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Tablet 184

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Vindolanda Inventory No. 87.622


There are 27 fragments of a double leaf which contains an account written in three columns along the grain of the wood. The configuration of the text enables us to place most of the major fragments with relative confidence (although very few of them are directly contiguous, which accounts for the approximation in calculating the size of the diptych). The text transcribed as (a) accounts for 14 of the fragments, (b) and (c) for another 2. Of the remaining 11 scraps, 9 contain exiguous traces and 2 appear to be blank. This is one of the few ink texts attributed to the later part of the period of occupation when the area may have been occupied by a workshop (although the distinction between barrack-block and workshop may not always be clear-cut, see Glasbergen and Groenman-van Waateringe (1974), 11, 25). The account in (a) consists of 40 or 42 lines of text (see below) arranged in three columns. The format is not paralleled elsewhere in the tablets and is unexpected because the middle column straddles the central fold. The text is written in a competent cursive hand and is neatly arranged, with commodities and names aligned and the former regularly indented with respect to the latter. It is probable that in columns i and ii (though not in column iii) names and commodities alternate line by line. Columns i and ii record names, commodities and amounts of money under the heading "century of Ucen(i)us (?)" and Col.iii has similar entries under the heading "century of Tullio". Among the commodities listed are over-garments, pepper, tallow, towels, thongs and items of footwear and clothing, and they might thus be described as a miscellaneous collection. Some of the entries have check marks before them which we have tried to indicate in our transcript (for a possibly comparable phenomenon see O.Claud. 83). One or two of these appear to be simply horizontal dashes but most have in addition a vertical or slanting stroke at the left and they appear before both names and commodities. In some cases there are horizontal lines which might go right through the entry (ii.28, 29, iii.36, 37) and may indicate that the account for that particular item had been settled. It is not clear whether we should classify this account as "official". Unless we suppose that the entries in i.2 and iii.32-4 record dealings with a century as a whole, it looks as if the commodities and their costs are to be referred to the names following them (see notes to lines i.17 and ii.29). They might thus represent transactions between soldiers and a civilian entrepreneur (cf. 180, introduction); it is in no way surprising to find that soldiers had cash with which to purchase such items. It seems clear, at any rate, that it takes us to a level below the officer class and the personal names in the account (several of which are hitherto unattested) are of considerable value from that point of view. There are two lines of writing at the foot of col.iii, written by the same hand but upside down in relation to the main text; it is unclear whether these are connected or not. The back contains abraded remains of seven lines of an account which may be written by the same hand. We have not been able to extract any coherent sense from this but it is possible that the first line has a centurial sign followed by a name (ending -lis?) and that the second reads per[na]m (denarios) ii s(emissem); if this is correct it might be part of the same account as the text on the front.

1 (centuria) Uceni
2 _ superarias (denarios) xiii.[
3 _ Tagarminis [[.]]
4 _ piper (denarios) ii
5 Gambax Tapponis
6 s[udari]um (denarios) ii
7 ].mni..[.].ubar[
8 _ ampullam [
9 .urio St..onis
10 _ sudarium (denarios) ii
11 - Ammius [
12 ]xxiix
13 ].i
14 ]m (denarios) iii (asses ii) (quadrantem)
15 ].s
16 ]..i (denarios) i s(emissem) (assem i)
17 ].armal traces?
1 coturnum (denarios) iii s(emissem)
2 Messor [[.......]]
3 - sagaciam (denarios) v (asses iii)
4 Lucius scutarius
5 sebum (denarios) [
6 U]xperus
7 i[
8 Agi.[
9 s[
10 Huep..[
11 sudar[ ] (denarios) ii
12 Tullio Carpentari
13 uacat of 2 lines
14 (denarios) xl traces
1 (centuria) Tullionis
2 corrigia (denarios) ii s(emissem)
3 - sebum (denarios) ii
4 sudari(um) (denarium) i
5 35Butimas
6 sebum (denarios) ii[
7 d sudar(ium) (denarios) .[
8 ]o subarmalo
9 sebum (denarios) [
10 40[C]aledus
11 uacat                  
12 uell[ c.8 ]........
13 ue.[ c.8 ].aliator
. . .
1 _[[]seb[]]           
2 ]ab[
. . .
. . .
1 _]ar.[
. . .
9 tiny scraps with exiguous traces of writing.


"Century of Ucen(i)us (?)
overcoats, denarii 13+
pepper, denarii 2
Gambax son of Tappo
towel, denarii 2
Sollemnis (?) ...
a flask ...
Furio (?) son of Stipo (?)
towel, denarii 2
Ammius ...
... 28 (?)"
"buskin, denarii 3_
a sagacia, denarii 5, asses 3
Lucius the shield-maker
tallow, denarii ..
... Uxperus
Agilis (?)
tallow (?), ...
towel, denarii 2
Tullio son of Carpentarius
denarii 40+
century of Tullio
thongs, denarii 2_
tallow, denarii 2
towel (?), denarius 1
tallow, denarii 2+
towel, denarii ..
tallow, denarii ..