CELT document T600025

Anathomia Gydo

Witness list

  • G: National Library of Ireland (NLI) MS G 453. "A sixteen-century medical manuscript. Anathomia Gydo is on ff. 110r–126v. The text begins at the outset of the first doctrine ending at 2.6.12. One anonymous scribe worked on this text between 1592" and 1593. Digital Images are available on www.ISOS.dias.ie.
  • T: Dublin , Trinity College, MS 1436. "A sixteenth-century medical manuscript. Anathomia Gydo is on pp. 17a1–35az. The text begins towards the end of 1.1.10 and draws to a close at 2.8.8. There are no signatures; however, it appears that three scribes collaborated on Anathomia Gydo about the year 1533." Cormac Mac Duinnshléibhe is named as translator of the treatise in the colophon at the end. Digital Images are available on www.ISOS.dias.ie.

Guy de Chauliac

Edited by Eithne Ní Gallchobhair



Secundum Galenum in libro .xvii. De utilitate particularum capitulo pene ultimo et cetera i.e. “according to Galen in the seventeenth book of The Profit of the Parts1 in the penultimate chapter” there are four benefits or four assets in the knowledge of anatomy. The first benefit of these is very great and is to understand the power of God and his wonder. The second benefit is for the recognition of the parts affected by ill health. The third benefit is for the foretelling of the dispositions which will afflict the body. The fourth benefit is for the curing of the illnesses. And for those reasons it is necessary and beneficial for every doctor to have knowledge of anatomy. And it is found in the first book, which addresses the illnesses of the members, that the doctor ought to be knowledgeable in the identification of the members in every place where it [illness] will be located. If this is beneficial for the physicians, it is more essential for the surgeons according to Galen's teaching in De ingenio sanitatis, i.e. the sixth book of Terapentice. 2 And the surgeons who are ignorant of anatomy err frequently in cutting the nerves and the ligaments. And whosoever is knowledgeable of the anatomy of every particular part of the body should know [the] appropriate drinks and poultices to give to every particular member which is wounded and will recognize if a nerve or a tendon or a ligament is severed there.

And Henri de Mondeville, in the first volume of his own surgery books, confirms this by reason as follows: since every artist should have knowledge of the subject in which he works, accordingly the doctor should have knowledge of anatomy. And this statement is confirmed by analogy: for the manner in which the blind man works on wood is akin to the surgeon in the body when he is ignorant of anatomy, for when the blind man is cutting the wood he very often blunders cutting more or less than he should. And this group is likened to the bad cooks of whom Galen spoke in the second book of Terapentice who do not cut in accordance with the joints, rather crushing, bashing and pulverizing them. And thus it is understood that the doctors must have knowledge of anatomy. And  p.35 since we have spoken of anatomy above let us now say what anatomy is according to Gydo.

Anatho[m]ia est recta divitio 3 et determinatio membrorum corporis, i.e. “anatomy is the division and correct determination of the members of every single body.” And it is called anatomy since ana in Greek is the same as rectum in Latin and direach in Irish, and thomos4 in Greek is the same as divisio in Latin, i.e. dealugad in Irish, since it separates the members correctly from each other. And understand that there are two methods by which knowledge of anatomy is acquired, i.e. one method through the teaching of books and although that method is beneficial it is insufficient for the relating of the things which can be identified through sense alone according to Galen in the first book of De utilitate in the eighteenth chapter. According to Averroes in the first book of Colliget. And we condense anatomy here not because the comparison here is limited and brief or for any other reason, but to examine the things which are in the other teachings. Another method by which anatomy is obtained is by verifying it in a corpse for we verify it in the bodies which have recently died, which are decapitated or hanged. And in such a manner we find the smallest part of the anatomy of the official members and of the internal flesh and of the muscles and of the skin and of many veins and nerves and in particular in accordance with their origin. And thus did Mondino proceed and he wrote a book on that method.

And we verified it in another manner in the bodies which are dried by the sun or gnawed on earth or lowered into running or boiling water, and thus we obtained the anatomy of the bones, the cartilage, the joints, the fatty nerves, the tendons and the ligaments. And it is by this method that Galen acquired knowledge of anatomy from the bodies of people, apes, pigs and many other animals, and not by illustration as Henri did. Since we have spoken thus far of the anatomy of the human body let us now examine what the human body is.


Corpus humanum est unum totum ratione decoratum ex multis et diversis membris et particulis compossitum, i.e. “the human body is a single, complete entity adorned by reason and composed of members and of many different parts.” And a member is, according to Gydo, who says these words: Membrum est quodam corpus quod omnino non est separatum neque alteri coniunctum, i.e. a member (according to Avicenna) is a body neither separated from nor completely attached to another. Or a member, according to Avicenna, is a body made from the first mixture of the humours. Or a member is a firm, dense part in an animal composed of various things and allotted a specific function, and this construction is understood of the official members alone. And a consimilar member is the member in which constitution and nature are the same in every complex part of it and in itself throughout. Here is another definition of the member from Arnald, i.e. a member is a complete, firm, easily healed part which is receptive to health. And the difference between the member and the other natural things is commonly regulated in this definition, for when 'part' is said, the constitution and virtue and operations are differentiated from the member, and when 'complete' is said, it is differentiated from the elements which are material parts of the body, and when we said 'firm' it is differentiated from the humours and from the spirits. And that is why he said 'receptive to health', to differentiate it from the hair and the nails.

And the members are differentiated in two ways, i.e. simple member[s] and compound member[s], as the doctor commonly understands the 'simple' and 'compound'. And the simple members are the consimilar members which are not divisible into other types but every sensing part of them participating throughout in name and function. And there are nine of those members, viz. cartilage, veins, arteries, membranes, ligaments, tendons, skin and flesh; and fat, hair and nails are numbered with these, for although those are not properly members but rather superfluities, nevertheless, they have a certain benefit and capacity for regeneration as have the members, as  p.39 is shown in the second book of Tegni. 5 And although it was said that the artery is a simple member, this interpretation which Philaretus gives for the artery contradicts that, for he says that an artery is a long, round body created in the semblance of a pipe which is covered by two membranes neither of which is an artery in itself; therefore, the artery is not a simple member, for if it were, a part of it and the whole of it would be the same. I say, in that regard, every composite part of a consimilar, compound member has the same character and nature as the member throughout. And it is therefore called a consimilar member as its parts do not differ in character. And it is not essential that a part of every consimilar member agrees in name with the entire member as is clear for the artery. And some of the aforementioned members are sanguine members in which there is consolidation and true renewal obtained through their generation from blood, namely flesh and fat. And others are spermatic members which do not have consolidation or true renewal, their origin being in the sperm, as are the bones and every other member except for sanguine members alone.

And some of these members are warm-moist, others are cold-moist and others are cold-dry. And none of the simple members is said to be warm-dry since, in comparing all the simple members with the skin, no simple member is found to be warmer and dryer than the skin. And not only is the skin the most moderate member of the simple parts but it is also the most moderate member of every substance which is generated and corrupted according to Galen in the first book De complexionibus in the final chapter. And these are the simple members which are said to be warm-moist: blood, materially, and the spirit, the flesh and the natural moisture are understood in this way as Averroes says in the second book of Colliget. And these are the simple members which are cold-moist, i.e. lymph, the fat and the marrow. And the other outstanding members are cold-dry according to their degree, viz. the bones, the nerves, the veins and the membranes.

Let us speak of the compound members and these are the members composed of the aforementioned simple members. And  p.41 they are therefore etherogenea, and etherogenea is that which is different in its parts and these members may be found in other types, i.e. in consimilar members. And it is not that every part of them maintains the purpose for its entirety. And they are called organic and instrumental members for they are instruments to the soul, viz. hands, face, heart and liver et cetera. And some of these are principal and others are non-principal. The principal members are the heart, liver, brain and testicles; and every member other than those members is a non-principal member.

And although the aforementioned organic members are composed of many elements in order to function and to support with quality and due quantity, nonetheless they have one simple consimilar part between them which is the beginning of the entire action. And others are to assist, others have been placed so the action may be better achieved, there are others without which an action could not be realised, and others have been created to protecF all these things as is clear in the first book De utilitate particularum and in the following books speaking of the other members in their entirety.

The heart, however, is the first of the organic members. It is composed of ligaments, of membranes and of hard flesh called caro lacertosa, and hence it is said to be dry, and it is said to be warm from many spirits since it is like a blazing fireplace for the body. And therefore doctors argue that the heart is warm-dry; nonetheless philosophers speak of it as being the beginning of life, being moderate or increasing in warmth and moisture. The liver, however, according to its substance, is seen to be warm-moist, for its greatest part is fleshy and sanguine and, as well as that, many arteries are connected to it. And the brain is cold-moist, although its substance is fibrous, nonetheless it differs from the marrow since it is from the humour called humor cerebralis that the marrow originates, and it is said to be warm in nature as is clear in the second book of the Books of Animals. And according to Lanfranc, humor cerebralis is a fibrous  p.43 substance which fills and surrounds the voids in the brain's compartments, and Lanfranc says that part of this substance may be damaged in head wounds and that the person may recover for it is not of the brain's internal substance. The spleen, however, and the kidneys, are of the warm-moist members although the kidneys are lower in temperature than the spleen and the spleen is much lower in temperature than the liver due to the thickness of the flesh in the spleen. And it is said that the flesh of the lungs is less moist than fat for when it is cast out it does not flow as fat does according to Galen in the aforementioned place above. And the lungs are said to be warm since they are nourished by the pure blood sent to them from the heart as Galen said in the fourth book of De utilitate. And consequently, it is to be understood of the constitutions of the other members that it is the constitution arising from the things of which they are composed which governs within them.

I begin the second chapter here of the anatomy of the skin. Est autem cutis quooperimentum corporis ex filis nervorum, venarum et arteriarum contectam ad defensionem et largisionem sensus creatum, i.e. the skin is a covering of the body woven from the threads of nerves, veins and arteries created to provide and to protect sensation. And there are two types, i.e. a type which envelops the outer members and is properly called cutis, i.e. skin, and another type which surrounds the inner members called a panicle6, i.e. properly a membrane. And it is called tela, i.e. the panicle of the brain; and the panicle surrounding the skull and the rest of the bones of the body is  p.45 called pericranium. And the skin of the ribs is called pleura, the skin or peritoneum of the abdomen [is called] siphac, the panicle surrounding the heart Is called pericardium and the panicle surrounding all the other internal members [is called] a panicle. Let us speak now of the fat, and it is like oil heating and lubricating the members. And there are two types, i.e. one externally adjacent to the skin and that is called adeps, i.e. fat properly; and there is another type internally near the abdomen and the kidneys and that is called axungia, i.e. lard properly. And following that there is the flesh of which there are three types: pure, simple flesh of which there is a small quantity and it is only found at the tip of the penis and between the teeth; the second type called caro glandulosa or adenosa, i.e. fibrous flesh, as is the flesh of the testicles, of the breasts and of the places called emunctories, and emunctories are the same as the sites to which the noble members dispense their superfluities such as the armpits, the jaws and the groin; the third type is called caro musculosa or lacertosa and there is much of that and it is found throughout the entire body in every place where there is clear, voluntary movement.

