Tablet 192

description

Inv.no.85.010. x x mm. Plate XI.
This account is written on the upper half of a double leaf which has a v-shaped notch and a tie-hole in the top edge. The lower half is blank. As the first line and the docket on the back make clear, the account records items received from Gavo (see also 207 and cf. 218.3) and contains a miscellany of edible and textile commodities which appears more likely to relate to the domestic needs of the praetorium than to the official requirements of the unit. Gavo seems to be an entrepreneur or supplier of goods, whether military or civilian is not clear; there is no evidence for his whereabouts.
The hand is a well-formed cursive. In its general character it is very similar to the hand responsible for 207, which is also an account from Gavo, and one might expect them to be the work of the same writer, especially in view of the fact that in both texts the name is written as Gauuo on the front and as Gauo on the back; but we are less than certain since, for example, the form of u employed in Gauuone in the first line of the two texts is very different.

translation

'From Gavo
a coverlet (?), denarii ...
of beans, modii 55 (?), denarii ..
of wool, 38 lbs, []
5 .. lbs, denarii 12½, as 1 ...
bedspreads 3, denarii .. (?)
of honey, modii .. denarii .. (?)
a sagum, denarii .. (?)
total, [[denarii 70+]]
10 denarii ..
(Back) Account of Gavo. '

commentary

1. The name Gavo is unattested but the reading here and in 207.1 is clear; in 218.3 the name Gauoni appears and the identification is very tempting. It is presumably a Celtic name. AS I 1992 cites Gavolus (CIL 5.337, Aquileia), NPEL, Gauua (CIL 13.3409, Gallia Belgica) and cf. Cauua (Weisgerber (1968), 232, 236).

2. bedocem: Adams drew our attention to Ed. Diocl. in which the Greek text records the word βέδοξ (once with the adjective Γαλλικός) at 19.56 and 58; in Lauffer's edition the word is restored in the Latin in the transliteration fedox (a word which does not appear elsewhere in Latin). We suggest that bedox is the correct transliteration and is what we have here. Dr. Wild takes it to be a bedspread or the like and notes that in the Edict it is half the price of the so-called banata listed with it. It seems to be the practice in these accounts not to include the number when the form of the word made it obvious that only one was meant, cf. sagum in line 8. We thus interpret the mark on the edge of the leaf as part of a denarius-symbol.

3. fabae: for the collective singular see OLD, s.v.1 and cf. 302.1. The modius abbreviation is marked here and in line 7 by an almost vertical stroke above m rather than a flat dash; cf. 182.i.2. There is a possible trace of a letter before v which might be l. The mark at the edge might be the remains of a denarius-symbol. For beans in the military diet see Davies (1989), 199.

4. lanae: the way in which the l is written above the other letters is noteworthy and its apparent ligature to a is remarkable.

4-5. These lines are difficult to interpret. p is very hard to read in line 4, although it looks virtually certain in line 5. There it is followed by one letter, after which a denarius symbol is possible, followed by the numeral and more symbols. If the deleted total in line 9 (between 70 and 99 denarii) is in the right area, we can hardly have p(ondo) i (denarii) xii s(emissem), i.e. 38 lbs of wool at 12½ denarii per lb., a price which in any case seems far too high (cf. Ed. Diocl. 21.1-4 where the prices for wool range between 15 and 40 denarii per lb., 200 years later and after a period of inflation). The digit after p might be l (cf. the form of the letter in line 7, mellis), giving a price of 12½ denarii and 1 as per 50 lbs, which might then have been followed by an actual cost of about 9½ denarii in the missing portion further to the right. The presence of this item in the account suggests the possibility of textile production on-site at Vindolanda, cf. VRR III, 85-6. It is notable that there is plenty of evidence for the presence of sheep at Vindolanda (VRR III, 110-11), but it is noteworthy that lamb or mutton does not occur in any of the accounts of foodstuffs, probably reflecting the Celtic dietary preference for pork and beef, perhaps also in evidence at Valkenburg; cf. Trow (1990), 107, King (1984) and (1991), Dannell and Wild (1987), 68.

6. tosseas: the initial t is enlarged and the central part of the horizontal has all but disappeared. The reading is supported by the hitherto unique occurrence of tossia Brit(annica) in the Thorigny inscription (AJ 140.13), where the context suggests some kind of a coverlet or rug, cf. André (1966-7), arguing that the word is British Celtic representing the old Breton toos (we are grateful to Dr. Wild for drawing our attention to this article). The word also occurs in 439.10 and there appears to be a third British attestation in a writing-tablet from Carlisle, see Tomlin (1992), 148.

10. The account probably ends here with a revised total but there could have been another line in the missing lower part of the half-leaf.

Back.1. This is written along the grain from top to bottom of the leaf. The same notation occurs on the back of 207 and it is noteworthy that the name is spelled in the same way there, in contrast to the spelling in line 1. Cf. the notation rationes C(ai) Calpur(nii) Ptol(emaei) on the back of a papyrus (Coles (1981)) and the account headed ratio Laeli in P.Qasr Ibrm 34.

Download EpiDoc version using the CC license Creative Commons License and EpiDoc Schema v.5