fabae frensae: only the bottoms of letters of fabae survive but we are in no doubt about the reading. For the collective use see 192.3. For frensus as an alternative form of fre(s)sus see TLL VI.1 1286 and for fabae fressae lines 68ff.; cf. formonsa in line 3. TLL shows that faba fre(s)sa is a well-known expression, found at Ed. Diocl. 1.9, 10 and several times in CGL (where the spelling frensa is found in the mss. at II 69.3, 314.1, V 60.28).
m(odios): m is very faint but can certainly be read. There is no trace of a superscript dash. It is slightly odd that the number is written in full as duos rather than digits (so too uiginti in line 2), especially given the layout of the text. It looks less odd in lines 3-5 and (e.g.) 255.ii.9-10 where the text is continuous.
pullos: for chicken and other domestic fowl in the military diet see Davies (1989), 195-6, Dannell and Wild (1987), 68, and for Vindolanda, Hodgson (1976), 25-6 and (1977), VRR III, 113.
mala: only the bottoms of the last two letters survive but we are confident of the reading. Apples are not mentioned elsewhere in the Vindolanda tablets (for fruit in the military diet see Davies (1989), 198). si has almost completely disappeared but the reading is surely inescapable. That the adjective formonsa is appropriate to apples is suggested by its use with poma (TLL VI.1 1112.57); for the form see Adams (1994). formosa is used of pondera by Rustius Barbarus in O.Wâdi Fawâkhir 1.11 = CEL 73.
oua: cf. 193.5 and note.
There is a clear interpunct after ibi.
aequo emantur: we have not found an example of the use of aequo on its own with the verb emo, and pretio must be understood, unless it followed the verb; cf. perhaps aequo perferet, 215.ii.6 and note. For the phrase aequo pretio see Digest 30.66 and cf. aequis pretiis in Digest 47.11.6 pr., Livy 7.21.8.
Our understanding of these lines is hampered by the fact that we do not know how long they were.
The reference to mulsi, a drink made from honey and wine, suggests that the word following might well be ebrius or a cognate. If there is a word division at the edge of the leaf, ebri- would be preferable and there may be a faint trace of i. Apart from the possible reading of a titulus pictus on the neck of an amphora from Masada (Doc.Masada 821) we have found no explicit reference to mulsum in the military context (not mentioned by Davies (1989), 187-206), but honey is attested at Vindolanda in 192.7.
]mus is presumably the end of a verb, possibly emere.
oliuae: for the collective singular cf. line 1, fabae. For olives in Britain see Britannia 21 (1990), 369-70 no.24.
Only exiguous traces of the bottoms of letters.
If the recipient was a slave of Verecundus, seruo might have followed Verecundi, but it is not essential, see 301.back 8-9.
There may be traces at the bottom left corner where one might expect the name of the sender of the letter.