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 18 On the Sacral Bone and the Coccyx

Those who contend Galen taught human anatomy are disrespectful toward him.

It is surely clear from this how disrespectful we should be toward Galen if we argued that he gave an account of the human fabric and did not ever admit that he was concerned rather with the construction of apes, and then if we did not believe Galen himself at the beginning of the third book of his Notes on Hippocrates’ Book De Articulis when he says he had written his book De ossibus after he had seen exactly what each bone was like: chiefly in the dried-up cadavers of actual humans, and if not there then he had certainly inspected them carefully in monkeys — so indicating that he had made every effort to describe monkeys, at least, and that they are very similar to man in the construction of their bones. 43 If anyone should wish to force Galen’s account upon the structure of humans and not monkeys, he will agree that Galen missed the four bones (G-K in figs. 1 and 3) which we have counted as the coccyx. He will also falsely charge Galen with ignorance of six foramina (4, 5, 6 in fig. 1), since in man there are six foramina on each side in the anterior surface of the sacrum, while in dogs only three occur. 44 The foramina visible in the coccyx of dogs are only in the posterior side, or rather they are located in the sides, as Galen also quite truthfully recounts while making no mention of anterior foramina. In addition, we should be compelled unbecomingly to charge Galen with negligence for stating that the structure of the three lower bones of the human sacrum is not the same as that in the three upper, for no more cartilage intervenes in the union of the lower bones than in the upper. But at the same time, no amount of cartilaginous ligament joins the ossicles of the human coccyx: Galen believed the substance was cartilage, as in the bodies of the vertebrae. So, should we press each of our inquiries harder, we would still concede willy-nilly that Galen had falsified the true descriptions of other anatomists.



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 18 On the Sacral Bone and the Coccyx