CHAP. 99.—THE FINGERS, THE ARMS.
Some persons have six fingers on the hands. We read that
C. Horatius, a man of patrician rank, had two daughters, who
for this reason had the name of "Sedigitæ;" and we find
mention made of Volcatius Sedigitus,1
as a famous poet.
The fingers of man have three joints, the thumb only two,
it bending in an opposite direction to all the other fingers.
Viewed by itself, the movement of the thumb has a sidelong
direction, and it is much thicker than the rest of the fingers.
The little finger is equal in length to the thumb, and two others
are also equal in length, the middle finger being the longest
of all. Those quadrupeds which live by rapine have five toes
on the fore feet, and four on the hinder ones. The lion, the
wolf, and the dog, with some few others, have five claws
on the hind feet, one of which hangs down near the joint of the
leg. The other animals, also, which are of smaller size, have
five toes. The two arms are not always equal in length: it
is a well-known fact, that, in the school of gladiators belonging to Caius Cæsar,2
the Thracian Studiosus had the right
arm longer than the left. Some animals also use their forepaws to perform the duties of hands, and employ them in
conveying food to the mouth as they sit, the squirrel, for instance.