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 4 On the Structural Relationships of Bones

For the variety of the parts

Also, that bones are multiple because of the variety of the parts, you will understand in my explanation of the joints of those bones where the soft bones of the vertex [os parietale] are joined to the hard bones of the temple [os temporale]. All bones 3 are contiguous with one another, and no bone (unless perhaps the u-shaped hyoid bone is mentioned, and any that is in the base of the heart) 4 is held by itself but is either part of a continuum, or touches another bone, 5 or is bound to another; to such a degree that the sage parent of things, Nature,


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wished mankind to use the bones 6 as a single and continuous thing and also as many bones, for the uses I have recorded. 7 I think it less important that cartilage, and sometimes a portion of ligament, comes between bones that are joined, than that because of such tissue we should be able to say less precisely with Aristotle 8 that the bones are contiguous with each other. Yet at the same time he attests that the bones, like the veins, are continuous, stating in addition that they take their beginning from the spinal column in the same way as the veins begin from the heart. The Greeks named this single series of joined bones the skeleton, as if it were a dried cadaver. 9 Just as the use of the bones’ structure of joints is varied, so also is its system complex. I will now first summarize it in a table, and then explain more fully the individual types of joint.



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 4 On the Structural Relationships of Bones