And the muscle is the organ of clear, voluntary movement according to Galen [in] De utilitate particularum and in the section which discusses the clear movements throughout the entire book. And although the muscles are simple members according to [their]  p.47 sense, nonetheless they are truly composed of nerves, of ligaments, of flesh which fills their villi and of panicles which cover them; and thus affirmed Avicenna in the first [chapter] of the Canon7. And you should know that a muscle and a lacert are the same except a muscle is so called from a semblance with the animal called mus, i.e. a mouse, and a lacert is so called from a semblance with the snake called lacert 8. For these animals are slim and long at each end, especially towards their tails, and they are large in the middle. And such are the muscles and the lacerts, except for the amount of difference that Henri outlines between them.

Note, according to the mind of Galen throughout De utilitate particularum, when the muscles have been composed as stated, that the tendons and round ligaments descend from them; when they approach the joints they are extended around them and they connect the joint together with the membrane covering the bones and move it. And when they leave the joint they are rounded again and make a tendon and make another muscle along with the flesh. And ligaments and tendons leave again from that muscle and they are extended around the joint and they tie the following joint and move it and thus they do not rest until [they reach] the external parts. Accordingly a muscle always lies before the joint and before the member which moves it and this is evident in the arms since the nerves sent from the  p.49 spinal cord of the neck to the arms take the form of a muscle in the neck and in the chest. After that, in coming to the shoulder joint, they extrude tendons and are extended and they surround the entire joint and they are set in the bone of the ball of the shoulders and they move it. And when it leaves that joint and goes two or three inches from it, it is rounded and makes a tendon again, and it makes a muscle with the flesh and with the ligament which left from the head of the scapula bone in the middle of the arm. And another tendon departs from it and is extended the breadth of three fingers near the elbow, and it encompasses the entire elbow and moves the forearm, i.e. the part from the elbow unto the hand. And after three more inches, it is rounded and makes a tendon and it accompanies the ligament coming from the elbow and makes a muscle along with flesh in the middle of the aforementioned forearm. And a tendon goes from there and is extended the breadth of three fingers from the joint of the hand, called the small hand, and it encompasses the joint of that aforementioned hand completely. Afterwards it is rounded and enters a muscle in the middle of the arm and a tendon goes from it to the fingers moving them. And consequently it is clear that the wounds which occur the breadth of three fingers near the joints are perilous since nerved tendons are clearly in those places with little flesh. And spasm results from their being wounded and death results from the spasm according to Galen in the third book of Tegni and in the fourth book of Terapentice.

And bear in mind that, according to the authority of Haly Abbas in the first part of the third sermon of The Teaching of the  p.51 King9, the lacerts are differentiated from the muscles in five ways, i.e. in quantity, in shape, in position, in composition and in the foundation of their tendons. And thus, in the sixth book of De utilitate, Galen states that the muscles have four positions: a vertical position, a horizontal position and two oblique positions. And the muscles amount to five hundred and thirty one according to Avicenna in the first [chapter] of the Canon.

Let us speak now of the anatomy of the nerves. Since the muscles are composed of nerves, of ligaments and of flesh, it is for that reason that the nerves should be spoken of after the anatomy of the flesh which is called caro musculosa. Nervus est membrum simplex ad tribuendum musculis et ceteris particulis sensum et motum seratum et cetera, i.e. “a nerve is a simple member created to give movement and sensation to the muscles and to the other parts.” And note that there were three reasons why the nerves were provided according to Galen [in] De utilitate. The first of those reasons: to give feeling in the sensory organs; the second reason: to give movement in the organs of movement; the third reason they were provided to all the other members is for the identification of the things which weaken them. And that is why we said the sensory organs, for nerves are not sent to the cartilage, or to the bones, or to much fibrous flesh. Nonetheless, according to Galen in the sixteenth book of De utilitate particularum, it is obvious that they are sent to the teeth.

And it is from the brain through itself or through the spinal cord, its servant, that the nerves originate or are revealed. And there  p.53 are some of them which emerge from the anterior brain, and they are like the part whence they come, softer and better prepared for the provision of feeling; and there are others which come from the posterior brain and from the spinal cord which emanates from it and they are firmer and better prepared for movement. And note, according to Galen in De interioribus, that feeling and movement are occasionally in one single nerve and are at other times in several nerves. And understand, moreover, that there are seven pairs of the nerves which come directly from the brain itself, and thirty which come from the spinal cord, and one single nerve from the lower backbone as Haly Abbas states.

And know that the ligaments are of the nature of the nerves and that they originate in the bones. And there are two ways in which they connect, i.e. some of them connecting the bones within and others connecting all the joints on the outside. And the tendons are more of the nature of the nerves than the ligaments are, for as the ligaments are in the middle between the nerves and the bones, so the tendons are in the middle between the ligaments and the nerves (which have feeling and movement). And they [the tendons] spring from the muscles and they take sensation and movement from the nerves by which the members are moved. And although they are round, as we said, going from the muscles, they are extended going to the joints. And they are positioned around the member so that they  p.55 draw the tendons which are to the inside of the member and so that they stretch the tendons which are to the outside. Nevertheless, when one of the tendons is drawn the other tendon is relaxed and therefore, following incision on the inside, the flexing of the member is thwarted; and by incision on the outside, stretching is thwarted as Galen states in the first and in the second book of De utilitate.

Licet venae et arteriae secundum intentionem Galeni et cetera, i.e. “(although) the veins and the arteries differ as to their origins according to the mind of Galen” in the sixteenth book of De utilitate particularum since the veins come from the liver and the arteries come from the heart. Although the vein is separated from the artery in some places such as the bend of the elbow to the anterior and [in] the member called rete mirabile of which we will speak below, nonetheless no artery is found without veins and there is concord and likeness between them on the surface of the body. And it is clear that a vein is the site of the nutritive blood and an artery is the site of the spiritual blood. And when those vessels come from their origins they are divided into two parts, and one part ascends and the other part descends and each of those parts is branched and they are directed in that manner branching to the extremities of the body to nourish and to enliven the members of the body throughout; and, from what is said in the [study of the] anatomy of the great members, the danger of haemorrhage bears on the branched veins because of their size.


Ossa ultima anathomiasanatur quia sunt in profunda corporis, i.e. “i.e. finally the bones are subjected to anatomy since they are in the depth of the body” and they are the most durable part in the entire body. And there are two hundred and forty of them according to Avicenna. And there are some in which marrow is contained and others in which it is not, and some are straight and others are crooked, and every bone is thicker near the joint than in the middle. And some of them have heads which go into the other bones, and some of them have cavities into which they accept those heads, and there are some others which have neither of those [characteristics]. And the bones which have rounded heads and cavities make a joint properly and dislocation 10 occurs to them and that is the same as the joint going out of place. When the other bones go out of place, however, they are then said to be separated 11. And according to Henri, citing Avicenna, the bone is apparently a spermatic, simple, consimilar, clean member, cold-dry in character, non-specific and inflexible. And its benefit to the body is to be a support for it and particularly to be a carrier for the members. And there are two  p.59 reasons why there are many bones in the body and that it is not just a single bone. The first of those reasons is that every member must move and if there was only one bone in the body that movement could not take place without moving the other members. The second of those reasons is that the body has various duties so that a variety of bones is necessary since many duties cannot be carried out by a single bone. Therefore it is necessary to have a variety of bones.

Let us speak now of the cartilage. And it is of the nature of the bones; nevertheless, it is softer than the bones and hence it was made to fill the absence of bones as is obvious in the eyelids and in the tip of the nose and of the ears, and so that the bones would connect better with their neighbours as is clear in the thorax and in the thighs. And therefore it was placed at the surface of the bones so that they would not be crushed by movement.

Expedita anathomia simplicium veniendum est ad anathomiam compositorum, i.e. “on completing the anatomy of the simple members let us come to the anatomy of the compound members.” Let us speak firstly of the anatomy of the head.


And the hairy part within which the animate members are contained is called the skull according to Avicenna.

And the size of the human head is greater than the size of the head of the other animals of equal size since the human brain is larger than that of other animals of equal size. And its form is round in the shape of a sphere, lightly compressed to each side.

And it is clear that its substance is bony, membranous and fibrous, and its character is cold according to the number of its parts. And the number of its parts, according to Avicenna, is ten or eleven, i.e. five parts containing and five or six parts contained. And at first, externally, is the hair, after that the scalp and then muscular flesh, after that a fatty panicle and then the skull. And following that, internally at first, is the dura mater and the pia mater and then the substance of the brain, and following that, however, below the brain is the pia mater and the dura mater again, finally a membrane called rete mirabile, i.e. a wonderful net. And after that is the bone which is the foundation of the brain and clusters of nerves come from the brain there and they should be spoken of here in order. Let us speak now of the fatty panicles which Galen calls pericranium which surrounds the entire skull. And it should be understood that it contains nerves and that its source is in the dura mater and it is connected with ligaments, with nerves and with veins which enter and depart through the sutures of the head which are called commissures.


And following that the bone called cranium is found, i.e. the skull. And it is not arranged as one continuous bone but as seven bones close to each other so that if injury should occur to one of those bones it should not pass to the other bone. And these bones are connected to each other with seratile sutures so that vapours can pass from the brain through them. The first of the skull bones is to the anterior and it is called coronal, and it is between the bones called orbit, (i.e. the bones which are above the eyes to the posterior under the temples) as far as the suture which divides the skull transversely. And the eye sockets are situated there and the nostrils in which lies a bone indented like a hen's crest from which goes the cartilage dividing the nostrils. Nonetheless it should be known that the bone called coronal is sometimes found divided along with a suture in the middle of the forehead transversely, and that is often found in women. The second bone is to the back and it is called the occipital, and it is closed by a suture which springs transversely resembling the number seven in algorism; it is hard and has an opening at its base through which passes the spinal cord [descending] from the brain through the middle of the spine to its base. The third and the fourth bone are in the middle of the skull to each side and they are called parietals. They are separated by a suture the length of the skull and by the two aforementioned sutures to the bones of the ears and they are quadrate. The fifth and sixth bones are called the petrous bones,  p.65 i.e. stony bones, since they are hard and they are called mendosa, i.e. false bones, since they are joined contiguously with the aforementioned bones called parietals. And the canals of the ears and pierced additions to which comes part of the superfluities of the brain are within them. And they are extended from the suture which we said to be in the semblance of the number seven called laude 12 at the base of the skull and the length of the aforementioned bones called parietals unto the middle of the temporal bones. The seventh bone is called basillare and is like a wedge or I think that it is an arched tree fastening and supporting all the aforementioned bones. And it is above the upper palate and there are many pores in it for the purging of the fatty superfluities and in addition it has a very hard substance.

