
_which are as big as_ Geese; _for these_ Pygmies _gather up their Eggs,
and destroy them; the_ Cranes _laying their Eggs there; and neither their
Eggs, nor their Nests, being to be found any where else_. 'Tis plain
therefore from them, that the Quarrel is not out of any _Antipathy_ the
_Pygmies_ have to the _Cranes_, but out of love to their own Bellies. But
the _Cranes_ finding their Nests to be robb'd, and their young Ones prey'd
on by these Invaders, no wonder that they should so sharply engage them;
and the least they could do, was to fight to the utmost so mortal an
Enemy. Hence, no doubt, many a bloody Battle happens, with various success
to the Combatants; sometimes with great slaughter of the _long-necked
Squadron_; sometimes with great effusion of _Pygmaean_ blood. And this may
well enough, in a _Poet's_ phancy, be magnified, and represented as a
dreadful War; and no doubt of it, were one a _Spectator_ of it, 'twould be
diverting enough.

[Footnote A: _Plinij. Hist. Nat._ lib. 7. cap. 2. p.m. 13.]

[Footnote B: _Strab. Geograph_. lib. 15. pag. 489.]

-----_Si videas hoc
Gentibus in nostris, risu quatiere: sed illic,
Quanquam eadem assidue spectantur Praelia, ridet
Nemo, ubi tota cohors pede non est altior uno_.[A]

[Footnote A: _Juvenal. Satyr_. 13 vers. 170.]

This Account therefore of these Campaigns renewed every year on this
Provocation between the _Cranes_ and the _Pygmies_, contains nothing but
what a cautious Man may believe; and _Homer's Simile_ in likening the
great shouts of the _Trojans_ to the Noise of the _Cranes_, and the
Silence of the _Greeks_ to that of the _Pygmies_, is very admirable and
delightful. For _Aristotle_[B] tells us, That the _Cranes_, to avoid the
hardships of the Winter, take a Flight out of _Scythia_ to the _Lakes_
about the _Nile_, where the _Pygmies_ live, and where 'tis very likely the
_Cranes_ may lay their Eggs and breed, before they return. But these rude
_Pygmies_ making too bold with them, what could the _Cranes_ do less for
preserving their Off-spring than fight them; or at least by their mighty
Noise, make a shew as if they would. This is but what we may observe in
all other Birds. And thus far I think our _Geranomachia_ or _Pygmaeomachia_
looks like a true Story; and there is nothing in _Homer_ about it, but
what is credible. He only expresses himself, as a _Poet_ should do; and if
Readers will mistake his meaning, 'tis not his fault.

[Footnote B: _Aristotle. Hist. Animal_. lib. 8. cap. 15. Edit. Scalig.]

'Tis not therefore the _Poet_ that is to be blamed, tho' they would father
it all on him; but the fabulous _Historians_ in after Ages, who have so
odly drest up this Story by their fantastical Inventions, that there is no
knowing the truth, till one hath pull'd off those Masks and Visages,
wherewith they have disguised it. For tho' I can believe _Homer_, that
there is a fight between the _Cranes_ and _Pygmies_, yet I think I am no
ways obliged to imagine, that when the _Pygmies_ go to these Campaigns to
fight the _Cranes_, that they ride upon _Partridges_, as _Athenaeas_ from
_Basilis_ an _Indian Historian_ tells us; for, saith he,[A] [Greek:
Basilis de en toi deuteroi ton Indikon, oi mikroi, phaesin, andres oi tais
Geranois diapolemountes Perdixin ochaemati chrontai;]. For presently
afterwards he tells us from _Menecles_, that the _Pygmies_ not only fight
the _Cranes_, but the _Partridges_ too, [Greek: Meneklaes de en protae
taes synagogaes oi pygmaioi, phaesi, tois perdixi, kai tais Geranois
polemousi]. This I could more readily agree to, because _Onesicritus_, as
I have quoted him already confirms it; and gives us the same reason for
this as for fighting the _Cranes_, because they rob their Nests. But
whether these _Partridges_ are as big as _Geese_, I leave as a _Quaere_.

[Footnote A: _Athenaei Deipnesoph_. lib. p. 9. m. 390.]

_Megasthenes_ methinks in _Pliny_ mounts the _Pygmies_ for this expedition
much better, for he sets them not on a _Pegasus_ or _Partridges_, but on
_Rams_ and _Goats_: _Fama est_ (saith _Pliny[A]) insedentes Arietum
Caprarumque dorsis, armatis sagittis, veris tempore universo agmine ad
mare descendere_. And _Onesicritus_ in Strabo tells us, That a _Crane_ has
been often observed to fly from those parts with a brass Sword fixt in
him, [Greek: pleistakis d' ekpiptein geranon chalkaen echousan akida apo
ton ekeithen plaegmaton.][B] But whether the _Pygmies_ do wear Swords, may
be doubted. 'Tis true, _Ctesias_ tells us,[C] That the _King_ of _India_
every fifth year sends fifty Thousand Swords, besides abundance of other
Weapons, to the Nation of the _Cynocephali_, (a fort of _Monkeys_, as I
shall shew) that live in those Countreys, but higher up in the Mountains:
But he makes no mention of any such Presents to the poor _Pygmies_; tho'
he assures us, that no less than three Thousand of these _Pygmies_ are the
_Kings_ constant Guards: But withal tells us, that they are excellent
_Archers_, and so perhaps by dispatching their Enemies at a distance, they
may have no need of such Weapons to lye dangling by their sides. I may
therefore be mistaken in rendering [Greek: akida] a Sword; it may be any
other sharp pointed Instrument or Weapon, and upon second Thoughts, shall
suppose it a sort of Arrow these cunning _Archers_ use in these

[Footnote A: _Plinij. Nat. Hist._ lib. 7. cap. 2. p. 13.]

[Footnote B: _Strabo Geograph._ lib. 15. p. 489.]

[Footnote C: _Vide Photij. Biblioth._]

These, and a hundred such ridiculous _Fables_, have the _Historians_
invented of the _Pygmies_, that I can't but be of _Strabo_'s mind,[A]
[Greek: Rhadion d' an tis Haesiodio, kai Homaeroi pisteuseien
haeroologousi, kai tois tragikois poiaetais, hae Ktaesiai te kai
Haerodotoi, kai Hellanikoi, kai allois toioutois;] i.e. _That one may
sooner believe_ Hesiod, _and_ Homer, _and the_ Tragick Poets _speaking of
their_ Hero's, _than_ Ctesias _and_ Herodotus _and_ Hellanicus _and such
like_. So ill an Opinion had _Strabo_ of the _Indian Historians_ in
general, that he censures them _all_ as fabulous;[B] [Greek: Hapantes men
toinun hoi peri taes Indikaes grapsantes hos epi to poly pseudologoi
gegonasi kath' hyperbolaen de Daeimachos; ta de deutera legei
Megasthenaes, Onaesikritos te kai Nearchos, kai alloi toioutoi;] i.e. _All
who have wrote of_ India _for the most part, are fabulous, but in the
highest degree_ Daimachus; _then_ Megasthenes, Onesicritus, _and_
Nearchus, _and such like_. And as if it had been their greatest Ambition
to excel herein, _Strabo_[C] brings in _Theopompus_, as bragging, [Greek:
Hoti kai mythous en tais Historiais erei kreitton, ae hos Haerodotos, kai
Ktaesias, kai Hellanikos, kai hoi ta Hindika syngrapsantes;] _That he
could foist in Fables into History, better than_ Herodotus _and_ Ctesias
_and_ Hellanicus, _and all that have wrote of_ India. The _Satyrist_
therefore had reason to say,

-----_Et quicquid Graecia mendax
Audet in Historia._[D]

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph._ lib. 11. p.m. 350.]

[Footnote B: _Strabo ibid._ lib. 2. p.m. 48.]

[Footnote C: _Strabo ibid._ lib. 1 p.m. 29.]

[Footnote D: _Juvenal._ _Satyr._ X. _vers._ 174.]

_Aristotle_,[A] 'tis true, tells us, [Greek: Holos de ta men agria
agriotera en tae Asia, andreiotera de panta ta en taei Europaei,
polymorphotata de ta en taei libyaei; kai legetai de tis paroimia, hoti
aei pherei ti libyae kainon;] i.e. _That generally the Beasts are wilder
in_ Asia, _stronger in_ Europe, _and of greater variety of shapes in_
Africa; _for as the_ Proverb _saith_, Africa _always produces something
new_. _Pliny_[B] indeed ascribes it to the Heat of the _Climate,
Animalium, Hominumque effigies monstriferas, circa extremitates ejus
gigni, minime mirum, artifici ad formanda Corpora, effigiesque caelandas
mobilitate ignea_. But _Nature_ never formed a whole _Species_ of
_Monsters_; and 'tis not the _heat_ of the Country, but the warm and
fertile Imagination of these _Historians_, that has been more productive
of them, than _Africa_ it self; as will farther appear by what I shall
produce out of them, and particularly from the Relation that _Ctesias_
makes of the _Pygmies_.

[Footnote A: _Aristotle Hist. Animal_, lib. 8. cap. 28.]

[Footnote B: _Plin. Nat. Hist._ lib. 6. cap. 30. p.m. 741.]

I am the more willing to instance in _Ctesias_, because he tells his Story
roundly; he no ways minces it; his Invention is strong and fruitful; and
that you may not in the least mistrust him, he pawns his word, that all
that he writes, is certainly true: And so successful he has been, how
Romantick soever his Stories may appear, that they have been handed down
to us by a great many other Authors, and of Note too; tho' some at the
same time have looked upon them as mere Fables. So that for the present,
till I am better informed, and I am not over curious in it, I shall make
_Ctesias_, and the other _Indian Historians_, the _Inventors_ of the
extravagant Relations we at present have of the _Pygmies_, and not old
_Homer_. He calls them, 'tis true, from something of Resemblance of their
shape, [Greek: andres]: But these _Historians_ make them to speak the
_Indian Language_; to use the same _Laws_; and to be so considerable a
Nation, and so valiant, as that the _King_ of _India_ makes choice of them
for his _Corps de Guards_; which utterly spoils _Homer's Simile_, in
making them so little, as only to fight _Cranes_.

_Ctesias_'s Account therefore of the _Pygmies_ (as I find it in
_Photius_'s _Bibliotheca_,[A] and at the latter end of some Editions of
_Herodotus_) is this:

[Footnote A: _Photij. Bibliothec. Cod._ 72. p.m. 145.]

[Greek: Hoti en mesae tae Indikae anthropoi eisi melanes, kai kalountai
pygmaioi, tois allois homoglossoi Indois. mikroi de eisi lian; hoi
makrotatoi auton paecheon duo, hoi de pleistoi, henos haemiseos paecheos,
komaen de echousi makrotataen, mechri kai hepi ta gonata, kai eti
katoteron, kai pogona megiston panton anthropon; epeidan oun ton pogona
mega physosin, ouketi amphiennyntai ouden emation: alla tas trichas, tas
men ek taes kephalaes, opisthen kathientai poly kato ton gonaton; tas de
ek tou po gonos, emprosthen mechri podon elkomenas. Hepeita
peripykasamenoi tas trichas peri apan to soma, zonnyntai, chromenoi autais
anti himatiou, aidoion de mega echousin, hoste psauein ton sphyron auton,
kai pachy. autoite simoi te kai aischroi. ta de probata auton, hos andres.
kai hai boes kai hoi onoi, schedon hoson krioi? kai hoi hippoi auton kai
hoi aemionoi, kai ta alla panta zoa, ouden maezo krion; hepontai de toi
basilei ton Indon, touton ton pygmaion andres trischilioi. sphodra gar
eisi toxotai; dikaiotatoi de eisi kai nomoisi chrontai osper kai hoi
Indoi. Dagoous te kai alopekas thaereuousin, ou tois kysin, alla koraxi
kai iktisi kai koronais kai aetois.]

_Narrat praeter ista, in media India homines reperiri nigros, qui Pygmaei
appellentur. Eadem hos, qua Inda reliqui, lingua uti, sed valde esse
parvos, ut maximi duorum cubitorum, & plerique unius duntaxat cubiti cum
dimidio altitudinem non excedant. Comam alere longissimam, ad ipsa usque
genua demissam, atque etiam infra, cum barba longiore, quam, apud ullos
hominum. Quae quidem ubi illis promissior esse caeperit, nulla deinceps
veste uti: sed capillos multo infra genua a tergo demissos, barbamque
praeter pectus ad pedes usque defluentem, per totum corpus in orbem
constipare & cingere, atque ita pilos ipsis suos vestimenti loco esse.
Veretrum illis esse crassum ac longum, quod ad ipsos quoque pedum
malleolos pertingat. Pygmeos hosce simis esse naribus, & deformes. Ipsorum
item oves agnorem nostrotum instar esse; boves & asinos, arietum fere
magnitudine, equos item multosque & caetera jumenta omnia nihilo esse
nostris arietibus majora. Tria horum Pygmaeorum millia Indorum regem in suo
comitatu habere, quod sagittarij sint peritissimi. Summos esse justitiae
cultores iisdemque quibus Indi reliqui, legibus parere. Venari quoque
lepores vulpesque, non canibus, sed corvis, milvis, cornicibus, aquilis

In the middle of _India_ (saith _Ctesias_) there are black Men, they are
call'd _Pygmies_, using the same Language, as the other _Indians_; they
are very little, the tallest of them being but two Cubits, and most of
them but a Cubit and a half high. They have very long hair, reaching down
to their Knees and lower; and a Beard larger than any Man's. After their
Beards are grown long, they wear no Cloaths, but the Hair of their Head
falls behind a great deal below their Hams; and that of their Beards
before comes down to their Feet: then laying their Hair thick all about
their Body, they afterwards gird themselves, making use of their Hair for
Cloaths. They have a _Penis_ so long, that it reaches to the Ancle, and
the thickness is proportionable. They are flat nosed and ill favoured.
Their Sheep are like Lambs; and their Oxen and Asses scarce as big as Rams;
and their Horses and Mules, and all their other Cattle not bigger. Three
thousand Men of these _Pygmies_ do attend the _King_ of _India_. They are
good _Archers_; they are very just, and use the same _Laws_ as the
_Indians_ do. They kill Hares and Foxes, not with Dogs, but with Ravens,
Kites, Crows, and Eagles.'

