Tablet 659

description 91 x 29 mm.
Archaeological data. Location: SG (rampart edge). Period: ? .
A fragment of a letter, broken at the top and (probably) at the foot. The column of writing is complete at left and right; presumably a left-hand column since the back is blank. There are several examples of interpunct, but as usual it is often unclear whether a dot is ink or not; there may well, therefore, be either more or fewer examples than indicated in the transcript. The hand is a practised, right-sloping cursive. Note the squat form of l with a noticeable serif at the top, and the elongated initial i in iussus (both line 3).
The content, such as it is, is interesting but frustratingly fragmentary. Some kind of a legal case may be at issue, entailing the deportation of one person from the province in chains; cf. perhaps 849 and Appendix, 256. On legal matters occurring in the Vindolanda material cf. Peachin (1999).


. . . . . . . .
..[....]ṣ...ṣ..ṛuị · in c̣ạusa fue-
n · ex quibus unum · in
uinculis ·iussus· est · de pro-
· exportarẹ · qụ.r.ṛ n
5 quod · Vindex ụo. [....] .[ n
. . . . . . . .


' were in the case (?), one of whom he was ordered to deport from the province in chains. I am complaining (?) that Vindex '


1. ṛuị + interpunct before in c̣ạusa is a good, but far from certain, reading (also possible are ṛuẹ, q̣uị and q̣uẹ). ṛuị might point to serui (slaves would naturally be deported in chains), but the traces do not really support this. in c̣ạusa fueṛunt: in the context it seems quite likely that causa means a legal case. However, there is an idiomatic use of causa with esse (see TLL III 670.60ff.) in which est in causa means "is the cause, reason" and this may be what we have here: on this use of in causa see Adams (1995b), 574-5.

4. exportarẹ: this appears to be a technical term for exporting a slave outside the province in which he has been purchased: cf., e.g., Digest 18.7.7, and TLL V.2 1770.16ff. However, it is perhaps unlikely that it is being used in this technical sense here. Perhaps cf. 89.974 (stilus tablet), see Bowman and Tomlin (2004). At the right the tablet is much abraded. If the two letters read as r have been read correctly, qụẹrọṛ would be possible. qụẹrọṛ quod (cf. OLD s.v. queror 2b) would then begin a new sentence.

5. Vindex: a man of this name occurs in 260.7, 631.b.2 and 802. However, uindex could be a common noun, especially if the context is legal. The top of the letter after ụo suggests b, i.e.uobis, but we should then expect to see the top of s. If, on the other hand, we read this as , i.e. no doubt some part of uolo, it is made quite differently from l in line 3.

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