And therefore there are seven bones in the head, and they are counted in the heads of dead people in this manner — boiled and dissected in bubbling water. And Galen counts them in De utilitate in the second chapter in that manner and moreover, he counts two other bones called bregma, supported on each side by two hard, solid  p.67 bones; one bone is to the posterior and another bone is to the anterior where the temporal bones are set. Accordingly there are seven principal bones containing the brain.

Nonetheless, there are other small non-principal bones for imparting some strength, such as the bone which divides the nostrils under the bone called coronal and the bones called ossa pacis, (i.e. the bones of peace), and they are the bones of the face and not of the head, and other bones called ossa acualia, i.e. bones resembling needles, and bones called ossa clavalia, i.e. bones resembling nails under the bones of the ears in which muscles and tendons opening the jaw are situated and fastened. Thus the number of bones in the entire head, both big and small, is fifteen according to Haly Abbas.

Let us now speak of the anatomy of the inner members of the head. And the first thing we encounter is the dura mater and the pia mater. And it is obvious that they are two venous panicles: one panicle towards the head and another panicle towards the brain surrounding and covering it. And it is from the dura mater through the sutures of the head that the membrane called pericranium, which covers the head externally, originates. And it is from the pia mater that nourishment is distributed in the brain. And veins and arteries come to these membranes though the sutures of the bones above. And after that the substance of the brain is under those membranes  p.69 and that is soft, white with a round figure excluding the protuberance emanating from it and dividing it length-wise from the middle to the anterior. And the sensory organs and many other organs are paired so that if one organ is damaged the other organ functions.

And there are three compartments in the head, and each compartment is in two sections or in two parts and each part is an organ of virtue. In the first part of the anterior compartment sensus communis, i.e. common sense, is manifested; in the second part ymaginativa13, i.e. the faculty of comparison, is situated; in the inner compartment the faculty of reflection, i.e. the faculty of reason, is situated; in the posterior compartment are servativa, i.e. the retentive faculty, and memorativa, i.e. the faculty of recollection. And the anterior compartment is the largest of these, the central compartment is the smallest and the posterior compartment is median. And there are passages between each of these two compartments through which the spirits pass and pierced protuberances are within the anterior compartments in which is situated the sense of smell. Seven pairs of sensory nerves spring from the largest part going to the eyes, to the ears, to the tongue, to the stomach and to the other members in general. Also, situated underneath the panicles is rete mirabile, i.e. a wonderful net woven from arteries alone, coming to it from the heart where a purse is made for the natural spirit.

Let us observe finally how the spinal cord goes from the lower part of the brain called parengelifada 14, and it is not that it goes  p.71 exposed, but rather it is covered by two membranes as is the brain. And it descends through the middle of the spine to its lower end and the nerves of movement in particular come from it as we stated above. And it resembles the brain since it is seen to be a part of it and therefore its ailments are akin to ailments to the brain.

And note every incision made in the head should be made according to the direction of the hair for in such a manner the muscles move.

Particule facsei sunt frons, supersilia, oculi, nares, aures et cetera, i.e. “these are parts of the face, viz. the forehead, the eyebrows,” the temples, the cheeks and the jaws along with the teeth. The forehead, however, contains nothing other than muscular flesh and skin for the bone underneath that is of the bone called coronal and its upper lid is raised and its cartilage is extended as if it were  p.73 doubled, and there it makes the form of the brows. Note the brows: that they were made for the decoration of the eyes and therefore they are covered by hair. And the incisions made in these parts should be made vertically and not transversely since it is as such that the muscle moving the brows runs.

Let us speak now of the eyes. And they are the instruments of sight and are situated under the bone called orbit i.e. that is a part of coronal, i.e. of the temple bones. And Galen states that the nerves of the eyes called optic nerves must be hollowed so that they may be paths for the spirits (and for the virtues), and they must proceed from each side to the eyes. And they join in one place within the head and then they are separated from each other, and one nerve goes to each eye from the side whence it initially came and not horizontally or going from the right side to the left side as some people have supposed. And the eyes are composed of seven membranes and of three or four humours.

The first membrane is to the outside, externally, called conjunctiva, and it is white, fatty and surrounds the entire eye except  p.75 that which is exposed to the membrane called cornea and it originates in the membrane covering the skull. [Of] the other membranes, however, there are only three materially covering the eyes completely; nonetheless, through diversity of the colours they differ in the centre of the eyes (in the nerve) called iris, it is said there are six there creatively, i.e. three towards the brain and three to the outside. The first of these membranes originates from the dura mater, its interior part is called sclera and the exterior part is called cornea. The second membrane emanates from the pia mater, its interior part is called secunda, the exterior part [is called] uvea, and the hole of the pupil is situated there. The third membrane comes from the nerve called optic nerve, its interior part is called retina and the exterior part above the crystalline humour is called aranea. And in that manner there are seven membranes creatively distinct in the eye and there are only three in terms of physical continuity.

Of the humours, however, the first humour is called crystalline and it is situated in the centre of the eye, the colour of crystal and in the form of a hailstone, and sight is primarily established there. And after that towards the brain is the humour called vitreous (i.e. a glassy humour) which contains and supports  p.77 the crystalline humour to the back. And both are activated by the aforementioned membrane coming from the optic nerve. Following that, to the anterior, is more of the humour called aqueous between the aforementioned membrane and the panicle coming from the pia mater. And he [Galen] assigns the fourth humour to be there and proves that in the place mentioned above, i.e. to be in the region of the pupil, and its name is ethereum lucidum, i.e. light, airy 15, and it is completely foamy.

And such is the position of the eye itself; nonetheless, the nerves which have movement are not less in descending to it from the second pair of nerves which come from the anterior, and there are six muscles moving it and it has veins, arteries and spongy flesh around the sockets filling the cavities which are there. And they are adjacent to cartilaginous eyelids with hair springing upwards. And the upper eyelid is shut by one muscle and opened by two transverse muscles.

Let us speak now of the nose. And there are fleshy parts, bony parts and cartilaginous parts in it. The fleshy part has a skin and there are two muscles at its exterior. The bony part, however, has two triangular bones and its angle is above the nose and its bases are joined together in the middle of the nose, longitudinally to one side and towards the cheeks to the other side. The cartilaginous part is two-fold for one part is on the outside, and that forms the exterior of  p.79 the nose, and the other part is within and it is that which divides the nostrils. The nostrils, however, are two pipes ascending to the bones called colatorii, i.e. strainers, where the base of the nose is, and the protuberances in which smell is located are there and they extend to the upper palate behind the uvula. And it is through those pipes that smoky vapours are drawn to the aforementioned place so the air is exhaled and inhaled to the lungs, and for the cleansing of the superfluities of the brain.

The ears are cartilaginous, convoluted, structured for hearing, situated over the bones called the petrous 16, i.e. the stony bone. And to them, through the curved foramen of those bones, come pori and nerves from the fifth pair of nerves of the brain in which is the hearing. And fibrous flesh lies under the ears into which the superfluities of the brain are received, and veins pass beside those places carrying part of the spermatic matter to the testicles according to Lanfranc and if they are cut generation is impaired; nevertheless Galen contradicts this, as Avicenna relates when he speaks of phlebotomy.

And the parts of the sides of the face are the temples, the brows and the cheekbones, and they contain muscular flesh along with veins and with arteries, and they contain bony parts and have many muscles in those parts. And at first there are seven of them which move the cheeks and the upper mouth. According to Avicenna they come from the collarbone and from the lower parts. After that,  p.81 there are twelve muscles which move the lower jaw and they are called temporals and they are very noble, very sensitive, and injury to them is very perilous. And therefore, nature wisely designed that aforementioned connection in the bones of the temple for their protection. And under that connection are the muscles, and nerves come from those muscles from the third pair of nerves of the brain. And there are many veins and arteries in those parts and especially about the temples, the eyelids and the lower and upper mouth.

And there are many bony parts in those places. And at first are the cheekbones, and while only two of those bones are obvious, joined under the nose, nevertheless there are four or five according to Galen. And there are other bones in the temples and in the lower jaw and in the lower part of the cheek, and there is a division, not entirely obvious, in that bone towards the extremity of the beard.

And after that I come to the parts of the upper and lower mouth, the palate and the tongue and uvula. The teeth, however, are of the nature of the bones although they are said to have feeling according to Galen, nonetheless, that is by reason of some nerves which come from the third pair of nerves of the brain to their roots. And frequently they amount to thirty-two, i.e. sixteen in each jaw; nevertheless, there are some people who only have twenty-eight, i.e. two called duales and they are the front teeth, and two called  p.83 quadrupli and they are the incisors, and two called canines, and eight called molars, i.e. the back teeth, and two called caysales. And their roots are set in the jaw, and there are some of them which have one root and some others which have two roots and some others which have three and some others which have four.

Let us speak now of the tongue. And the tongue is a soft, fleshy, spongy part composed of many nerves, of ligaments, of veins and of arteries, designed principally for tasting, for speaking and for controlling food in the mouth. And nerves in which are movement and taste come to it from the fourth and from the sixth pair of nerves of the brain. And it has nine muscles which spring from the bone called sagittal and from the bone called landiforme which is in the skull towards the back. And fibrous flesh lies under it in which are two openings through which the spittle passes, and that flesh is designed as a cushion for it and to moisten it. And above the tongue towards the upper palate are the places called fauces, i.e. the jaws, and tonsils, i.e. things resembling almonds, and pendulous uvula for preparing the air to refresh itself.

And the upper part of the entire mouth is called palatum, i.e. the palate, in its entirety, and it is covered with the parts from panicles which spring from the inner membrane of the stomach and of the meri.


And enough has been said of them.

“Collum principatum vel principalliter ordinatum est propter traciam airteriam,” i.e. “the neck is principally designed for the trachea” and consequently for the other parts which pass through it ascending and descending.

And there are, however, two parts in the neck: parts containing, and it is they which regulate the neck properly; and parts contained, and it is they which pass through the neck. And the parts contained are the aforementioned trachea, oesophagus or meri and epiglottis or guttur or gula, i.e. the throat, nerves, veins, arteries and part of the spinal cord. And let us discuss this anatomy in order beginning from the trachea17 as it is the most important.

And on completing the anatomy and dividing the throat or the neck vertically to the anterior the trachea shall be clear to you at the outset, which is a passage for the air going to the lungs proceeding from them to the throat. And it is composed of many cartilaginous rings, incomplete towards the meri, arranged from and connected with a strong, light membrane. And following that above the joints is meri or oesophagus which is a passage for the food proceeding from the throat, piercing the diaphragm unto the abdomen and the stomach. And it is composed of two membranes in which are villi. And the inner membrane is connected with a membrane of the mouth and the outer membrane is fleshy and is connected with the membrane of the stomach itself.


