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 40 On the Number of Bones

[Introduction]

I do not doubt that many will also ask me at some point the number of the bones. To these I should like to give no other advice than to look it up in the various chapters of this book, as it would be too long to list them all here. To avoid in any way possible seeming to evade the smallest labor, not counting the epiphyses and bones formed the way they are in people of advanced age, it will impede nothing to count them as follows. 2 The bones of the skull are twenty: eight of the head [calvaria] and twelve of the upper maxilla; 3 this does not count the jugal bones individually, 4 since they are only parts or areas of certain of the twenty bones and do not have their own boundary. The bones of the organ of hearing are four, two at each ear. 5 There are thirty-two teeth 6 , and a single bone of the lower maxilla. There are usually eleven bones of the hyoid bone. 7 Twenty-four vertebrae; 8 six bones of the sacrum; and four of the coccyx; twenty-four ribs. We have counted three bones of the pectoral bone, though seven are counted by others. But let there be only three in this count; elsewhere, the number can be as you decide and seems best to you. Two scapulae; as many clavicles, and two humeri, two ulnae, two radii. Sixteen carpal bones, eight in each hand; likewise eight metacarpals, four in each hand; thirty finger bones, fifteen in each hand. There are at least twelve sesamoid ossicles in each hand, and we may go ahead and count twenty-four. Two bones [ossa coxae] attached to the sides of the sacrum, two femora, 9 two tibiae, two fibulae, two patellae, two calcanei, two tali, two navicular bones, eight tarsal bones, four in each foot, ten metatarsal bones, five in each foot, twenty-eight bones of the toes, fourteen in each foot; twenty-four sesamoid ossicles, the same as in the hands, though some are quite cartilaginous. 10 So if you put these bones into a single number they are all together (if I am adding correctly) three hundred and four. 11 If you want to add in four more pectoral bones and you decide that there are two bones in the lower maxilla, there would be three hundred and seven. 12 But if it is your wish to count all the epiphyses as separate items (since in children they are bones defined by their own border), you would easily add half again the number just given, as you will calculate if you recall to mind the vertebrae, 13 femora, tibiae, and other bones which have several epiphyses. 14 Again, if you reckon up the bones as they are seen in children, good Gods! what a heap of bones will you pile up? — since all the vertebrae consist of two or three bones, and the bones that are attached to the sacrum, three, and others of the kind, so it is possible for anyone to make up the number of bones according to his own judgement. 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 40 On the Number of Bones