Tablet 176

description

Inv.no.85.187. 110 x 42 mm. Plate VII.
The text on this fragment may be practically complete. It appears to be the only case in which the applicant specifies the purpose of the leave as well as his destination (see notes to lines 4-5), which is of some interest in view of Vegetius' statement about the difficulty of obtaining leave (2.19, quoted above, p.77). Both the destination and the purpose are, however, unfortunately obscure. A small scrap with a tie-hole and the remains of a v-shaped notch may contain a few letters from the beginning of a line (unless the marks are dirt), possibly line 5. The back is blank.

translation

'Buccus ... I ask, my lord, that you consider me a worthy person to whom to grant leave at ... so that I might ... '

commentary

1. Buccus: see LC 225, TLL I 2230.40-44, citing CIL 13.5730. The Latin word bucca means "cheek" but this name is generally regarded as Celtic (e.g. AS I 626); André (1991), 37 explains it as onomatopoeic, however, and appears to doubt the Celtic origin of the word. t.[: in view of the occurrence of a centurial sign plus name at the corresponding point in 166, 168, 169, 171 and 172 it is tempting to suppose that we should restore tu[rmae followed by a name. It should be noted that this text is attributed to Period 3 and that there is no evidence that the Ninth Cohort of Batavians was an equitate unit (see above, p.23). It is not certain, however, that this text is connected with that unit or directed to Cerialis (for the Third Cohort of Batavians see 311.back, 263.ii.5 and for a turma 159.1, all attributed to Period 3). Another possibility is that the name was followed by a rank, e.g. te[sserarius; tu[, however, is a very much easier reading than te[.

2. This line is slightly indented, the following one slightly more so. It is noteworthy that the applicant does not add the name of the recipient after domine. dignum: only the bottoms of letters survive; these permit the reading given but cannot be said to compel it. But there cannot be any doubt about what is required.

3. Only faint traces remain at the end of the line, which are not easy to reconcile with com; c[o]m is perhaps the least difficult reading. The word commeatum must have been divided between two lines since the presence of the whole word in line 4 would cause it to commence further to the left than the preceding lines.

4. p.r.so: this must be understood as a place-name, see 174.4, 175.3. It does not seem possible to read coris; the first letter looks much more like p, though c or t is not impossible; although the fifth letter could well be s, there seems to be a trace of one more letter following it; p.r.so does not suggest any known place-name (we note the Parisi of east Yorkshire, PNRB 435-6, but it is impossible to read the second letter as a; it looks more like u). ut possi[m: none of the other Vindolanda applications gives any clue to what we might expect after a place-name, but the reading is compatible with the traces and we think it likely to be correct. See ChLA XI 467.2-7, P.Wisc.II 70 and cf. Speidel and Seider (1988), quoted in the introduction to this section.

5. ]e.ere fa.[: the gap after ]e.ere suggests the end of a word, so if the reading of line 4 is correct we might expect an infinitive, with something preceding it. emere is a possible reading and makes good sense. Following fa there is a high mark which may or may not be ink; if it is, it is probably b or l. In that case we might have ut possi[m / ...] emere fab[as (cf. 302.1) or fal[cem, for example. If it is not ink, we could imagine a noun preceding emere and fa[mili-/ari meo or fa[mili-/aribus meis following.

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