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 11 On The Teeth, Which are also counted as bones

Molars

After these, there are five maxillary or molar teeth (nos. 4-8) [dentes premolares et molares] on each side, rough, wide, hard, and large, so as to be able to grind to a smoother state things cut by the incisors and broken up by the canines. If they had been made altogether smooth, the molars would not be suitable for their task, since all things are ground better by uneven and diverse surfaces (the molar tooth is marked C). This is why we see that millstones too, on which grains are milled, when they have become smooth over time by long wearing away, are scored and roughened again. If they were rough but not hard, they would not be of much use, as they would wear out before they pulverized the food; but in fact teeth are the hardest of all the bones. Furthermore, if teeth made rough and hard were not at the same time also wide, they still would not fit the task entrusted to them, since it is necessary to establish on a broad base things which need to be most finely ground. For nothing is ground up by the incisors and canines because of their confined and narrow edge. What if the molars had all these qualities but were at the same time small: would not their use be spoiled by this alone, since we would need too much time to grind and crush our food? 12



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 11 On The Teeth, Which are also counted as bones