Tablet 593

description 184 x 30 mm. Plate 6.
Archaeological data. Location: SG (bonfire site). Period: 3.
A diptych containing two columns of an account or memorandum written along the grain of the wood. The tablet is complete at the top (probably), right and left but incomplete at the foot. It contains a list of equipment for catching fowl and birds which had been left somewhere, perhaps at Vindolanda, as A.R.Birley suggests ((2002), 149), when the Ninth Cohort of Batavians moved on. It seems clear from this that fowling was undertaken as a sport which produced edible results. For evidence of the sporting aspect, note O.Wâdi Fawâkhir 14.3-8. and for the diet cf. Davies (1989), 195-6, Maltby (1997), 402-14, Hamilton-Dyer (1997), 326-29, Marvell and Owen-John (1997), 406-9. For other hunting connections and references in the tablets see 615, 594, 233.i.4 note and cf. A.R.Birley (2002), 147-51, reinforcing the idea that it was a popular activity among officers.
The text offers a particular point of lexical interest in the appearance of three words relating to birds or fowl which have not occurred before, all formed from the noun plus the suffix –aris (turdaris, anataris and cicnaris); the only parallel we have found is columbaris in later Latin (DMl I 385). On this subject and for other comments on the vocabulary of this text see Adams (2003).
The hand is a good cursive with some pretensions to elegance; note serifs on u and i and the square forms of p and l. Interpunct is used with some consistency. The back is blank.


laquios · iii cicnares penẹṣ traces n
laquios · vii · penes · Veṭeranuṃ n


'Nets which we have left.
A net for thrushes
A net for ducks
A drag-net for fishing

Snares, 3, for swans, with
Snares, 7, with Veteranus (?) '


i.1. The ink is faded at the right. We might have reḷiqui, reḷiquiṭ or reḷiquiṃụṣ but there appear to be more traces than the first two would justify and is reasonably clear. Rete is assumed normally to be neuter by LS and OLD but instances of the accusative singular retem are quoted; here it is quite clearly feminine. As evidence for the feminine form LS cites Varro, RR 3.5.11, cum a summa macerie ad epistylum tecta porticus sit rete cannabina …, and for the accusative plural Charisius, p.20 P, in retes meas incidisti. Cf. Adams (2003).

i.2. turdarem: for turdus see André (1967), 157-8. Something of a culinary delicacy, apparently; see Petronius, Sat. 65.2, 69.6. Various small birds are attested archaeologically in Davies's table III ((1989), 195), but not the thrush.

i.3. anatarem: formed from anas. Pliny, NH 10.3.7 has anataria as an adjective describing a kind of eagle.

i.4. euerriculum is the form given in OLD and LS; TLL has several variants, but not this one. See also 596.back 2-3 note.

ii.1. laquios: we have not been able to find this form of laqueus (but cf. laquiaribus from laqueare, CIL VIII 16530). For interchange of e and i see Adams (1995a), 91. cicnares: the usual spelling of the noun is cycnus or cygnus but the substitution of i for y poses no problem, see Adams (2003). For the form of the adjectival ending see the introduction (and note that cignares cannot be read). At the right there may be interpuncts before and after penẹṣ; thereafter the faint traces would suit Ạ…ẹṃ , e.g. Ạg̣ịḷẹṃ, cf. 329.2 and 184.25 note. This would support the notion that Veṭeranuṃ in line 2, below, is a personal name .

ii.2. Veṭeranuṃ: cf. 187.i.11, where we have the abbreviation uet, following a personal name and 581.22 and note, where ueteranus may also be preceded by a personal name. The present reference seems rather vague in a context where there must have been several veterans, unless the word indicates someone whom the writer knew well, in a memorandum to himself; otherwise, it is more likely to be a personal name (cf. LC 320, NPEL, s.v).

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