Tablet 190

description

Inv.no.33,47,62, Tab.Vindol.I 4, Plate II. R.E.Birley (1990), fig.21.
The essentials of our analysis and our view of the format of this unique wooden notebook remain unchanged (cf. the remarks of Tjäder (1986), 301). The evidence of the tablets discovered in the 1980s strongly suggests, however, that this account belongs to Period 3 and should be re-interpreted in the context of the domestic administration of the praetorium rather than as an official account of supplies dispensed to the military unit or constituents of it. As a corollary we must also abandon the suggestion that the supplies of barley provide evidence for the view that the cohors viiii Batauorum (previously identified as cohors viii) was equitata, see p.23, above).
The tablet contains accounts, which may well be separate, of cash sums connected with some religious purpose (c.1-3) and of food supplies over a period of several days in June. It is impossible to be certain whether the account records supplies obtained or used. The fact that there are no costs recorded in this part of the account suggests that (unlike 191) this is not an account of supplies purchased; we think that, with the exception of the entry in c.16, the account probably records commodities used or disbursed and that the entries for June 24 probably reflect the celebration of a religious festival. The prominence of barley in the account may be in its capacity as fodder for animals belonging to the praetorium. The evidence for slaves at Vindolanda makes it probable that this account was compiled by a slave member of the Cerialis household and certain that the Privatus mentioned in lines c.26, 28, 31 and 35 will have been a slave (see c.26 note). If it was a relatively informal household account book, its somewhat cryptic nature will be easier to understand. Finally, we now have a clearer notion of the meaning of lines c.38-9, even if the circumstances remain obscure; they are likely to refer to a visit made by Cerialis and members of his family to Briga (see note).
For additional evidence on matters related to foodstuffs and the Roman military diet see now Dannell and Wild (1987), 66-70, Dickson (1989), Davies (1989), 187-206, M.Jones (1991), King (1991).
It should be pointed out that the lines are numbered separately in each of the fragments and the numeration consequently differs slightly from that adopted in the ed. pr.

edition

a:
. . . . . . . .
] (denarios) iii s(emissem) n
] .
]. ẹ
. . . . . . . .
b:
. . . . . . . .
] . s
] m(odios) [.]iị (denarii) s(emissem)
] . i .. m (denarii) s(emissem)
uacat
d:
. . . . . . . .
]. ịaṣ
].
]. i
]. ụṛ
. . . . . . . .
e:
. . . . . . . .
]ṣ i[
]iis
. . . . . . . .
f:
. . . . . . . .
]...
(sextarios)s(emis)
]. ii
. . . . . . . .
g:
. . . . . . . .
]ṣi. is
. . . . . . . .

translation

'(b)... modii 3 (?), denarii ½
... denarii ½
(c)... for the festival, denarii ..
... for the festival, denarii ..
5 ... for the festival ...
19 June
of barley ...
of Celtic beer ...
20 June
10 of barley, modii 4+ (?)
of Celtic beer, modii 2
21 June, of barley ...
... to the granary (?) ...
...
15 ... modii 2
22 June
of barley, modii 5½ (?)
Allatus (?), of Massic wine (?) ...
23 June
20 of barley, modii
of wine, modius 1 sextarii 14
of Celtic beer, modii 3
24 June
of barley, modii 6+
25 of Celtic beer, modii 3 sextarii ..
of wine, modius 1 sextarii 12
of sour wine, sextarii 2
through Privatus
of fish-sauce, sextarii
30 through Privatus
of pork-fat, sextarii 10 as a loan (?)
to the lord for charitable donations
through Privatus
of wine, modius 1 for the festival
35 of the goddess (?)
of wine, sextarii 12
through Privatus
25 June
of barley, sextarii 11½ (?)
40 the lords have remained at Briga. '

commentary

a.1. For the resolution of abbreviation and symbols in the accusative case see above, p.120 and cf. c.16 note.

c.1-3. We are not able to improve on our general interpretation of these lines but we are more inclined to think that they are to be seen as separate from what follows. For religious observances on New Year's Day see 265 and for a payment in connection with the Saturnalia see 301.

