Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them]

Chapter 40 1 On the Number of Bones

[Introduction]
I do not doubt that many will also ask me at some point the number of the bones. To these I should like to give no other advice than to look it up in the various chapters of this book, as it would be too long to list them all here. To avoid in any way possible seeming to evade the smallest labor, not counting the epiphyses and bones formed the way they are in people of advanced age, it will impede nothing to count them as follows. 2 The bones of the skull are twenty: eight of the head [calvaria] and twelve of the upper maxilla; 3 this does not count the jugal bones individually, 4 since they are only parts or areas of certain of the twenty bones and do not have their own boundary. The bones of the organ of hearing are four, two at each ear. 5 There are thirty-two teeth 6 , and a single bone of the lower maxilla. There are usually eleven bones of the hyoid bone. 7 Twenty-four vertebrae; 8 six bones of the sacrum; and four of the coccyx; twenty-four ribs. We have counted three bones of the pectoral bone, though seven are counted by others. But let there be only three in this count; elsewhere, the number can be as you decide and seems best to you. Two scapulae; as many clavicles, and two humeri, two ulnae, two radii. Sixteen carpal bones, eight in each hand; likewise eight metacarpals, four in each hand; thirty finger bones, fifteen in each hand. There are at least twelve sesamoid ossicles in each hand, and we may go ahead and count twenty-four. Two bones [ossa coxae] attached to the sides of the sacrum, two femora, 9 two tibiae, two fibulae, two patellae, two calcanei, two tali, two navicular bones, eight tarsal bones, four in each foot, ten metatarsal bones, five in each foot, twenty-eight bones of the toes, fourteen in each foot; twenty-four sesamoid ossicles, the same as in the hands, though some are quite cartilaginous. 10 So if you put these bones into a single number they are all together (if I am adding correctly) three hundred and four. 11 If you want to add in four more pectoral bones and you decide that there are two bones in the lower maxilla, there would be three hundred and seven. 12 But if it is your wish to count all the epiphyses as separate items (since in children they are bones defined by their own border), you would easily add half again the number just given, as you will calculate if you recall to mind the vertebrae, 13 femora, tibiae, and other bones which have several epiphyses. 14 Again, if you reckon up the bones as they are seen in children, good Gods! what a heap of bones will you pile up? — since all the vertebrae consist of two or three bones, and the bones that are attached to the sacrum, three, and others of the kind, so it is possible for anyone to make up the number of bones according to his own judgement. 15

Appendix: 1555 Addition on the Number of Cartilages
There is still greater difficulty in determining the exact number of cartilages, since the kinds encountered vary so much and they are not the same at every age. But in order to consider whether they may be counted in any manner, the ones that are altogether continuous with the bones should be counted first, such as the cartilage of either ear [auricula], growing out of the temporal bone; two of the nose, 16 arising from the two bones of the nose; the one [cartilago septi nasi et c. vomeronasalis] originating from the nasal septum also belongs to the nose; twenty-four cartilages of the ribs [cartilagines costales]; those into which the spines of all the vertebrae and many of their transverse processes end; the one where the pectoral bone comes to a point [proc. xiphoideus]; the cartilage at the base of each scapula; the one belonging to the point of the coccyx; the small cartilages that belong to the last bones of the fingers and toes. Then come all the smooth, slippery cartilages [cart. articularis] with which bones are coated at the fabric of the joints and which like the surfaces of the joints are quite numerous, far exceeding the number of the three hundred and five bones. There are also those [cart. epiphysialis] seen in the connection of the epiphyses with the bones to which they belong; these too exceed the number of bones just mentioned, not counting cartilages that separately join parts of certain bones in children. Added to these are cartilages involved in the structure of the bones of the sacrum 17 and the one [symphysis pubica] which knits the pubic bones together. Likewise those that partake in the nature of ligaments and are also continuous with the bones, such as those by which the ossicles of the hyoid bone are joined, those that come between the vertebral bodies [discus intervertebralis], those that are between the three bones of the sternum, the ones that occur between the sacrum and the bones attached to it, and those joining the ossicles of the coccyx. Of those that are not continuous with bones, two are placed by each eye, one of them in the upper [tarsus superior] and the other in the lower [tarsus inferior] eyelid; two in the wings of the nose; 18 three principal cartilages in the larynx, the first of which [c. thyroidea] is often found to be double and the third [c. arytenoidea] is always double; // p. 190 // the operculum [epiglottis] of the larynx; the C-shaped cartilages [cc. tracheales] which are countless in the trunk of the rough artery and its branches distributed into the lung; the cartilaginous substance of the base of the heart. 19 Finally, there are those which are free in the joints and are not at all continuous with bones, such as the two that often occur in the two lower attachments of the first vertebra to the second, and sometimes the one in the joint [art. humeri] of the humerus to the scapula on each side, but always in the joints [art. temporomandibularis] of the lower maxilla to the temporal bones, two of them; 20 in the joint [art. sternoclavicularis] of the clavicles with the pectoral bone, and then with the superior processes of the scapulae, four; two in each knee. 21 The more or less free cartilage [art. radio-ulnaris distalis, discus articularis] observed between the ulna and the carpus is continuous with the radius. Therefore, because the system of cartilages is so complicated, it is not easy for me to define their number to everybody’s satisfaction. It will, accordingly, be timely now to add the method by which bones and cartilages are prepared for instruction or are learned through dissection: viz., through the method by which after description of the parts I shall (as I judge can best be done at each point) always add the technique of dissecting them.


Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them]