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TVII Tablet: 250
Search Result: 1
Title: Letter from Claudius Karus to Cerialis recommending Brigionus
Category: Correspondence of Cerialis


A letter of recommendation from Karus to Cerialis. In our commentary to the ed. pr. we suggested that the writer might be Iulius Karus of AE 1951.88. However 251 has now produced evidence for a correspondent of Cerialis with the name Claudius Karus and it is much more probable that this is our man; he is likely to be a fellow-prefect. On litterae commendaticiae note, in addition to the bibliography cited in the ed. pr., Speidel and Seider (1988), Vendrand-Voyer (1983). In the ed. pr. (p.106) we stated that Tab.Vindol.I 54 (= 526) and 55 (= 173) might also be litterae commendaticiae; in neither case do we now think this probable and the latter is surely a request for commeatus.

Some significant changes from the ed. pr., especially in lines 5-10, are signalled in the notes.


n 1 [ c.4 ]ius Karus C[e]r[iali
2 [su]o uacat s[alutem
n 3 [ c.4 ]brigionus petit a me
n 4 [domi]ne ut eum tibi com-
n n 5 mendaret rogo ergo do-
n 6 mine si quod a te petierit
n n 7 [u]elis ei subscribere
n 8 Annio Equestri (centurioni) regi-
n 9 onario Luguualio ro-
n n 10 go ut eum commen-
n 11 [ c.4 ] digneris .[...
n 12 [...].que nom[ine
13 debetorem m[e tibi
14 obligaturus op[to
n 15 te felicissimum
n 16 bene [[f]]ualere
17 uacat   
n 18 m2uale frater
1 m1[C]eriali
2 praef(ecto)


" ...ius Karus to his Cerialis, greetings. ... Brigionus (?) has requested me, my lord, to recommend him to you. I therefore ask, my lord, if you would be willing to support him in what he has requested of you. I ask that you think fit to commend him to Annius Equester, centurion in charge of the region, at Luguvalium, [by doing which] you will place me in debt to you both in his name (?) and my own (?). I pray that you are enjoying the best of fortune and are in good health. (2nd hand) Farewell, brother. (Back, 1st hand) To Cerialis, prefect."


1          For the position of su]o and s[alutem cf. ChLA IV 245.

3          We noted in the ed. pr. that there is no guarantee that this is not the end of a longer name beginning in the lost part at the left. The name Brigio probably occurs in 188.10, however, and this makes it probable that what we have here is a latinised version of this name, perhaps even referring to the same person. If it was preceded by a gentilicium here it must have been either short or abbreviated.

4-5          The writer must have intended commendarem (cf. the note in the ed. pr.).

5-10          Our doubts about the reading and interpretation of this passage were signalled in the ed. pr., particularly the notes to lines 7 and 9-10. We remain doubtful that there is room to restore ut at the beginning of line 7. We now accept a suggestion of Adams that we understand rogo in line 5 to be followed by si ... uelis, and that we understand a break in the sense after subscribere, for which the meaning "write in support of to ..." is difficult to defend; we now think that the marks after ro in line 9 are not ink; quod a te petierit will then be parenthetical, which removes the problem posed by si quod (see Tab.Vindol.I, p.73).

7          The reading dign]eris instead of uelis, proposed by Cugusi (1987), 116 (cf. CEL 90), is impossible.

10-12          We still favour the restoration suggested in the ed. pr., ... ut eum commen-/[dare] digneris e[ius / me]oque nom[ine etc., assuming that no line has been lost; qu]oque (suggested by Cugusi (1987), 116, cf. CEL 90) is also possible.

15-16          A detached fragment from the end of the line, which does not appear in Tab.Vindol.I, Plate IV, has um.

Cugusi (1987), 117 and CEL 90 has suggested a different reading of line 16: bene {f} u[[alere]]. We think it more likely that the writer began to repeat felicissimum, realised his mistake after writing fel, perhaps ineffectually rubbed out f and then corrected el to ua in order to begin ualere. It is not entirely certain that the majority of ualere has been erased (by mistake, according to Cugusi, CEL); the apparent crossing-out might simply be the wood-grain.

18          The position of [C]eriali suggests that there was not room for Flauio to have been written before it, but this is the only clear example of omission of the gentilicium.

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