Tablet 252

description 160 x 30 mm. Plate XII. A.R.Birley (1991b), 98-9 and Plate IIIa.
A diptych containing a letter from September to Cerialis, written in an interesting hand; noteworthy is the form of a (see Fig.1, col.2). It is also notable that the left-hand column extended well beyond the middle of the tablet. We have the end of the letter in the short, right-hand column. The loss of some of the address on the back of the right-hand side indicates that part of the leaf is lost at the foot, in which case we may have lost two to three lines in the left-hand column.
If the gentilicium is correctly read as Caecilius (see note to line 1), Cerialis' correspondent is probably identical with the man of the same name who is attested in command of a cohort in Syria in AD 88 (PME I, C26, A.R.Birley (1991b), 98-9). September's reference to his having sent something per equitem may indicate that he had cavalry under his command, as a prefect of an ala or cohors equitata; it is possible, however, that he could have used an intermediary who was not a member of his own unit. For other texts possibly concerning this person see 234, 253, 298.


C̣ạẹc̣ilius September Ceriali suo n
]. [. 4 .] .....
. . . . . . . .


'Caecilius September to his Cerialis, greetings. ... I have sent to you ... through a cavalryman. Farewell, my lord and brother. (Back) To Flavius Cerialis. '


i.1. The reading of the gentilicium as Caecilius is not entirely comfortable, principally because the spacing of the letters suggests that there ought to be either one broad letter or two letters between a and c and because we cannot see the top of e. Cancilius (ILEsp. 966) would perhaps be preferable palaeographically, but Caecilius is by far the commonest of the names ending in -cilius (see RNGCL).

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