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 joining of the dens with the first vertebra

The depressions that are seen on the sides are between the base of the dens and the tuberosities of the second vertebra, 73 and together with the depressions of the first neck vertebra, which match them, provide a foramen on each side (m in figure 11) suitable for transmitting small nerves (N in figure 2, chapter 11, book 4) 74 which we sometimes see proceeding into the muscles that flex the neck and which we consider twigs of the second pair of the nerves of the dorsal medulla. The depression seen on the posterior surface of the dens is carved so that the ligament [l. transversum atlantis] 75 may be bound more firmly to it which proceeds transversely from one side of the first vertebra to the other and is conspicuously wrapped transversely (as I was saying) across the posterior surface of the dens, 76 precisely holding the dens into the cavity of the first vertebra, also preventing it from wandering from its place, and from pinching the dorsal medulla here. 77 That this ligament may have a better origin, the first vertebra is rough and uneven where the ligament takes its origin or is inserted (o, o in figures 3 and 11), 78 and it also makes a foramen that does not penetrate deeply, 79 which allows the ligament to be more firmly grown out or inserted. Nowhere in my account of the ligaments


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do I think it matters whether I say they are inserted or originate, since a ligament belongs equally to each of two bones. The upper part of the dens (n in figures 5 and 6), or its apex, is sharpened to a point like the head of a tortoise so that as it projects above the first vertebra it may put out a strong, smoothly rounded ligament that can be attached to the occiput bone at that rough, slightly swelling point 80 which I have written is seen in the anterior part of the foramen that transmits the dorsal medulla. 81



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