Quam vero aptas quamque multarum artium ministras manus natura homini dedit. digitorum enim contractio facilis facilisque porrectio propter molles commissuras et artus nullo in motu laborat. itaque ad pingendum, ad fingendum, ad scalpendum, ad nervorum eliciendos sonos, ad tibiarum apta manus est admotione digitorum. atque haec oblectationis, illa necessitatis, cultus dico agrorum exstructionesque tectorum, tegumenta corporum vel texta vel suta omnemque fabricam aeris et ferri; ex quo intellegitur ad inventa animo percepta sensibus adhibitis opificum manibus omnia nos consecutos, ut tecti, ut vestiti, ut salvi esse possemus, urbes, muros, domicilia, delubra haberemus.
(Cicero, De Natura Deorum 2.150)

Then what clever servants for a great variety of arts are the hands which nature has bestowed on man! The flexibility of the joints enables the fingers to close and open with equal ease, and to perform every motion without difficulty. Thus by the manipulation of the fingers the hand is enabled to paint, to model, to carve, and to draw forth the notes of the lyre and of the flute. And beside these arts of recreation there are those of utility, I mean agriculture and building, the weaving and stitching of garments, and the various modes of working bronze and iron; hence we realize that it was by applying the hand of the artificer to the discoveries of thought and observations of the senses that all our conveniences were attained, and we were enabled to have shelter, clothing and protection, and possessed cities, fortifications, houses and temples. (tr. Harris Rackham)

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