The Medicina Plinii was compiled in the 4th century AD, probably in the first half of that century. Marcellus Empiricus mentions the Medicina Plini in his work De medicamentis, which strengthens the argument for a dating to 300-350 AD.
The Medicina Plini collects over 1,100 medical recipes, divided into three books: the first records remedies for pathologies affecting the human body from head to chest, the second lists remedies for pathologies from chest to feet, the third one catalogues remedies for pathologies which either affect the body as a whole, such as fevers and poisonings, or that could target any part of it, such as animal bites.
In the preface, the author states that the collection aims to offer a therapeutic handbook for people who travel, so that they will not be forced to seek the help of doctors who may turn out to be either fraudulent or useless.
The content derives in part from Plinius’ Naturalis historia (esp. books XX to XXXIII), in part from other unidentified medical sources. The compiler put much work into the reorganisation of the content into headings and the distribution of medical recipes according to the localisation of pathologies a capite ad calcem. Most manuscripts attribute this work to Plinius Secundus Iunior. We know nothing about him except what we read in the work itself. [David Paniagua] [Translation of L. Battezzato]