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Tablet 208

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Vindolanda Inventory No. 87.596.a-c


Three fragments of a tablet written in a cursive hand of good quality which uses interpunct fairly frequently. The largest piece has a notch and tie-hole, which the writing avoids, in the bottom edge, but it is probable that the text does not end here. Unfortunately, we have not succeeded in joining the fragments, but the content suggests that all the pieces belong to the same text. It is clearly concerned with foodstuffs but does not seem likely to be an account. We suggest that it might be a culinary recipe, a hypothesis supported by the fact that it was found in Room VIII of the Period 3 praetorium which has been identified as a kitchen (see VRR I). For a text which is perhaps comparable see P.Heid. 1001.a-b (=CPL 318). The occurrence of the word batauico in line 2 might indicate that the Batavian officers' families brought some of their culinary customs with them (cf. Trow (1990), 107). It is impossible to be certain of the precise nature of the recipe but the presence of a garlic mixture (alliatum) and spiced wine or pickling liquor (conditum), perhaps also salt and olives (see notes to b.2, c.2), suggests a preserve of some kind (cf. Apicius 3.9).

. . . . . .
n 1 ]... scutul.[
n 2 ]m batauico[
n 3 ]m · alliatum
n 4 ]nce · uacat
n 5 ]ulum condit[
n 6 ].ipe
. . . . . .
. . .
n 1 ]en.[
n 2 ]eoli[
n 3 ]tul[
. . .
. . .
1 ]um[
n 2 ]l et [
n 3 ]..[
. . .