Tablet 184

description 210 x 70 mm. (approx.). Plate XII. VRR II, Plate XVII.
There are 27 fragments of a double leaf which contains an account written in three columns along the grain of the wood. The configuration of the text enables us to place most of the major fragments with relative confidence (although very few of them are directly contiguous, which accounts for the approximation in calculating the size of the diptych). The text transcribed as (a) accounts for 14 of the fragments, (b) and (c) for another 2. Of the remaining 11 scraps, 9 contain exiguous traces and 2 appear to be blank. This is one of the few ink texts attributed to the later part of the period of occupation when the area may have been occupied by a workshop (although the distinction between barrack-block and workshop may not always be clear-cut, see Glasbergen and Groenman-van Waateringe (1974), 11, 25).
The account in (a) consists of 40 or 42 lines of text (see below) arranged in three columns. The format is not paralleled elsewhere in the tablets and is unexpected because the middle column straddles the central fold. The text is written in a competent cursive hand and is neatly arranged, with commodities and names aligned and the former regularly indented with respect to the latter. It is probable that in columns i and ii (though not in column iii) names and commodities alternate line by line.
Columns i and ii record names, commodities and amounts of money under the heading "century of Ucen(i)us (?)" and Col.iii has similar entries under the heading "century of Tullio". Among the commodities listed are over-garments, pepper, tallow, towels, thongs and items of footwear and clothing, and they might thus be described as a miscellaneous collection. Some of the entries have check marks before them which we have tried to indicate in our transcript (for a possibly comparable phenomenon see O.Claud. 83). One or two of these appear to be simply horizontal dashes but most have in addition a vertical or slanting stroke at the left and they appear before both names and commodities. In some cases there are horizontal lines which might go right through the entry (ii.28, 29, iii.36, 37) and may indicate that the account for that particular item had been settled. It is not clear whether we should classify this account as "official". Unless we suppose that the entries in i.2 and iii.32-4 record dealings with a century as a whole, it looks as if the commodities and their costs are to be referred to the names following them (see notes to lines i.17 and ii.29). They might thus represent transactions between soldiers and a civilian entrepreneur (cf. 180, introduction); it is in no way surprising to find that soldiers had cash with which to purchase such items. It seems clear, at any rate, that it takes us to a level below the officer class and the personal names in the account (several of which are hitherto unattested) are of considerable value from that point of view.
There are two lines of writing at the foot of col.iii, written by the same hand but upside down in relation to the main text; it is unclear whether these are connected or not. The back contains abraded remains of seven lines of an account which may be written by the same hand. We have not been able to extract any coherent sense from this but it is possible that the first line has a centurial sign followed by a name (ending -lis?) and that the second reads per[na]m (denarios) ii s(emissem); if this is correct it might be part of the same account as the text on the front.


( centuria) Uceṇi n
|– superarias (denarios) xiii.[ n
|– Tagarminis [[.]] n
|– piper (denarios) ii n
5 G̣ambax Tapponis n
ṣ[udari]ụṃ (denarios) ii n
] .mni.. [.] .ubar[ n
|– ampullam [ n
.ụṛịọ Ṣṭ..ọnis n
10 |– sudarium (denarios) ii n
- Ammius [ n
]xxiix n
].i n
]ṃ (denarios) iii () ii (quadrantem) n
151 ].s n
]..i (denarios) i s(emissem) () i n n
] . armal traces (?) n n
coturnum (denarios) iii ṣ(emissem) n
Messor [[ .......]] n
20 - sagaciam (denarios) v () iii n
Luc̣ius scutarius n
sebum (denarios) [ n
[U]xperus n
25Agị.[ n
Huep ..[ n
suḍaṛ[ ] (denarios) ii
Tullio Carp̣ẹnṭạri n
30 (denarios) xḷ traces n
. . . . . . . .
[[ ] ṣẹḅ [ ]]
] ạḅ[
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
]ar. [
. . . . . . . .
9 tiny scraps with exiguous traces of writing.


