Tablet 208

description

Inv.no.87.596.a-c. (a) 36 x 60 mm. (b) 9 x 40 mm. (c) 12 x 25 mm.
Three fragments of a tablet written in a cursive hand of good quality which uses interpunct fairly frequently. The largest piece has a notch and tie-hole, which the writing avoids, in the bottom edge, but it is probable that the text does not end here. Unfortunately, we have not succeeded in joining the fragments, but the content suggests that all the pieces belong to the same text. It is clearly concerned with foodstuffs but does not seem likely to be an account. We suggest that it might be a culinary recipe, a hypothesis supported by the fact that it was found in Room VIII of the Period 3 praetorium which has been identified as a kitchen (see VRR I). For a text which is perhaps comparable see P.Heid. 1001.a-b (=CPL 318). The occurrence of the word batauico in line 2 might indicate that the Batavian officers' families brought some of their culinary customs with them (cf. Trow (1990), 107). It is impossible to be certain of the precise nature of the recipe but the presence of a garlic mixture (alliatum) and spiced wine or pickling liquor (conditum), perhaps also salt and olives (see notes to b.2, c.2), suggests a preserve of some kind (cf. Apicius 3.9).

edition

a:
. . . . . . . .
] ... scutul . [ n
]m batauicọ[ n
]m · alliatum n
]ṇce · uacat n
5 ]ụlum · condit[ n
]. ip̣e n
. . . . . . . .
b:
. . . . . . . .
]en. [ n
]eolị[ n
]tul[ n
. . . . . . . .
c:
. . . . . . . .
]um[
]ḷ eṭ [ n
].. [ n
. . . . . . . .

commentary

a.1. There is a possible trace of a letter at the right-hand edge of the leaf but not enough remains to identify it. in scutula/-i[s is possible; alternatively, perhaps mi]tte scutula[m followed by a noun in the genitive. For scutula = a small dish see 194.A.2. The word may occur again in b.3

a.2. There is a significant gap between batauic and o, which is odd. It is not possible to read batauicu[m as an adjective agreeing with a preceding noun. We might envisage cu]m batauico plus a noun, or a noun followed by something like batauico [more paratum.

a.3. al(l)iatum appears to be a sort of garlic paste, see André (1981), 20 and cf. TLL I 1553 citing Plautus, Most. 48, Donatus on Terence, Phorm.318.

a. 4. If scutula/i[s is correct in line 1, we could well have in la]nce here; for lanx = platter, see 194.A.7.

a.5. The last surviving letter in the line is clearly t, thus ruling out condimenta. conditum is a spiced liquor used in preserves see Ed.Diocl. 2.17, Apicius 4.2.29, 7.6.4 etc. and we may well have an adjective from this word here; if so poc]ulum would be an attractive restoration at the start of the line.

a. 6. There is a v-shaped notch between i and pe; this was clearly cut before the text was written and the writer has avoided it. The penultimate letter does not look like c in this hand, but there is no other p to compare. This seems most likely to be the end of acc]ipe, a word which occurs in the recipe in CPL 318. If the ending were ce, we might have la]nce (cf. line 4).

b.1. The last surviving letter is likely to be t, suggesting e.g. condim]ent[a (cf. 191.3), but there are obviously other words for foodstuffs which include this group of letters (e.g. lentes, polenta).

b.2. The e might be the end of an imperative such as mitte. The last letter does not suit e (which would suggest oleum); oli suggests oliuas (used in a recipe for preserving cabbages, Apicius 3.9.4), for which there is evidence in another Vindolanda text (302.margin 3).

b.3. Another reference to a scutula, cf. a.1?

c.2. If l is correctly read we might have sa]l; it is possible to envisage a nominative but the accusative in the neuter form would be more comfortable. c(a)epae (onions) might be a plausible guess for what follows et (cf. Columella 6.6.5, CIL 32, p.953, no.XV, pag. posterior, line 25, salem et cep(am)).

c.3. The traces are very blurred and there might be an erasure.

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