And above those two passages is the gula or guttur or epiglottis and we accept them as one feature here. And the cartilaginous part is created so that it would be an instrument to the voice and a key to the trachea when swallowing food along with some addition resembling a stick which is in the second part of it and that is composed of three cartilages. And twenty muscles are set around it moving it all and every part of it in ascending and descending. And afterwards let us consider the nerves doubled to the stomach and to the inner members providing them with feeling, and they turn up next to the throat for the voice. And let us consider the veins and the great arteries which ascend to the upper parts, branching beside the collarbone and by the sides of the neck, and its name is guidegi and appopletice and that is the same as the nape of the neck, the cutting of which is very perilous.

And following that let us look at the anatomy of the members called spondiles, and that is the bone which controls the back, and it has a perforation in its centre through which the spinal cord passes and perforations in its sides through which nerves pass. And there are many bones in addition to it which go up and down externally creating the teeth of the back. And the back is that which resembles the keel of a ship towards the back [of the body] from the head to the anus arranged from many different successive joints to shelter the spinal cord. And there are four principal parts in the back according to Galen in the twelfth book and in the thirteenth book of De utilitate particularum, i.e. the neck, shoulder blades, the lumbar region and  p.89 the part which some people call the os sacrum, i.e. holy bone, and other people say the os amplum, i.e. broad bone. And there are seven joints in the section of the neck; and there are twelve joints in the section called metaphrenum, i.e. the shoulder blades; and five joints in the section of the lumbar region and in the section of the kidneys; and four joints in the os sacrum. Therefore the sum of true joints is twenty-four. And [there are] four joints in the os sacrum and three joints in the caudal bone, and they are not true joints but apparently are ancillaries since the first three joints are very thick and they have no protuberances and there are no perforations in their sides except to the anterior, and they are very cartilaginous and especially the final section as it tapers in the form of a tail. And thus the sum of the joints is thirty.

And if one pair of nerves which springs from the spinal cord goes through each of the joints there will be thirty pairs of nerves coming from the spinal cord and one single nerve coming from the final part of it. And if seven pairs come from the brain the sum of the nerves will be thirty-eight pairs. Afterwards, along each side of the aforementioned spine is muscular flesh lying as if it were a cushion for the nerves and it is commonly called longe and it has a membrane along with that above the skull and the other thick bones connecting all the joints. And there are seven joints in the neck and seven pairs of nerves which come from part of the spinal cord going there and it  p.91 is they which bring movement to the shoulders and to the arms and to other parts of the head and of the neck itself.

And the flesh of the neck is divided in three parts. The first of those parts is long flesh properly called cervices, lying adjacent to the joints as was said, and muscular flesh from which tendons are made, moving the head and the neck the number of which is twenty, and other flesh filling the cavities which are there. There are two common ligaments, however, turning under the ears [going] towards the shoulder blade which connect the head to the neck and to the collarbone. Towards the back, however, there are larger ligaments than that which connect the spine in the sides, turning towards the shoulder blade. And there are other very great muscles so that the muscles, the tendons and the ligaments are around the neck lowering and lifting and moving the head and the neck.

And the incisions made in the neck should be made lengthwise for such is the direction of its parts. And not/, according to Lanfranc, whenever the spine dislocates, its image is always dangerous" 18, however, that depends on the greatness or the slightness [of the dislocation]. For the first joint of the joints of the neck is connected with very weak ligaments to the bones of the head. And it was very weakly connected to accommodate the many movements of the head. And the connection between the final joint of the neck, and that is the seventh joint, and the first joint of the joints of the ribs, and  p.93 that is the eighth joint, is weaker than the other connections to facilitate the neck's movement. And it is easier for those joints to dislocate than the other joints and the dislocation is very perilous. For if it is the upper connection which is released, the person dies suddenly as the fastened joint obstructs the breath which is essential to life from going to the inner members; and if it is the connection between the seventh joint and the eighth joint which is released the food passage is shut and the air passage is obstructed. And if any joint from the eighth joint downwards, in which sensation and movement are provided through the nerves coming from the spinal cord is loosened the sensation and the movement are forever destroyed. And if any joint from the eighth joint downwards went out of place completely, it is not cured until death. And should the spinal cord be completely crushed, sensation and movement of the lower members are destroyed.

Sequitur de anatomia spatulae, i.e. “let us observe now the anatomy of the shoulder blade”.

First, the muscles and the tendons which move the arms should be known, that they run above the shoulder blade descending from the neck and from the upper parts of the thorax and they are secured in surrounding and enclosing the shoulder joint. And nerves from the spinal cord of the neck are distributed to it and veins and arteries are branched down to it.

And it should be known that it has two bones. The first bone is the shoulder blade itself towards the back, the second is the  p.95 collarbone, called the clavicle, towards the breast. And the shoulder blade is likened to a shovel being broad and thin towards the back with a thin shard rising from its centre and there is some elongation and roundness in the shape of a knife-handle towards the joint, and there is a modification with three shapes at that end. The first shape is a bowl or a hole in the middle of that end into which goes the blunt end of the shoulder; the second shape is curved and pointed above that hole resembling the bill of a raven; the third shape lying to the outside of the shoulder blade is more curved resembling a ship's anchor. And the collarbone is round and is fastened in the upper parts of the breastbone. And it has two branches emanating from it, one of which goes to each shoulder, and it connects and fastens those two parts resembling the anchor and the bill of the raven so that cavity between them may hold more firmly and may make the aforementioned blunt end of the shoulder more secure. And those parts are not other bones but substantial parts of the shoulder blade itself as Galen and Lanfranc say, and it is clear by verification. And in addition it has three great connections which leave from the end of the shoulders to the ball [of the shoulder] and they are linked together by large tendons which spring from the muscles coming from the thorax and from the shoulder blade. And they are secured in the ball of the shoulder which moves them, some ascending, some descending and others rotating. And the part below that joint is called subacella, i.e. the armpit, and that is filled with fibrous flesh and the superfluities of the heart are sent there.

Consequenter dicendum est de brachio,rete mirabile i.e. and the entire arm, which Galen divides into three great parts in De utilitate, should  p.97 now be spoken of. The first part is called ulna, i.e. the arm; the second part, i.e. brachium parvum, i.e. the forearm, from the elbow to the hand; the third part is called atrochita, and that is called the small arm, called hand. And there are two parts in the hand of which we spoke, viz. skin and flesh.

And let us speak collectively of the arteries and of the veins which are found clearly in the arms. And when they come branching from their sources to the armpits they are branched again into two sections, and one section goes to the outer part of the arm and the other section to the inner part. And the section which goes to the outer part is divided first, and one branch ascends over the shoulder blade to the head, and the branch which goes downwards is divided once more into two parts. And one of these branches is divided the length of the arm on the exterior into many parts and that branch is called funis brachii, i.e. the rope of the arm, and the other branch at the upper part of the arm goes to the anterior and it is manifested in the bend of the elbow or the arm and it is called cephalica, i.e. the vein of the head, and it descends from that place to the hand and it is seen clearly between the thumb and the index finger. The vein there is called cephalica ocularis. And the other branch, divided in the armpits going to the inner part of the arm, is manifested in the bend of the arm and is called basilica, i.e. the vein of the liver. And from  p.99 there it descends to the hand and is clearly seen between the third finger and the little finger, and there it is called salvatella. And a single common branch is formed of the two aforementioned veins coming from the shoulders and is seen clearly between those two veins in the bend of the elbow (a little above it) and it is called mediana or cordis19, i.e. the inner vein or the vein of the heart, commonly called the vein of the arm. And note, according to Lanfranc, that there are three veins in each arm which may be bled in five places. For the vein of the head is bled in two places, i.e. a little above the bend of the elbow, and the muscles there must be avoided so it will not flow since it is very close to that place, and the same vein is bled between the thumb and the index finger a bit above the place where they are joined together. And the vein of the liver is likewise let in two places: the first place is low down in the bend of the elbow and it is over a great artery or it is very close to it there and it must be avoided with great care; and the same vein is let between the little finger and the third finger above the framework of the hand. And from those two muscles or from those two veins, the inner vein of the arm, called the vein of the forearm, is positioned and it is similarly let in the bend of the arm to the anterior and it must be strictly avoided there so that it will not touch one of the surrounding  p.101 veins. And there are four or five large veins in the arm and as many arteries, the incision of which is dangerous due to their great blood flow. And there are many other branches in which surgeons do not have to invest their energy due to their fewness.

De nervus, i.e. of the nerves. It is said that four prominent nerves come from the spinal cord through the joints of the neck to each individual arm, i.e. one nerve to the back, another nerve to the front, another nerve above the arm and another nerve underneath. And when they are completely divided they bear movement and sensation to all the arms through themselves going to the depths of the body or mingled with muscles, with tendons and with ligaments. And muscles are made from those nerves and from flesh and from membranes, i.e. four great principal muscles in the forearm which move the brachium parvum, i.e. the part from the elbow to the hand, and four others which move the manus parva, i.e. the framework of the hand, and five in the manus parva which move the fingers. And their nerved tendons are exposed, as said above, and they are bared of flesh the breadth of three fingers beside the joint, and if they are severed the danger will be great.

And there are many ligaments in the arm which descend from the bones and they pass through the joints and they keep them connected along with the extended tendons and their severance is dangerous.


Ultimo de ossibus, i.e. let us speak “finally of the bones” of the hand in accordance with the aforesaid division. And the first part mentioned, called ulna or adjutorium, i.e. the arm, is along with a single fibrous bone and it is rounded at each end. And the rounded upper part which is a single unit goes into the cavity of the shoulder blade and creates the shoulder joint. And the lower part of it is twofold and has a rung in its centre resembling a wheel on which passes a rope with which water is drawn. And it has a little knot on the inside and a cavity on the outside into which is received the additamentum becatum, i.e. the head of the biggest bone of the arm and that is the bend of the elbow when the arm is stretched so those rounded heads go into the cavities of the bones called focilia, i.e. bones of the forearm, and they are rotated when the arm stretched and folded and form the joint of the elbow. And thus begins the forearm, i.e. the second part of the arm, in which are two bones called focilia. And the larger bone to the rear is longer than the other bone because of the additamentum becatum, i.e. the bend of the aforementioned elbow, and it moves towards the little finger and makes a round knot protruding outwards like an ankle. The smaller bone, however, is to the fore and moves from the bend of the elbow to the hand on the side of the thumb as if it were to add something to its end. And in each of their ends are cavities which receive the ends of bones. As towards the elbow, they receive ridged heads in the  p.105 bones of the arm at the additamentum becatum, i.e. the bend of the elbow, and towards the hand they receive the ends of the bones of the manus parva, i.e. the framework of the hand. And those two bones are larger, being connected to each other at the joint, and in the middle they are thinner and further from each other so that they may enclose nerves and muscles.