c.6. It seems likely that ceruesa was brewed locally. For a ceruesarius at Vindolanda see 182.ii.14 and for bracis, the cereal from which it was made, see 343.iii.25-8.

c.12. We might have per Priu]atum.

c.16. We remain unhappy with the reading and interpretation of this line but we cannot improve on the suggestions made in the ed. pr. for the reading of the words after allatus. In view of clear evidence for the presence at Vindolanda of imported items such as pepper (184.i.4) and olives (302.margin 3) it now seems less improbable that Massic wine was to be found in Cerialis' household. As for allatus, the reading of which is certain, we now think it more likely that this is to be taken as a personal name, probably servile (see LC 349), in view of the fact that Privatus in lines 26, 28, 31 and 35 must be a personal name (see next note). For another possible case of a nominative personal name in an account see 199.2 note.

c.26. It is now beyond reasonable doubt that Privatus will be the name of a slave in Cerialis' household (cf. perhaps ChLA X 409, seruo in p[). The name occurs also in 199, a fragment of an account from the same period (therefore probably referring to the same person) and in 303.a.1, as the author of a letter sent to Vindolanda and therefore no doubt a different person. See also 415.

c.27. For muria cf. 202.5, 302.margin 2 and see Curtis (1991), 79-85, esp. 80.

c.28. It is noteworthy that the final i from aceti in line 25 descends as far as this line.

c.29. In the ed. pr. we read (sextarios) xv but failed to note clear traces of two more letters at the right. It now seems clear that we should read mut[(uo) or mut[(uum) at the end of the line. This looks as if it could have been preceded by ex but mutuo seems normally to be used without a preposition (see 193.1 note), and these letters must refer to the quantity of axungia since there is no other place in which this could have been stated. If domino in the following line refers to the prefect of the unit, however, it is difficult to understand why he should be credited with a loan of a commodity in an account which concerns his own household. For axungia cf. 182.ii.16.

c.30. domino ad stipes: see lines 38-9 note.

c.32-33. The reading at the end of line 32 is very uncertain and it is unsatisfactory to suppose a scribal error in line 33, but we are unable substantially to improve on the suggestions in the ed. pr. -duae could perhaps be the end of a name (of a deity, cf. Viduus?). For the expression cf. perhaps Frontinus, Strat. 3.2.8, omnis multitudo ad celebrandum Mineruae sacrum urbe egressa erat.

c.37. The number might be xi s(emissem).

c.38-39. The reading man[se-/runt, suggested in the ed. pr., note ad loc., now seems to us correct (for the way in which ma is written cf. c.2) and we suppose that this notation, made by a member of Cerialis' household, refers to a visit by Cerialis and members of his family to Briga (the suggestion made by Harvey (1985), 69 must be abandoned in view of 292.c.v.2). The single other attestation of the name in Britain probably refers to a place in Hampshire which must be too far away to be relevant to Cerialis' household (PNRB 277-8). A.R.Birley (1991b), 101, note 70 suggests Kirkbride or Newbrough, both of which are fairly close to Vindolanda. The evidence of a woman named Brica (RIB I 744, Greta Bridge) and of a civitas Bricic (? Brig{ig}, RIB I 2022, Bleatarn between Castlesteads and Stanwix, perhaps fourth century) should also be noted. For comments on this place-name element see PNRB, loc.cit., Piggott (1965), 172-4, with a distribution map. Piggott notes classical occurrences mainly in Spain with a few in the Rhine/Meuse area, post-classical occurrences in Gaul generally and postulates the influence of units raised in Celtic-speaking areas whose commanders are Celtic-speaking Roman citizens, which might be relevant to the present case. For the connection of Aelius Brocchus and Claudia Severa with Briga see 292.c.v.2 note. If lines 29-30 be taken to indicate that axungia was given to Cerialis at Vindolanda on June 24, perhaps to take to Briga as some kind of a charitable donation, the note that he remained at Briga on June 25 (even if added later than that date) implies that it was close to Vindolanda.

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