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[p. 147]common space into which the veins from the gateway [of the liver]
Jecoris portae, the transverse fissure, by which the portal vein enters the liver.
conduct the unpurified blood, and
from which, in the first place, the [biliary] passages take over the bile, and secondly, the [branches] of the vena cava take over the purified blood. For it would not only have done him no harm to have mentioned the idea of attraction, but he would thereby have been able to get rid of countless other disputed questions.
At the actual moment, however, the Erasistrateans are engaged in a considerable battle, not only with others but also amongst themselves, and so they cannot explain the passage from the first book of the "General Principles," in which Erasistratus says, "Since there are two kinds of vessels opening
at the same place, the one kind extending to the gall-bladder and the other to the vena cava, the result is that, of the nutriment carried up from the alimentary canal, that part which fits both kinds of stomata is received into both kinds of vessels, some being carried into the
gall-bladder, and the rest passing over into the vena cava." For it is difficult to say what we are to understand by the words "opening at the same place" which are written at the beginning of this passage. Either they mean there is a junction
More literally, "synapse."
between the termination of the vein which is on the concave surface of the liver
The portal vein.
and two other vascular terminations (that of the vessel on the convex surface of the liver