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

The spine of the six lower vertebrae of the neck

The remaining items to be mentioned in the second vertebra of the neck are to a great degree common with the other five lower vertebrae. The second (∫ in figs. 5, 6, 7), like the others (t in fig. 9 and no. 11 in fig. 8), has a posterior process 96 [p. spinosus]; which has a special feature in the cervical vertebrae: it is bifurcated [bifidus] at its tip (c and ϖ in figure 8), particularly that of the second vertebra and the three 97 beneath it. The sixth vertebra shows the division of its process rather obscurely, and the seventh much less still, being like the sixth in that its process usually has an epiphysis and is extended longer [vertebra prominens]; it somewhat resembles the processes [p. spinosus] of the upper vertebrae of the thorax [vertebra thoracica I] (N, O, P in fig. 1, ch. 16) except that it is left less pointed and broader than they are (these will be obvious if you compare the spine in figure 7 with those of the other figures, or examine N, O, P in figure 2, chapter 16). 98 The processes [pp. spinosi] of the other neck vertebrae lack epiphyses; they are wide, uneven, and rough, like branches (so to speak), concave on their lower surface, gibbous above, and slightly depressed on both sides. 99 The swelling line which extends along the longitude of the process effects this shape, just as in the inferior part of the process (which is concave) a certain linear channel is seen to run along the longitude of the process. A line stands out on the convex surface so that a ligament [l. interspinale] may be put forth from it to the middle of the concave surface; we shall write in the second book that this ligament extends along the longitude of the process or spine, binding one spine to another and separating the right muscles [mm. dorsi] from the left. But these lines of the posterior processes will be more conspicuous in the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae both because the processes of those vertebrae are more prominent and because they are bound to each other by a stronger and harder ligament [l. interspinale] (since they need to move less). The muscles located in the posterior part of the neck are thought to be the chief cause of the division into small processes: to provide the muscles a readier point of origin and a stronger insertion into the spines of the vertebrae, these spines are split into small processes [bifidus]. Nature devised it expressly in these vertebrae of the neck because it would not have been as safe to put out as long spines from those small vertebrae [vv. cervicales] as it is from the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. A greater 100 number of muscles is located in the back of the neck than in other parts of the back, as you shall hear at great length when I explain the muscles that move the scapulae, thorax, head, and dorsum. 101 Indeed, it is for the sake of the muscles that the spine of the second vertebra is thrust out higher than are several spines succeeding it, and is broader than others, because this one provides the sole origin for the third pair of muscles that move the head (A and B in the 14th table of muscles) as well as for the sixth (K and L in the same table). 102



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