Atlas, the first cervical vertebra and the bone the skull rests upon. It is named after Atlas, the Greek god sentenced by Zeus to hold the earth on his shoulders, who in turn was named from the Greek atlao, "I endure".

The term was not used in anatomy until the era of Vesalius in the 16th century.

A Roman copy, in marble, of a Greek sculpture of Atlas, ca. 2nd century A.D.; on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy. Interestingly, the globe is not the earth but the oldest known example of a celestial sphere (a globe that shows the constellations). The sculpture is known as the Farnese Atlas.

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