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 34 On the Nails

Why the digits have nails 5

The supreme Maker of things adorned the digits of the hands and feet with nails so as to have them attached as a support. The digits grasp only soft bodies with the fleshy parts that they have at their end. But objects that are hard and therefore resist the nature of flesh and forceably push it away, cannot be grasped without the aid of nails. For their flesh, which we shall later explain is a rather hard, fatty tissue spread beneath the skin, is then bent back and turned under, and for that reason needs reinforcement. Indeed, man gains numerous advantages from nails, if they are neither beyond the tips of the fingers nor below them, 6 as for example if it is necessary to scrape, scratch, pinch, peel, or pluck something.



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 34 On the Nails