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Correspondence of Genialis

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Tab. Vindol. II Introductory chapters

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Correspondence of Verecundus

Correspondence of Saecularis

Correspondence of Genialis

Correspondence of Cerialis

Correspondence of Lepidina

Correspondence of Priscinus

Correspondence of Lucius

Miscellaneous correspondence


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Digitising Vindolanda

Tab. Vindol. II Addenda and Corrigenda

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Correspondence of Genialis: tablets 217-224

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, 221). 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, 219). In three other letters which contain the cognomen only the readings are too dubious to be used as evidence (220, 222, 223). 224 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 and 301 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, introduction.

Correspondence of Genialis: tablets 217-224

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