]...be..os: the first surviving
trace is compatible with s; thereafter we ought
to have a noun or an adjective to which quos in line 2 refers and
the verb adfero in line 3 suggests that we ought to think of
objects rather than persons (cf. 327.1). We suggest the
reading libellos, which is
compatible with the traces and could be understood either in the literal sense
of "little books" (cf. libros, 333.2) or
"petitions" (of which we have possible examples in 322 and 344, cf. 257). There
may be ink traces after this word, in which case a number might be appropriate.
It is uncertain whether there is ink after saluta. If so,
probably a, the beginning of a name or of a me.
There are traces of the bottoms of a few letters which would be compatible
with the reading/restoration of Flauio Ceriali praef(ecto), but they
by no means compel it. Alternatively, c[o]h(ortis), but that
makes it difficult to see how we could read the trace at the beginning of line
2 (see note).
It is very difficult to see how the ink mark at the broken edge before the
numeral can be read as h of co]h(ortis), nor is
it obvious that the missing piece could have accommodated co; if it
were an abbreviation mark we would certainly expect to see some part of coh before
the break. There may be an oblique mark over the last digit of the numeral.
The reading of Petri is uncertain but we
can think of no military rank or title which suits the traces. The name Petrus
does occur in Gallia Belgica (CIL 13.1443, 1547) but
not until the Christian period. There is, however, an earlier occurrence of
the female cognomen Petra in Germania Superior (CIL 13.11672,
cf. Weisgerber (1968), 241-2) which might justify our reading. What precedes it
looks most like l but we do not find co]l(lega) Petri
persuasive; perhaps (turmae) or (centuriae) F]l(auii) Petri (for the
abbreviation of the gentilicium cf. 291.i.1).
Alternatively, we might have a reference to the ala Petriana (see CIL 16.43,
69) in which case the line might read dec(urione) a]l(ae)
Petri(anae), cf. 284.back 3 note.