From Alan Bowman and David Thomas, Vindolanda: the Latin writing
tablets London: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies,
1983, pp. 194
The coherence of this group of texts and the identity of the persons
or persons concerned is problematical and the difficulties are compounded
by the fact that Genialis is a common cognomen.
There are two texts addressed to Flavius Genialis, both assigned
to Period 3 (218,
Another letter, also from Period 3, was sent to Flavius Cerialis
by Flavius Genialis and the address on the back shows that this
was not a draft or copy (256).
There are two letters to a Genialis in which the cognomen
only is preserved (217,
In three other letters which contain the cognomen only
the readings are too dubious to be used as evidence (220,
now appears likely to be the opening of a letter rather than a list,
but only the first letter (g) of the name of the addressee
is preserved; Genialis is no more than a possibility. Another letter
which was assigned to this group in Tab.Vindol.I can now
be seen not to belong (171).
Finally, a letter assigned to Period 2 and addressed to Candidus,
a slave of Genialis, is also relevant (301).
If we ignore the evidence of 256,
it is possible to suppose that there are 7 or 8 letters addressed
to the same (Flavius) Genialis and that he was at Vindolanda at
some time in Period 2 or 3 or both (cf. A.R.Birley (1990a), 20,
suggesting that he was a predecessor of Flavius Cerialis). The combination
of evidence in 220
makes it likely that he was a prefect, as was suggested in Tab.Vindol.I.
The content of 218, and of the other letters in so far as they are
preserved, is not inappropriate. 256,
however, attests a correspondent of Cerialis named Flavius Genialis
who was presumably somewhere other than Vindolanda at some point
in Period 3. If this is the same man, we must suppose that he had
moved on. On the difficulties of interpretation see further 256,