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 15 On the Vertebrae of the Neck or Cervix

The head is flexed forward and back over the first vertebra

The capitula of the occiput are received in these depressions of the first vertebra and are flexed and extended in them or drawn forward and back in an extremely straight motion. In no way is the head moved sideways by this double joint [articulatio atlanto-occipitalis], though this has been stated in so many places by Galen, the prince of anatomists. In the first place, when the neck is not moved we are unable to move the head sidewise even a little bit. Also, if the head were moved sidewise over the first vertebra, who doubts that in this motion the first vertebra must be kept unmoved, since Aristotle has rightly shown in his book On the Common Movement of Animals that in a motion the second bone of a joint must always be immobile? 48 But I prefer not to dwell on the impiety with which Galen disgracefully imputes a crude negligence to the Maker of things while he believes that he is fully celebrating the Maker and in such a wordy introduction asks for a reader who is attentive and trained in anatomical technique. 49



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 15 On the Vertebrae of the Neck or Cervix