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

Attachment of the nails

To keep them from hanging loose, 9 they are attached at their upper end by a ligament to the root of the last bone of the digits. Because it was worthwhile that they be attached to flesh and skin, skin surrounds the entire root externally, and internally flesh is attached throughout. 10 Galen attests that not only an artery and a vein but also a nerve extend into the very root, 11 and he writes that the nails take sense, life, and nourishment from these in the same way as other parts. 12 I know, indeed, that not only are two small nerves [Nn. medianus et ulnaris, Nn. digitales palmares proprii] (hand in fig. 2, ch. 11, Bk. 4) brought to the root of the nails, but also that they run with the veins [Vv. digitales palmares propriae] (figure of the hand, ch. 6, Bk. 3) beneath the nails, also to the end of the digit. I also believe that the nails lack all sensation. Therefore I agree in no small way with the view of those who think that the nails grow from a coalescence of bone, nerve, and skin (some add flesh as well). 13 But that veins, arteries, and nerves are not dispensed in the nails like garden channels is known from the fact that nails start out from a root and grow like hairs. It sufficed that these too are always being renewed like hairs, and since they are worn down daily they always admit growth, 14 which they acquire in length rather than width and depth. 15



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