And as these two of the bones of the framework of the hand meet they make a joint and there the hand begins in which are three rows of bones, and their lower parts are connected with the heads to the cavities of the upper parts. In the first row are three bones, since one of them, focilis, is as if it were above it, occupying the place of one bone. In the second row there are four bones, and in the upper bone is a little hollow into which the first of the bones of the thumb is fastened, and the bones of these two rows are short. In the third row are four bones longer than the others. The first part of the second row is called racheta or carpus, the second part is called pecten or metacarpus, and after that come the fingers and there are three bones in each finger and there are five fingers. Therefore there are fifteen bones in the fingers: five in the framework of the hand, two in the forearm and one in the arm. Thus there are twenty-nine bones in the entire arm.

And incisions in them must be made lengthwise. And of these joints the joint of the elbow is the most difficult to dislocate and to direct into place, the shoulder joint is the easiest and the joint of  p.107 the hand is moderate. And you may consider in paralysis of the arms that the medicines should be applied to the joints of the neck whence the nerves are sent.

Pectus sive thorax est arca membrorum spiritualium, i.e. “the thorax is the coffer of the spiritual members” and therefore there are parts containing and parts contained in it. There are eight parts contained, i.e. lungs, membranes, ligaments, nerves, veins, arteries and meri or oesophagus. There are four parts containing, i.e. skin, muscular flesh, breasts and bones.

And it is sufficiently clear in the above section what skin and flesh are. And the breasts should be spoken of since they are above the flesh and we say that they are composed of white, fibrous, spongy flesh and of veins, of arteries and of nerves. And thus they have a connection with the heart, with the liver, with the brain and with the members of generation. De musculis, i.e. “of the muscles,” let us speak of them briefly. And there are eighty or ninety muscles in the thorax according to Avicenna and some of them are common to the neck, others to the shoulders and to the shoulder blades, others to the diaphragm and others are properly at the thorax, others at the ribs and others at the back.

And the bones of the thorax are threefold. To the anterior there are seven bones called ossa thoracis, i.e. the bones of the  p.109 thorax, and they are very cartilaginous. And on the first of those bones at the part of the throat, the foot of the bone called furcula, i.e. the collarbone, of which we spoke above, is accepted in the hollow. And below that in the place called forcella beside the mouth of the stomach is a cartilaginous addition called ensiforme being similar to the point of a sword. And to the posterior there are twelve joints through which passes the spinal cord from which emerge twelve pairs of nerves bearing movement and sensation to the aforementioned muscles. To the sides, however, there are twelve ribs in each side, i.e. seven true and five false since they are not complete like the other ribs as is clear to the person who sees them. And that is sufficient of the parts containing.

De partibus contentis, i.e. “of the parts contained.” If you wish to carry out the anatomy properly you must incise the thorax to its sides and cast aside the anterior carefully in order [to reach] the member called mediastinum, i.e. the connection between the heart and the lungs, and the internal members will then be clear to you. And the first most principal member, i.e. the heart, is the beginning of life and it is therefore positioned like king and lord in the middle of the thorax without inclining to either side according to Galen in the sixth [book of] De utilitate. And this is understood, that the heart  p.111 is positioned in the middle since it is seen that the upper part of it inclines slightly to the left for the place of the liver and that the lower part inclines to the right in order to give room to the arteries. The form of the heart is in the shape of an inverted pear for the acute end of the heart points to the lower parts of the body and its wider part, i.e. its root, points towards the upper part. The substance of the heart, however, is hard like a lacert and it has two ventricles, i.e. right and left, and there is a cavity in its centre, as Galen says, where the thick, nutritive blood which comes from the liver is digested and made subtle and spiritual. And it is dispatched through the arteries to the whole body and primarily to the principal members, i.e. to the brain where in digestion it assumes another nature so that animate blood is made of it, and to the testicles and to the liver where natural blood is made of it, and to all the other members vivifying and preparing them since it is an instrument of the virtues of all the body and a perfect connection for the soul.

And thus it has two openings. And it is through the right opening that a branch of the vein goes which ascends and carries blood from the liver to it. And part of it leaves from that same branch called vena arterialis to nourish the lungs, and that residue is dispatched in many branches to the outer members as said above. And a pulsating vein leaves from the left opening and part of it called  p.113 arteria venalis goes to the lungs carrying polluted vapours with it from the lungs and it directs air to the heart refreshing it. And above these two openings are three membranes which open and close on blood and on the spirit in due time. And beside that are two veins or two auricles through which the prepared air from the lungs passes in and out. And a cartilaginous bone is found in it which supports and strengthens it. And the heart is enveloped in a strong, membranous capsule which Galen calls pericardium to which nerves descend as they go to the other inner members. And the heart is bound, sustained and fastened to the lungs by the member called mediastinum. And thus it is obvious that it has an affiliation with all the members and it is obvious that it has such an amount of dignity that it does not sustain ill health for long.

And the lungs are set above the heart refreshing it. And it is a soft, thin and spongy substance in which three kinds of vessels are implanted, i.e. a branch of the vein called vena arterialis which springs from the right opening of the heart as we said, a branch of the artery called arteria venalis which comes from the left opening of the heart, and another branch along with this from the trachea carrying air with it for the heart. And these vessels are distributed throughout the lungs so that very small parts are made of them. And the lungs  p.115 have five wings, i.e. two to the left and three to the right. And behind the lungs, next to the fifth joint of the back, passes the meri or oesophagus of which we spoke above. And the vein called vena cava of which we will speak below moves in the same direction as does matter of the vein called aorta which ascends from the heart. And they all pass through the diaphragm. And all these along with the trachea make one feature filled with membranes, with strong ligaments and with fibrous flesh [going] to the throat.

And consequently there are three membranes in the chest: the first membrane is that which shelters all the ribs within; the second membrane is that which divides the right side from the left; the third membrane called diaphragm, i.e. the diaphragm, is that which divides all the spiritual members from the nutritive members. And they are composed of pleura, i.e. the membrane which shelters the ribs, of siphac, of the inner panicle of the panicles of the abdomen, of a stringy membrane formed of nerves sent to it from the spine, and of fleshy parts and especially [those] near the ribs. And thus it is clear that that part is a muscle and its function is to assist in breathing and in the expulsion of the superfluities as Galen states.

Uenter equivocatur ad duo, i.e. the abdomen has two definitions. The first definition: it is accepted for that which the explanation of the Arabic language calls stomach, and in the interpretation of the Greek language stomach is applied to meri or  p.117 oesophagus; in the interpretation of the Arabic language, however, stomach is applied to the abdomen. The second manner it is accepted is for the region of all the nutritive members and it is as such that it is accepted here.

And let us inquire about these, following Mondino, the nine things examined in the other members. And firstly of its general position in total: it is seen that it is under the region of the spiritual members. And then, of its particular position: and it is seen that the upper part of it, which the old people call pars precordialis, is beside the cartilage of the breast in the place called forcella; the part called pars stomaticalis is the breadth of three fingers from there to the navel; and the part called pars sumenialis is from the navel downwards; and hypochondria are below the ribs to each side; ilia however, i.e. the lumbar region, are above the haunches.

And the number of parts of the abdomen may not be seen clearly if the abdomen is not opened from above, longitudinally and transversely. And opened in that manner the parts containing and the parts contained may be seen there. And the parts containing to the anterior are mirach and siphac, and to the posterior are five joints of the kidneys and the flesh underneath them. Mirach however, truly consists of four parts, i.e. of skin, of fat, of a fleshy membrane and of muscles from which the tendons spring. Siphac, however, is not another feature but rather it is a membrane in an opening within mirach. Thus the difference between mirach and siphac is clear.


The parts contained are seven. And at first is zirbus, then the intestines, and after that the stomach, the liver, the spleen, the mesentery and the kidneys, for we will speak of the bladder and of the uterus in the anatomy of the haunches and they should be observed in order. And the aforementioned fat and the fleshy membrane are known to everyone. And for that reason muscles were created in the abdomen, i.e. they strengthen and assist the other members in the expulsion of the superfluities. And there are eight of them according to Galen in the fourth chapter of De utilitate, i.e. two which spring vertically from the back of the stomach to the bones of the pelvis; and two horizontally which proceed from the back above the abdomen, arranging themselves through the centre of the abdomen to the straight covering to each side; and there are four others transversely and two of those come from the ribs of the right side and they go to the left side of the bones of the haunches and of the pelvis, and the two muscles go from the left ribs to the right side of the aforementioned bones forming a cross of themselves through the centre of the abdomen in the shape of the letter Q. And with these muscles elevated and cut, siphac, which according to Galen is called peritoneum, is obvious. It is thus called peritoneum because peri is the same as circum and circum is the same as round, and tendo is the same as stretch for it stretches around the abdomen. And it is a subtle, nerved, hard membrane ensuring that the muscles do not encroach on the natural members and that they may be extended and contracted according to the nature of the other members and lest it be easily ruptured so that that which is within extrudes as happens in people with a hernia. And it is designed to link the intestines to the back.


And thus the position of the parts containing the abdomen is clear.

Having observed these things, I come to the parts contained within the abdomen where zirbus called omentum or epyploum comes first. And it is called epyploum since epi is the same as supra and supra is the same as above, and ploum is the same as eminere and eminere is the same as a manifestation or eminence, for it is clear above the internal organs. And it is a membrane surrounding and covering the stomach and the intestines composed of two dense, subtle membranes assembled together from arteries, from many veins and from much fat designed to heat the aforementioned members. And its origin is in the part of siphac towards the back, from which it is obvious when part of it exits in the wounds, that it is easily altered by the fats. And hence it should not be cut but tied for fear of haemorrhage, i.e. very great or excessive blood flow.

And following that let us speak of the intestines since they hinder the anatomy of the other members. And the intestines are vessels made from two membranes for the perfection of the first digestion, to filter and to give chyle to the liver through the veins called mesenteries, and they are designed for the expulsion of the faecal superfluities. There are six entrails; although they are all continuous they have various forms and functions by which they are differentiated, i.e. three of them are small and three large. The first intestine after the stomach is called portanarium or duodenum; the second intestine is called jujenum; the third intestine is called subtile; the fourth intestine is called cecum; the fifth intestine is called colon;  p.123 the sixth intestine is called rectum in which towards the end are muscles which govern the superfluities.

