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 38 On the Cartilages of the Rough Artery, and What Therein Would Be Called by the Greeks Glottis and Epiglottis

Lingula of the larynx, or fissure and primary organ of the voice

Many have thought that this is the especial organ of the voice, indiscriminately calling it glwtti/j and e)piglwtti/j: but these names signified quite distinct and completely different parts to the ancient professors of anatomy. glwtti/j denotes the fissure (c in fig. 11 and d in figs. 12, 13, ch. 21, Bk. 2) [rima glottidis] of the larynx which two processes of the third cartilage [processus vocales] (Y, Y in figs. 9 and 10), covered by fatty membrane [tunica mucosa], make in the middle of the laryngeal cavity, and which we shall show in the fifth book is the primary organ of the voice. They called such a fissure glwtti/j or lingula from its resemblance to tongue-like devices which we see assembled out of two layers of reed when a reeded pipe is put together. The other term e)piglwtti/j (compare L with c in fig. 11, ch. 21, Bk. 2) is the name for the covering of the larynx, placed over what we just now called the lingula of the larynx and preventing any food from falling inside it. Now the fact that this is unknown to doctors of our time is not so much their fault, as they follow nothing but the opinions of authors and have no experience of dissection. Indeed, even Celsus 23 misunderstood this matter (as he did a very large number of things having to do with anatomy) and called the operculum of the larynx the lingula, 24


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not reckoning that this had been called e)piglwtti/j by the Greeks because it rests upon the fissure of the larynx which we compare to the little tongue of reed-pipes; or he ignored the fact that there is another place or part in the larynx besides the operculum which we might compare to a little tongue. This operculum also somewhat resembles the human tongue. Moreover, Theodorus of Gaza 25 , misled by the error of Celsus, translated Aristotle’s e)piglwtti/j 26 as lingula, though in fact Aristotle meant the operculum of the larynx and not the part or area which the ancients called the lingula [rima glottidis] and which is rightly considered the principal instrument of the voice. I will pass over how many times in Galen, both by the fault of the translators and of the writers of the Greek copy glw/ttij is read for e)piglwtti/j and vice versa. 27 But I shall pursue this subject more fully in the appropriate place: here it suffices to have treated of the cartilages of the larynx so far as we need for the discussion of muscles in the second book.



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 38 On the Cartilages of the Rough Artery, and What Therein Would Be Called by the Greeks Glottis and Epiglottis