Vindolanda Tablets Online Tablets Exhibition Reference Help

Volume One (TVI) material for tablet 224 (TVI tablet number 10)

Commentary:

This small fragment containing part of one line and the tops of letters from a second is difficult to classify. One possibility is that it is the beginning of a letter written by Licinius Asper to an addressee whose name began with G (in which case one naturally thinks of Flavius Genialis, the recipient of Nos. 34-6 (218, 171, 223)). The main difficulty with this is that the pattern of the other letters in the collection would lead one to expect suo salutem or just salutem on a second line at the right, and the space between the two lines which survive on our fragment hardly seems to allow room for this. To allow room for G[eniali with or without suo in line 1 we would have to assume that the address overran the central fold, which is possible. But the trace of the first letter in line 2 looks exactly like the initial 1 in line 1 and comes immediately underneath it. This leads us to suggest that we may have part of an alphabetical list of names.

Palaeographically the text is of some interest as the hand can be said to have some pretensions to style; note especially the form of a, with the second stroke starting a long way to the left and ending in a short third stroke parallel to the first (see Vol. 1., Ch. 4).

 

Notes:

1. Licinius Asper: the name does not appear elsewhere in the tablets (note, however, aspr[ in No. 24.7 (270)). The final s of the nomen has the diagonal cross-stroke, whilst that in Asper has the short horizontal. If this is an address, the final letter on the line shows that it was not part of the archive of Cerialis or Crispinus. On the other hand it may be a notation or description (e.g. galearius, cf. RMR 9.4k) if this is a list. The Roman names (there is no sign of a praenomen) need not indicate a legionary (cf. RMR 64, BGU 423.22-3).