Well, if they are so good Sports-men, as to kill Hares and Foxes with
Ravens, Kites, Crows and Eagles, I can't see how I can bring off _Homer_,
for making them fight the _Cranes_ themselves. Why did they not fly their
_Eagles_ against them? these would make greater Slaughter and Execution,
without hazarding themselves. The only excuse I have is, that _Homer_'s
_Pygmies_ were real _Apes_ like _Men_; but those of _Ctesias_ were neither
_Men_ nor _Pygmies_; only a Creature begot in his own Brain, and to be
found no where else.

_Ctesias_ was Physician to _Artaxerxes Mnemon_ as _Diodorus Siculus_[A]
and _Strabo_[B] inform us. He was contemporary with _Xenophon_, a little
later than _Herodotus_; and _Helvicus_ in his _Chronology_ places him
three hundred eighty three years before _Christ_: He is an ancient Author,
'tis true, and it may be upon that score valued by some. We are beholden
to him, not only for his Improvements on the Story of the _Pygmies_, but
for his Remarks likewise on several other parts of _Natural History_;
which for the most part are all of the same stamp, very wonderful and
incredible; as his _Mantichora_, his _Gryphins_, the _horrible Indian
Worm_, a Fountain of _Liquid Gold_, a Fountain of _Honey_, a Fountain
whose Water will make a Man confess all that ever he did, a Root he calls
[Greek: paraebon], that will attract Lambs and Birds, as the Loadstone
does filings of Steel; and a great many other Wonders he tells us: all of
which are copied from him by _AElian, Pliny, Solinus, Mela, Philostratus_,
and others. And _Photius_ concludes _Ctesias_'s Account of _India_ with
this passage; [Greek: Tauta graphon kai mythologon Ktaesias. legei t'
alaethestata graphein; epagon hos ta men autos idon graphei, ta de par
auton mathon ton eidoton. polla de touton kai alla thaumasiotera
paralipein, dia to mae doxai tois mae tauta theasamenois apista
syngraphein;] i.e. _These things_ (saith he) Ctesias _writes and feigns,
but he himself says all he has wrote is very true. Adding, that some
things which he describes, he had seen himself; and the others he had
learn'd from those that had seen them: That he had omitted a great many
other things more wonderful, because he would not seem to those that have
not seen them, to write incredibilities_. But notwithstanding all this,
_Lucian_[C] will not believe a word he saith; for he tells us that
_Ctesias_ has wrote of _India_, [Greek: A maete autos eide, maete allou
eipontos aekousen], _What he neither saw himself, nor ever heard from any
Body else._ And _Aristotle_ tells us plainly, he is not fit to be believed:
[Greek: En de taei Indikaei hos phaesi Ktaesias, ouk on axiopistos.][D]
And the same opinion _A. Gellius_[E] seems to have of him, as he had
likewise of several other old _Greek Historians_ which happened to fall
into his hands at _Brundusium_, in his return from _Greece_ into _Italy_;
he gives this Character of them and their performance: _Erant autem isti
omnes libri Graeci, miraculorum fabularumque pleni: res inauditae,
incredulae, Scriptores veteres non parvae authoritatis_, Aristeas
Proconnesius, & Isagonus, & Nicaeensis, & Ctesias, & Onesicritus, &
Polystephanus, & Hegesias. Not that I think all that _Ctesias_ has wrote
is fabulous; For tho' I cannot believe his _speaking Pygmies_, yet what he
writes of the _Bird_ he calls [Greek: Bittakos], that it would speak
_Greek_ and the _Indian Language_, no doubt is very true; and as _H.
Stephens_[F] observes in his Apology for _Ctesias_, such a Relation would
seem very surprising to one, that had never seen nor heard of a _Parrot_.

[Footnote A: _Diodor. Siculi Bibliothec_. lib. 2. p.m. 118.]

[Footnote B: _Strabo Geograph_. lib. 14. p. 451.]

[Footnote C: _Lucian_ lib 1. _verae Histor_. p.m. 373.]

[Footnote D: _Arist. Hist. Animal._ lib. 8. cap. 28.]

[Footnote E: _A. Gellij. Noctes. Attic._ lib. 9. cap. 4.]

[Footnote F: _Henr. Stephani de Ctesia Historico antiquissimo disquisitio,
ad finem Herodoti._]

But this Story of _Ctesias_'s _speaking Pygmies_, seems to be confirm'd by
the Account that _Nonnosus_, the Emperour _Justinian_'s Ambassador into
_AEthiopia_, gives of his Travels. I will transcribe the Passage, as I find
it in _Photius_,[A] and 'tis as follows:

[Footnote A: _Photij. Bibliothec._ cod. 3. p.m. 7.]

[Greek: Hoti apo taes pharsan pleonti toi Nonnosoi, epi taen eschataen ton
naeson kataentaekoti toion de ti synebae, thauma kai akousai. enetuche gar
tisi morphaen men kai idean echousin anthropinaen, brachytatois de to
megethos, kai melasi taen chroan. hypo de trichon dedasysmenois dia pantos
tou somatos. heiponto de tois andrasi kai gynaikes paraplaesiai kai
paidaria eti brachytera, ton par autois andron. gymnoi de aesan hapantes;
plaen dermati tini mikroi taen aido periekalypron, hoi probebaekotes
homoios andres te kai gynaikes. agrion de ouden eped eiknynto oude
anaemeron; alla kai phonaen eichon men anthropinaen, agnoston de pantapasi
taen dialekton tois te perioikois hapasi, kai polloi pleon tois peri taen
Nonnoson, diezon de ek thalattion ostreion, kai ichthyon, ton apo taes
thalassaes eis taen naeson aporrhiptomenon; tharsos de eichon ouden. alla
kai horontes tous kath' haemas anthropous hypeptaesan, hosper haemeis ta
meiso ton thaerion.]

_Naviganti a Pharsa Nonoso, & ad extremam usque insularum delato, tale
quid occurrit, vel ipso auditu admirandum. Incidit enim in quosdam forma
quidem & figura humana, sed brevissimos, & cutem nigros, totumque pilosos
corpus. Sequebantur viros aequales foeminae, & pueri adhuc breviores. Nudi
omnes agunt, pelle tantum brevi adultiores verenda tecti, viri pariter ac
foeminae: agreste nihil, neque efferum quid prae se ferentes. Quin & vox
illis humana, sed omnibus, etiam accolis, prorsus ignota lingua, multoque
amplius Nonosi sociis. Vivunt marinis ostreis, & piscibus e mari ad
insulam projectis. Audaces minime sunt, ut nostris conspectis hominibus,
quemadmodum nos visa ingenti fera, metu perculsi fuerint._

'That _Nonnosus_ sailing from _Pharsa_, when he came to the farthermost of
the Islands, a thing, very strange to be heard of, happened to him; for he
lighted on some (_Animals_) in shape and appearance like _Men_, but little
of stature, and of a black colour, and thick covered with hair all over
their Bodies. The Women, who were of the same stature, followed the Men:
They were all naked, only the Elder of them, both Men and Women, covered
their Privy Parts with a small Skin. They seemed not at all fierce or wild;
they had a Humane Voice, but their _Dialect_ was altogether unknown to
every Body that lived about them; much more to those that were with
_Nonnosus_. They liv'd upon Sea Oysters, and Fish that were cast out of
the Sea, upon the Island. They had no Courage; for seeing our Men, they
were frighted, as we are at the sight of the greatest wild Beast.'

[Greek: _phonaen eichon men anthropinaen_] I render here, _they had a
Humane Voice_, not _Speech_: for had they spoke any Language, tho' their
_Dialect_ might be somewhat different, yet no doubt but some of the
Neighbourhood would have understood something of it, and not have been
such utter Strangers to it. Now 'twas observed of the _Orang-Outang_, that
it's _Voice_ was like the Humane, and it would make a Noise like a Child,
but never was observed to speak, tho' it had the _Organs_ of _Speech_
exactly formed as they are in _Man_; and no Account that ever has been
given of this Animal do's pretend that ever it did. I should rather agree
to what _Pliny_[A] mentions, _Quibusdam pro Sermone nutus motusque
Membrorum est_; and that they had no more a Speech than _Ctesias_ his
_Cynocephali_ which could only bark, as the same _Pliny_[B] remarks; where
he saith, _In multis autem Montibus Genus Hominum Capitibus Caninis,
ferarum pellibus velari, pro voce latratum edere, unguibus armatum venatu
& Aucupio vesci, horum supra Centum viginti Millia fuisse prodente se
Ctesias scribit._ But in _Photius_ I find, that _Ctesias's Cynocephali_
did speak the _Indian Language_ as well as the _Pygmies_. Those therefore
in _Nonnosus_ since they did not speak the _Indian_, I doubt, spoke no
_Language_ at all; or at least, no more than other _Brutes_ do.

[Footnote A: _Plinij Nat. Hist._ lib. 6. cap. 30. p.m. 741.]

[Footnote B: _Plinij. Nat. Hist._ lib. 7. cap. 2. p.m. 11.]

_Ctesias_ I find is the only Author that ever understood what Language
'twas that the _Pygmies_ spake: For _Herodotus_[A] owns that they use a
sort of Tongue like to no other, but screech like _Bats_. He saith, [Greek:
Hoi Garamantes outoi tous troglodytas Aithiopas thaereuousi toisi
tetrippoisi. Hoi gar Troglodytai aithiopes podas tachistoi anthropon
panton eisi, ton hymeis peri logous apopheromenous akouomen. Siteontai de
hoi Troglodytai ophis, kai Saurous, kai ta toiauta ton Herpeton. Glossan
de oudemiaei allaei paromoiaen nenomikasi, alla tetrygasi kathaper hai
nukterides;] i.e. _These_ Garamantes _hunt the_ Troglodyte AEthiopians _in
Chariots with four Horses. The_ Troglodyte AEthiopians _are the swiftest of
foot of all Men that ever he heard of by any Report. The_ Troglodytes _eat
Serpents and Lizards, and such sort of Reptiles. They use a Language like
to no other Tongue, but screech like Bats._

[Footnote A: _Herodot. in Melpomene._ pag. 283.]

Now that the _Pygmies_ are _Troglodytes_, or do live in Caves, is plain
from _Aristotle_,[A] who saith, [Greek: Troglodytai de' eisi ton bion].
And so _Philostratus_,[B] [Greek: Tous de pygmaious oikein men
hypogeious]. And methinks _Le Compte_'s Relation concerning the _wild_ or
_savage Man_ in _Borneo_, agrees so well with this, that I shall
transcribe it: for he tells us,[C] _That in_ Borneo _this_ wild _or_
savage Man _is indued with extraordinary strength; and not withstanding he
walks but upon two Legs, yet he is so swift of foot, that they have much
ado to outrun him. People of Quality course him, as we do Stags here: and
this sort of hunting is the King's usual divertisement._ And _Gassendus_
in the Life of _Peiresky_, tells us they commonly hunt them too in
_Angola_ in _Africa_, as I have already mentioned. So that very likely
_Herodotus's Troglodyte AEthiopians_ may be no other than our
_Orang-Outang_ or _wild Man_. And the rather, because I fancy their
Language is much the same: for an _Ape_ will chatter, and make a noise
like a _Bat_, as his _Troglodytes_ did: And they undergo to this day the
same Fate of being hunted, as formerly the _Troglodytes_ used to be by the

[Footnote A: _Arist. Hist. Animal._, lib. 8. cap. 15. p.m. 913.]

[Footnote B: _Philostrat. in vita Appollon. Tyanaei_, lib. 3. cap. 14. p.m.

[Footnote C: _Lewis le Compte_ Memoirs and Observations on _China_, p.m.

Whether those [Greek: andras mikrous metrion elassonas andron] which the
_Nasamones_ met with (as _Herodotus_[A] relates) in their Travels to
discover _Libya_, were the _Pygmies_; I will not determine: It seems that
_Nasamones_ neither understood their Language, nor they that of the
_Nasamones_. However, they were so kind to the _Nasamones_ as to be their
Guides along the Lakes, and afterwards brought them to a City, [Greek: en
taei pantas einai toisi agousi to megethos isous, chroma de melanas], i.e.
_in which all were of the same stature with the Guides, and black_. Now
since they were all _little black Men_, and their Language could not be
understood, I do suspect they may be a Colony of the _Pygmies_: And that
they were no farther Guides to the _Nasamones_, than that being frighted
at the sight of them, they ran home, and the _Nasamones_ followed them.

[Footnote A: _Herodotus in Euterpe_ seu lib. 2. p.m. 102.]

I do not find therefore any good Authority, unless you will reckon
_Ctesias_ as such, that the _Pygmies_ ever used a Language or Speech, any
more than other _Brutes_ of the same _Species_ do among themselves, and
that we know nothing of, whatever _Democritus_ and _Melampodes_ in
_Pliny_,[A] or _Apollonius Tyanaeus_ in _Porphyry_[B] might formerly have
done. Had the _Pygmies_ ever spoke any _Language_ intelligible by Mankind,
this might have furnished our _Historians_ with notable Subjects for their
_Novels_; and no doubt but we should have had plenty of them.

