Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 8 On the Ossicles That Enter Upon the Construction of the Organ of Hearing

[Introduction to Chapter 8]


The following page will set forth the legend of this figure.


page 34

The preceding figure represents the ossicles of the organ of hearing. The largest picture in the figure shows a portion cut out and broken away from the bone of the right temple; dissected through the middle, it presents the two membranes that are situated in the cavity of this bone, together with the ossicles. The index of characters will explain them as follows.

A, A Portion of the foramen [meatus acusticus externus] that extends from the ear inward to the the membrane marked B.
B Membrane [membrana tympanica] drawn across the foramen that leads from the ear into the cavity [cavitas tympanica] carved in the temporal bone for the organ of hearing.
C One ossicle of the organ of hearing, resembling a little hammer [malleus].
D Nerve of the fifth pair of cerebral nerves [nervi craniales]. 1
E Branch of the fifth pair of cerebral nerves, branched off through a blind foramen to the principal temporal muscle. 2
F Branch of the fifth pair of cerebral nerves, passing through the foramen in which the vein is received that leads to the organ of hearing.
G Group belonging to the nerve of the fifth pair at the level, smooth part of the cavity [cavitas tympanica] hollowed out here for the organ of hearing.
H Spherical area, to whose anterior surface the second ossicle of the organ of hearing is attached. Marked I here, it [incus] is comparable to an anvil or molar.
K, K Small cavities [cellulae mastoideae], with which the inside of the cavity provided for the organ of hearing abounds.
L Anterior aspect of the malleus freed of its surrounding parts.
M Posterior aspect of the malleus similarly freed.
N Anterior aspect of the anvil [incus] or molar-like bone, free of other parts.
O Posterior aspect of the anvil or molar-like bone, free of other parts.
P Anterior aspect of the anvil and malleus, as they are joined in the ear.
Q Posterior aspect of the joined anvil and malleus.

We have not undertaken to relate the elaborate construction of the organ of hearing here, since this is to be accounted for in the seventh book together with the other sense organs. It is fitting, however, that two ossicles [malleus, incus] be described here which lie in the cavity [cavitas tympanica] of the temporal bone that is carved out for the organ of hearing, lest we seem in this book to have omitted through negligence anything osseus in the fabric of the human body. That neither Galen nor anyone before him knew of these bones may be inferred from the fact that no mention of them is made. 3



Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 8 On the Ossicles That Enter Upon the Construction of the Organ of Hearing