Front Page Titles (by Subject) ON THE NATURE OF THE BONES. - The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen
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ON THE NATURE OF THE BONES. - Hippocrates, The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen 
The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen. Epitomised from the Original Latin translations, by John Redman Coxe (Philadelphia: Lindsay and Blakiston, 1846).
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ON THE NATURE OF THE BONES.
In his preface to this treatise, Haller says that it is regarded by Galen as the work of Hippocrates, and that it was known to the ancients by the title of “Mochlicus.”a The first part agrees with its title; it is concise and not unworthy of its author, who, it may be perceived, examined the recent bones. He was acquainted, moreover, with the cubital nerve, which, when struck, produces stupor of the parts. The latter portion, which speaks of several of the vessels, appears to be an incomprehensible jumble (farrago ænigmatica). In some places a lucid description is given of four vessels, that does not tally with that in some other of his works. The epigastric and mammary vessels are noticed; likewise the vena cava, the vena sine pari, and the vessels of the extremities. Correct accounts of the par vagum and intercostal nerves, intermixed with errors. The distinction between arteries and veins is pointed out, and the name of vein, as applied to the vessel carrying blood, seems to indicate the more minute anatomy of an age posterior to that of Herophilus, the discoverer of the nerves. The version is abundantly vague. The cellular fabric of the spleen is described, and the pulsation of the vessels. Mercurialis, adds Haller, considered the account of the four pair of vessels as spurious, and as appertaining to the period of Aristotle; which caution is all that is necessary to the reader.
Gardeil, speaking of this book, says, that “its title might induce the belief, that it principally regarded the bones, but that, in fact, it more particularly is devoted to the blood-vessels.” We have here the detail of the doctrine on this subject, which is summarily given in the treatise “De locis in homine,” a work generally held to be legitimate; and also in that “De natura hominis,” the conclusion of which is thought to be spurious. He thinks, moreover, that the account given of the vessels, is of three pair only; and that the description of the fourth pair has either been lost, or was never completed; though, he ingenuously adds, that possibly he may have lost the connexion, in this embarrassing angiological detail. He is, however, more surprised to find so many facts, obtained without any aid from injections, than to meet with mistakes. I give the heads of his divisions.—Ed.
Brief enumeration of the bones. Vesiculæ seminales. The channels for drink; the liver; pericardium; intestines; vena cava, or aorta, its divisions. Nerves, their origin and division; division of the vessels to the right and left; secretion of urine; intercostal vessels; aorta; vena cava; decussation of vessels; their distribution; four great pair. Hepatic vein. Intercostal and splenic nerves, and their distribution. Of the general use of the different parts of the body, and the origin of the four great vessels; first pair; second; with some physiological details concerning respiration, and on the formation of the seminal fluid, and cause of venereal gratification, &c.; third pair, distribution of; and of the changes of the colour of the skin and complexion, &c.
It will be seen from this outline, how truly Haller has applied to the treatise, the term mentioned above. Its strongly confused state is enough, assuredly, to demonstrate that Hippocrates had no hand in its production. It seems to be a bundle of shreds and patches, from different sources, and put together at random, by some person devoid of the organ of arrangement and order.—Ed.
[a ]We have a treatise by this name in the sixth section, hereafter noticed. The term is derived from μοχλια, i. e. ossis, aut ossium a loco qui præter-naturam sit, ad naturalem reductio;—which word is itself derived from μοχλος, vectis, i. e. the apparatus by which the reduction of a luxation was accomplished.—Ed.