[Footnote A: _Plinij Nat. Hist._ lib. 10. cap. 49.]

[Footnote B: _Porphyrius de Abstinentia_, lib. 3. pag. m. 103.]

But _Albertus Magnus_, who was so lucky as to guess that the _Pygmies_
were a sort of _Apes_; that he should afterwards make these _Apes_ to
_speak_, was very unfortunate, and spoiled all; and he do's it, methinks,
so very awkwardly, that it is as difficult almost to understand his
Language as his _Apes_; if the Reader has a mind to attempt it, he will
find it in the Margin.[A]

[Footnote A: _Si qui Homines sunt Silvestres, sicut Pygmeus, non secundum
unam rationem nobiscum dicti sunt Homines, sed aliquod habent Hominis in
quadam deliberatione & Loquela, &c._ A little after adds, _Voces quaedam
(sc. Animalia) formant ad diversos conceptus quos habent, sicut Homo &
Pygmaeus; & quaedam non faciunt hoc, sicut multitudo fere tota aliorum
Animalium. Adhuc autem eorum quae ex ratione cogitativa formant voces,
quaedam sunt succumbentia, quaedam autem non succumbentia. Dico autem
succumbentia, a conceptu Animae cadentia & mota ad Naturae Instinctum, sicut
Pygmeus, qui non, sequitur rationem Loquelae sed Naturae Instinctum; Homo
autem non succumbit sed sequitur rationem._ Albert. Magn. de Animal. lib.
1. cap. 3. p.m. 3.]

Had _Albertus_ only asserted, that the _Pygmies_ were a sort of _Apes_,
his Opinion possibly might have obtained with less difficulty, unless he
could have produced some Body that had heard them talk. But _Ulysses
Aldrovandus_[A] is so far from believing his _Ape Pygmies_ ever spoke,
that he utterly denies, that there were ever any such Creatures in being,
as the _Pygmies_, at all; or that they ever fought the _Cranes_. _Cum
itaque Pygmaeos_ (saith he) _dari negemus, Grues etiam cum iis Bellum
gerere, ut fabulantur, negabimus, & tam pertinaciter id negabimus, ut ne
jurantibus credemus._

[Footnote A: _Ulys. Aldrovandi Ornitholog._ lib. 20. p.m. 344.]

I find a great many very Learned Men are of this Opinion: And in the first
place, _Strabo_[A] is very positive; [Greek: Heorakos men gar oudeis
exaegeitai ton pisteos axion andron;] i.e. _No Man worthy of belief did
ever see them_. And upon all occasions he declares the same. So _Julius
Caesar Scaliger_[B] makes them to be only a Fiction of the Ancients, _At
haec omnia_ (saith he) _Antiquorum figmenta & merae Nugae, si exstarent,
reperirentur. At cum universus Orbis nunc nobis cognitus sit, nullibi haec
Naturae Excrementa reperiri certissimum est._ And _Isaac Casaubon_[C]
ridicules such as pretend to justifie them: _Sic nostra aetate_ (saith he)
_non desunt, qui eandem de Pygmaeis lepidam fabellam renovent; ut qui etiam
e Sacris Literis, si Deo placet, fidem illis conentur astruere. Legi etiam
Bergei cujusdam Galli Scripta, qui se vidisse diceret. At non ego credulus
illi, illi inquam Omnium Bipedum mendacissimo._ I shall add one Authority
more, and that is of _Adrian Spigelius,_ who produces a Witness that had
examined the very place, where the _Pygmies_ were said to be; yet upon a
diligent enquiry, he could neither find them, nor hear any tidings of
them.[D] _Spigelius_ therefore tells us, _Hoc loco de Pygmaeis dicendum
erat, qui [Greek: para pygonos] dicti a statura, quae ulnam non excedunt.
Verum ego Poetarum fabulas esse crediderim, pro quibus tamen_ Aristoteles
_minime haberi vult, sed veram esse Historiam._ 8. Hist. Animal. 12.
_asseverat. Ego quo minus hoc statuam, tum Authoritate primum Doctissimi_
Strabonis I. Geograph. _coactus sum, tum potissimum nunc moveor, quod
nostro tempore, quo nulla Mundi pars est, quam Nautarum Industria non
perlustrarit, nihil tamen, unquam simile aut visum est, aut auditum.
Accedit quod_ Franciscus Alvarez _Lusitanus, qui ea ipsa loca peragravit,
circa quae Aristoteles Pygmaeos esse scribit, nullibi tamen tam parvam
Gentem a se conspectam tradidit, sed Populum esse Mediocris staturae, &_
AEthiopes _tradit._

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph._ lib. 17. p.m. 565.]

[Footnote B: _Jul. Caes. Scaliger. Comment. in Arist. Hist. Animal._ lib.
8. sec. 126. p.m. 914.]

[Footnote C: _Isaac Causabon Notae & Castigat. in_ lib. 1. _Strabonis
Geograph._ p.m. 38.]

[Footnote D: _Adrian. Spigelij de Corporis Humani fabrica_, lib. 1. cap.
7. p.m. 15.]

I think my self therefore here obliged to make out, that there were such
Creatures as _Pygmies_, before I determine what they were, since the very
being of them is called in question, and utterly denied by so great Men,
and by others too that might be here produced. Now in the doing this,
_Aristotle_'s Assertion of them is so very positive, that I think there
needs not a greater or better Proof; and it is so remarkable a one, that I
find the very Enemies to this Opinion at a loss, how to shift it off. To
lessen it's Authority they have interpolated the _Text_, by foisting into
the _Translation_ what is not in the Original; or by not translating at
all the most material passage, that makes against them; or by miserably
glossing it, to make him speak what he never intended: Such unfair
dealings plainly argue, that at any rate they are willing to get rid of a
Proof, that otherwise they can neither deny, or answer.

_Aristotle_'s Text is this, which I shall give with _Theodorus Gaza's_
Translation: for discoursing of the Migration of Birds, according to the
Season of the Year, from one Country to another, he saith:[A]

[Footnote A: _Aristotel. Hist. Animal._ lib. 8. cap. 12.]

[Greek: Meta men taen phthinoporinaen Isaemerian, ek tou Pontou kaiton
psychron pheugonta ton epionta cheimona; meta de taen earinaen, ek ton
therinon, eis tous topous tous psychrous, phoboumena ta kaumata; ta men,
kai ek ton engus topon poioumena tas metabolas, ta de, kai ek ton eschaton
hos eipein, hoion hai geranoi poiousi. Metaballousi gar ek ton Skythikon
eis ta helae ta ano taes Aigyptou, othen ho Neilos rhei. Esti de ho topos
outos peri on hoi pigmaioi katoikousin; ou gar esti touto mythos, all'
esti kata taen alaetheian. Genos mikron men, hosper legetai, kai autoi kai
hoi hippoi; Troglodytai d' eisi ton bion.]

_Tam ab Autumnali AEquinoctio ex Ponto, Locisque frigidis fugiunt Hyemem
futuram. A Verno autem ex tepida Regione ad frigidam sese conferunt, aestus
metu futuri: & alia de locis vicinis discedunt, alia de ultimis, prope
dixerim, ut Grues faciunt, quae ex Scythicis Campis ad Paludes AEgypto
superiores, unde Nilus profluit, veniunt, quo in loco pugnare cum Pygmaeis
dicuntur. Non enim id fabula est, sed certe, genus tum hominum, tum etiam
Equorum pusillum (ut dicitur) est, deguntque in Cavernis, unde Nomen
Troglodytae a subeundis Cavernis accepere._

In English 'tis thus: 'At the _Autumnal AEquinox_ they go out of _Pontus_
and the cold Countreys to avoid the Winter that is coming on. At the
_Vernal AEquinox_ they pass from hot Countreys into cold ones, for fear of
the ensuing heat; some making their Migrations from nearer places; others
from the most remote (as I may say) as the _Cranes_ do: for they come out
of _Scythia_ to the Lakes above _AEgypt_, whence the _Nile_ do's flow. This
is the place, whereabout the _Pygmies_ dwell: For this is no _Fable_, but
a _Truth_. Both they and the Horses, as 'tis said, are a small kind. They
are _Troglodytes_, or live in Caves.'

We may here observe how positive the _Philosopher_ is, that there are
_Pygmies_; he tells us where they dwell, and that 'tis no Fable, but a
Truth. But _Theodorus Gaza_ has been unjust in translating him, by
foisting in, _Quo in loco pugnare cum Pygmaeis dicuntur_, whereas there is
nothing in the Text that warrants it: As likewise, where he expresses the
little Stature of the _Pygmies_ and the Horses, there _Gaza_ has rendered
it, _Sed certe Genus tum Hominum, tum etiam Equorum pusillum_. _Aristotle_
only saith, [Greek: Genos mikron men hosper legetai, kai autoi, kai hoi
hippoi]. He neither makes his _Pygmies Men_, nor saith any thing of their
fighting the _Cranes_; tho' here he had a fair occasion, discoursing of
the Migration of the _Cranes_ out of _Scythia_ to the _Lakes_ above
_AEgypt_, where he tells us the _Pygmies_ are. Cardan[A] therefore must
certainly be out in his guess, that _Aristotle_ only asserted the
_Pygmies_ out of Complement to his friend _Homer_; for surely then he
would not have forgot their fight with the _Cranes_; upon which occasion
only _Homer_ mentions them.[B] I should rather think that _Aristotle_,
being sensible of the many Fables that had been raised on this occasion,
studiously avoided the mentioning this fight, that he might not give
countenance to the Extravagant Relations that had been made of it.

[Footnote A: _Cardan de Rerum varietate_, lib. 8. cap. 40. p.m. 153.]

[Footnote B: _Apparet ergo_ (saith _Cardan_) Pygmaeorum Historiam esse
fabulosam, quod &_ Strabo _sentit & nosira aetas, cum omnia nunc ferme
orbis mirabilia innotuerint, declarat. Sed quod tantum Philosophum
decepit, fuit Homeri Auctoritas non apud illium levis.]

But I wonder that neither _Casaubon_ nor _Duvall_ in their Editions of
_Aristotle_'s Works, should have taken notice of these Mistakes of _Gaza_,
and corrected them. And _Gesner_, and _Aldrovandus_, and several other
Learned Men, in quoting this place of _Aristotle_, do make use of this
faulty Translation, which must necessarily lead them into Mistakes. _Sam.
Bochartus_[A] tho' he gives _Aristotle_'s Text in Greek, and adds a new
Translation of it, he leaves out indeed the _Cranes_ fighting with the
_Pygmies_, yet makes them _Men_, which _Aristotle_ do's not; and by
anti-placing, _ut aiunt_, he renders _Aristotle_'s Assertion more dubious;
_Neque enim_ (saith he in the Translation) _id est fabula, sed revera, ut
aiunt, Genus ibi parvum est tam Hominum quam Equorum. Julius Caesar
Scaliger_ in translating this Text of _Aristotle_, omits both these
Interpretations of _Gaza_; but on the other hand is no less to be blamed
in not translating at all the most remarkable passage, and where the
Philosopher seems to be so much in earnest; as, [Greek: ou gar esti touto
mythos, all' esti kata taen alaetheian], this he leaves wholly out,
without giving us his reason for it, if he had any: And Scaliger's[B]
insinuation in his Comment, _viz. Negat esse fabulam de his (sc. Pygmeis)_
Herodotus, _at Philosophus semper moderatus & prudens etiam addidit_,
[Greek: hosper legetai], is not to be allowed. Nor can I assent to Sir
_Thomas Brown_'s[C] remark upon this place; _Where indeed_ (saith he)
Aristotle _plays the_ Aristotle; _that is, the wary and evading asserter;
for tho' with_ non est fabula _he seems at first to confirm it, yet at
last he claps in,_ sicut aiunt, _and shakes the belief he placed before
upon it. And therefore_ Scaliger (saith he) _hath not translated the
first, perhaps supposing it surreptitious, or unworthy so great an
Assertor._ But had _Scaliger_ known it to be surreptitious, no doubt but
he would have remarked it; and then there had been some Colour for the
Gloss. But 'tis unworthy to be believed of _Aristotle_, who was so wary
and cautious, that he should in so short a passage, contradict himself:
and after he had so positively affirmed the Truth of it, presently doubt
it. His [Greek: hosper legetai] therefore must have a Reference to what
follows, _Pusillum genus, ut aiunt, ipsi atque etiam Equi_, as _Scaliger_
himself translates it.

[Footnote A: _Bocharti Hierozoic. S. de Animalib. S. Script. part.
Posterior_. lib. 1. cap. 11. p.m. 76.]

[Footnote B: _Scaliger. Comment. in Arist. Hist. Animal._ lib. 8. p.m.

[Footnote C: Sir _Thomas Brown_'s _Pseudodoxia_, or, _Enquiries into
Vulgar Errors_, lib. 4. cap. 11.]