And so that the anatomy may be seen more clearly it must be initiated at the last intestine called rectum or longaon. And so that the faeces do not hinder the making of the anatomy it is ligated in the lower section in two places and cut in the middle of the ligature, the lower part of it is released and the upper part is retained. And let it be drawn until the lumbar region is reached where the intestine called colon which is large and cellular begins, and it is there that the faeces take their own shape, and it easily measures two arms' length. And it inclines sharply to the left kidney and ascends from there to the spleen, and it turns left at the anterior to the right of the stomach under the third wing of the liver where it receives a certain part of the choler which induces it to expel. And it turns descending towards the right kidney until it reaches the top of the haunch where the intestine called monoculum or cecum begins. And it is called cecum for it is seen to have only one opening; nonetheless it has two and they are very close to each other so that matter goes in through one opening and out through another. And it is [also] called saccus and it is in the shape of a stomach for it is called the second stomach and it is easily the length of a palm of a hand. And because of the proximity it has with the lumbar region, and because it is not well bound, it collapses when the peritoneum breaks into the scrotum, as Avicenna says. And from it the ileum originates which is a slender, long intestine of seven or eight arms' length and it rotates greatly about the back and the lumbar region. And after that the intestine called jujenum is found  p.125 and it is called this name being devoid of the many veins called the mesenteries going to it and from the part of choler dispatched between it and the intestine called the duodenum, and it is so called because it is twelve inches in length, and it is called portanarium because of its function as porta is the same as opening and it is the lower opening to the stomach as meri is the upper opening to it.

And thus it is possible to see how clysters are carried in the ill health of the intestines and the places where the medicines ought to be applied externally. For in colic it ought to be applied to the anterior and to the right and to the left, and in yliaca to the sides. And you should know, however, that wounds of the small intestines may not be healed since they are more membranous, and that wounds of the large intestines may be healed since they are fleshier. And in order that the other members will be seen more clearly, it is advisable for you to bind the portanarium, cutting as you did above, and the intestines are drawn. And observe, if you will at first, the mesenteric, and that is nothing other than a web of the veins called mesenteries which are innumerable there, branched from a vein called the portal vein, i.e. the opening of the liver, to the intestines. And they are enveloped and fortified by membranes and by ligaments connecting the intestines to the back, and they are full of fat and of fibrous flesh commonly called rodol which will be seen separated from the intestines. And these having been cast aside, observe the anatomy of the stomach.

Stomachus seu uenter est organum digestionis prime, chile generatum, i.e. “the stomach is the organ of the first digestion which generates the chyle.” As it is the mesenteries which prepare the digestion of the liver so it is the mouth of the stomach which prepares the digestion of the stomach. Hence Avicenna says these words:  p.127 “Nutriens in masticacione 20 aliquam digestionem habet,” i.e. “the food takes a manner of digestion in chewing.” And meri or oesophagus serves the upper part of the stomach directing the foods to it and serves the intestines along with the mesenteries in expelling its toxins from it and in distributing the profitable, digested things which are within it. And it is seemingly arranged in the middle of the animal as a general organiser of all the parts according to Galen in the fourth [book of] De utilitate in the first chapter. And although it is positioned under the thorax in the middle of the body, nonetheless the upper part inclines slightly to the left side adjacent to the twelfth joint of the back where the diaphragm ends; the lower part, however, inclines to the right and its function is to carry out digestion through the distinctive heat of the fleshiness of its base, as Avicenna says, and from other heat which overflows from its neighbours. For the liver is to the right, as if it were above it, heating it [the stomach] with its wings or with its fingers; and the spleen is to the left transversely, heating it with fats and with its veins, and melancholy is sent along with that to it to whet the appetite; and the heart is above it vivifying it with its arteries; and the brain is distributing a branch of nerves to it for the provision of sensation to its upper part; and to the rear it has the veins called chilis and aorta inclining to the lower members; and it has many ligaments which connect it to the joints of the kidneys. And thus its action, its position and its relationships are clear.


The number of the parts of meri, however, were outlined above, and it is composed of two fleshy membranes on the outside and a nerved membrane on the inside with vertical villi for drawing, with transverse villi for retaining and with latitudinal villi for expelling. And its form and its figure are round and long in the manner of a drinking vessel with crook, i.e. bending in this way so that its openings are higher than the body ensuring that that which is contained within will not leave suddenly. And its apparent capacity is that it holds two or three pitchers of wine. And it may suffer many illnesses. And we are assisted by anatomy in the treatment of it since medication may be applied to the upper part of it towards the twelfth upper joint of the back and to the anterior from the opening of the chest unto the navel.

And after that let us speak of the liver. Epar est organum digestionis secunde a qua generatur sanguinis, i.e. the liver is the organ of the second digestion which generates blood. And it is situated in the right side under the false ribs and it has the form of the moon and is arched towards the ribs and concave towards the stomach with five wings in the shape of a hand encompassing the stomach from above. And the liver, like the other internal members, has a membrane surrounding it to which comes a little nerve giving it sensation. And the liver, along with its membrane, is attached to the diaphragm, and consequently to the strong ligaments which are above it, and to the back, to the stomach and to the intestines. And it has a connection with them, with the heart, with the kidneys, with the  p.131 testicles and with all the members. And the substance of the liver is red, fleshy as if it were coagulated blood, arranged fully of veins and of arteries as we say later. And the liver is composed of many things, nonetheless it has one simple part, i.e. flesh, through which it is the source of the veins. For Galen says in the second book On The Natural Faculties in the final chapter and in the fourth book of De utilitate in the fifth chapter, as three substances are made from the must through boiling in its vessel, likewise three substances are made from the chyle through boiling in the liver, i.e. two superfluities and one natural substance with a wateriness common to the other humours, and these were commonly called massa sanguinaria in our schools, containing within themselves four natural, nutritive substances as is fully established in the second (book of) De elementis. And these humours, created in the liver as we said, are two-fold, for some of them aree called natural from the nature of the nutrition and others unnatural. The natural humours, however, are sent with blood to the whole body generating and nourishing it. The unnatural humours are separated and sent to various places producing some benefit or are expelled from the body unto certain places as choler is sent to the gall bladder, melancholy to the spleen, lymph to the joints and the aqueous superfluity to the kidneys and to the bladder. And they are expelled from the body and they travel with the blood. And sometimes they become rancid and produce fever and they are driven out, and some of them are released, unconsciously or consciously, by sweat or by scabs or by an eruption or by an abscess.

Thus there are four natural humours and four unnatural and aqueous humours which the old people called blood, choler, lymph, and melancholy produced in the liver. They are thus distributed in this manner, i.e. the vein called portal emerges from the cavity of the liver, divided into the mesenteries, and they are innumerable, implanted in the stomach and in the intestines and they draw and  p.133 carry all of the juice of the chyle to the liver, and that vein with its roots distributes it throughout the liver. From the back of the liver, however, a vein called cava or chilis emerges and, with its roots and meeting the root of the other vein, it draws out from the entire liver the blood produced in it. And in branching downwards and upwards, as we said above, it distributes and carries that blood to the whole body for nutrition where the third and the fourth digestion are completed. And proper passages and openings go from the liver which carry the superfluities of the aforementioned digestion to their own places which shall be spoken of later.

And it is clear from what is said that medicine of the liver ought to be applied to the right side and it ought to have some astringency because of the substances of the liver.

Nunc dicendum est de cisdi felis, i.e. “the vessel of the gallbladder is now to be spoken of.” And it is a purse or a membranous bladder situated in the concavity of the liver at the internal wing designed to accept the choleric superfluities produced in the liver and that purse has two mouths or two openings a little apart as they travel as one according to Mondino. The first of these openings goes to the middle of the liver receiving choler. The second opening goes to the base of the stomach and to the intestines cleansing them, discharging choler to them for the aforementioned benefit. And its capacity: it is possible to see that it holds a full glass of wine. And understand that it is able to suffer blockages in [both] its common opening and in its own opening. When they are in the common opening choler is not drawn and is not expelled, [but remains] with blood, and at that time the urine and all the body are made yellow. And when there are blockages in its own opening the benefits it makes for the members to which they send choler are deficient and it produces many dreadful diseases according to Galen in the sixth book De egritudine et synthomate and in the fifth book of Interiorum21.

Splen est receptorum superfluitatis melancolice in epate generate, i.e. “the spleen is the receptive vessel of the superfluities of melancholy created in the liver.” And it is arranged in the left side encompassing the stomach transversely. And its substance is loose  p.135 and spongy, blacker than the substance of the liver. And its figure is long as if it were quadrangular. And it is tied by its membrane to the ribs towards its rear and to the stomach and zirbus towards its cavities. And the spleen has two openings and through one of those openings it draws the aforementioned superfluities from the liver and through the other opening it sends it to the stomach for the aforementioned benefit.

And the spleen may suffer many illnesses since it is prepared well for hardness and blockage for the aforementioned reason. And if there were a defect in the cleansing of the liver the body thins and becomes discoloured; and if there were a defect in sending melancholy to the stomach the appetite is impaired as is read in the part above. And know that the impairment of continuity is not so dangerous here as it is in the liver. And it is cleansed properly through the abdomen and its medicine is applied to the left side as Galen says in the thirteenth book of Terapentice.

Renes sunt particule ad mundandum sainginim a superfluetate aquos[a] ordinati, i.e. “the kidneys are parts designed for the cleansing of blood from the aqueous superfluities.” And there are two of them, i.e. one kidney to the right beside the liver, and another kidney to the left lower than that. And their substance is hard and fleshy and their form is round like compressed eggs. And they have cavities into which they receive that which they draw to them. And in each of the kidneys are two openings, i.e. one opening through which they draw the liquid from the chilis and through that from the liver; through the second opening they expel that liquid, called the urine, to the bladder. And veins, arteries and nerves, from which the membrane surrounding them is made, come to the kidneys. And the kidneys are attached to the back and are surrounded by fat on each side. And behind the kidneys beside the spine is the lumbar region and above them lie the kidneys as if they were a pillow for them. And between the two kidneys above the joints, the veins called aorta and chilis pass unto the lower members, and from those veins next the kidneys the spermatic vessels are created which will be spoken of later.

And the number and size of the joints may then be seen and they are found [to be] larger than the other joints. And through them  p.137 five pairs of nerves are sent or come from the spinal cord to all the abdomen and unto the parts of the thighs and the legs.

Per ancha[s] hie intelliguntur partes inferiores ventris, i.e. “the haunches are understood here as being the lower part of the abdomen” from the navel unto the thighs and the uniting members. And their parts are three-fold since there are parts of them containing, other parts contained, and parts which extend outwards. The parts containing are mirach, siphac, zirbus and bones. The parts contained, however, are the bladder, spermatic vessels, the womb in women, the intestine called longaon and rectum, nerves, veins and arteries which descend to the lower members. And the parts which extend outwards are didymi, the testicles and the penis, and they should be spoken of according to order.

