(Chapter ad) Footnote 2:
“in which the complete structure of the bones is represented” (1555). These skeletons may be compared to the three which constitute the latter half of Vesalius’ Tabulae anatomicae published in Venice, April 1538. The 1538 figure legends, printed on the same sheets as the woodcut figures, are a similar attempt to provide a Greek, Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew nomenclature. But the 1538 figures are less profusely marked, with only 55 items marked in all three. See Singer & Rabin 1946 pp. 18-44 for an extensive commentary on the 1538 nomenclature. Saunders & O’Malley 1950 p. 84 note rightly that the Fabrica’s skeletal figures, probably of a seventeen- or eighteen-year-old male, contain errors of proportion. For example, the thorax is too short, the lumbar spine is too long, and the entire torso is proportionally short. As already noted (see ch. 14, n. 3, ch. 16 n. 59), several of the spinal curves are missing, perhaps reflecting the practice of threading the vertebrae over a rigid iron bar, improperly bent to demonstrate curvature, during articulation of a skeleton, but due also to Vesalius’ idée fixe about spinal curvature (see ch. 39 notes 42, 49). The result is that with the loss of the spinal curves the ribs are too horizontal and the normal anterior pelvic tilt is lessened. Although the ratio of the tibia to the femur is nearly normal, the upper extremity is proportionately too long for the axial skeleton, with the bones of the forearm proportionately too long for the humerus, and the upper extremity is not typically proportionate to the lower extremity.