XXIV. De Digitis

XXIV. De digitis 

Digiti manui inserti sunt, ut habilitetur manus ad actum omnem. Digitorum vero nobilitas, ut dicit Aristotiles, est conveniens ad recipiendum, retinendum et dandum, et maxime ad distingeuendum. Pollex inter digitos est curtus et grossus propter operationes fortes; et non adiuvatur homo sine pollice per alios digitos. Vigor pollicis est equalis virtuti omnium digitorum, qui sunt in manu.

Si digitos dolueris et obriguerint, idem facias quod de manibus diximus. Si autem digiti contrahi ceperint et revolvi in manu, primo cum adverteris, liga manum extentam cum digitis super astulam et fac fomentationes, quas de manibus premisimus, adiunctis in decoctione foliis cassiane et castorio. Castorium autem bibas cum vino. 

  1. About fingers. 

Fingers are put on the hand, so that the hand may be enabled for all acts. Certainly the fingers are known for, as Aristotle said, being fitted for taking in, holding back and offering, and especially for separating things. The thumb among the fingers is incomplete and thick on account of strong activities; and no man is being helped without the thumb by means of the other fingers. The vigor of the thumb is equal to the strength of all the fingers, which are on the hand.

If you hurt your fingers and they stiffened, you do that same thing, which we said about the hand. But, if the fingers have taken hold to be drawn together and to be rolled back into the hand, when you first draw your attention to it, you bind the hand, stretched out with the fingers above the splint and make a poultice, which we said above, concerning the hands, with leaves of cinnamon, and the castor bean plant joined in the mixture.  However, you might drink the castor bean plant with wine.

act.um (N  2 2 ACC S N)              

act, deed, transaction; acts (pl.), exploits; chronicles, (official) record;

adiunct.is (VPAR   3 1 ABL P X PERF PASSIVE PPL)

add, attach, join to, add to, support; apply to; harness, yoke; direct; confer;

adiuv.atur (V 1 1 PRES PASSIVE IND 3 S)   

help, aid, abet, encourage, favor; cherish, sustain; be of use, be profitable;


Advert.eris (V  3 1 PERF ACTIVE  SUB 2 S)    

turn/face to/towards; direct/draw one’s attention to; steer/pilot (ship);

Word mod a

Contracted from beginning of word

aequalis, aequale, aequalior -or -us, aequalissimus -a -um ADJ [XXXAO]

equal, similar; uniform, level, flat; of the same age/generation/duration;

astul.am ( N   1 1 ACC S F )          

splinter/chip; shavings; [astula regia => the plant asphodel]; 

bib.as ( V  3 1 PRES ACTIVE  SUB 2 S    

drink; toast; visit, frequent (w/river name); drain, draw off; thirst for; suck


cinnamon (Cinnamomum tree/bark/spice); aromatic shrub (mezereon or marjoram?);

contrah.i (V 3 1 PRES PASSIVE INF 0 X ) 

deal with/bring/draw together/in, assemble, collect/gather; sadden/depress/diminish/contract/tighten; 

Conveni.ens (VPAR   3 4 ACC S N PRES ACTIVE  PPL)

be appropriate to, fit, be correctly shaped/consistent; harmonize, agree, tally

curt.us (ADJ   1 1 NOM S M POS)            

mutilated; incomplete, missing a part; circumcised; castrated, gelded; docked;

decoction.e (N    3 1 ABL S F)                

decoction; boiling down; mixture;

dolu.eris (V   2 1 PERF ACTIVE  SUB 2 S )

hurt; feel/suffer pain; grieve; be afflicted/pained/sorry; cause pain/grief;


digitus, digiti  N  M   [XXXAX]  

finger; toe; a finger’s breath;

distingu.endum (VPAR   3 1 ACC S M/N FUT  PASSIVE PPL  Late)     

distinguish, separate, divide, part; adorn, decorate;

extent.am ( VPAR   3 1 ACC S F PERF PASSIVE PPL)

stretch/thrust out; make taut; extend/prolong/continue; enlarge/increase;

make even/straight/smooth; (PASS) lie full length;


foli.is ( N  2 4 ABL P N)                 


fōmentātĭo, ōnis, f. fomento,

-a fomentation (post-class)

gross.us  (ADJ  1 1 NOM S M POS)          

great/large, thick; coarse, gross;

habilit.etur  (V 1 1 PRES PASSIVE SUB 3 S)    

enable; make suitable;

insert.i (VPAR   3 1 NOM P M PERF PASSIVE PPL)

insero, inserere, inserui, insertus  V   [XAXBX]  

plant, sow; graft on; put in, insert;

lig.a  (V  1 1 PRES ACTIVE  IMP 2 S)    

bind, tie, fasten; unite;

maxime   (ADV  SUPER)                       

especially, chiefly; certainly; most, very much; (forms SUPER w/ADJ/ADV);

nobilit.as   (V  1 1 PRES ACTIVE  IND 2 S)    

make known/noted/renown; render famous/notorious; ennoble; make more majestic;

obrigu.erint  (V  3 1 PERF ACTIVE  SUB 3 P)     

obrigesco, obrigescere, obrigui, –  V   [XXXES]    uncommon



operation.es  (N  3 1 ACC P F)                 

operation; working (of nature); activity; surgical operation; (Cal);

pollex  (N  3 1 NOM S M)                             


Word mod pre/prae    

An initial ‘pre’ may be rendered by ‘prae’

praemis.imus  (V      3 1 PERF ACTIVE  IND 1 P) 

send ahead or forward;


prim.o   (ADJ  1 1 ABL S M/N POS)               

first, foremost/best, chief, principal; nearest/next; [in primis => especially]

Word mod d/t         

An internal ‘d’ might be rendered by ‘t’

recipi.entem   (VPAR   3 1 ACC S C PRES ACTIVE  PPL)

keep back; recover; undertake; guarantee; accept, take in; take back;

retin.endum  (VPAR  2 1 ACC S M/N FUT  PASSIVE PPL)

hold back, restrain; uphold; delay; hold fast; retain,preserve;

revolv.i  (V  3 1 PRES PASSIVE INF 0 X)    

throw back, roll back;

vigor (N  3 1 NOM S M)                              

vigor, liveliness;

vin.o  (N   2 2 DAT S N)                              


Aristotiles: Aristotle, a greek philosopher

Operationes fortes: being strong because of its activeness

Equalis- a contracted form of aequalis

Astulam: Can also be defined as “splint” instead of splinter

Adiunctis in decoctione foliis cassiane et castorio: ablative absolute

Poultice: a medical mixture (“fomentationes”)

Castor bean plant: English reference to the castor oil/fiber plant, no direct English name

De manibus diximus: references things said about the hand in a previous section of the text

Cassiane: this might mean cinnamon or an aromatic shrub