And let us speak firstly of the parts containing. And we spoke of mirach, of siphac and of zirbus in the anatomy of the upper abdomen, therefore let us speak here of the bones. And two types of bones are found in the haunches, for at first, to the back, there are three or four joints in the bone called os sacrum (i.e. the bone closest to the end of the bones of the spine) and two or three cartilaginous joints in the bone called caudal (i.e. the lower bone called the caudal). And being the first joint of the bone called os sacrum it is very thick and the bones following it divide towards the anus and the lower back. And the foramen through which the nerves of those bones pass are to the anterior and not in their sides like those which proceed from the other bones of the back. To the sides, however, are two large bones, i.e. one bone to each side, and they are joined from behind with the aforementioned large joint of the joints of the os sacrum, and are joined to the anterior in the pelvis making the bone of the pelvis so that those bones are broad to the rear and are therefore called ossa iliorum (i.e. the bones of the lumbar region). And in the middle of them towards their exterior parts, are cavities or hollows in which vertebrae are received (i.e. the heads of the thighbones). And close to that, towards the anus, a large perforation is in each bone of which Galen says in the sixteenth book De  p.139 Utilitate in the ninth chapter that it is necessary to make a large perforation and passage between the heads of the thighbones and the haunches through which nerves, muscles, veins and arteries go from the upper and lower parts. And those bones are slender towards the pelvis, connecting together in the pelvis in the shape of a gill. And although that bone is truly one bone, nonetheless it has three names and therefore some people say it has three bones, i.e. ilium to the upper part, pectin22 or pubis to the fore and femur in the middle.

Let us now speak of the parts contained. And the first feature we meet is the bladder which is a receptive vessel like a bucket or a sack carrying the filtered urine from the kidneys. And its substance is strong, membranous, composed of two membranes and its shape is round. And its capacity is almost that of one full pitcher. And its position is immediately under the pelvis. And two long rods called ureters which come from the kidneys are implanted in it going through its sides diagonally and which carry the urine from the kidneys. And it has a fleshy neck with muscles which close and open it, and that neck turns away from it in going through siphac to the penis in men, and in women it goes the breadth of two fingers without turning under the vulva through which the urine is expelled. And thus it is clear that the bladder is disposed to blockage because of the neck, and for stones because of the arenaceous urine which it receives and retains.

Let us now speak of the spermatic vessels. And apparently they are veins which descend beside the kidneys from the veins called chilis and aorta carrying blood to the testicles of the man and woman from which sperm is made through the final digestion. And that sperm is the seed and fruit of human nature. And those vessels extend outwards in the men since their testicles are external, and they are within in the women since their testicles are internal, as we shall say later. And from those it is clear, by the source of these vessels, that the sperm accepts the nature of the heart, the liver and the kidneys, and that the brain has communication with it through the nerves which descend from it unto the testicles in sensing their pleasure. And consequently the sperm comes from the whole body, and not according to substance but rather according to its ower, as worthy Consiliator23 says.


24 And after that let us speak of the womb for the sake of women. And the womb is the field of human generation and for that reason it is a receptive organ. And its position is between the bladder and the intestine called longaon. And its substance is membranous, composed of two membranes. And its form is round, along with two horns or with two covered branches, and at their tips are small testicles implanted in their upper part. And it has a broad canal towards the anterior, and it is as if it were the penis turned upside-down or inside-out as Galen says in the fourteenth book of De utilitate particularum. And there are two chamber-like branches above along with testicles resembling the scrotum, and there is a common void in its centre like the parts of the pelvis. And it has a pipe-like neck below like the base of the penis and it has an outer opening called vulva, i.e. the vulva, like the base of the penis, and in the centre of that is the member called tentigo resembling the tip of the penis and the length of that neck is, like the length of the penis, i.e. eight or nine inches. And although only two cavities are clear in it, as the number of breasts, nonetheless there are three chambers in each of those chambers and one chamber in its middle so that seven chambers are found in it according to Mondino. And it has a connection with the brain, with the heart, with the liver, with the stomach, and it is bound to the back. And there are veins between it and the breasts called lactales and menstruales, and it is through them the part of the menstrual blood, which is the material for the breast milk, passes; and it is for that reason Hippocrates said the milk was a brother to the menstrual blood and therefore it does not happen that the menstrual blood comes easily and a woman has milk at the same time.

And under those three parts the intestine called longaon or rectum, which we omitted above in the anatomy of the intestines, is found, and that is the receptive vessel of the superfluities of the first digestion. And its substance is membranous as are the other intestines, and its length is as long as a palm of a hand beside the kidneys and lying directly above the caudal bone and the lower part of it is called anus. And there are two muscles surrounding it which open and close it and five branches of veins called haemorrhoidals are connected there. And it has a close relationship with the bladder, thus they suffer together during ill health.


Let us speak now of the parts which begin externally and let us observe firstly the didymus and the scrotum. And two things are worthy to be observed in them, i.e. firstly, parts containing and then parts contained. The parts containing are equal to those in the abdomen, as we said above, because it is from those that these parts come, i.e. mirach coming from mirach, siphac coming from siphac, externally passing over the pelvic bone. The beginning of it, where it exits, is called didymus, i.e. cord of the testicles. And it is therefore called didymus being two-fold. The last part, however, is called osseum, i.e. scrotum. There are three parts contained: first are the testicles which are principal organs of generation since it is in them that the sperm is perfected. And their substance is fleshy, fibrous and white. And after that are the spermatic vessels coming from the aforementioned places and they are two-fold, i.e. a carrying vessel and an expelling vessel. And the carrying vessels are the aforementioned veins and arteries coming from the chilis vein and aorta; and the expelling vessels are the vessels ascending beside the neck of the bladder which expel the sperm from the hole of the penis. And along with that there is one suspensory, sensory nerve which descends from the brain to the testicles. Accordingly, those aforementioned four bodies are within the didymus and the scrotum. And thus it is obvious that there ought to be a perforation beside the groin in mirach and in siphac through which the above-mentioned bodies descend, i.e. the vein and the artery bearing the sperm and the nerve and the fourth passage to the outside beside the neck of the bladder unto the end of the penis. And it is apparent when the perforation beside the groin is greatly dilated that the bodies above such as the zirbus and the entrails are able to exit and fall into the didymus or the scrotum and make ruptures or crepatures. And if it were other matter it would be a hernia.

And following that let us speak now of the penis. And the penis is the prince of human nature, and following that it is the passage for the urine. And its substance is composed of skin, of muscles, of tendons, of veins, of arteries, of nerves and of very large ligaments. And it is positioned and set above the pelvis. And the ligaments come to it from the bone called os sacrum and bones below it. It is from the upper parts that the veins, the arteries, the flesh and the skin come. And there are two canals or two principal passages in  p.145 it, i.e. the passage of the sperm and the passage of the urine. The end of the penis is called balanum; its perforation however, mitra; the name of its head is called capellus or prepucium. And its average or common size should be eight or nine inches with reasonable fatness and it must be proportional to the womb.

Let us speak now of the member which is called perineum which the explanation of the Arabic language calls peritoneum25 and that is the place between the anus and the penis. And above that is a suture following the line of the scrotum and the penis. Following that let us speak of the groins and it is they which naturally accept the surpluses of the liver and they are clearly fibrous flesh placed in the bend of the legs. The buttocks, however, are large muscular flesh placed over the bones of the thighs. And following from that come the haunches, nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments which move and connect the thighs and the whole leg with the haunches.

Pes magnus durut a iunctura scie usque ad exteram articalorum,26 .i.e. “the leg descends from the hip joint to the extremities of the joints” of the toes. And since the parts of the leg generally correspond with the parts of the arm, as Galen states in the third book of De utilitate, it follows that the leg is divided into three parts as was the arm, above. The first of those parts called coxa, i.e. the thigh, is the greatest; the second part is called tibia i.e. the shin; the third part, however, is called pes parvum, i.e. the foot. And it is true that the explanation of the Greek language translates crus for that which the explanation of the Arabic language calls coxa, and that it says tibia for that which the Arabic translation calls crus, i.e. the shin. Nonetheless we have no confidence in these names.

And the leg along with its parts is composed, as is the arm, from skin, from flesh, from veins, from arteries, from nerves, from muscles, from tendons, from ligaments and from bones and they may be addressed in order. And we said what the skin and flesh are above. Let us speak of the veins and the prominent arteries together for the reason we stated above. Therefore, when the veins came branching  p.147 from their origins in the last joint of the back they were divided into two parts and one part goes to the right thigh and the other part goes to the left thigh. And they are then divided into two great branches, and one branch goes to the outer leg and the other branch to the inner leg, and in branching they descend through the shin to the ankles and to the foot. And they make four veins which are commonly bled in the case of various ailments, i.e. saphenous under the ankle to the anterior beside the heel, sciatic under the ankle to the outside, and popliteal under the ham, and renal between the little toe and the toe beside it. And Lanfranc says that it is very dangerous 27 to bleed renal in the wounds of the shins which are called gangrene, malemorte 28 and varicose and in every wound in the shin. Therefore there are four large noticeable veins in the calves which may bleed profusely and frequently pose a danger. And there are many other branches in which the surgeon does not set much store.

De nervis pedum, i.e. let us speak now “of the nerves of the feet.” And Avicenna says they are differentiated greatly from the nerves of the hands. And whatever is said, they come from the lower joints of the kidneys and of the bone called os sacrum. And the larger part of them passes through the perforation of the thighbone and descends to the muscles of the ham. And from them, connected with muscles and with tendons coming from the thigh which move the joint, and connected with the thighbones, large muscles are made which are above the shin moving the foot in its joint. And the muscles of the foot similarly move the joints of the toes as was said above of the hands. And what was said above is not to be forgotten, that due to the shape of the muscles, wounds made near the joints are extremely dangerous.

And large, strong ligaments descend the length of the entire leg and they are clearly manifested under the groins and the knee and above the ankle and the joints of the toes. And the joint of the foot alone is full of ligaments.

Ultimo de osibus, i.e. “finally the bones of the leg” should be addressed after the aforementioned division. And in the first part of  p.149 them called coxa is one great fibrous bone and it is round at each end. The upper end, called vertebra, is alone and declines inwardly and is received in the cavity of the thighbone and it is somewhat curved towards the exterior. In the lower part however, towards the knee, it has two round ends which are received and spun in two cavities in the end of the biggest bone of the bones of the shin. And over it is a round, broad bone which is called patella ginu29, i.e. the kneecap.

And following that is the shin. And two bones called focilia are there and the larger of these bones is to the anterior and it is that which makes the shin bone descending from the knee to the foot making the ankle to the inside. And the smaller bone is towards the exterior a little under the knee where its end is positioned descending to the foot joining itself there with the other bone in making the ankle to the outside. And Gulielmus de Saliceto and Lanfranc, i.e. the storyteller, erroneously state the opposite and whoever wishes to observe those bones may bear testimony of the truth. The shape of those bones, however, it is clear that there are two cavities in the bigger bone towards the knee into which are received the heads of the thighbones, for the smaller bone of the shin bones does not go to the joint but is positioned as stated, and lies close to the knee below it towards the outer part, and it is therefore called actus. And it is connected beside the foot with the biggest bone, and they both make a cavity in the shape of the new moon into which the first of the bones of the foot is received.