'Century of Ucen(i)us (?)
overcoats, denarii 13+
pepper, denarii 2
5Gambax son of Tappo
towel, denarii 2
Sollemnis (?) ...
a flask ...
Furio (?) son of Stipo (?)
10towel, denarii 2
Ammius ...
... 28 (?)
buskin, denarii
a sagacia, denarii 5, asses 3
Lucius the shield-maker
tallow, denarii ..
... Uxperus
Agilis (?)
tallow (?), ...
towel, denarii 2
25Tullio son of Carpentarius
denarii 40+
century of Tullio
thongs, denarii
tallow, denarii 2
30towel (?), denarius 1
tallow, denarii 2+
towel, denarii ..
35tallow, denarii ..
Caledus" '


i.1. Uceni: the reading of the name is not straightforward. Palaeographically ucersi is perhaps preferable but we can find no parallel for a name of this kind. Pliny the Elder mentions an Alpine tribe called the Ucenni, in his quotation of the text of the Tropaeum Augusti (NH 3.137, cf. EJ2 40). If we can accept the reading of a rather elaborate n as the penultimate letter, we might postulate a personal name derived from this tribe. CIL 14.3718 (Latium) has a name Ucena Victoria; its editor considered the gentilicium corrupt but the present text perhaps suggests that Ucenus or Ucenius is acceptable. Note also Ucenteus in Schallmayer et al. (1990), 595. The nomenclature of the western provinces otherwise offers only the gentilicium Usenius (CIL 3.5162, 5166) but it does not seem possible to read the second letter of our name as s.

i.2. superarias: the word occurs in ChLA III 204.4 and should be restored in ChLA I 12.8-9. It is defined in CGL IV 180.15 etc. as uestis quae superinduitur. The trace at the break might be either i or a fraction.

i.3. Tagarminis: the reading seems beyond doubt but the name is not attested (but cf. contubernalis Tagamatis in 181.14). It looks like a genitive form, whereas the other names in this account are in the nominative. However, it is perhaps best not to be too dogmatic with such unusual and ill-attested formations. Tag- as a personal name element would be appropriate to an origin in either Gaul or Spain. NPEL cites Tagadunus and Tagadunius once each in Belgica and Tagnius in Spain. AS III 1700 connects Tagana with the R.Tagus in Spain and cites Tagassus at Nimes. There is something which looks like an ink-mark following, perhaps an erased centurial symbol.

i.4. piper: the occurrence of this item is somewhat surprising, especially in an account which appears to concern people of humble rank, since it must have been an expensive imported luxury. Pliny NH 12.28 gives the price of piper nigrum as 4 denarii/lb. See further Schwinden (1985), 123-9. Pepper is not mentioned as part of the military diet by either Davies (1989), 187-206 or Dickson (1989). It is known as an ingredient in oculists' salves, see Nielsen (1974), 22-3, 53. Is it possible that these were being made at Vindolanda (see 154.24 and cf. RIB II 2446, A.R.Birley (1992))?

i.5. Gambax Tapponis: the first letter in the line is damaged but the reading is not in doubt. Tappo is reasonably well attested, Gambax not at all. NPEL cites Gamburio once in Belgica, Gambugius once in Noricum. Gamba occurs at Salona (CIL 3.13904); Weisgerber (1969), 141, 137.

i.6. s[udari]um: the spacing of the traces rules out s[eb]um (see ii.22 note) and s[udari]um (see i.10 note) is therefore the obvious restoration.

