Tablet 226

description

Inv.no.85.001.a-c. Ten small fragments, the largest 48 x 39 mm.
These small fragments fall into three groups of which one (a) gives us the beginnings of 13 lines, the others, (b) and (c), the ends of 9 lines. We cannot establish the relationship between the three groups, however. We may have the beginnings and ends of lines in a single column of writing, with the middle of the lines missing (but we cannot match beginnings and ends of individual lines); or we may have the remains of a text in two columns, with the ends of lines in column i and the beginnings of lines in column ii surviving; or we may have drafts of two separate letters, possibly about the same subject, on the same leaf (cf. Sijpesteijn and Worp (1977), RMR 89 = P.Dura 66 = CEL 191).
There seems to be only one possible erasure, but the large diagonal strokes on the fragments containing the ends of lines suggest that the draft was crossed out. There are few clues to the subject-matter, but the occurrence of the word desertores is notable; perhaps Cerialis is writing to another unit commander about returning some deserters who have been apprehended (cf. a.10-12 note).

edition

a:
illum . [
eṭ illi . [
traces
[[ṛ]] ṣṭ.. [ n
5 . ọlgi. [. ].. [ n
.. [
et[
f̣[ ]m.. [
cui pr. [
10 desertoreṣ [ n
ad te cum [ n
mụs.. p̣er . [ n
.... ẹṭ[
b:
].. mili n
] c̣ui
]m [ . ] .. re. n
]...
. . . . . . . .
c:
. . . . . . . .
] ad te ..
]gio suo n
] p̣er illum n
]lum commị n
5 ]. [ .. ] ·

commentary

a.4. The deleted r (or possibly a) might be read as a denarius symbol, but this is palaeographically less plausible.

a.5. It is not clear how the first letter should be read, but uolgi is impossible. Perhaps a centurial or turma symbol, in which case a name should follow; but we have found nothing suitable.

a.10-12. There appear to be traces of two letters after mus in 12, of which the first might be i or a. If Cerialis were writing about apprehending deserters and sending them to a higher authority, these lines might be speculatively restored as follows: desertores [ ] ad te cum [ NN misi-]/mus. For another possible reference to deserters see 320.4 and note. For the treatment of deserters see Digest 49.16.5.1-8.

b.1. This might well be a reference to mili[tes.

b.3. The line might end oret or ores.

c.2. If we have drafts of more than one letter, it would be possible to see this as the end of an address to someone with a name ending -gius. Alternatively, it might be the end of (e.g.) nauigio.

c.3. prop]ter is also possible.

c.4. It is tempting to suggest commi-/[lito(nes), cf. 318.2 note, but we could just as easily have part of (e.g.) committo.

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