Tablet 212

description

Inv.no.85.157. 118 x 28 mm. Plate XIII.
A half-diptych which must have constituted the left-hand portion of a letter. It is complete at the top and right-hand edge and contains the opening of a letter to Verecundus from a person whose name is uncertain. The hand is an elegant one which twice uses apex marks in line 1. It is noteworthy that the whole of the opening address is written in line 1, which is unparalleled in the tablets. It is overwhelmingly likely that the addressee is the prefect Iulius Verecundus, but Verecundus is a very common cognomen and we cannot prove it.

edition


] .o ...ụs Verecundó suó salutem n
[occasion]em nactus sum scribendi n
]..[
. · · · · · · · · · .

translation

'...us to his Verecundus, greetings. I have obtained the opportunity of writing ... '

commentary

1. ].o...us: it is uncertain how much is lost at the left (see note to line 2 below). We assume the commonest pattern which would include the gentilicium and the cognomen of the sender. What survives is likely to constitute all or most of the cognomen. If the reading of the last two letters is correct we must assume some thickening of the first stroke of u; but we cannot rule out -lis. At the left, the first surviving letter may well be u, with the characteristic serif at the top of the right-hand stroke. Following that, o is certain and c looks possible. The trace following is uncertain but if the name ends with -us, it ought to be either ]uoc.irus or ]uoc.erus; alternatively ]uoc..alis. But we have found no names which fit these letters.

2. The restoration of occasio]nem seems inevitable, cf. 225.4-5. The previous line will presumably have projected further to the left than this one but we cannot calculate the size of the missing portion at the left with any certainty since there might have been a preceding word (e.g. hanc). On this phrase see Adams (1994).

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