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

The cuneiform bone [os sphenoidale]

We have fully explained the sutures that surround the cuneiform bone (O, P in figs. 3, 4, 5 and separately in fig. 8). This is a remarkably complicated bone, if any is: whence without violence to the truth the ancients called it polu/morfon, 109 from its complex form. 110 At its sides [ala major ossis sphenoidalis], and in the hollows of the temples [fossa temporale], it is thin and quite solid; in the middle and at the base of the head [basis cranii externa], it appears by far the thickest of all the bones of the skull, and mostly hollow inside. In the hollow space (C, D, E, F, G in fig. 8) it shows two large cavities [sinus sphenoidalis] separated by a thin, bony septum [septum intersinuale sphenoidale], in whose lower area is seen a small cavity. These are closed off on all sides by a plate of bone, or should I say they are hedged on every side by bone, never accessible except into the space of the nostrils [cavitas nasi]. The two chief cavities [choanae] extend into it with one foramen each; 111 they take in air from the nostrils during respiration, and they surround the nasal cavity together with a kind of soft medulla. I would like you to break open the cuneiform bone and closely scrutinize these cavities hidden inside, especially as they are shaped with astonishing skill and are little known by experts at dissection. They should also be carefully observed because Galen wrongly left it written that this bone is perforated like a seive or sponge and transmits cerebral phlegm. 112



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