i.7. This line seems likely to contain a name and there is no trace of the denarius-symbol or a numeral at the right. The traces of the first word are compatible with a restoration of Soll]emnis but the following word is difficult to explain. Since the difficulties of reading and interpretation in lines i.17 and iii.38 may be related, it seems best to discuss all three cruces together. In i.7 .ubar seems secure, but there appears to be nothing following it. The letter before u looks most like i but s (or even l) cannot be excluded. If what precedes it is a cognomen, the pattern of the text suggests that we should have either a patronym or perhaps a trade-designation; we have considered tubarius, listed by Tarruntenus Paternus among the immunes in Digest 50.6.7(6) but it is very difficult to read the first letter as t. In i.17 we have ].armal with possible traces following, but the alignment and the traces do not suggest a denarius-symbol and number. The letter before armal is probably b. There is a small fragment with remains of two letters, probably su, which could be placed at the left of ]barmal, but equally it might belong in i.16 (see note). In iii.38 we have ]o subarmalo; the first trace is doubtful and the last could be a medial point, but the alignment suggests that we cannot have had a cash sum at the right. In none of these three lines do we seem to have a commodity. We may have the same word in all three cases, probably so in i.17 and iii.38 at least; if so, perhaps subar( ) or subarmal( ). Nevertheless, given the context, it is perhaps worth noting the evidence for the word subarmale as a substantive = subarmalis vestis. The word is used in HA, Sev. 6.11, Claud. 14.8 and Aur. 13.3, and in the first passage cited it refers to soldiers (praetorianos cum subarmalibus inermes sibi iussit occurrere). We can hardly envisage a descriptive title such as subarmal(iator), however.

i.8. ampullam: this can be either a flask for oil or unguents, or a drinking vessel, see TLL I 2018. The word also occurs in 201.8 and perhaps 439.6 (and cf. ChLA VI 306).

i.9. .urio St..onis: this line is likely to contain a name. The cognomen Furio, though rare, suits the traces. For what follows, we have considered names Stilo (RNGCL), Stico and Stipo (NPEL, Spain and Pannonia respectively). il is not at all easy to read; ic could be read but we note that the reading in CIL 2.2006 is questioned; Stiponis suits the traces and is perhaps the most attractive possibility.

i.10. sudarium: the last letter is on a separate fragment, but it is certain that sudaria. cannot be read. A sudarium is a towel or napkin, perhaps for use in the baths, which could be worn around the neck like a scarf (cf. Suetonius, Nero 51, quoted in 196.8 note). The price in lines i.6, i.10 and ii.28 seems clearly to be 2 denarii whereas in iii.34 it is equally clearly 1 denarius (the prices in other entries are uncertain or incomplete). In view of this we think it likely that the noun is used collectively. For towels and shoes and slippers for the baths see P.Oxy.XXXI 2599.24-5, 31-2 and cf. 197.3 note.

i.11. Ammius: for this gentilicium see LE 121, 423. This might well have been followed by a cognomen, now lost in a gap between the fragments.

i.12-17. If the pattern in this column is that commodities alternate with names line by line and that the names follow the items to which they refer, we can easily envisage line 13 as the end of a patronym and line 15 as a cognomen.

i.16. See note to i.7, above. If the scrap with su belongs here we may have su[d]ari.

i.17. See note to i.7, above.

ii.18. coturnum: traditionally seen as the raised boot, but it is difficult to understand how this might fit the context at Vindolanda. TLL IV 1086-7 cites Servius on Aeneid 1.337, calciamenta etiam uenatoria crura quoque uincientia quorum quiuis utrique aptus est pedi. For possible evidence of hunting interests at Vindolanda see 233.i.4 note. The second part of Servius' comment would explain why it might make sense to purchase one coturnus, presumably as a replacement, but it is perhaps better to suppose that the singular is used collectively for a pair, see P.Mich. VIII 477.27 note, 508.5 note and cf. i.10 note, above. Carol van Driel Murray (per litteras) warns us of the danger of applying the description of a fourth-century commentator to second-century footwear since its technology underwent radical changes in the interim. She further remarks that there is no Roman archaeological evidence for what we would expect a cothurnus to be and it may be that provincials used cloth or leather bindings in conjunction with ordinary boots to extend them.

ii.19. Messor: see LC 82, 361.

ii.20. sagaciam: see 255.i.8-ii.10 note.

ii.21. Lucius scutarius: the reading of the name as Lucius assumes a noticeable serif on the right-hand upright of u, of which we have an example in ii.27, Huep... There is no difficulty in treating Lucius as a cognomen, cf. 156.2 note. scutarius is attested as a cognomen (LC 320), but the occurrence of praenomen plus cognomen would not fit the pattern of names in this text and we prefer to take scutarius as indicating a craft; the word occurs in CEL 26. The first name might be read as Lutius (NPEL cites Luteus in Gallia Lugdunensis and Luttius in Aquitania and Narbonensis).

