Ariminum is the Latin name of the city known today as Rimini, an italian city on the Adriatic seacoast. In 1989 an exceptional discovery was made in the center of Rimini: within the walls of what, at first sight, seemed to be a very common Roman domus, archaeologists discovered over 150 surgical instruments. It was the most important ans sizable find of its kind. Scholars were thus able to touch, for the first time, medical instruments known up to then only through written sources. But there was more.
The domus discovered had also served as a professional office. After its destruction, the land remained intact for centuries, and this enabled archaeologists to recover and reconstruct the furnishings and equipment of a doctor’s surgery of two thousand years ago. This, too, makes the Rimini discovery unique the world over. Starting from the description of this discovery, the documentary intends to sketch out a depiction of the doctor and the context in which he worked.
But the film’s greatest ambition is to reconstruct –on the basis of scientific data and historic-literary sources– the man’s likely personal and cultural course in life: it tells of the years of experience acquired in the army’s ranks, a devastating experience of violence, pain, and death that will lead the young doctor to develop a philosophical awareness of his profession and of his “human condition”. Because, as Galen, the founder of the school of Roman medicine said, “the best doctor is also a philosopher”.