Vindolanda Tablets Online Tablets Exhibition Reference Help


Vindolanda and its setting


Forts and military life



Reading the tablets

about this exhibition

images from Vindolanda

The Vindolanda writing tablets, written in ink on post-card sized sheets of wood, have been excavated at the fort of Vindolanda, immediately south of Hadrian’s Wall in northern England. Dating to the the late first and early second centuries AD, the formative period of Roman Britain’s northern frontier, they were written by and for soldiers, merchants, women and slaves. Through their contents, life in one community on the edge of the Roman world can be reconstructed in detail.

This exhibition introduces the tablets, drawing on information from the documents themselves and archaeological evidence from Vindolanda and elsewhere. Follow the links to explore the exhibition. The individual sections contain links to tablets in the database relevant to their theme. Highlights can also be found under ‘Browse’. For information on specific aspects of the tablets’ content, such as names, army units and ranks, the calendar, Roman currency and weights and measures, see the reference section.

Vindolanda and its setting – the excavations and a site tour

History – Roman Britain’s frontiers and Vindolanda

Forts and military life – the fort and the lives of soldiers

People – officers, men, families and civilians at Vindolanda

Documents – writing and learning Latin

Reading the tablets – alphabets, scripts and reading the texts