ii. 22. sebum: animal suet or tallow; perhaps also in 319.3. For its preparation see Pliny, NH 28.143, cf. Hodgson (1976), 7-8. For medicinal uses see Pliny, NH 22.59, Celsus, 2.30.2; for candle-making, Columella, 2.21.3. It also occurs in P.Ryl.II 223.4 (= RMR 82), along with oil and pitch, in an account of naval supplies.

ii.23. U]xperus: The name is very rare, only a single instance, in Gallia Belgica, cited by NPEL (CIL 13.10017.937). We have found no other name with this ending, so the restoration seems probable. The alignment suggests that it was preceded by a gentilicium.

ii.25. Agi. [: the alignment makes it clear that this must be a name. Agil[is is a possible reading, cf. 329, but not the same man since the latter belongs to a turma.

ii.27. Huep..[: the first four letters appear to be certain although we know of no name beginning with these letters. Hue- does not seem to be a Celtic or Gallic name element. If it phonetically represents Ve-, as it clearly does in dedications to the di Hueteres (sc. Veteres, see RIB I, indexes, p.68 and perhaps cf. 187.ii.3 and note), we could read Huepit[ta as a version of the cognomen Vepitta (CIL 3.11234, Pannonia).

ii.29. Tullio Carpentari: NPEL cites Tullio only twice for Gallia Belgica; see also 312.back 4. Names beginning Cara- are common in that province but we cannot read the fourth letter as a. For Carpentarius as a cognomen see LC 322. The fact that there is no commodity following this name and that the next column begins with the name of a century strongly suggests that the names are to be taken with the items preceding them (see introduction and cf. i.17, iii.40).

ii.30. This sum is written right at the bottom edge with a significant gap after line 29. If we are correct in thinking that the commodities and amounts precede the names to which they refer it cannot be relevant to Tullio in line 29, and the uacat suggests that this is correct. It would be natural to take it as a note of the total for the century of Ucen(i)us (?) which occupies the whole of columns i and ii but 40+ denarii is not large enough to cover the sums which are preserved.

iii.31. This is presumably a different Tullio from the one in line 29.

iii.32. corrigia: we expect an accusative and TLL IV 1032 attests a neuter form corrigium; at the end a is perhaps a correction written over l.

iii.34. sudari: there is no sign of anything after i and it does not look as if the surface is abraded. We would expect an accusative (cf. note to iii.32) but it seems that we must have an unmarked abbreviation (cf. iii.37). For the price see i.10 note.

iii.35. Butimas: the name is unattested. Note Butes, CIL 3.7893 (Dacia) and cf. Boutius, CIL 3.9834 (Dalmatia, but the person is from Spain), CIL 12.5686 (C.Bou..., Vienne), CIL 7.1336.174 (Bouti, London). Boutius occurs in Gallia Belgica (ILB 74) and NPEL indicates that it is common in Spain.

iii.37. There is a clear d to the left of this entry. It is possible that it is deleted in which case we assume that the writer simply made a false start. For the abbreviation cf. iii.34 note.

iii.38. See i.7 note.

iii.40. The cognomen Caledus is very uncommon (see LC 178) but the reading of aledus is easy and we can suggest no other plausible restoration.

iii.41-42. If the two fragments at the bottom right are correctly placed, we have the beginnings and ends of two lines written upside down in the same hand but it is unclear whether these are connected with the main text.

iii.41. uell[: this might be the beginning of a name.

iii.42. The remains of the third letter are compatible with m or possibly n or r. ].aliator: it seems unlikely that we should understand the noun aleator here. aliator appears once as a name (NSA 1916, 108) but the preceding letter, which looks very much like part of m, seems to belong to the same word. Perhaps maliator, given by TLL as an alternative spelling of malleator.

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