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Tablet 317

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Vindolanda Inventory No. 86.458


This fragment belongs to the right-hand portion of a diptych with two notches in the right-hand edge. We may have virtually the whole of the half-leaf; we have considered, but are inclined to reject, the possibility that we may have the ends of lines of col.i at the left. The leaf contains part of a draft of a letter with erasures, corrections and interlinear additions. These make it difficult to be sure of the line divisions or of the articulation of words and phrases, especially since so little of the content is preserved. There seem essentially to be six lines of writing, well spaced out with good word division. The draft is of interest for the insight it provides into the process of composition of a letter and it might possibly be the work of the hand of Cerialis (see 225-32; the form of n with a long descender at the right in line 3b is very like the eccentric n in 225.back 24). In so far as we have any clue to the subject-matter, the occurrence of the words cognitionem and misi suggests that the writer may be informing a higher official that he has sent a miscreant to be dealt with; cf. 322, 344.

. . . . . . . . . .
n 1 ].ra. [[.r.mur]] detu
2 ]...[ c.4] ita ut iuss[[eras]isti
n 3 ].om[.].o..nti.traces com...
n n 4 ] ad [[cognitionem]] inscrib-
n 5 ]dam cognitionem
6 ]m misi [[a...]]
7 ].et c.9 mentum
8 traces
. . . . . . . . . .