I do not here find _Aristotle_ asserting or confirming any thing of the
fabulous Narrations that had been made about the _Pygmies_. He does not
say that they were [Greek: andres], or [Greek: anthropoi mikroi], or
[Greek: melanes]; he only calls them [Greek: pygmaioi]. And discoursing of
the _Pygmies_ in a place, where he is only treating about _Brutes_, 'tis
reasonable to think, that he looked upon them only as such. _This is the
place where the_ Pygmies _are; this is no fable,_ saith Aristotle, as 'tis
that they are a Dwarfish Race of Men; that they speak the _Indian_
Language; that they are excellent Archers; that they are very Just; and
abundance of other Things that are fabulously reported of them; and
because he thought them _Fables_, he does not take the least notice of
them, but only saith, _This is no Fable, but a Truth, that about the Lakes
of_ Nile such _Animals_, as are called _Pygmies_, do live. And, as if he
had foreseen, that the abundance of Fables that _Ctesias_ (whom he saith
is not to be believed) and the _Indian Historians_ had invented about
them, would make the whole Story to appear as a Figment, and render it
doubtful, whether there were ever such Creatures as _Pygmies_ in Nature;
he more zealously asserts the _Being_ of them, and assures us, That _this
is no Fable, but a Truth_.

I shall therefore now enquire what sort of Creatures these _Pygmies_ were;
and hope so to manage the Matter, as in a great measure, to abate the
Passion these Great Men have had against them: for, no doubt, what has
incensed them the most, was, the fabulous _Historians_ making them a part
of _Mankind_, and then inventing a hundred ridiculous Stories about them,
which they would impose upon the World as real Truths. If therefore they
have Satisfaction given them in these two Points, I do not see, but that
the Business may be accommodated very fairly; and that they may be allowed
to be _Pygmies_, tho' we do not make them _Men_.

For I am not of _Gesner_'s mind, _Sed veterum nullus_ (saith he[A])
_aliter de Pygmaeis scripsit, quam Homunciones esse_. Had they been a Race
of _Men_, no doubt but _Aristotle_ would have informed himself farther
about them. Such a Curiosity could not but have excited his Inquisitive
_Genius_, to a stricter Enquiry and Examination; and we might easily have
expected from him a larger Account of them. But finding them, it may be, a
sort of _Apes_, he only tells us, that in such a place these _Pygmies_

[Footnote A: _Gesner. Histor. Quadruped._ p.m. 885.]

Herodotus[A] plainly makes them _Brutes_: For reckoning up the _Animals_
of _Libya_, he tells us, [Greek: Kai gar hoi ophies hoi hypermegathees,
kai hoi leontes kata toutous eisi, kai hoi elephantes te kai arktoi, kai
aspides te kai onoi hoi ta kerata echontes; kai hoi kynokephaloi
(akephaloi) hoi en toisi staethesi tous ophthalmous echontes (hos dae
legetai ge hypo libyon) kai agrioi andres, kai gynaikes agriai kai alla
plaethei polla thaeria akatapseusta;] i.e. _That there are here prodigious
large Serpents, and Lions, and Elephants, and Bears, and Asps, and Asses
that have horns, and Cynocephali,_ (in the Margin 'tis _Acephali_) _that
have Eyes in their Breast, (as is reported by the Libyans) and wild Men,
and wild Women, and a great many other wild Beasts that are not fabulous._
Tis evident therefore that _Herodotus_ his [Greek: agrioi andres, kai
gynaikes agriai] are only [Greek: thaeria] or wild Beasts: and tho' they
are called [Greek: andres], they are no more _Men_ than our
_Orang-Outang_, or _Homo_ _Sylvestris_, or _wild Man_, which has exactly
the same Name, and I must confess I can't but think is the same Animal:
and that the same Name has been continued down to us, from his Time, and
it may be from _Homer's_.

[Footnote A: _Herodot. Melpomene seu_ lib. 4. p.m. 285.]

So _Philostratus_ speaking of _AEthiopia_ and _AEgypt_, tells us,[A] [Greek:
Boskousi de kai thaeria hoia ouch heterothi; kai anthropous melanas, ho
mae allai aepeiroi. Pygmaion te en autais ethnae kai hylaktounton allo
allaei.] i.e. _Here are bred wild Beasts that are not in other places; and
black Men, which no other Country affords: and amongst them is the Nation
of the Pygmies, and the_ BARKERS, that is, the _Cynocephali._ For tho'
_Philostratus_ is pleased here only to call them _Barkers_, and to reckon
them, as he does the _Black Men_ and the _Pygmies_ amongst the _wild
Beasts_ of those Countreys; yet _Ctesias_, from whom _Philostratus_ has
borrowed a great deal of his _Natural History_, stiles them _Men_, and
makes them speak, and to perform most notable Feats in Merchandising. But
not being in a merry Humour it may be now, before he was aware, he speaks
Truth: For _Caelius Rhodiginus's_[B] Character of him is, _Philostratus
omnium qui unquam Historiam conscripserunt, mendacissimus._

[Footnote A: _Philostratus in vita Apollon. Tyanaei_, lib. 6. cap. 1. p.m.

[Footnote B: _Caelij Rhodigini Lection. Antiq._ lib. 17. cap. 13.]

Since the _Pygmies_ therefore are some of the _Brute Beasts_ that
naturally breed in these Countries, and they are pleased to let us know as
much, I can easily excuse them a Name. [Greek: Andres agrioi], or
_Orang-Outang_, is alike to me; and I am better pleased with _Homer_'s
[Greek: andres pygmaioi], than if he had called [Greek: pithaekoi]. Had
this been the only Instance where they had misapplied the Name of _Man_,
methinks I could be so good natur'd, as in some measure to make an Apology
for them. But finding them, so extravagantly loose, so wretchedly
whimsical, in abusing the Dignity of Mankind, by giving the name of _Man_
to such monstrous Productions of their idle Imaginations, as the _Indian
Historians_ have done, I do not wonder that wise Men have suspected all
that comes out of their Mint, to be false and counterfeit.

Such are their [Greek: Amykteres] or [Greek: Arrines], that want Noses,
and have only two holes above their Mouth; they eat all things, but they
must be raw; they are short lived; the upper part of their Mouths is very
prominent. The [Greek: Enotokeitai], whose Ears reach down to their Heels,
on which they lye and sleep. The [Greek: Astomoi], that have no Mouths, a
civil sort of People, that dwell about the Head of the _Ganges_; and live
upon smelling to boil'd Meats and the Odours of Fruits and Flowers; they
can bear no ill scent, and therefore can't live in a Camp. The [Greek:
Monommatoi] or [Greek: Monophthalmoi], that have but one Eye, and that in
the middle of their Foreheads: they have Dog's Ears; their Hair stands an
end, but smooth on the Breasts. The [Greek: Sternophthalmoi], that have
Eyes in their Breasts. The [Greek: Panai sphaenokephaloi] with Heads like
Wedges. The [Greek: Makrokephaloi], with great Heads. The [Greek:
hyperboreoi], who live a Thousand years. The [Greek: okypodes], so swift
that they will out-run a Horse. The [Greek: opiothodaktyloi], that go with
their Heels forward, and their Toes backwards. The [Greek: Makroskeleis],
The [Greek: Steganopodes], The [Greek: Monoskeleis], who have one Leg, but
will jump a great way, and are call'd _Sciapodes_, because when they lye
on their Backs, with this _Leg_ they can keep off the Sun from their

Now _Strabo_[A] from whom I have collected the Description of these
Monstrous sorts of _Men_, and they are mentioned too by _Pliny, Solinus,
Mela, Philostratus_, and others; and _Munster_ in his _Cosmography_[B] has
given a _figure_ of some of them; _Strabo_, I say, who was an Enemy to all
such fabulous Relations, no doubt was prejudiced likewise against the
_Pygmies_, because these _Historians_ had made them a Puny Race of _Men_,
and invented so many Romances about them. I can no ways therefore blame
him for denying, that there were ever any such _Men Pygmies_; and do
readily agree with him, that no _Man_ ever saw them: and am so far from
dissenting from those Great Men, who have denied them on this account,
that I think they have all the reason in the World on their side. And to
shew how ready I am to close with them in this Point, I will here examine
the contrary Opinion, and what Reasons they give for the supporting it:
For there have been some _Moderns_, as well as the _Ancients_, that have
maintained that these _Pygmies_ were real _Men_. And this they pretend to
prove, both from _Humane Authority_ and _Divine_.

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph._ lib. 15. p.m. 489. & lib. 2. p. 48. _&

[Footnote B: _Munster Cosmograph._ lib. 6. p. 1151.]

Now by _Men Pygmies_ we are by no means to understand _Dwarfs_. In all
Countries, and in all Ages, there has been now and then observed such
_Miniture_ of Mankind, or under-sized Men. _Cardan_[A] tells us he saw one
carried about in a Parrot's Cage, that was but a Cubit high.
_Nicephorus_[B] tells us, that in _Theodosius_ the Emperour's time, there
was one in _AEgypt_ that was no bigger than a Partridge; yet what was to be
admired, he was very Prudent, had a sweet clear Voice, and a generous Mind;
and lived Twenty Years. So likewise a King of _Portugal_ sent to a Duke
of _Savoy_, when he married his Daughter to him, an _AEthiopian Dwarf_ but
three Palms high.[C] And _Thevenot_[D] tells us of the Present made by the
King of the _Abyssins_, to the _Grand Seignior_, of several _little black
Slaves_ out of _Nubia_, and the Countries near _AEthiopia_, which being
made _Eunuchs_, were to guard the Ladies of the _Seraglio_. And a great
many such like Relations there are. But these being only _Dwarfs_, they
must not be esteemed the _Pygmies_ we are enquiring about, which are
represented as a _Nation_, and the whole Race of them to be of the like
stature. _Dari tamen integras Pumilionum Gentes, tam falsum est, quam quod
falsissimum_, saith _Harduin_.[E]

[Footnote A: _Cardan de subtilitate_, lib. 11. p. 458.]

[Footnote B: _Nicephor. Histor. Ecclesiiast._ lib. 12. cap. 37.]

[Footnote C: _Happelius in Relat. curiosis_, No. 85. p. 677.]

[Footnote D: _Thevenot. Voyage de Levant._ lib. 2. c. 68.]

[Footnote E: _Jo. Harduini Notae in Plinij Nat. Hist._ lib. 6. cap. 22. p.

Neither likewise must it be granted, that tho' in some _Climates_ there
might be _Men_ generally of less stature, than what are to be met with in
other Countries, that they are presently _Pygmies_. _Nature_ has not fixed
the same standard to the growth of _Mankind_ in all Places alike, no more
than to _Brutes_ or _Plants_. The Dimensions of them all, according to the
_Climate_, may differ. If we consult the Original, _viz. Homer_ that first
mentioned the _Pygmies_, there are only these two _Characteristics_ he
gives of them. That they are [Greek: Pygmaioi] _seu Cubitales_; and that
the _Cranes_ did use to fight them. 'Tis true, as a _Poet_, he calls them
[Greek: andres], which I have accounted for before. Now if there cannot be
found such _Men_ as are _Cubitales_, that the _Cranes_ might probably
fight with, notwithstanding all the Romances of the _Indian Historians_, I
cannot think these _Pygmies_ to be _Men_, but they must be some other
_Animals_, or the whole must be a Fiction.

Having premised this, we will now enquire into their Assertion that
maintain the _Pygmies_ to be a Race of _Men_. Now because there have been
_Giants_ formerly, that have so much exceeded the usual Stature of _Man_,
that there must be likewise _Pygmies_ as defective in the other extream
from this Standard, I think is no conclusive Argument, tho' made use of by
some. Old _Caspar Bartholine_[A] tells us, that because _J. Cassanius_ and
others had wrote _de Gygantibus_, since no Body else had undertaken it, he
would give us a Book _de Pygmaeis_; and since he makes it his design to
prove the Existence of _Pygmies_, and that the _Pygmies_ were _Men_, I
must confess I expected great Matters from him.

[Footnote A: _Caspar. Bartholin. Opusculum de Pygmaeis._]

But I do not find he has informed us of any thing more of them, than what
_Jo. Talentonius_, a Professor formerly at _Parma_, had told us before in
his _Variarum & Reconditarum Rerum Thesaurus_,[A] from whom he has
borrowed most of this _Tract_. He has made it a little more formal indeed,
by dividing it into _Chapters_; of which I will give you the _Titles_; and
as I see occasion, some Remarks thereon: They will not be many, because I
have prevented my self already. The _first Chapter_ is, _De Homuncionibus
& Pumilionilus seu Nanis a Pygmaeis distinctis_. The _second Chapter, De
Pygmaei nominibus & Etymologia_. The _third Chapter, Duplex esse Pygmaeorum
Genus; & primum Genus aliquando dari_. He means _Dwarfs_, that are no
_Pygmies_ at all. The _fourth Chapter_ is, _Alterum Genus, nempe Gentem
Pygmaeorum esse, aut saltem aliquando fuisse Autoritatibus Humanis, fide
tamen dignorum asseritur_. 'Tis as I find it printed; and no doubt an
Error in the printing. The Authorities he gives, are, _Homer, Ctesias,
Aristotle, Philostratus, Pliny, Juvenal, Oppian, Baptista Mantuan_, St.
_Austin_ and his _Scholiast. Ludovic. Vives, Jo. Laurentius Anania, Joh.
Cassanius, Joh. Talentonius, Gellius, Pomp. Mela_, and _Olaus Magnus_. I
have taken notice of most of them already, as I shall of St. _Austin_ and
_Ludovicus Vives_ by and by. _Jo. Laurentius Anania_[B] ex Mercatorum
relatione tradit (saith _Bartholine_) eos _(sc. Pygmaeos) in
Septentrionali Thraciae Parte reperiri, (quae Scythiae est proxima) atque ibi
cum Gruibus pugnare_. And _Joh. Cassanius_[C] (as he is here quoted)
saith, _De Pygmaeis fabulosa quidem esse omnia, quae de iis narrari solent,
aliquando existimavi. Verum cum videam non unum vel alterum, sed complures
Classicos & probatos Autores de his Homunculis multa in eandem fere
Sententiam tradidisse; eo adducor ut Pygmaeos fuisse inficiari non ausim._
He next brings in _Jo. Talentonius_, to whom he is so much beholden, and
quotes his Opinion, which is full and home, _Constare arbitror_ (saith
_Talentonius_)[D] _debere concedi, Pygmaeos non solum olim fuisse, sed nunc
etiam esse, & homines esse, nec parvitatem illis impedimenta esse quo
minus sint & homines sint._ But were there such _Men Pygmies_ now in
being, no doubt but we must have heard of them; some or other of our
Saylors, in their Voyages, would have lighted on them. Tho' _Aristotle_ is
here quoted, yet he does not make them _Men_; So neither does _Anania_:
And I must own, tho' _Talentonius_ be of this Opinion, yet he takes notice
of the faulty Translation of this Text of _Aristotle_ by _Gaza_: and tho'
the parvity or lowness of Stature, be no Impediment, because we have
frequently seen such _Dwarf-Men_, yet we did never see a _Nation_ of them:
For then there would be no need of that _Talmudical_ Precept which _Job.
Ludolphus_[E] mentions, _Nanus ne ducat Nanam, ne forte oriatur ex iis
Digitalis_ (in _Bechor_. fol. 45).

