Thursday, January 28, 2010

Augustine on Male Nipples

I am beginning to wonder if there is anything Augustine does not discuss in his massive collection of works. To the perennial question--"why do men have nipples?"--Augustine as always has an answer:

There are some details in the body which are there simply for aesthetic reasons, and for no practical purpose--for example, the nipples of a man's chest, and the beard on his face, the latter being clearly for a masculine ornament, not for protection. (Augustine, City of God 22.24; trans. Bettenson)

The "Great Artist," as Augustine calls God in his final books of the City of God, made male nipples and beards as ornaments, for purely aesthetic purposes. Indeed, an artist as accomplished as God is not limited to practicalities.


Angie Van De Merwe said...

Aaahh, yes, the Church Fathers, whose words are venerated above other philosophers. Wouldn't you just want to be known as a philosopher, then, and not a spokesman for "god"?

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I have to go now and polish my "ornaments" :O

terri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
terri said...

You get the award for most intriguing blog post title!

Although I was afraid of what exactly I was going to find when I got here.....and I bet your Google search terms for "male nipples" will be bringing a whole new demographic to your blog.


Jared Calaway said...

@Terri: I'm always looking for a new demographic!