Tablet 196

description

Inv.no.87.598. 46 x 186 mm. Plate X.
This diptych is complete at the top, bottom and left-hand edge. There are two tie-holes and one notch at the top and the bottom. The tablet was found in Room VIII, identified as a kitchen in the Period 3 praetorium, but the text on the front is a list of textile items. It indicates (lines 12, 15) that some items were obtained from Tranquillus and some from Brocchus. The missing right-hand side of the leaf presumably contained the numbers of the different items. The use of interpunct is noteworthy, particularly since it occurs consistently except after monosyllables. The text on the back which lists a miscellany of non-textile items may be written by a different hand (see 194 introduction) and may well not be part of the same list as that on the front (see back 1 note).
We think it likely that, like the other lists of utensils and clothing (194, 195, 197), this text records property in the household of Flavius Cerialis and thus reflects the milieu of the equestrian military officer in the late first and early second century. For lists of clothing in the papyri see P.Wash.Univ. II 104 and introduction. For clothing in the north-western Roman empire, see Wild (1985). In cases where the differences between the various kinds of cloaks are obscure or unknown, we have not attempted to translate the terms (cf. 255.i.8-ii.10 note).

translation

'...
for dining
pair(s) of blankets ...
paenulae, white (?) ...
5from an outfit:
paenulae ...
and a laena and a (?) ...
for dining
loose robe(s) ...
10under-paenula(e) ...
vests ...
from Tranquillus
under-paenula(e) ...
[[from Tranquillus]]
15from Brocchus
tunics ...
half-belted (?) ...
tunics for dining (?) ...
(Back) 2nd hand?) ...
20branches (?), number ...
a vase ...
with a handle
rings with stones (?) ..." '

commentary

1. cubitori[a: the only other occurrence of the word in Latin is at Petronius, Sat. 30.1, also in the context of clothing where it appears to refer to dining-clothes. This seems to rule out the possibility of taking it, in conjunction with the following line, as "bedding". Unless it is a heading, which seems unlikely, it would have to be taken as an adjective qualifying a noun at the foot of a preceding leaf. The occurrence of the word cenatoria in line 7 and probably in line 18 must also indicate dinner-wear.

2. We suggest the restoration of pa[r but we could also have pa[ria followed by a number; we do not know why blankets should be recorded in pairs rather than simple numbers (cf. CIL 13.5708, quoted in the note to back 1, where ceruicalia ("cushions") are listed in pairs).

3. In paenulas a is corrected from e; this could be simply a slip but it might indicate that the writer originally intended to write penulas (cf. 186.21, 23). The paenula is the Italian cape, a standard item of military attire. can[: the n is more or less certain. The noun in line 9 is perhaps followed by a word which ends in line 10, that in line 11 appears to be qualified by a word which is mostly lost. In lines 16-7 tunicas may be qualified by two words (see note) and in line 18 it is probably followed by cenatorias. In lines 5 and 6 we may have adjectives but more probably just et (see lines 5-6 note). Some of the adjectives describing these garments may be colour-words which are common in such contexts, e.g. SPP XX 41.5, P.Wash.Univ.II 104.5, ChLA XXV 783 (cf. Wild (1985), 407-9), cf. Digest 47.2.19. We suggest that can[didas should be restored here, cf. TLL III 243.36, quoting its use of tunicae lintes in Livy 9.40.3.

4. de synthesi: for the partitive use of de, see OLD, s.v.10. It is interesting that in line 8 the writer spells the same word, or a cognate, with u rather than y (cf. also back 3 note). A synthesis is a set of items, often but not exclusively used of clothing. In Digest 34.2.38 a query about a will asks whether a woman can choose an ex uniuersa ueste id est an ex synthesi tunicas singulas et palliola, thus equating synthesis with uniuersa uestis and regarding it as including tunicae and palliola. See also SPP XX 41.5, listing a συνθεσίδιον κόκκινον σκουτούλα[τον ("a bright red check-patterned little synthesis") and cf. P.Mich.VIII 468.16 (= CEL 142, and see Cugusi's note ad loc.), BGU III 781.I.5 for its use in the context of utensils and silverware.

5-7. It seems likely that these lines, which are indented, specify at least three items or groups of items which belong to the synthesis. It would be possible to read et [ after paenulas but we would then have to assume that the number was given before the noun; it is therefore perhaps better to suppose that we have an adjective beginning e.[.

