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 14 On the Spine and its Various Bones

To provide a path for the dorsal medulla, and at the same time be flexible

First, she carved out a foramen [foramen vertebrale] (visible in the figures of the next three chapters) in all the vertebrae near the posterior region of their bodies, preparing a suitable path of descent through them for the dorsal medulla [medulla spinalis]. Second, she did not make the whole spine from an uncompounded and simple bone,


page 58

though this would have sufficed for stability and a safe place for the dorsal medulla because it would be able neither to be dislocated nor slip out of place or be twisted unless it were so variously jointed. 15 But if the Maker of things had applied his mind so much to stubborn resistence and not set his sight on any prior or more worthy objective in the structure of the body’s organs, he would surely have created nothing other than a quite uncompounded and simple spine. Indeed, if one constructs an animal of stone or wood, one fashions a spine in no other way than from a single and continuous part. But for a human who will bend his spine downward or make it erect, it was not better that it all be formed from a single bone; indeed, since it is necessary for a person to be set into many different motions by means of the spine, it was better that it be composed of many bones, no matter how much for this reason it is made more vulnerable to injuries. 16



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 14 On the Spine and its Various Bones