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Tablet 186

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Vindolanda Inventory No. 87.567


This double leaf contains 25 lines of an account. Much of the writing is abraded. The tablet is complete at the right-hand margin and probably at the foot, where the bottom third of the second half-leaf appears to be blank. There is some loss at the beginnings of lines. The top of the first half-leaf is physically intact and comparison with line 17 suggests that there is room for a date in the missing portion at the left; this may therefore have been the beginning of the text, but we cannot exclude the possibility that there may have been one or more leaves preceding (cf. 190). The account covers a period of some weeks at the end of AD 110 and the beginning of AD 111. It is of the greatest importance that it contains a reference to the consuls of AD 111 at the point at which the account goes from one calendar year to the next (lines 13-4). It is the only text from Vindolanda to carry a year date and is thus a crucial element in the dating of the occupation levels. Its location in the building of Period 4 suggests a connection with the centurions or optiones of the unit(s) at Vindolanda. The account records miscellaneous commodities (nails for boots, salt, Celtic beer, pork) with quantities and cash value or cost. The names Gracilis, Audax and Similis (see line 22 note) occur with the preposition per, suggesting that commodities were purchased through them. The entry in lines 7-8, however, records 100 nails with the name of Gracilis in the dative, which indicates sale or disbursement to him. It seems plausible that the account was compiled by someone responsible for acquiring and re-selling or redistributing supplies. The names of Gracilis and Audax do not occur elsewhere and that of Similis, if correctly read, is unlikely to have any connection with Flavius Similis (235, 254, 286, cf. 347). There is no indication of the status of these persons and we cannot exclude the possibility that they were slaves (cf. Privatus in 190.c.26 etc.). This is the only account which reckons in asses alone rather than denarii or denarii and asses, and it seems to do so consistently. The hand is rather ugly and sprawling. The form of p in line 4 and elsewhere is noteworthy and might perhaps be termed old-fashioned; the same may be true of a which often has two obliques at the left (see Fig.1 on p.53).

n 1 _[ ] per traces
n 2 [ ]. m(odios) xxx[..] ......
n 3 [ Decem]bres per Gracilem
n 4 [ ]. p(ondo) c ..[
n 5 [...]..[Dece]mbres per Gracilem
n n 6 [..].. p(ondo) xxii (asses) ..
n 7 [c.3] K(alendas) Ianuarias Gracili clauos
n 8 caligares · n(umero) c (asses duos)
9 [ K(alendas) I]anuarias per Audacem
n 10 salis p(ondo) lxxxv[ ].ii.
n 11 [ K(alendas) I]anua{ui}rias cer[u]ese
n 12 metretam (asses) viii
14 [B]OLANO CO(N)S(ULIBUS) uacat
n 15 [c.5 Ia]nuarias per ...a..m
n 16 [ c.6 ] (assem i) .
n 17 [c.5 Feb]ruuaris per Gracilem
n 18 [ c.7 ]..met.r.[c.3]s ...cum (asses) .
n 19 [c.4] Februuar[i]as per Gracilem
n n 20 [c.4]..m e. porc.. traces
n n 21 [p]er Audacem porcine p(ondo) xi ..
n 22 [..Id]us Februuarias per Similem
n 23 ceruese metretam ...
n 24 [ c.7 ]as per Auda[c]em
25 [ c.8 ]m traces
26 uacat


"... through Gracilis (?)

... modii, 30+ ...

.. November/December, through Gracilis,

..., pounds 100 ...

.. November/December, through Gracilis,

... pounds 22, asses ..

00 December, to Gracilis, nails

for boots, number 100, asses 2

00 December, through Audax,

of salt, pounds 85+, asses 12+ (?)

00 December, of Celtic beer,

a metretes, asses 8

In the consulship of Calpurnius Piso

and Vettius Bolanus:

00 January, through Audax (?),

goat-meat (?), ..., as 1 (?)

00 January (?), through Gracilis,

..., asses ..

00 January (?), through Gracilis,

... pork (?) ...,

through Audax, of pork (?), pounds 11+ , ...

0 February, through Similis,

of Celtic beer, a metretes, ...

00 February (?), through Audax