Vindolanda Tablets Online Tablets Exhibition Reference Help

Vindolanda Tablets Online Database - Print-friendly tablets display

TVII Tablet: 198
Search Result: 1
Title: List or account
Category: Accounts and lists


This text is on one side of a fragment of a leaf which has writing on both sides. These three lines are clearly part of a list or account; on the other side are three lines which look like part of a letter (371). The two texts may be written by the same hand since they both have examples of the apex mark over final a. Comparison with 309 might suggest that the list could have been embedded in a letter. Since the better writing surface appears to be the side with the account, however, we prefer to suppose that this is the primary text and that the back was used for a draft letter.


. . . . . . .
n 1 ]..brá n(umero) x
n 2 ]. membrá n(umero) v
n 3 ]...ares n(umero) x
. . . . . . .



1          Although it is possible to read ]mbra, this suggests only membra and it seems unlikely that the account would record the same item with different quantities on consecutive lines. The alternative is ].abra, which suggests e.g. labra, cande]labra.

2          For the use of the apex over a short vowel see above, pp.59-60. The most common meaning of membra which seems at all appropriate to the context is "branches", cf. 196.back 2. However, it may be relevant that Vitruvius 10.11.1 and 7 uses it to describe part of a catapult and of a bal(l)ista; in the latter passage it is the equivalent of ____, regarded by LSJ as the "claws" of a military engine (see ________, 5); cf. TLL VIII 643.33.

3          ]...ares: there appear to be three letters before ares, which is certain. ca]ligares (cf. 186.7-8) is not possible. The letter before a looks like i and the one before that could be t or s or even c. We can find no word ending in -tiares or -siares; -ciares suggests deliciares, a word which occurs in connection with tegulae ("guttering tiles"), or colliciares, but the first i is very difficult and we might have to suppose coll-/del]eciares. Alternatively, if we could imagine a with two down-strokes (admittedly not elsewhere found in this hand), we might have ]ctares (lactares = "suckling", but 10 animals seems a large number).

© Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, The British Museum and other copyright holders.