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Tablet 213

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Vindolanda Inventory No. 88.865


Part of a diptych, complete at the top and both margins, containing a letter from Curtius Super to Cassius Saecularis. Curtius Super does not appear elsewhere in the tablets (for another person with this cognomen see 255.i.1). What is preserved of the substance of the letter concerns a transaction involving barley which has been purchased and Super seems to be suggesting that some persons or group should obtain it from Saecularis (see ii.2-3 note). This concern with supplies would fit the hypothesis that Saecularis was perhaps an optio. It is noteworthy that, despite the fact that both the gentilicium and the cognomen of the addressee are given on the back, the opening of the letter simply has Cassio suo. There is no precise parallel to this in the openings of the Vindolanda letters, nor have we found one in CEL (it is unclear whether Valerius of P.Qasr Ibrîm 30 = CEL 4 had a cognomen). In 291.ii.9 Claudia Severa refers to her husband Aelius Brocchus as Aelius meus. In 343.i.1 the writer calls himself Octavius only, but this could be a cognomen (NPEL s.v., cf. A.R.Birley (1991), 94). The hand, a practised one writing rapidly, is of some palaeographical interest and can also be identified in 313. The use of ligature is frequent, particularly notable in Super (i.1). Letter-forms of interest are o left open at the right, n which is made in a single stroke in ii.1 (contrast ii.3) and i with a serif at the right and not always at the top of the vertical; b in habeant, which seems to be ligatured to a preceding, has almost completely lost its bow. The writing in column ii slopes up to the right in relation to the grain of the wood.

1 Curtius Super Cassio suo
2 salutem
3 ].[..].[..].[..].[
. . . . . . . .
4 ut interpreteris
5 et ut hordeum commer-
6 cium habeant a te [
7 [...]
8 ]e.da
. . . . . . .
n 1 Cassio Saecu-
2 [lari]
. . . . . .


"Curtius Super to his Cassius, greetings. ... so that you may explain and so that they may get from you barley as commercial goods ... (Back) To Cassius Saecularis."