PLINIUS SECUNDUS, Gaius [Pliny the Elder]
Historia naturalis, libri XXXVII.Venice: Johannes de Spira , 1469.
The most ancient Western encyclopedia extant, Pliny’s Historia contained essentially all that was known in his time concerning geography, mineralogy, anthropology, botany, zoology and meteorology. Books XX-XXXII deal with medicine. Because of its practical value, Historia naturalis was one work of classical antiquity which, despite the sometimes unreliable nature of its material, was frequently copied, and read steadily throughout the Middle Ages. Pliny's botanical errors were not corrected until 1492 (Leoniceno, see No. 1798).
Pliny’s work was one of the very first scientific texts to be printed. The first English translation by Philemon Holland appeared in 1601. The modern English translation of the Natural History with parallel Latin text is that of W.H.S. Jones, H. Rackham, and D.E. Eichholz in the Loeb Classical Library, 10 vols., Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1948-63. The 1469 edition is ISTC No. ip00786000; Digital facsimile from Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, Paris, at the Internet Archive, at this link.
Subjects: ANCIENT MEDICINE › Roman Empire, ANTHROPOLOGY, BOTANY, Encyclopedias, NATURAL HISTORY, ZOOLOGY, Zoology, Natural History, Ancient Greek / Roman / Egyptian
Medicinae Pliniae libri quinque finiunt foeliciter.Rome: per magistrum Stephanum Guillireti Lothoringum, 1509.
The Medicina Plinii was an anonymous compilation of remedies dating to the early 4th century CE ."The excerptor, saying that he speaks from experience, offers the work as a compact resource for travelers in dealing with hucksters who sell worthless drugs at exorbitant prices or with know-nothings only interested in profit. The material is presented in three books in the conventional order a capite ad calcem (“from head to toe,” in the equivalent English expression), the first dealing with treatments pertaining to the head and throat, the second the torso and lower extremities, and the third systemic ailments, skin diseases, and poisons. The book contains more than 1,100 pharmacological recipes, the vast majority of them from the Historia naturalis of Pliny the Elder. Other sources include Celsus, Scribonius Largus, and Dioscorides. Materials may be botanical, animal-derived, or metallic; processes include decoction, emulsification, calcination and fermentation. Preparations may be applied topically, or consumed. Magic, perhaps to be compared with faith healing, was a regular feature of the manuals. Most of the recipes contain a limited number of ingredients, and in contrast to more expansive and thorough collections such as the De medicamentis liber of Marcellus Empiricus, precise measurements in drachmae, denarii or other units are specified for only a few formulations. Perhaps because Pliny's name was attached to it, the book enjoyed great popularity and influence. It was frequently copied during the Middle Ages, and was often used as a handbook in monastic infirmaries" (Wikipedia article on Medicina Plinii, quoted with a few minor changes, 1-2017).
The standard version of the text is Plinii secundi iunioris qui feruntur de medicina libri tres. Corpus Medicorum Latinorum 3 (Berlin, 1964) edited by Alf Önnerfors. A digital version of this text is available from Biblioteca digitale di testi latini tardoanchi at this link.
Subjects: ANCIENT MEDICINE › Late Antiquity, ANCIENT MEDICINE › Roman Empire, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Italy, Magic & Superstition in Medicine, PHARMACOLOGY › PHARMACEUTICALS › Materia medica / Herbals / Herbal Medicines, Zymology (Zymurgy) (Fermentation)