[Footnote A: _Jo. Talentionij. Variar. & Recondit. Rerum. Thesaurus._ lib.
3. cap. 21.]

[Footnote B: _Joh. Laurent. Anania prope finem tractatus primi suae

[Footnote C: _Joh. Cassanius libello de Gygantibus_, p. 73.]

[Footnote D: _Jo. Talentonius Variar. & recondit. Rerum Thesaurus_, lib. 3.
cap. 21. p.m. 515.]

[Footnote E: _Job Ludolphi Comment. in Historiam AEthiopic._ p.m. 71.]

I had almost forgotten _Olaus Magnus_, whom _Bartholine_ mentions in the
close of this Chapter, but lays no great stress upon his Authority,
because he tells us, he is fabulous in a great many other Relations, and
he writes but by hear-say, that the _Greenlanders_ fight the _Cranes_;
_Tandem_ (saith _Bartholine_) _neque ideo Pygmaei sunt, si forte sagittis &
hastis, sicut alij homines, Grues conficiunt & occidunt._ This I think is
great Partiality: For _Ctesias_, an Author whom upon all turns
_Bartholine_ makes use of as an Evidence, is very positive, that the
_Pygmies_ were excellent _Archers_: so that he himself owns, that their
being such, illustrates very much that _Text_ in _Ezekiel_, on which he
spends good part of the next _Chapter_, whose Title is, _Pygmaeorum Gens ex
Ezekiele, atque rationibus probabilibus adstruitur_; which we will
consider by and by. And tho' _Olaus Magnus_ may write some things by
hear-say, yet he cannot be so fabulous as _Ctesias_, who (as _Lucian_
tells us) writes what he neither saw himself, or heard from any Body else.
Not that I think _Olaus Magnus_ his _Greenlanders_ were real _Pygmies_, no
more than _Ctesias_ his _Pygmies_ were real _Men_; tho' he vouches very
notably for them. And if all that have copied this Fable from _Ctesias_,
must be look'd upon as the same Evidence with himself; the number of the
_Testimonies_ produced need not much concern us, since they must all stand
or fall with him.

The _probable Reasons_ that _Bartholine_ gives in the _fifth Chapter_, are
taken from other _Animals_, as Sheep, Oxen, Horses, Dogs, the _Indian
Formica_ and Plants: For observing in the same _Species_ some excessive
large, and others extreamly little, he infers, _Quae certe cum in
Animalibus & Vegetabilibus fiant; cur in Humana specie non sit probabile,
haud video: imprimis cum detur magnitudinis excessus Gigantaeus; cur non
etiam dabitur Defectus? Quia ergo dantur Gigantes, dabuntur & Pygmaei. Quam
consequentiam ut firmam, admittit Cardanus,[A] licet de Pygmaeis hoc tantum
concedat, qui pro miraculo, non pro Gente._ Now Cardan, tho' he allows
this Consequence, yet in the same place he gives several Reasons why the
_Pygmies_ could not be _Men_, and looks upon the whole Story as fabulous.
_Bartholine_ concludes this _Chapter_ thus: _Ulterius ut Probabilitatem
fulciamus, addendum Sceleton Pygmaei, quod_ Dresdae _vidimus inter alia
plurima, servatum in Arce sereniss._ Electoris Saxoniae, _altitudine infra
Cubitum, Ossium soliditate, proportioneque tum Capitis, tum aliorum; ut
Embrionem, aut Artificiale quid Nemo rerum peritus suspicari possit.
Addita insuper est Inscriptio_ Veri Pygmaei. I hereupon looked into Dr.
_Brown_'s Travels into those Parts, who has given us a large Catalogue of
the Curiosities, the _Elector_ of _Saxony_ had at _Dresden_, but did not
find amongst them this _Sceleton_; which, by the largeness of the Head, I
suspect to be the _Sceleton_ of an _Orang-Outang_, or our _wild Man_. But
had he given us either a figure of it, or a more particular Description,
it had been a far greater Satisfaction.

[Footnote A: _Cardan. de Rerum varietate_, lib. 8. cap. 40.]

The Title of _Bartholine_'s _sixth Chapter_ is, _Pygmaeos esse aut fuisse
ex variis eorum adjunctis, accidentibus_, &c. _ab Authoribus descriptis
ostenditur_. As first, their _Magnitude_: which he mentions from _Ctesias,
Pliny, Gellius_, and _Juvenal_; and tho' they do not all agree exactly,
'tis nothing. _Autorum hic dissensus nullus est_ (saith _Bartholine_)
_etenim sicut in nostris hominibus, ita indubie in Pygmaeis non omnes
ejusdem magnitudinis._ 2. The _Place_ and _Country_: As _Ctesias_ (he
saith) places them in the middle of _India_; _Aristotle_ and _Pliny_ at
the Lakes above _AEgypt_; _Homer_'s _Scholiast_ in the middle of _AEgypt_;
_Pliny_ at another time saith they are at the Head of the _Ganges_, and
sometimes at _Gerania_, which is in _Thracia_, which being near _Scythia_,
confirms (he saith) _Anania's Relation_. _Mela_ places them at the
_Arabian Gulf_; and _Paulus Jovius docet Pygmaeos ultra Japonem esse_; and
adds, _has Autorum dissensiones facile fuerit conciliare; nec mirum
diversas relationes a_, Plinio _auditas._ For (saith he) as the _Tartars_
often change their Seats, since they do not live in Houses, but in Tents,
so 'tis no wonder that the _Pygmies_ often change theirs, since instead of
Houses, they live in Caves or Huts, built of Mud, Feathers, and
Egg-shells. And this mutation of their Habitations he thinks is very plain
from _Pliny_, where speaking of _Gerania_, he saith, _Pygmaeorum Gens_
fuisse _(non jam esse) proditur, creduntque a Gruibus fugatos._ Which
passage (saith _Bartholine_) had _Adrian Spigelius_ considered, he would
not so soon have left _Aristotle's_ Opinion, because _Franc. Alvares_ the
_Portuguese_ did not find them in the place where _Aristotle_ left them;
for the _Cranes_, it may be, had driven them thence. His third Article is,
their _Habitation_, which _Aristotle_ saith is in _Caves_; hence they are
_Troglodytes_. _Pliny_ tells us they build Huts with Mud, Feathers, and
Egg-shells. But what _Bartholine_ adds, _Eo quod Terrae Cavernas
inhabitent, non injuria dicti sunt olim Pygmaei, Terrae filii_, is wholly
new to me, and I have not met with it in any Author before: tho' he gives
us here several other significations of the word _Terrae filij_ from a
great many Authors, which I will not trouble you at present with. 4. The
_Form_, being flat nosed and ugly, as _Ctesias_. 5. Their _Speech_, which
was the same as the _Indians_, as _Ctesias_; and for this I find he has no
other Author. 6. Their _Hair_; where he quotes _Ctesias_ again, that they
make use of it for _Clothes_. 7. Their _Vertues and Arts_; as that they
use the same Laws as the _Indians_, are very just, excellent Archers, and
that the King of _India_ has Three thousand of them in his Guards. All
from _Ctesias_. 8. Their _Animals_, as in _Ctesias_; and here are
mentioned their Sheep, Oxen, Asses, Mules, and Horses. 9. Their various
_Actions_; as what _Ctesias_ relates of their killing Hares and Foxes with
Crows, Eagles, &c. and fighting the _Cranes_, as _Homer, Pliny, Juvenal_.

The _seventh Chapter_ in _Bartholine_ has a promising Title, _An Pygmaei
sint homines_, and I expected here something more to our purpose; but I
find he rather endeavours to answer the Reasons of those that would make
them _Apes_, than to lay down any of his own to prove them _Men_. And
_Albertus Magnus's_ Opinion he thinks absurd, that makes them part Men
part Beasts; they must be either one or the other, not a _Medium_ between
both; and to make out this, he gives us a large Quotation out of _Cardan_.
But _Cardan_[A] in the same place argues that they are not Men. As to
_Suessanus_[B] his Argument, that they want _Reason_, this he will not
Grant; but if they use it less or more imperfectly than others (which yet,
he saith, is not certain) by the same parity of Reason _Children_, the
_Boeotians_, _Cumani_ and _Naturals_ may not be reckoned _Men_; and he
thinks, what he has mentioned in the preceding _Chapter_ out of _Ctesias_,
&c. shews that they have no small use of Reason. As to _Suessanus_'s
next Argument, that they want Religion, Justice, &c. this, he saith, is
not confirmed by any grave Writer; and if it was, yet it would not prove
that they are not _Men_. For this defect (he saith) might hence happen,
because they are forced to live in _Caves_ for fear of the _Cranes_; and
others besides them, are herein faulty. For this Opinion, that the
_Pygmies_ were _Apes_ and not _Men_, he quotes likewise _Benedictus
Varchius_,[C] and _Joh. Tinnulus_,[D] and _Paulus Jovius_,[E] and several
others of the Moderns, he tells us, are of the same mind. _Imprimis
Geographici quos non puduit in Mappis Geographicis loco Pygmaeorum simias
cum Gruibus pugnantes ridicule dipinxisse._

[Footnote A: _Cardan. de Rerum varietate_, lib. 8. cap. 40.]

[Footnote B: _Suessanus Comment. in Arist. de Histor. Animal._ lib. 8.
cap. 12.]

[Footnote C: _Benedict. Varchius de Monstris. lingua vernacula._]

[Footnote D: _Joh. Tinnulus in Glotto-Chrysio._]

[Footnote E: _Paulus Jovius lib. de Muscovit. Legalione._]

The Title of _Bartholine's eighth_ and last _Chapter_ is, _Argumenta eorum
qui Pygmaeorum Historiam fabulosam censent, recitantur & refutantur._ Where
he tells us, the only Person amongst the Ancients that thought the Story
of the _Pygmies_ to be fabulous was _Strabo_; but amongst the Moderns
there are several, as _Cardan, Budaeus, Aldrovandus, Fullerus_ and others.
The first Objection (he saith) is that of _Spigelius_ and others; that
since the whole World is now discovered, how happens it, that these
_Pygmies_ are not to be met with? He has seven Answers to this Objection;
how satisfactory they are, the Reader may judge, if he pleases, by
perusing them amongst the Quotations.[A] _Cardan_'s second Objection (he
saith) is, that they live but eight years, whence several Inconveniences
would happen, as _Cardan_ shews; he answers that no good Author asserts
this; and if there was, yet what _Cardan_ urges would not follow; and
instances out of _Artemidorus_ in _Pliny_,[B] as a _Parallel_ in the
_Calingae_ a Nation in _India, where the Women conceive when five years
old, and do not live above eight._ _Gesner_ speaking of the _Pygmies_,
saith, _Vitae autem longitudo anni arciter octo ut_ Albertus _refert._
_Cardan_ perhaps had his Authority from _Albertus_, or it may be both took
it from this passage in _Pliny_, which I think would better agree to
_Apes_ than _Men_. But _Artemidorus_ being an _Indian Historian_, and in
the same place telling other Romances, the less Credit is to be given to
him. The third Objection, he saith, is of _Cornelius a Lapide_, who denies
the _Pygmies_, because _Homer_ was the first Author of them. The fourth
Objection he saith is, because Authors differ about the Place where they
should be: This, he tells us, he has answered already in the fifth
Chapter. The _fifth_ and last Objection he mentions is, that but few have
seen them. He answers, there are a great many Wonders in Sacred and
Profane History that we have not seen, yet must not deny. And he instances
in three; As the _Formicae Indicae_, which are as big as great Dogs: The
_Cornu Plantabile_ in the Island _Goa_, which when cut off from the Beast,
and flung upon the Ground, will take root like a _Cabbage_: and the
_Scotland Geese_ that grow upon Trees, for which he quotes a great many
Authors, and so concludes.

[Footnote A: _Respondeo._ 1. _Contrarium testari Mercatorum Relationem
apud_ Ananiam _supra Cap. 4._ 2. _Et licet non inventi essent vivi a
quolibet, pari jure Monocerota & alia negare liceret._ 3. _Qui maria
pernavigant, vix oras paucas maritimas lustrant, adeo non terras omnes a
mari dissitas._ 4. _Neque in Oris illos habitare maritimis ex Capite
quinto manifestum est._ 5. _Quis testatum se omnem adhibuisse diligentiam
in inquirendo eos ut inveniret._ 6. _Ita in terra habitant, ut in Antris
vitam tolerare dicantur._ 7. _Si vel maxime omni ab omnibus diligentia
quaesiti fuissent, nec inventi; fieri potest, ut instar Gigantum jam
desierint nec sint amplius_.]

