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 21 On the Scapuli

The anterior surface of the scapula, next to the ribs

The scapula is flat and concave on its anterior surface [facies costalis] (fig. 1) so as to fit the convexity of the ribs and while being fixed over them to be moveable as required, as well as to suit it to the muscle [m. subscapularis] (G in the 7th table of muscles, H in the 8th) which fills the entire anterior surface of the scapula and rotates the humerus inside and forward. This concave surface of the scapula is indeed smooth, but it is not even in all places; for next to its lower surface it puts forth certain tubercles (M, M, M in fig. 1) that stand out slightly as oblique lines 49 which make what amount to depressions, as if the ribs of the thorax on which this side of the scapula rests had been pressed into the scapula over time, and the scapula itself had taken on their outline by giving way. For these depressions and prominences appear more in the old than in children and youths, in whom everything protrudes and grows out less conspicuously. The anterior surface of the scapula protrudes somewhat at the root of the higher angle of the base (F in fig. 1), making a region suitable for the second of the muscles [m. trapezius] that lift the scapula (G, D in the 9th table of muscles) to be firmly inserted. 50 The anterior surface of the scapula, where it is opposite the base of the acromion (compare N, O in fig. 1 [fossa subscapularis] to H, G in fig. 2 [fossa infraspinata]) or the scapular spine, 51 is more markedly concave than elsewhere, as if when Nature had fashioned the spine of the scapula she had pulled the hollow 52 part of the scapula toward the posterior and thus increased its hollowness, in the same way we see it done in vessels of clay and other things that are daily made of casting material or wax. 53 For when we look at the handle which is put on the outer surface of a jar, the hollow part of the jar on the opposite side is observed to be more depressed as if pulled outward from the jar. This is seen especially


page 99

in those surfaces where the thicker parts of the handle are located. By the same token, those points in the hollow of the scapula are likewise more impressed and hollowed which correspond to the ends of the spine. 54 Presently you will hear that along the entire surface where it arises, the spine is heavier at its ends than in the middle of its course. 55 Among the scapula’s other concave surfaces, the one that shows itself most concave is the one next to the neck of the scapula. For aside from the fact that the neck of the scapula (C, D in fig. 1) is posteriorly drawn out and gathered away from the scapular spine, it is also especially heavy and inwardly protuberant at this point, significantly increasing this cavity. In the same way the lower side (P in fig. 1) of the scapula also makes the hollow deeper because it is thick.



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 21 On the Scapuli