The omission of the name of the sender is unique in the tablets; it is
understandable in a draft, however, especially if this is a draft jotted down
by Cerialis himself.
We retain the reading of the cognomen as Crispino; Priscino is less
attractive palaeographically. Even if the latter were correct, he should
probably not be identified with the principal person in the correspondence of
For similar erasures in draft letters see 227, 232 and 317, and for
examples from elsewhere see e.g. Sijpesteijn and Worp (1977), Speidel and
A possible restoration would be: redeunte a
[Vin-/dolanda] et ad [te / ueniente].
inter praecipua uoti habeo: cf. O.Wâdi
Fawâkhir 2.2 (= CEL 74), opto deos ut
bene ualeas que mea uota sunt.
We propose the restoration of d[ignit]atem here,
which might be the antecedent of the following cuius.
il[.../....]m Marcellum: we
retain the reading of the ed. pr. despite the fact
that A.R.Birley (1991), 96 proposes N[e-/ratiu]m. There is no doubt
that the reference in these lines is to L.Neratius Marcellus, known to have
been governor of Britain in AD 103. In the ed. pr. we
suggested reading il[lum / Luciu]m Marcellum, while indicating in
our discussion that we recognised the difficulties posed by this restoration.
Birley has argued that instead of il it is possible to
read n and that the correct restoration is N[e-/ratiu]m Marcellum (accepted
in CEL 105). This removes the difficulties we indicated but we are
unable to accept it for two reasons. First the word division: ratiu]m must have
come in line 14 but there would have been ample room for Nera in line
13. Secondly, while we accept that n is not impossible at
the end of the preserved part of line 13, the reading is much more likely to be
il (pace Birley there is no other n in this
text made in quite this way). However, study of many more Vindolanda letters
than were available to us when we produced the ed. pr. has
shown that writers sometimes began the first line of a second column further to
the left than the subsequent lines (see 215, introduction); if
we imagine our writer as having done this in the first line on the back of his
leaf, it would be possible to restore the whole of Neratiu]m in line
it, we now think it possible that we should read s]alutes or
possibly even salutes. The
traces just after the break are indeterminate but l looks
plausible; ut is written above the line and it is impossible to tell
whether there is erasure below or just an irregularity in the grain of the wood
which the writer has avoided.
The sense which we envisaged here in the ed. pr.is conveyed by a
restoration such as: quare [dat / oc]cassionem
nunc ut f[auoris sit gra-/ti]a tibi
amicorum do[tes augendo] / sua [p]raesentia.
See CEL 105, where [nunc] is restored at the end of line 19 and
the alternative reading uoles (for uoues) which we
discussed in the ed.pr. is preferred. This necessitates a different
understanding of the preceding passage, for which Cugusi offers: quos (sc. amicos) tu
[gratia] / illius (sc. Marcelli) scio plurimos
habere. This seems to us a more attractive
reconstruction than our original suggestion.
The reading of the word at the end of the line is difficult. plur[i]mis makes
good sense and we now think that it might be possible to read it, although mis is far
Compare Speidel and Seider (1988): rogo domine dignum me iudices ut ....
possim beneficio tuo ... (a text also regarded by its editors as a
hiberna (or q[uom), CEL 105: this
seems to us improbable.