[Footnote B: _Plinij Hist. Nat._ lib. 7. cap. 2. p.m. 14.]

Now how far _Bartholine_ in his Treatise has made out that the _Pygmies_
of the Ancients were real _Men_, either from the Authorities he has
quoted, or his Reasonings upon them, I submit to the Reader. I shall
proceed now (as I promised) to consider the Proof they pretend from _Holy
Writ_: For _Bartholine_ and others insist upon that _Text_ in _Ezekiel_
(_Cap. 27. Vers. 11_) where the _Vulgar_ Translation has it thus; _Filij
Arvad cum Exercitu tuo supra Muros tuos per circuitum, & Pygmaei in
Turribus tuis fuerunt; Scuta sua suspenderunt supra Muros tuos per
circuitum._ Now _Talentonius_ and _Bartholine_ think that what _Ctesias_
relates of the _Pygmies_, as their being good _Archers_, very well
illustrates this Text of _Ezekiel_: I shall here transcribe what Sir
_Thomas Brown_[A] remarks upon it; and if any one requires further
Satisfaction, they may consult _Job Ludolphus's Comment_ on his _AEthiopic

[Footnote A: Sir _Thomas Brown's Enquiries into Vulgar Errors_, lib. 4.
cap. 11. p. 242.]

[Footnote B: _Comment. in Hist. AEthiopic._ p. 73.]

The _second Testimony_ (saith Sir _Thomas Brown_) _is deduced from Holy
Scripture; thus rendered in the Vulgar Translation_, Sed & Pygmaei qui
erant in turribus tuis, pharetras suas suspenderunt in muris tuis per
gyrum: _from whence notwithstanding we cannot infer this Assertion, for
first the Translators accord not, and the Hebrew word_ Gammadim _is very
variously rendered. Though_ Aquila, Vatablus _and_ Lyra _will have it_
Pygmaei, _yet in the_ Septuagint, _it is no more than Watchman; and so in
the_ Arabick _and_ High-Dutch. _In the_ Chalde, Cappadocians, _in_
Symmachus, Medes, _and in the_ French, _those of_ Gamed. Theodotian _of
old, and_ Tremillius _of late, have retained the Textuary word; and so
have the_ Italian, Low Dutch, _and_ English _Translators, that is, the Men
of_ Arvad _were upon thy Walls round about, and the_ Gammadims _were in
thy Towers._

_Nor do Men only dissent in the Translation of the word, but in the
Exposition of the Sense and Meaning thereof; for some by_ Gammadims
_understand a People of_ Syria, _so called from the City of_ Gamala; _some
hereby understand the_ Cappadocians, _many the_ Medes: _and hereof_
Forerius _hath a singular Exposition, conceiving the Watchmen of_ Tyre,
_might well be called_ Pygmies, _the Towers of that City being so high,
that unto Men below, they appeared in a Cubital Stature. Others expound it
quite contrary to common Acception, that is not Men of the least, but of
the largest size; so doth_ Cornelius _construe_ Pygmaei, _or_ Viri
Cubitales, _that is, not Men of a Cubit high, but of the largest Stature,
whose height like that of Giants, is rather to be taken by the Cubit than
the Foot; in which phrase we read the measure of_ Goliah, _whose height is
said to be six Cubits and span. Of affinity hereto is also the Exposition
of_ Jerom; _not taking_ Pygmies _for Dwarfs, but stout and valiant
Champions; not taking the sense of [Greek: pygmae], which signifies the
Cubit measure, but that which expresseth Pugils; that is, Men fit for
Combat and the Exercise of the Fist. Thus there can be no satisfying
illation from this Text, the diversity, or rather contrariety of
Expositions and Interpretations, distracting more than confirming the
Truth of the Story._

But why _Aldrovandus_ or _Caspar Bartholine_ should bring in St. _Austin_
as a Favourer of this Opinion of _Men Pygmies_, I see no Reason. To me he
seems to assert quite the contrary: For proposing this Question, _An ex
propagine_ Adam _vel filiorum_ Noe, _quaedam genera Hominum Monstrosa
prodierunt?_ He mentions a great many monstrous Nations of _Men_, as they
are described by the _Indian Historians_, and amongst the rest, the
_Pygmies_, the _Sciopodes_, &c. And adds, _Quid dicam de_ Cynocephalis,
_quorum Canina Capita atque ipse Latratus magis Bestias quam Homines
confitentur? Sed omnia Genera Hominum, quae dicuntur esse, esse credere,
non est necesse._ And afterwards so fully expresses himself in favour of
the _Hypothesis_ I am here maintaining, that I think it a great
Confirmation of it. _Nam & Simias_ (saith he) _& Cercopithecos, &
Sphingas, si nesciremus non Homines esse, sed Bestias, possent isti
Historici de sua Curiositate gloriantes velut Gentes Aliquas Hominum nobis
impunita vanitate mentiri._ At last he concludes and determines the
Question thus, _Aut illa, quae talia de quibusdam Gentibus scripta sunt,
omnino nulla sunt, aut si sunt, Homines non sunt, aut ex_ Adam _sunt si
Homines sunt._

There is nothing therefore in St. _Austin_ that justifies the being of
_Men Pygmies_, or that the _Pygmies_ were _Men_; he rather makes them
_Apes_. And there is nothing in his _Scholiast Ludovicus Vives_ that tends
this way, he only quotes from other Authors, what might illustrate the
Text he is commenting upon, and no way asserts their being _Men_. I shall
therefore next enquire into _Bochartus_'s Opinion, who would have them to
be the _Nubae_ or _Nobae_. _Hos Nubas Troglodyticos_ (saith[A] he) _ad
Avalitem Sinum esse Pygmaeos Veterum multa probant._ He gives us five
Reasons to prove this. As, 1. The Authority of _Hesychius_, who saith,
[Greek: Noboi Pygmaioi]. 2. Because _Homer_ places the _Pygmies_ near the
Ocean, where the Nubae were. 3. _Aristotle_ places them at the lakes of the
_Nile_. Now by the _Nile Bochartus_ tells us, we must understand the
_Astaborus_, which the Ancients thought to be a Branch of the _Nile_, as
he proves from _Pliny, Solinus_ and _AEthicus_. And _Ptolomy_ (he tells us)
places the _Nubae_ hereabout. 4. Because _Aristotle_ makes the _Pygmies_ to
be _Troglodytes_, and so were the _Nubae_. 5. He urges that Story of
_Nonnosus_ which I have already mentioned, and thinks that those that
_Nonnosus_ met with, were a Colony of the _Nubae_; but afterwards adds,
_Quos tamen absit ut putemus Statura fuisse Cubitali, prout Poetae fingunt,
qui omnia in majus augent._ But this methinks spoils them from being
_Pygmies_; several other Nations at this rate may be _Pygmies_ as well as
these _Nubae_. Besides, he does not inform us, that these _Nubae_ used to
fight the _Cranes_; and if they do not, and were not _Cubitales_, they
can't be _Homer_'s _Pygmies_, which we are enquiring after. But the Notion
of their being _Men_, had so possessed him, that it put him upon fancying
they must be the _Nubae_; but 'tis plain that those in _Nonnosus_ could not
be a Colony of the _Nubae_; for then the _Nubae_ must have understood their
Language, which the _Text_ saith, none of the Neighbourhood did. And
because the _Nubae_ are _Troglodytes_, that therefore they must be
_Pygmies_, is no Argument at all. For _Troglodytes_ here is used as an
_Adjective_; and there is a sort of _Sparrow_ which is called _Passer
Troglodytes_. Not but that in _Africa_ there was a Nation of _Men_ called
_Troglodytes_, but quite different from our _Pygmies_. How far _Bochartus_
may be in the right, in guessing the Lakes of the _Nile_ (whereabout
_Aristotle_ places the _Pygmies_) to be the Fountains of the River
_Astaborus_, which in his description, and likewise the _Map_, he places
in the Country of the _Avalitae_, near the _Mossylon Emporium_; I shall not
enquire. This I am certain of, he misrepresents _Aristotle_ where he tells
us,[B] _Quamvis in ea fabula hoc saltem verum esse asserat Philosophus,
Pusillos Homines in iis locis degere_: for as I have already observed;
_Aristotle_ in that _Text_ saith nothing at all of their being _Men_: the
contrary rather might be thence inferred, that they were _Brutes_. And
_Bochart's_ Translation, as well as _Gaza's_ is faulty here, and by no
means to be allowed, _viz. Ut aiunt, genus ibi parvum est tam Hominum,
quam Equorum_; which had _Bochartus_ considered he would not have been so
fond it may be of his _Nubae_. And if the [Greek: Noboi Pygmaioi] in
_Hesychius_ are such _Pygmies_ as _Bochartus_ makes his _Nubae, Quos tamen
absit ut putemus staturta fuisse Cubitali_, it will not do our business at
all; and neither _Homer's_ Authority, nor _Aristotle's_ does him any

[Footnote A: _Sam. Bochart. Geograph. Sacrae_, Part. 1. lib. 2. cap. 23.
p.m. 142.]

[Footnote B: _Bocharti Hierozoici pars Posterior_, lib. I. cap. II. p.

But this Fable of _Men Pygmies_ has not only obtained amongst the _Greeks_
and _Indian Historians_: the _Arabians_ likewise tell much such Stories of
them, as the same learned _Bochartus_ informs us. I will give his Latin
Translation of one of them, which he has printed in _Arabick_ also:
_Arabes idem_ (saith[A] _Bochartus_) _referunt ex cujusdam_ Graeculi _fide,
qui_ Jacobo Isaaci _filio_, Sigariensi _fertur ita narrasse_. _Navigabam
aliquando in mari_ Zingitano, _& impulit me ventus in quandam Insulam_.
_In cujus Oppidum cum devenissem, reperi Incolas Cubitalis esse staturae, &
plerosque Coclites. Quorum multitudo in me congregata me deduxit ad Regem
suum. Fussit is, ut Captivus detinerer; & inquandam Caveae speciem
conjectus sum; eos autem aliquando ad bellum instrui cum viderem, dixerunt
Hostem imminere, & fore ut propediem ingrueret. Nec multo post Gruum
exercitus in eos insurrexit. Atque ideo erant Coclites, quod eorum oculos
hae confodissent. Atque Ego, virga assumpta, in eas impetum feci, & illae
avolarunt atque aufugerunt; ob quod facinus in honore fui apud illos_.
This Author, it seems, represents them under the same Misfortune with the
_Poet_, who first mentioned them, as being blind, by having their Eyes
peck'd out by their cruel Enemies. Such an Accident possibly might happen
now and then, in these bloody Engagements, tho' I wonder the _Indian
Historians_ have not taken notice of it. However the _Pygmies_ shewed
themselves grateful to their Deliverer, in heaping _Honours_ on him. One
would guess, for their own sakes, they could not do less than make him
their _Generalissimo_; but our Author is modest in not declaring what they

[Footnote A: _Bochartus ibid_. p.m. 77.]

Isaac Vossius seems to unsettle all, and endeavours utterly to ruine the
whole Story: for he tells us, If you travel all over _Africa_, you shall
not meet with either a _Crane_ or _Pygmie_: _Se mirari_ (saith[A] _Isaac
Vossius_) Aristotelem, _quod tam serio affirmet non esse fabellam, quae de
Pygmaeis & Bello, quod cum Gruibus gerant, narrantur. Si quis totam
pervadat_ Africam, _nullas vel Grues vel Pygmaeos inveniet_. Now one would
wonder more at _Vossius_, that he should assert this of _Aristotle_, which
he never said. And since _Vossius_ is so mistaken in what he relates of
_Aristotle_; where he might so easily have been in the right, 'tis not
improbable, but he may be out in the rest too: For who has travelled all
_Africa_ over, that could inform him? And why should he be so peremptory
in the Negative, when he had so positive an Affirmation of _Aristotle_ to
the contrary? or if he would not believe _Aristotle's_ Authority, methinks
he should _Aristophanes's_, who tells us,[B] [Greek: Speirein hotau men
Geranos kroizon es taen libyaen metachorae]. _'Tis time to sow when the
noisy Cranes take their flight into_ Libya. Which Observation is likewise
made by _Hesiod, Theognis, Aratus_, and others. And _Maximus Tyrius_ (as I
find him quoted in _Bochartus_) saith, [Greek: Hai geravoi ex Aigyptou ora
therous aphistamenai, ouk anechomenai to thalpos teinasai pterygas hosper
istia, pherontai dia tou aeros euthy ton Skython gaes]. i.e. _Grues per
aestatem ex_ AEgypto _abscedentes, quia Calorem pati non possunt, alis
velorum instar expansis, per aerem ad_ Scythicam _plagam recta feruntur_.
Which fully confirms that Migration of the _Cranes_ that _Aristotle_

[Footnote A: _Isaac Vossius de Nili aliorumque stuminum Origine_, Cap.

[Footnote B: _Aristophanes in Nubibus_.]