And there are three frameworks of bones in the foot. And there are three bones in the first of those frameworks brought together orbicularly in one place. The first of those bones is called cahab, i.e. the ankle, in Arabic and astralagus in Greek, and it is rounded on each side in the shape of a knot with which the foot is released from its Galician bow. And in its upper end the cavity of the shinbone(s) is secured and there the foot is moved and in the other end the cavity of the bone called the navicular is secured. And following that bone called cahab, i.e. the ankle, immediately towards the foot, is the bone navicular which is as it were in the shape of a ship and it is more hollow to each side than that other bone. In the first cavity the head of the bone called cahab is received. In the second cavity the heads of the bones of the second framework of the foot are received. And below these two bones is the bone called  p.151 calcaneus, i.e. the heel bone, in which the entire foot is fastened, and it goes towards the back for the sake of the ligaments which are implanted in it. And following the bone called navicular immediately, i.e. between them, is the second framework of bones of the foot in which are four reasonably short bones. And one of these bones called grandinosum is to the outside opposite the little toe. And those bones are rounded towards the bone called navicular and concave towards the third framework. In the third framework there are five bones of reasonable length which correspond to the toes and which receive the joints of the toes. And there are five toes and three bones in each toe excluding the big toe which has only two bones. And the names of those frameworks of the foot are tarsus and metatarsus and pecten, as are in the hand. Accordingly, there are twenty-six bones in the foot and thirty bones in the entire leg.

And of these joints the most difficult joint to dislocate and to put in place is the ankle joint, the knee joint is the easiest and the hip joint is moderate.

Finit. There ends <title type="book" rend="ital" TEIform="title">Anathomia Gydo</title> and Cormac Mac Duinnleibe translated it into Irish.

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Title statement

Title (uniform): Anathomia Gydo

Author: Guy de Chauliac

Editor: Eithne Ní Gallchobhair

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English translation by: Eithne Ní Gallchobhair

Electronic edition compiled by: Beatrix Färber

Funded by: University College, Cork and School of History

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1. First draft

Extent: 21300 words

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Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of the Department of History at University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2019

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: T600025

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description

Manuscript Sources of the Irish text

  1. National Library of Ireland (NLI) MS G 453, ff 110r–126v (G).
  2. Dublin , Trinity College, MS 1436, pp 17a1–35az (T).
  3. National Library of Scotland (NLS) MS Adv. 72.1.2, ff 1r–5v (S).
  4. London, British Library, MS Arundel 313, ff 10r9–13vz.
  5. National Library of Ireland (NLI) MS G 8, pp 101.10–101.24.
  6. NUI Galway, James Hardiman Library, Additional MS 175, pp 175–184.11.

A selection of literature

  1. Edouard Nicaise, La grande chirurgie de Guy de Chauliac, chirurgien, maître en médecine de l'université de Montpellier, composée en l'an 1363 (Paris: Éditions Alcan 1890).
  2. Jean Enselme, La longue histoire de la Grande chirurgie de Guy de Chauliac (Lyons 1970).
  3. Margaret Sinclair Ogden, The cyrurgie of Guy de Chauliac, (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1971).
  4. Richard J. Durling, 'Burgundio of Pisa's translation of Galen's Περι των πεπονθοτων τοπων: ' 'De interioribus ', Traditio 42 (1986) 439–442; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0362152900004141
  5. André Thevenet, 'Guy de Chauliac (1300–1370): The "Father of Surgery"', Annals of Vascular Surgery 7 (2) 1993: 208–12.
  6. Michael R. McVaugh and Margaret S. Ogden (ed and tr), Guigonis de Caulhiaco (Guy de Chauliac) Inventarium sive Chirurgia Magna, 2 vols. Studies in Ancient Medicine, no. 14 (Leiden: Brill 1997).
  7. Michael R. McVaugh, The Rational Surgery of the Middle Ages, (Florence: Sismel/Edizioni del Galluzzo 2006).
  8. Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha, translation of section 2.7.5, Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, vol. 4 (Cork: Cork University Press 2002) 346.
  9. Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha, 'Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, LS Bhreise 175', Celtica 27 (2013) 148–53.
  10. Luke Demaitre, Medieval Medicine: the art of healing, from head to toe. Praeger Series on the Middle Ages (Santa Barbara, California 2013).
  11. G. Tsoucalas, M. Karamanou, K. Laios, K. Markatos, G. Androutsos, Oncologic conceptions in the work of the surgeon Guy de Chauliac (c. 1300-1368), JBUON 2019 Jan-Feb; 24(1) 410–414.


  1. Dictionary of the Irish Language, mainly compiled from Old and Middle Irish materials: eDIL. See http://www.dil.ie/.
  2. LOGEION, A Dictionary incorporating several dictionaries of Greek and Latin at the University of Chicago http://logeion.uchicago.edu/.

The edition used in the digital edition

Gallchobhair, Eithne Ní, ed. (2014). Anathomia Gydo‍. 1st ed. vi + 187 pp. Dublin: Irish Texts Society.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  title 	 = {Anathomia Gydo},
  editor 	 = {Eithne Ní Gallchobhair},
  edition 	 = {1},
  note 	 = {vi + 187 pp.},
  publisher 	 = {Irish Texts Society},
  address 	 = {Dublin },
  date 	 = {2014},
  UNKNOWN 	 = {seriesStmt}


Encoding description

Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling declarations

The present text represents odd pages 33–151 of the volume. The Irish text is available in a separate file.

Editorial declarations

Correction: Text has been checked and proof-read twice.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text. Most footnotes and the index have been omitted. Latin terms in the printed text are italicized.

Quotation: There is no direct speech.

Hyphenation: When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break, or folio-break, this break is marked after completion of the hyphenated word.

Segmentation: div0=the text; div1=the chapter; div1=the section; page-breaks are marked pb n="".

Interpretation: Names are not tagged, nor are terms for cultural and social roles.

Reference declaration

A canonical reference to a location in this text should be made using “text”, eg text 1.1.1.

Profile description

Creation: Latin text by Guy de Chauliac, 1363. Irish translation by Cormac Mac Duinnshléibhe, fl 1459. English translation of the latter by Eithne Ní Gallchobhair. The date range refers to the Irish text 1450–1490

Language usage

  • The text is in Early modern Irish. (ga)
  • Witness list and notes are in English. (en)
  • Some anatomical and medical terms are in Latin, or derived from it. (la)
  • Some anatomical terms are derived from Arabic. (ar)
  • Some terms are in Greek, or derived from it. (gr)

Keywords: medicine; anatomy; Guy de Chauliac; Montpellier

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2019-12-23: Footnotes added; header modified; SGML and HTML files created and uploaded. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2019-12-10: File parsed and validated. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2019-10: Provisional TEI-Header created; part of file parsed and validated (1). (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2019-08-27: Text scanned, corrected and encoded for structure and content. (ed. Beatrix Färber)

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G600025: Anathomia Gydo (in Irish)

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  1. De utilitate particularum; the standard translation, if translated into English, is On the usefulness of the parts of the body. See note in edition p. 152. [BF] 🢀

  2. Full Greek title: Therapeutike Methodos. The authoritative Greek edition of Galen's complete works with a Latin translation is by C. G. Kühn, Galeni Opera Omnia. 22 volumes, Leipzig 1821––33. However, this is mainly based on Renaissance editions. A recent authoritative edition of the Greek text with an English translation was published under the title Method of Medicine, edited and translated by Ian Johnston, Loeb Classic Library, 514–517, Harvard 2014. [BF] 🢀

  3. i.e. divisio. [BF] 🢀

  4. Irish text reads 'thomia'. [BF] 🢀

  5. I.e. the Tekne. [BF] 🢀

  6. The Irish text retains the Latin term. [BF] 🢀

  7. Avicenna is best known for this principal medical work, translated into Latin under the title Canon Medicinae 🢀

  8. An outdated term for a lizard, derived from lat. lacertus. [BF] 🢀

  9. I.e. the Liber Regalis, or Liber Regius, also known as Pantegni, or Liber totius medicine. [BF] 🢀

  10. Latin term 'dislocatio' is used in the Irish text. [BF] 🢀

  11. Latin term 'separatio' used in the Irish text. [BF] 🢀

  12. Originally lambda, so called from its resemblance to the Greek lambda. See Michael R. McVaugh, The Rational Surgery of the Middle Ages, Florence: Sismel/Edizioni del Galluzzo 2006, 73. [BF] 🢀

  13. It is not stated why the rendering with y- was chosen for the English translation; while the Irish witnesses show both i- and y-, i- was chosen for the edition. [BF] 🢀

  14. This corrupt form is present in Guy's text. This should be parengefalida (from Greek παρενκεφαλíς, cerebellum), see McVaugh, Inventarium sive Chirurgia Magna, Commentary, Tractatus I: De Anathomia, p. 31. [BF] 🢀

  15. Irish solas aerdha. [BF] 🢀

  16. Irish text has Latin ossa petrosa 🢀

  17. Literally, 'trachean artery'. [BF] 🢀

  18. Corrected by Nic Dhonnchadh to "it is always injurious and dangerous". [BF] 🢀

  19. Rendered 'cordialis' in the Irish version. [BF] 🢀

  20. Rendered 'masticatione' in Irish version. [BF] 🢀

  21. T's reading Interioribus is more correct, as the treatise is known as De Interioribus. See Richard J. Durling on Burgundio de Pisa's undated translation of it, Traditio 42 (1986) 439–442; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0362152900004141 🢀

  22. More correctly pectineus, from pecten, Lat. comb. [BF] 🢀

  23. A famous medical treatise written by Pietro d'Abano (Peter de Abano) in the early 14th century, entitled Conciliator differentiarum quae inter philosophos et medicos versantur. [BF] 🢀

  24. Also cf AnicD's translation of this section, Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, vol. 4, New York 2002, 346. [BF] 🢀

  25. Cf McVaugh, I, 54: “Peryneum est illud quod Arabica translacio perytoneon vocat”. [BF] 🢀

  26. Cf McVaugh, I, 54: “Pes magnus sive tybia magna durat a iunctura scie usque ad extrema articulorum”. [BF] 🢀

  27. The Irish edition has 'curob mor foghnas', 'that it helps greatly', however there is no explanatory note in the edition. [BF] 🢀

  28. This term is found as “"malamortum" delle gambe” in Jehan Yperman, padre della chirurgia fiamminga by Mario Tabanelli, L.S. Olschki 1969, 342. [BF] 🢀

  29. The Irish edition has 'patella ginsu', with 'su' inverted for 'genus'. [BF] 🢀


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