Tablet 353

description 109 x 20 mm.
A fragment containing the ends of two lines from the left-hand column of a letter and three lines from the end of the right-hand column. The amount of space before the first line in the second column suggests either that the writer left a blank space between the end of the message proper and the closure, or that the three surviving lines came at the top of col.ii; if the latter is the case, as is suggested by the fact that ụalẹ at the end of line ii.3 is probably by a second hand, the letter must have been written on more than one tablet (cf. 292, 343), since the preserved line-ends in col.i clearly cannot belong to the opening of a letter.


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'... Greet Pacata in my words, and all your household with whom, my lord, I pray that you are in good health. (2nd hand?) Farewell. '


ii.1. There is no clear evidence for Pacata elsewhere in the Vindolanda texts (but cf. 320.ii.2). For Pacatus in a Batavian context see CIL 6.8807 (Bellen (1981), no.9); the cognomen is particularly common in Gallia Belgica (see NPEL). uerbis meis: for the expression cf. 310.i.9-10.

ii.2. tuos omnes: cf. 260.7-8, pueros tuos. The ligature of us in quibus is noteworthy. The reading must be correct (cf. 346.ii.4-5, cum quibus / o]p̣to felicissimus uiuas) although no trace of the tail of q survives.

ii.3. ụalẹ: the first letter is very difficult to read but it can hardly be anything else. It is difficult to be certain that we have a second hand here since the sample of writing is so small; on balance, however, it seems likely that uale was added by the author when the scribe had written the fuller closing formula (cf. 250.ii.17, 300.ii.12).

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