Tablet 259

description (a) 98 x 37 mm. (b)-(d) small fragments.
The left-hand side of a diptych containing the beginning of a letter from Pastor to Cerialis. The use of the term frater in line 3 suggests that Pastor may be of equivalent rank to Cerialis but there is no other reference to him in the tablets. There are two small fragments with traces of a few letters which we have not been able to place and have not attempted to transcribe. It is notable that the writer uses very tall ascenders (e.g. bi in line 3).


. [. 4 .] ụs Paṣtor Cerị[ali suo n
misi tibi frater ṇọṭam ex qua n
[ . 17 . ]....[ .].
. . . . . . . .


'... Pastor to his Cerialis, greetings. I have sent you, brother, a sign from which ... '


1. There is a large space between the name of the sender and that of the addressee, cf. 249.1, 321.1, 347.a.1.

3. notam: the reading is somewhat uncertain since everything before am is very faint. The word apparently begins with n, and although o is not easy, notam gives good sense (a "sign", "indication", or an agreed mark to indicate the genuineness of a letter, Cicero, Fam. 13.6.2 and cf. Youtie (1973)). We have also considered cupam which probably occurs in 180.2 in connection with wheat (for physical evidence for wooden barrels at Vindolanda see VRR II, 76-81) and spicam ("grain", cf. 343.i.7 etc.), but neither reading is as convincing.

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