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 15 On the Vertebrae of the Neck or Cervix

Man was given a neck for the sake of the lungs

That a neck was given mankind for the sake of the lungs is best proven by the fact that it is always missing when there are no lungs. For example, this is the reason fish (which also have no lungs) have no neck. Those animals to which Nature gave lungs are also endowed with a neck. 22 For it was necessary that the rough artery [trachea] (shown in fig. 1, ch. 38; vessels running through the neck and lungs are seen in the figure at the end of Bk. 3 and the one attached to the end of Bk. 4), through which we bring air into the lungs when we inhale and blow it out again when we exhale, run from the mouth to the lungs, and for this reason that a space intervene between mouth and lungs, since it was fitting that man be endowed with adequate exhalation 23 (which is the material of the voice). For the voice is impossible without benefit of the rough artery. Therefore we do not wonder that no animal without a neck emits a voice. 24


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Since, therefore, the lungs are contained in the thorax, and the rough artery (which it was altogether fitting to stop at the mouth) rises out of the lungs, the interval between the upper part of the thorax and the pharynx is made for that artery. Because the thorax and the mouth are separated from each other for the space of the interval between them, a path is made no less for the parts that travel downward from above (such as the dorsal medulla and the gullet), than for those that extend upward from below (such as the rough artery and many smooth arteries and veins). Man therefore obtained a neck for the sake of the rough artery, and a rough artery for the sake of voice and respiration. Man was allotted a length of neck as much as was useful to the rough artery for the functions just stated. Indeed, it was convenient that the parts next to the scapuli, the upper arm, the forearm, the hand, as well as the transverse septum, have nerves (ϖ, r, j, t, f, *, g, n in figs. 2 and 3 preceding ch. 11) coming from the dorsal medulla that travels through the neck. And for their propagation it was necessary that vertebrae be located in the space between the head and the thorax with which to fashion a neck. 25



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 15 On the Vertebrae of the Neck or Cervix