The name has been quoted as Claudius or Cloudius Super (VRR II, 41)
but the first surviving letter is much more easily read as o. Clodius
and Modius would be possible restorations but the former is more common and
much easier to reconcile with the traces on the back. We have found no other
evidence for this man in the tablets and it is impossible to read the nomen as
Curtius (for Curtius Super see 213).
The restoration of the very common cognomen Valentinus (cf.
perhaps 187.i.2) seems inescapable. n for n(ostrum) is
surmounted by a horizontal stroke, as elsewhere, and it may be preceded and
followed by medial dots (cf. 248.ii.10 note).
reading is not in doubt even though g is lacking its tail.
Apart from the reference to Rome in 283.4 and another
possible reference to Gaul in 154.12 (see note), this
is the only mention in the tablets of a known place-name outside Britain.
ea quae ... opus sunt: for opus as predicative,
agreeing with the nominative (in this case quae), see OLD, s.v. opus 13b and
in particular the reference there to Quadrigarius, Hist.36, res
quae militibus opus sunt, ligna, aquam, pabulum.
ussibus: as often
the original geminate is retained after a long vowel, see Tab.Vindol.I, p.73, 309.i.3 note
(cf. Bowman and Thomas (1987), 141).
puerorum: it is
very improbable that Super is referring to his own sons and the number of
separate kinds of cloak required in batches of six and seven reinforces this. puer can mean
"boy" in a colloquial sense among coevals, see Apuleius, Met.3.5, heus,
pueri, quam maribus animis ... dormientes adgrediamur, cf.
Catullus, 12.9, and note the use of the Greek equivalent _________ to refer to
soldiers in Polybius 6.35.8. More commonly, however, it means
"slaves" (see OLD, s.v.5 and e.g. Cicero, Att.3.7.1)
and we suggest that this is the appropriate meaning here (cf. also 260.7). This
is also probably the meaning at O.Bu Njem 86.2-4 (cf. p.36), trasmisi
a<t> te domine item per puros (l. pueros) tuuos
gura duua semis (compare the editor's comment on ________ in O.Claud. 151).
Clodius Super is probably a centurion, but the numbers of garments involved are
not appropriate to the members of a century and a centurion might well have several
slaves, see CIL 3.8143 = IMS 2.325. It is perhaps
worth noting that Cato, Agr.59 includes tunicam and saga among the
clothing to be provided for agricultural slaves and that one of the categories
of clothing (including saga and tunicas)
specified at Digest 34.2.23 is familiarica (i.e.
suitable for slaves).
sagacias: there is no serious
doubt about the reading and the word also occurs in 521.2 and 184.ii.20,
cf. Tab.Vindol.I, p.74. It evidently refers to some kind of
a military cloak, as do the words sagum and palliolum. The
precise differences between these different kinds of cloak are so unclear that
we see no point in trying to translate the words.
saga: the two
letters after sex are sa but the reading
thereafter is very uncertain; as the traces might suit b we have
wondered whether to read sab[ana (linen
cloths), but the word is probably too long to leave enough space for a numeral;
the same objection would apply to the reading sexs ab[ollas.
remains only the bottom of a stroke sloping down from left to right which, by
its position, ought to be the last letter in the line. If this is so, the
restoration of se]x suits the trace far
better than the ends of the other numbers up to 10.
Our reading and interpretation of this passage is offered very tentatively and
should not conceal the difficulties in the readings at the beginnings of lines
11 and 12, and in line 13.
quae: q has all
but disappeared and it is not clear whether the apparent sloping stroke is in
fact ink; if so, it is made differently from q elsewhere in this
text. We think the reading of uae probable but the
ligature of ua is unexpected.
certe: the order is
unusual, but see Seneca, Contr. 10.5.2, scis certe quam tristem
illum emeris (and cf. Seneca, Ep. 24.16).
Palaeographically it would be equally possible to read per te, but we
have not been able to reconstruct a satisfactory sense along these lines.
hic: hoc is also a
possible reading but we think hic
preferable and it gives better sense.
writing at the end of the line is abraded. The reading we have adopted is
compatible with, but not compelled by, the traces.
rite: the reading is
difficult but we do not think it possible to read saepe, which we
have also considered; sepe (cf. O.Wâdi
Fawâkhir 2.9-10 (= CEL 74), sepius for saepius) is even
harder. For the sense in which we understand rite see OLD, s.v.3.
impetrare: cf. 269.3.
simus: see note
to line 13.
nona.cusi: this is
a major crux. The reading of non is certain but nonanis quoted by
A.R.Birley (1990a), 18 and implying a connection with a unit numbered ninth, is
impossible since us is certain; although nonanus might be
just possible as a reading, we cannot see how it could be construed. In
addition, between us and etiam there is a very
clear vertical stroke which, if it is ink as it appears to be, can only be read
as i. This points to an adjective or participle ending -usi, to be
taken with simus. It is, however, a major difficulty that the
word order cum simus non followed by a participle or adjective is
under most circumstances unacceptable; we should expect cum non simus, plus
participle, or cum non (participle) simus. Even if
we could accept the eccentric word-order the passage would still be difficult
to explain. The letter after non resembles a and that
before us most resembles c, but we cannot
suggest a suitable word with these letters. We have considered the possibility
of reading excusi and, since we do not see how the participle
of excudo could make sense in this context, taking it as intended
for excussi. However, this poses problems of both reading and
interpretation: x is not easy to read and e is very
difficult (as noted above, the letter looks most like a). Neither
OLD nor LS suggests a suitable meaning but TLL V.2 1314
includes promptus among the synonyms for excussus. If the
mark before etiam is, despite appearances, dirt, we might just
be able to read aptus (though p is not
easy and t is very hard). This would necessitate reading sim rather
than simus in line 12 (the marks at the end could also be dirt
rather than ink), but the sense conveyed would be the same. Non liquet.
ad eo[rum: a is
certain, d followed by e possible; o is a mere
trace which could be anything.
translationem: for the use of translatus in
reference to the movement of personnel see e.g. RMR 63.ii.8,
64.ii.22, 25. No doubt translatio could also refer to
the transport of clothing but we have not been able to find it attested in this
sense, though transfero is well enough attested for transporting
things from one place to another (OLD, s.v. 1a).
ualeas: the last
three letters are severely abraded. uale mi (cf. 242.ii.2-3
note, 247.2) is not impossible.
This line and the two following are indented to the width of half the column;
for a comparable layout in a Greek letter cf. P.Herm.Rees 5 (=
Turner (1987), 70).
The ends of both lines are very abraded. In line 16 the first word does not
look like karissime but the reading is plausible if it began
with c. We might then have et followed by the
beginning of another superlative (but felicis- looks too short).
The centurial sign looks clear on the photograph and the original does not
suggest that the mark is dirt rather than ink. If Clodius Super is a centurion,
it might be thought surprising that in line 15 he uses the term frater in
addressing the prefect Cerialis; he could easily have been a legionary
centurion appointed ex equite Romano, however, and he
would then be of the same social status as Cerialis (see E.Birley (1988),
189-205, citing e.g. ILS 2656, CPE 625-9, Dobson
(1972)). There is very little documentary evidence for the language used in
such contexts in military correspondence, see RMR,