But _Vossius_ I find, tho' he will not allow the _Cranes_, yet upon second
Thoughts did admit of _Pygmies_ here: For this Story of the _Pygmies_ and
the _Cranes_ having made so much _noise_, he thinks there may be something
of truth in it; and then gives us his Conjecture, how that the _Pygmies_
may be those _Dwarfs_, that are to be met with beyond the Fountains of the
_Nile_; but that they do not fight _Cranes_ but _Elephants_, and kill a
great many of them, and drive a considerable Traffick for their teeth with
the _Jagi_, who sell them to those of _Congo_ and the _Portuguese_. I will
give you _Vossius's_ own words; _Attamen_ (saith[A] he) _ut solent fabellae
non de nihilo fingi & aliquod plerunque continent veri, id ipsum quoque
que hic factum esse existimo. Certum quippe est ultra_ Nili _fontes multos
reperiri_ Nanos, _qui tamen non cum Gruibus, sed cum Elephantis perpetuum
gerant bellum. Praecipuum quippe Eboris commercium in regno magni_ Macoki
_per istos transigitur Homunciones; habitant in Sylvis, & mira dexteritate
Elephantos sagittis conficiunt. Carnibus vescuntur, Dentes vero_ Jagis
_divendunt, illi autem_ Congentibus & Lusitanis.

[Footnote A: _Isaac Vossius ibid_.]

_Job Ludolphus_[A] in his _Commentary_ on his _AEthiopick History_ remarks,
That there was never known a Nation all of Dwarfs. _Nani quippe_ (saith
_Ludolphus_) _Naturae quodam errore ex aliis justae staturae hominibus
generantur. Qualis vero ea Gens sit, ex qua ista Naturae Ludibria tanta
copia proveniant, Vossium docere oportelat, quia Pumiliones Pumiles alios
non gignunt, sed plerunque steriles sunt, experientia teste; ut plane non
opus habuerunt Doctores Talmudici Nanorum matrimonia prohibere, ne
Digitales ex iis nascerentur. Ludolphus_ it may be is a little too strict
with _Vossius_ for calling them _Nani_; he may only mean a sort of Men in
that Country of less Stature than ordinary. And _Dapper_ in his History of
_Africa_, from whom _Vossius_ takes this Account, describes such in the
Kingdom of _Mokoko_, he calls _Mimos_, and tells us that they kill
_Elephants_. But I see no reason why _Vossius_ should take these Men for
the _Pygmies_ of the Ancients, or think that they gave any occasion or
ground for the inventing this Fable, is there was no other reason, this
was sufficient, because they were able to kill the _Elephants_. The
_Pygmies_ were scarce a Match for the _Cranes_; and for them to have
encountered an _Elephant_, were as vain an Attempt, as the _Pygmies_ were
guilty of in _Philostratus_[B] 'who to revenge the Death of _Antaeus_,
having found _Hercules_ napping in _Libya_, mustered up all their Forces
against him. One _Phalanx_ (he tells us) assaulted his left hand; but
against his right hand, that being the stronger, two _Phalanges_ were
appointed. The Archers and Slingers besieged his feet, admiring the
hugeness of his Thighs: But against his Head, as the Arsenal, they raised
Batteries, the King himself taking his Post there. They set fire to his
Hair, put Reaping-hooks in his Eyes; and that he might not breath, clapp'd
Doors to his Mouth and Nostrils; but all the Execution that they could do,
was only to awake him, which when done, deriding their folly, he gather'd
them all up in his Lion's Skin, and carried them (_Philostratus_ thinks)
to _Euristhenes_.' This _Antaeus_ was as remarkable for his height, as the
_Pygmies_ were for their lowness of Stature: For _Plutarch_[C] tells us,
that _Q. Sterorius_ not being willing to trust Common Fame, when he came
to _Tingis_ (now _Tangier_) he caused _Antaeus's_ Sepulchre to be opened,
and found his Corps full threescore Cubits long. But _Sterorius_ knew well
enough how to impose upon the Credulity of the People, as is evident from
the Story of his _white Hind_, which _Plutarch_ likewise relates.

[Footnote A: _Job Ludolphus in Comment, in Historiam AEthiopicam_, p.m.

[Footnote B: _Philostratus. Icon_. lib. 2. p.m. 817.]

[Footnote C: _Plutarch. in vita Q. Sertorij_.]

But to return to our _Pygmies_; tho' most of the great and learned Men
would seem to decry this Story as a Fiction and mere Fable, yet there is
something of Truth, they think, must have given the first rise to it, and
that it was not wholly the product of Phancy, but had some real
foundation, tho' disguised, according to the different Imagination and
_Genius_ of the _Relator_: 'Tis this that has incited them to give their
several Conjectures about it. _Job Ludolphus_ finding what has been
offered at in Relation to the _Pygmies_, not to satisfie, he thinks he can
better account for this Story, by leaving out the _Cranes_, and placing in
their stead, another sort of Bird he calls the _Condor_. I will give you
his own words: _Sed ad Pygmaeos_ (saith [A] _Ludolphus_) _revertamur;
fabula de Geranomachia Pygmaeorum seu pugna cum Gruibus etiam aliquid de
vero trahere videtur, si pro Gruibus_ Condoras _intelligas, Aves in
interiore_ Africa _maximas, ut fidem pene excedat; aiunt enim quod Ales
ista vitulum Elephanti in Aerem extollere possit; ut infra docebimus. Cum
his Pygmaeos pugnare, ne pecora sua rapiant, incredibile non est. Error ex
eo natus videtur, quod primus Relator, alio vocabulo destitutus, Grues pro
Condoris nominarit, sicuti_ Plautus _Picos pro Gryphilus_, & Romani _Boves
lucas pro Elephantis dixere_.

[Footnote A: _Job Ludolphus Comment, in Historiam suam AEthiopic_. p. 73.]

'Tis true, if what _Juvenal_ only in ridicule mentions, was to be admitted
as a thing really done, that the _Cranes_ could fly away with a _Pygmie_,
as our _Kites_ can with a Chicken, there might be some pretence for
_Ludovicus's Condor_ or _Cunctor_: For he mentions afterwards[A] out of
_P. Joh. dos Santos_ the _Portuguese_, that 'twas observed that one of
these _Condors_ once flew away with an Ape, Chain, Clog and all, about ten
or twelve pounds weight, which he carried to a neighbouring Wood, and
there devoured him. And _Garcilasso de la Vega_[B] relates that they will
seize and fly away with a Child ten or twelve years old. But _Juvenal_[C]
only mentions this in ridicule and merriment, where he saith,

Adsubitas Thracum volucres, nubemque sonoram
Pygmaeos parvis currit Bellator in armis:
Mox impar hosti, raptusque per aera curvis
Unguibus a faeva fertur Grue.

[Footnote A: _Job Ludolphus ibid_. pag. 164.]

[Footnote B: _Garcilasso de la Vega Royal Comment_, of Peru.]

[Footnote C: _Juvenal Satyr_. 13 _vers_. 167.]

Besides, were the _Condors_ to be taken for the _Cranes_, it would utterly
spoil the _Pygmaeomachia_; for where the Match is so very unequal, 'tis
impossible for the Pygmies to make the least shew of a fight. _Ludolphus_
puts as great hardships on them, to fight these _Condors_, as _Vossius_
did, in making them fight _Elephants_, but not with equal Success; for
_Vossius_'s _Pygmies_ made great Slaughters of the Elephants; but
_Ludolphus_ his _Cranes_ sweep away the _Pygmies_, as easily as an _Owl_
would a _Mouse_, and eat them up into the bargain; now I never heard the
_Cranes_ were so cruel and barbarous to their Enemies, tho' there are some
Nations in the World that are reported to do so.

Moreover, these _Condor_'s I find are very rare to be met with; and when
they are, they often appear single or but a few. Now _Homer_'s, and the
_Cranes_ of the Ancients, are always represented in Flocks. Thus
_Oppian_[A] as I find him translated into Latin Verse:

_Et velut AEthiopum veniunt, Nilique fluenta
Turmalim Palamedis Aves, celsoeque per altum
Aera labentes fugiunt Athlanta nivosum,
Pygmaeos imbelle Genus, parvumque saligant,
Non perturbato procedunt ordine densae
Instructis volucres obscurant aera Turmis._

To imagine these _Grues_ a single Gigantick Bird, would much lessen the
Beauty of _Homer's Simile_, and would not have served his turn; and there
are none who have borrowed Homer's fancy, but have thought so. I will only
farther instance in _Baptista Mantuan_:

_Pygmaei breve vulgus, iners Plelecula, quando
Convenere Grues longis in praelia rostris,
Sublato clamore fremunt, dumque agmine magno
Hostibus occurrit, tellus tremit Indica, clamant
Littora, arenarum nimbis absconditur aer;
Omnis & involvit Pulvis solemque, Polumque,
Et Genus hoc Hominum natura imbelle, quietum,
Mite, facit Mavors pugnax, immane Cruentum._

[Footnote: A _Oppian lib. I. de Piscibus_.]

Having now considered and examined the various Opinions of these learned
Men concerning this _Pygmaeomachia_; and represented the Reasons they give
for maintaining their Conjectures; I shall beg leave to subjoyn my own:
and if what at present I offer, may seem more probable, or account for
this Story with more likelyhood, than what hath hitherto been advanced, I
shall not think my time altogether misspent: But if this will not do, I
shall never trouble my head more about them, nor think my self any ways
concerned to write on this Argument again. And I had not done it now, but
upon the occasion of Dissecting this _Orang-Outang_, or _wild Man_, which
being a Native of _Africa_, and brought from _Angola_, tho' first taken
higher up in the Country, as I was informed by the Relation given me; and
observing so great a Resemblance, both in the outward shape, and, what
surprized me more, in the Structure likewise of the inward Parts, to a
_Man_; this Thought was easily suggested to me, That very probably this
_Animal_, or some other such of the same _Species_, might give the first
rise and occasion to the Stories of the _Pygmies_. What has been the
[Greek: proton pheudos], and rendered this Story so difficult to be
believed, I find hath been the Opinion that has generally obtained, that
these _Pygmies_ were really a Race of _little Men_. And tho' they are only
_Brutes_, yet being at first call'd _wild Men_, no doubt from the
Resemblance they bear to _Men_; there have not been wanting those
especially amongst the Ancients, who have invented a hundred ridiculous
Stories concerning them; and have attributed those things to them, were
they to be believed in what they say, that necessarily conclude them real

To sum up therefore what I have already discoursed, I think I have proved,
that the _Pygmies_ were not an _Humane Species_ or _Men_. And tho'
_Homer_, who first mentioned them, calls them [Greek: andres pygmaioi],
yet we need not understand by this Expression any thing more than _Apes_:
And tho' his _Geranomachia_ hath been look'd upon by most only as a
Poetical Fiction; yet by assigning what might be the true Cause of this
Quarrel between the _Cranes_ and _Pygmies_, and by divesting it of the
many fabulous Relations that the _Indian Historians_, and others, have
loaded it with, I have endeavoured to render it a true, at least a
probable Story. I have instanced in _Ctesias_ and the _Indian Historians_,
as the Authors and Inventors of the many Fables we have had concerning
them: Particularly, I have Examined those Relations, where Speech or
Language is attributed to them; and shewn, that there is no reason to
believe that they ever spake any Language at all. But these _Indian
Historians_ having related so many extravagant Romances of the _Pygmies_,
as to render their whole History suspected, nay to be utterly denied, that
there were ever any such Creatures as _Pygmies_ in _Nature_, both by
_Strabo_ of old, and most of our learned men of late, I have endeavoured
to assert the Truth of their _being_, from a _Text_ in _Aristotle_; which
being so positive in affirming their Existence, creates a difficulty, that
can no ways be got over by such as are of the contrary Opinion. This
_Text_ I have vindicated from the false Interpretations and Glosses of
several Great Men, who had their Minds so prepossessed and prejudiced with
the Notion of _Men Pygmies_, that they often would quote it, and misapply
it, tho' it contain'd nothing that any ways favoured their Opinion; but
the contrary rather, that they were _Brutes_, and not _Men_.

And that the _Pygmies_ were really _Brutes_, I think I have plainly proved
out of _Herodotus_ and _Philostratus_, who reckon them amongst the _wild
Beasts_ that breed in those Countries: For tho' by _Herodotus_ they are
call'd [Greek: andres agrioi], and _Philostratus_ calls them [Greek:
anthropous melanas], yet both make them [Greek: theria] or _wild Beasts_.
And I might here add what _Pausanias_[A] relates from _Euphemus Car_, who
by contrary Winds was driven upon some Islands, where he tells us, [Greek:
en de tautais oikein andras agrious], but when he comes to describe them,
tells us that they had no Speech; that they had Tails on their Rumps; and
were very lascivious toward the Women in the Ship. But of these more, when
we come to discourse of _Satyrs_.

[Footnote A: _Pausanias in Atticis_, p.m. 21.]

And we may the less wonder to find that they call _Brutes Men_, since
'twas common for these _Historians_ to give the Title of _Men_, not only
to _Brutes_, but they were grown so wanton in their Inventions, as to
describe several Nations of _Monstrous Men_, that had never any Being, but
in their own Imagination, as I have instanced in several. I therefore
excuse _Strabo_, for denying the _Pygmies_, since he could not but be
convinced, they could not be such _Men_, as these _Historians_ have
described them. And the better to judge of the Reasons that some of the
Moderns have given to prove the Being of _Men Pygmies_, I have laid down
as _Postulata's_, that hereby we must not understand _Dwarfs_, nor yet a
Nation of _Men_, tho' somewhat of a lesser size and stature than ordinary;
but we must observe those two Characteristicks that _Homer_ gives of them,
that they are _Cubitales_ and fight _Cranes_.

