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 6 On the Eight Bones of the Head and the Sutures Connecting Them

Capitula of the occipital bone

On the outer surface, at the sides of the foramen carved out for the dorsal medulla, the occipital bone puts out two capitula (l, l in figures 4 and 5) [condyli occipitales] which are articulated to the first cervical vertebra [atlas], by means of which the head is tilted and extended by its own motion. In young children, these capitula [condyli] are epiphyses; in old persons they are hidden, like the other epiphyses. Also in young children, the bone is constructed of three parts [partes laterales, pars basilaris] separated by three lines [sutura] filled with cartilage [synchondroses]. One of these runs from the end of the sagittal suture to the posterior part of the foramen [foramen magnum] of the dorsal medulla; the other two [fonticuli mastoidei] extend transversely from the sides of the foramen to the extensions of the lambdoid suture. Consequently, the very young have two bones [partes laterales] in the occiput, and one [pars basilaris] attached to the cuneiform bone in the base of the skull. The occipital bone is smooth inside and not at all rough, just as on its entire unfleshed outer surface it also appears smooth. Beneath it, where the occipital bone makes up no small portion of the head’s base, it is very rough and uneven to provide a better point of origin for ligaments and certain muscles, and so that others might be more safely and firmly inserted therein.



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 6 On the Eight Bones of the Head and the Sutures Connecting Them