6. laenam: it is impossible to specify the distinctive characteristics of the different types of cloak mentioned here and in other Vindolanda texts. Note that in Tab.Sulis 62 the editor takes la[enam pa]lleum sagum as three names for the same thing.

8. sunthesi[: this line commences further to left than lines 5-7 and we suppose that this indicates that it does not belong with the sub-heading in line 4 (see note). If this is correct it should mean that the word simply indicates a garment or garments, and we suggest that sunthesi[nam/nas should be restored, cf. OLD, s.v. synthesina, citing Suetonius, Nero 51, plerumque synthesinam indutus ligato circum collum sudario prodierit in publicum sine cinctu et discalciatus (cf. Dio 62.13.3).

9. subpaenu[l: the restoration of subpaenu[las/-lam is certain both here and in line 13. The word is an addendum lexicis. Dr. Wild comments that it is difficult to imagine what specific type of garment would be worn sub paenula, noting that on tombstones a soldier will often wear a thick scarf beneath the paenula, visible at the neck, and that at Not.Tir. p.157, suppaenulare might agree with focale; for suppaenulare see TLL X.1 70.58. The adjective cannot have stood here or in line 13 since adjectives always follow nouns in this list.

l0. This line is markedly indented. The first letter is very likely to be l, of which the top is visible at the bottom edge of the upper half-leaf. The most likely explanation is that we have an adjective ending -lias and qualifying subpaenu[las.

11. subuclas: the correct form is subucula. 185.26 appears to have subunc.lon.s (see note). b[ is presumably the beginning of an adjective which might be connected with bathing (see 197.3 and note). It is perhaps worth noting that the Vulgate, Levit. 8.7 refers to priests wearing this garment with a balteus and that TLL II 1711.15 cites the word balteatus.

12. The apex mark appears only here, in the erasure in line 14 and twice in line 15. The name Tranquillus, which is erased in line 14, does not appear elsewhere in the tablets. If Brocchus of line 15 is the officer Aelius Brocchus (see note), Tranquillus was perhaps also a unit commander from whom Cerialis' household received supplies of clothing.

15. This might well be Cerialis' regular correspondent, the equestrian officer Aelius Brocchus (243-8; see also perhaps 207.4 and note).

16. The word beginning im[ presumably qualifies tunicas and distinguishes these from the tunicas cen[atorias in line 18. We cannot suggest what it might be, however.

17. simici.[: this word is markedly indented, which suggests that it belongs with the entry beginning in the previous line (cf. line 10 note). It is quite impossible to read the fifth letter as l (i.e. simili) and c looks virtually certain. The next letter is probably i and following that is a vertical at the broken edge. We suggest that we might have a misspelling of the word semicinctium, a narrow belt or girdle of some sort (see Martial 14.153 and Petronius, Sat. 94.8, from which it is clear that it is something with which it would be possible to hang oneself). If this is correct we might then have tunicas im[ cum] / simicin[ctio (or -is). Wild (1985), 410 notes that the tendency in the provinces was to wear the coat ungirt.

18. The most attractive restoration is cen[atorias, cf. line 7. Dr. Wild suggests that the tunica cenatoria was of fine (wool) fabric with tapestry-woven decoration and notes that there are examples among textile finds at Vindolanda.

Back.1. There are some marks at the left but it is not clear that they are ink. If they are not, this line is indented. If cerui[ is correct it might suggest ceruical(ia), "cushions", (cf. CIL 13.5708, ii lodices et ceruicalia duo par cenator et abollet ii tunica [sic]), a restoration which would be more attractive if it were clear that the text on the back had some connection with that on the front (see introduction). Another possibility would be the adjective ceruinus. If the first letter were p, which we find less attractive, we might have per plus a name.

Back.2. membra: see 198.2 note. This can hardly be a reference to human or animal limbs and the only other possible meanings appear to be "branches" or parts of a catapult or a ballista. None of these seems to suit the context very well but we have no other suggestion to offer.

Back.3. catacysen: we take this to be a transliteration of the Greek word κατάχυσιν but it has not so far been attested in Latin. We assume that it is qualified by something lost at the right (e.g. aeneam) and by ansatam in line 4.

Back.5. We suggest the restoration cum l[apide /-ibus, which seems appropriate for rings.

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