Having premised this, I have taken into consideration _Caspar Bartholine
Senior_ his _Opusculum_ _de Pygmaeis_, and _Jo. Talentonius_'s Dissertation
about them: and upon examination do find, that neither the Humane
Authorities, nor Divine that they alledge, do any ways prove, as they
pretend, the Being of _Men Pygmies_. St. _Austin_, who is likewise quoted
on their side, is so far from favouring this Opinion, that he doubts
whether any such Creatures exist, and if they do, concludes them to be
_Apes_ or _Monkeys_; and censures those _Indian Historians_ for imposing
such Beasts upon us, as distinct Races of _Men_. _Julius Caesar Scaliger_,
and _Isaac Casaubon_, and _Adrian Spigelius_ utterly deny the Being of
_Pygmies_, and look upon them as a Figment only of the Ancients, because
such little Men as they describe them to be, are no where to be met with
in all the World. The Learned _Bochartus_ tho' he esteems the
_Geranomachia_ to be a Fable, and slights it, yet thinks that what might
give the occasion to the Story of the _Pygmies_, might be the _Nubae_ or
_Nobae_; as _Isaac Vossius_ conjectures that it was those _Dwarfs_ beyond
the Fountains of the _Nile_, that _Dapper_ calls the _Mimos_, and tells
us, they kill _Elephants_ for to make a Traffick with their Teeth. But
_Job Ludolphus_ alters the Scene, and instead of _Cranes_, substitutes his
_Condors_, who do not fight the _Pygmies_, but fly away with them, and
then devour them.

Now all these Conjectures do no ways account for _Homer's Pygmies_ and
_Cranes_, they are too much forced and strain'd. Truth is always easie and
plain. In our present Case therefore I think the _Orang-Outang_, or _wild
Man_, may exactly supply the place of the _Pygmies_, and without any
violence or injury to the Story, sufficiently account for the whole
History of the _Pygmies_, but what is most apparently fabulous; for what
has been the greatest difficulty to be solved or satisfied, was their
being _Men_; for as _Gesner_ remarks (as I have already quoted him) _Sed
veterum nullus aliter de Pygmaeis scripsit, quam Homunciones esse_. And the
Moderns too, being byassed and misguided by this Notion, have either
wholly denied them, or contented themselves in offering their Conjectures
what might give the first rise to the inventing this Fable. And tho'
_Albertus_, as I find him frequently quoted, thought that the _Pygmies_
might be only a sort of _Apes_, and he is placed in the Head of those that
espoused this Opinion, yet he spoils all, by his way of reasoning, and by
making them speak; which was more than he needed to do.

I cannot see therefore any thing that will so fairly solve this doubt,
that will reconcile all, that will so easily and plainly make out this
Story, as by making the _Orang-Outang_ to be the _Pygmie_ of the Ancients;
for 'tis the same Name that Antiquity gave them. For _Herodotus_'s [Greek:
andres agrioi], what can they be else, than _Homines Sylvestres_, or _wild
Men_? as they are now called. And _Homer_'s [Greek: andres pygmaioi], are
no more an Humane Kind, or Men, then _Herodotus_'s [Greek: andres agrioi],
which he makes to be [Greek: theria], or _wild Beasts_: And the [Greek:
andres mikroi] or [Greek: melanes] (as they are often called) were just
the same. Because this sort of _Apes_ had so great a resemblance to Men,
more than other _Apes_ or _Monkeys_; and they going naturally erect, and
being designed by Nature to go so, (as I have shewn in the _Anatomy_) the
Ancients had a very plausible ground for giving them this denomination of
[Greek: andres] or [Greek: anthropoi], but commonly they added an Epithet;
as [Greek: agrioi, mikroi, pygmaioi, melanes], or some such like. Now the
Ancient _Greek_ and _Indian Historians_, tho' they might know these
_Pygmies_ to be only _Apes_ like _Men_, and not to be real _Men_, yet
being so extremely addicted to _Mythology_, or making Fables, and finding
this so fit a Subject to engraft upon, and invent Stories about, they have
not been wanting in furnishing us with a great many very Romantick ones on
this occasion. And the Moderns being imposed upon by them, and misguided
by the Name of [Greek: andres] or [Greek: anthropoi], as if thereby must
be always understood an _Humane Kind_, or _real Men_, they have altogether
mistaken the Truth of the Story, and have either wholly denied it, or
rendered it as improbable by their own Conjectures.

This difficulty therefore of their being called _Men_, I think, may fairly
enough be accounted by what I have said. But it may be objected that the
_Orang-Outang_, or these _wild_ or _savage Men_ are not [Greek: pygmaioi],
or _Trispithami_, that is, but two Foot and a quarter high, because by
some Relations that have been given, it appears they have been observed to
be of a higher stature, and as tall as ordinary Men. Now tho' this may be
allowed as to these _wild Men_ that are bred in other places; and probably
enough like wise, there are such in some Parts of the Continent of
_Africa_; yet 'tis sufficient to our business if there are any there, that
will come within our Dimensions; for our Scene lies in _Africa_; where
_Strabo_ observes, that generally the Beasts are of a less size than
ordinary; and this he thinks might give rise to the Story of the
_Pygmies_. For, saith he[A] [Greek: Ta de boskaemata autois esti mikra,
probata kai aiges, kai kynes mikroi, tracheis de kai machimoi (oikountes
mikroi ontes) tacha de kai tous pygmaious apo tes touton mikrophyias
epenoaesan, kai aneplasan.] i.e. _That their Beasts are small, as their
Sheep, Goats and Oxen, and their Dogs are small, but hairy and fierce: and
it may be_ (saith he) _from the [Greek: mikrophyia] or littleness of the
stature of these Animals, they have invented and imposed on us the_
Pygmies. And then adds, _That no body fit to be believed ever saw them_;
because he fancied, as a great many others have done, that these _Pygmies_
must be _real Men_, and not a sort of _Brutes_. Now since the other
_Brutes_ in this Country are generally of a less size than in other Parts,
why may not this sort of _Ape_, the _Orang-Outang_, or _wild Man_, be so
likewise. _Aristotle_ speaking of the _Pygmies_, saith, [Greek: genos
mikron men kai autoi, kai oi hippoi.] _That both they and the Horses there
are but small_. He does not say _their_ Horses, for they were never
mounted upon _Horses_, but only upon _Partridges, Goats_ and _Rams_. And
as the _Horses_, and other _Beasts_ are naturally less in _Africa_ than in
other Parts, so likewise may the _Orang-Outang_ be. This that I dissected,
which was brought from _Angola_ (as I have often mentioned) wanted
something of the just stature of the _Pygmies_; but it was young, and I am
therefore uncertain to what tallness it might grow, when at full Age: And
neither _Tulpius_, nor _Gassendus_, nor any that I have hitherto met with,
have adjusted the full stature of this _Animal_ that is found in those
parts from whence ours was brought: But 'tis most certain, that there are
sorts of _Apes_ that are much less than the _Pygmies_ are described to be.
And, as other _Brutes_, so the _Ape-kind_, in different Climates, may be
of different Dimensions; and because the other _Brutes_ here are generally
small, why may not _they_ be so likewise. Or if the difference should be
but little, I see no great reason in this case, why we should be
over-nice, or scrupulous.

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph_. lib. 17. p.m. 565.]

As to our _Ape Pygmies_ or _Orang-Outang_ fighting the _Cranes_, this, I
think, may be easily enough made out, by what I have already observed; for
this _wild Man_ I dissected was Carnivorous, and it may be Omnivorous, at
least as much as _Man_ is; for it would eat any thing that was brought to
the Table. And if it was not their Hunger that drove them to it, their
Wantonness, it may be, would make them apt enough to rob the _Cranes_
Nests; and if they did so, no doubt but the _Cranes_ would noise enough
about it, and endeavour what they could to beat them off, which a Poet
might easily make a Fight: Tho' _Homer_ only makes use of it as a
_Simile_, in comparing the great Shouts of the _Trojans_ to the Noise of
the _Cranes_, and the Silence of the _Greeks_ to that of the _Pygmies_
when they are going to Engage, which is natural enough, and very just, and
contains nothing, but what may easily be believed; tho' upon this account
he is commonly exposed, and derided, as the Inventor of this Fable; and
that there was nothing of Truth in it, but that 'twas wholly a Fiction of
his own.

Those _Pygmies_ that _Paulus Jovius_[A] describes, tho' they dwell at a
great distance from _Africa_, and he calls them _Men_, yet are so like
_Apes_, that I cannot think them any thing else. I will give you his own
words: _Ultra Lapones_ (saith he) _in Regione inter Corum & Aquilonem
perpetua oppressa Caligine_ Pygmaeos _reperiri, aliqui eximiae fidei testes
retulerunt; qui postquam ad summum adoleverint, nostratis Pueri denum
annorum Mensuram vix excedunt. Meticulosum genus hominum, & garritu
Sermonem exprimens, adeo ut tam Simiae propinqui, quam Statura ac sensibus
ab justae Proceritatis homine remoti videantur_. Now there is this
Advantage in our _Hypothesis_, it will take in all the _Pygmies_, in any
part of the World; or wherever they are to be met with, without supposing,
as some have done, that 'twas the _Cranes_ that forced them to quit their
Quarters; and upon this account several Authors have described them in
different places: For unless we suppose the _Cranes_ so kind to them, as
to waft them over, how came we to find them often in Islands? But this is
more than can be reasonably expected from so great Enemies.

[Footnote A: _Paul. Jovij de Legatione Muschovitar_. lib. p.m. 489.]

I shall conclude by observing to you, that this having been the Common
Error of the Age, in believing the _Pygmies_ to be a sort of _little Men_,
and it having been handed down from so great Antiquity, what might
contribute farther to the confirming of this Mistake, might be, the
Imposture of the Navigators, who failing to Parts where these _Apes_ are,
they have embalmed their Bodies, and brought them home, and then made the
People believe that they were the _Men_ of those Countries from whence
they came. This _M.P. Venetus_ assures us to have been done; and 'tis not
unlikely: For, saith he,[A] _Abundat quoque Regio ipsa_ (sc. Basman in
Java majori) _diversis Simiis magnis & parvis, hominibus simillimis, hos
capiunt Venatores & totos depilant, nisi quod, in barba & in loco secreto
Pilos relinquunt, & occisos speciebus Aromaticis condiunt, & postea
desiccant, venduntque Negociatoribus, qui per diversas Orbis Partes
Corpora illa deferentes, homines persuadent Tales Homunciones in Maris
Insulis reperiri. Joh. Jonston_[B] relates the same thing, but without
quoting the Author; and as he is very apt to do, commits a great mistake,
in telling us, _pro Homunculis marinis venditant_.

[Footnote A: _M. Pauli Veneti de Regionibus Oriental_. lib. 3. cap. 15. p.
m. 390.]

[Footnote B: _Jo. Jonston. Hist. Nat. de Quadruped_. p.m. 139.]

I shall only add, That the Servile Offices that these Creatures are
observed to perform, might formerly, as it does to this very day, impose
upon Mankind to believe, that they were of the same _Species_ with
themselves; but that only out of Sullenness or cunning, they think they
will not _speak_, for fear of being made Slaves. _Philostratus_[A] tells
us, That the _Indians_ make use of the _Apes_ in gathering the Pepper; and
for this Reason they do defend and preserve them from the _Lions_, who are
very greedy of preying upon them: And altho' he calls them _Apes_, yet he
speaks of them as _Men_, and as if they were the Husbandmen of the _Pepper
Trees_, [Greek: kai ta dendra oi piperides, on georgoi pithekoi]. And he
calls them the People of _Apes_; [Greek: ou legetai pithekon oikein demos
en mychois tou orous]. _Dapper_[B] tells us, _That the Indians take the_
Baris _when young, and make them so tame, that they will do almost the
work of a Slave; for they commonly go erect as Men do. They will beat Rice
in a Mortar, carry Water in a Pitcher_, &c. And Gassendus[C] in the Life
of _Pieresky_, tells us, us, _That they will play upon a Pipe or Cittern,
or the like Musick, they will sweep the House, turn the Spit, beat in a
Mortar, and do other Offices in a Family_. And _Acosta_, as I find him
quoted by _Garcilasso de la Vega_[D] tells us of a _Monkey_ he saw at the
Governour's House at _Cartagena_, 'whom they fent often to the Tavern for
Wine, with Money in one hand, and a Bottle in the other; and that when he
came to the Tavern, he would not deliver his Money, until he had received
his Wine. If the Boys met with him by the way, or made a houting or noise
after him, he would set down his Bottle, and throw Stones at them; and
having cleared the way he would take up his Bottle, and hasten home, And
tho' he loved Wine excessively, yet he would not dare to touch it, unless
his Master gave him License.' A great many Instances of this Nature might
be given that are very surprising. And in another place he tells us, That
the Natives think that they can speak, but will not, for fear of being
made to work. And _Bontius_[E] mentions that the _Javans_ had the same
Opinion concerning the _Orang-Outang_, _Loqui vero eos, easque Javani
aiunt, sed non velle, ne ad labores cogerentur_.

[Footnote A: _Philostratus in vita Apollonij Tyanaei_, lib. 3. cap. I. p.
m. 110, & 111.]

[Footnote B: _Dapper Description de l'Afrique_, p.m. 249.]

[Footnote C: _Gassendus in vita Pierskij_, lib. 5. p.m. 169.]

[Footnote D: _Garcilasso de la Vega Royal Commentaries of Peru_, lib. 8.
cap. 18. p. 1333.]

[Footnote E: _Jac. Bontij Hist. Nat. & Med_. lib. 5. cap. 32. p.m. 85.]

* * * * *

[NOTE.--A few obvious errors in the quotations have been corrected, but
for the most part they stand as in Tyson, who must, therefore, be held
responsible for any inaccuracies which may exist.]


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