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Tablet 234

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Vindolanda Inventory No. 85.118


Six fragments of a diptych containing a draft of a letter in two columns from Flavius Cerialis to September, presumably Caecilius September of 252-3 (cf. A.R.Birley (1991), 98-9). The space after the last line in the right-hand column probably indicates that we have the end of the message proper, to which Cerialis would have added a closure in the fair copy. The left-hand column is broader than the right and overruns the fold. The hand is probably the same as that of 239. The text appears to contain an interesting example of a phonetic error probably caused by dictation (see note to line ii.2); if so, this is the only clear evidence in the tablets for the use of dictation, which we suppose was common. If the content of the second column relates directly to what is in the first (which depends on how many lines are lost), Cerialis may be saying that tomorrow in accordance with September's wish he intends to buy, or to send the money for, some items in order to help them endure the stormy weather. The precaution is appropriate to October, the month in which Cerialis is writing.

1 Flauius Cerialis Septembri
2 suo salutem
3 quod uis domine cras
4 id est iii Nonas Oc[t]ó-
5 bres merc.. pa..[
. . . . . . . . .
6 qui feramus tem-
7 pestates [[et hiem]] etiam si
8 molestae sint


"Flavius Cerialis to his September, greetings. Tomorrow, which is 5 October, as you wish my lord, I will provide some goods (?) ... by means of which (?) we may endure the storms even if they are troublesome."