The number of processes.
These things being as they are, it escapes no one that not all the
cervical vertebrae have the same number of processes. To avoid seeming here to
have missed something, it would be necessary, if only for the sake of Galen, to
count the processes of a neck vertebra in such a way that you would arrive at
the number eleven:
this is the number of processes assigned to the neck
vertebrae by Galen.
Take a third, fourth, fifth, or
sixth neck vertebra (observe here fig. 8, whose numbers mark the processes in
order), and count first the two processes on the superior part of the body, one
on each side of the depression upon which the oblong body of the vertebra above
it rests. Count as third and fourth the two ascending processes which go up to
the vertebra above, and fifth and sixth the two descending by which the
ascending processes of the vertebra below are received. You will then count the
transverse processes seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth; since there is one of
these on each side and they look like bifurcated twins, they make up four
processes. The eleventh will be the posterior process itself, or spine.
But since the vertebrae having a double
transverse process on each side also bear a
(c and ϖ in fig. 8), there is no reason why you should not
see a twelfth here and increase Galen’s number. Likewise, because the oblong
body of the vertebra (r in fig. 8 and z in fig. 9) is also extended like a
[uncus corporis] on its inferior
surface, what will keep us from adding this also to the others as a thirteenth
process? It is readily inferred without comment on my part that a different
number of processes may be observed in the first, second, and seventh neck
vertebrae, and that the number varies even in them.