diptych containing a letter from September to Cerialis, written in an
interesting hand; noteworthy is the form of a (see Fig.1, col.2).
It is also notable that the left-hand column extended well beyond the middle of
the tablet. We have the end of the letter in the short, right-hand column. The
loss of some of the address on the back of the right-hand side indicates that
part of the leaf is lost at the foot, in which case we may have lost two to
three lines in the left-hand column.
the gentilicium is correctly read as Caecilius (see note to
line 1), Cerialis' correspondent is probably identical with the man of the same
name who is attested in command of a cohort in Syria in AD 88 (PME I, C26,
A.R.Birley (1991), 98-9). September's reference to his having sent something per
equitem may indicate that he had cavalry under his command, as a prefect
of an ala or cohors equitata; it is possible,
however, that he could have used an intermediary who was not a member of his
own unit. For other texts possibly concerning this person see 234, 253, 298.
September to his Cerialis, greetings. ... I have sent to you ... through a
cavalryman. (2nd hand) Farewell, my lord and brother. (Back, 1st hand) To
The reading of the gentilicium as Caecilius is not
entirely comfortable, principally because the spacing of the letters suggests
that there ought to be either one broad letter or two letters between a and c and
because we cannot see the top of e. Cancilius (ILEsp. 966) would
perhaps be preferable palaeographically, but Caecilius is by far the commonest
of the names ending in -cilius (see RNGCL).
September: the cognomen is not
very common. LC lists 14 examples, NPEL only the Caecilius September mentioned in the introduction.
Only the tops of letters in the address on the back are visible.