Tablet 298

description

(a): Inv.no.197,70i,70ii 110 x 30 mm. (b): Tab.Vindol.I 33+82, Plate X, 1 and 2. CEL 101, 136.
The first of the fragments published under this number (a) was overlooked in editing the tablets from the 1970s. In Tab.Vindol.I text no. 104 is incorrectly identified as Inv.no.197, hence our reference to this text as Tab.Vindol. 104 in Bowman and Thomas (1987), 129, note 10. It preserves part of the beginning of a letter to Priscinus; it may thus belong to the same letter as the other two joining fragments (b) but this is very uncertain. It is noteworthy that suo is more or less aligned with the end of Priscino, with sal[ written to the right of this. Unless salutem extended well beyond the centre of the diptych the word must have been abbreviated; there is no certain parallel for this in the tablets, but elsewhere sal for salutem is of course common (e.g. ChLA IV 224). The other joining fragments (b) were originally catalogued under the same inventory number but were published separately. It is suggested in VRR II, 40 (cf. A.R.Birley (1991b), 98 note 53) that the name on the back of the fragment published as Tab.Vindol.I 82 should be read as Septembre and that the sender of the letter is Caecilius September who appears as a correspondent of Flavius Cerialis (234, 252-3). This is likely to be correct and the association of the fragments shows that September is on this occasion writing to Priscinus. If this letter does come from September the writing by the second hand on the front ought to be the same hand as that of the second hand in 252.ii.3 (cf. our remarks on 258), but there is not enough surviving to allow a proper comparison. If the fragments are correctly joined, there is a large gap between the end of the message proper and the closing greeting, probably uale frater kari]ṣsime. Furthermore, there are two small joining fragments with traces which appear to fit below this; there is no real difficulty in envisaging an addition to the closure. There is another small fragment with a trace of one letter on each side but we have not been able to place this.

edition

a:
] Priscino
] ṣuọ ṣal[
. . . . . . . .
b:
. . . . . . . .
traces n
uacat
kari]ṣsime
]m n
5 ] .
. . . . . . . .

commentary

b.1. Perhaps opto] ṭẹ ḅẹṇẹ ụạḷeṛẹ, ed.pr. We now think this unlikely to be right, although it would not be impossible to envisage the phrase closing the message proper and being followed by something else in the sender's autograph (cf. 300.ii.10-12).

b.4. The remains of a diagonal stroke which could be the top of .

Back.2. The reading of the cognomen is certain. In the ed. pr. we suggested that the tops of letters below P̣ṛịṣc̣ịṇ[o might be read as p̣ṛạẹf̣, but if the two fragments are correctly joined these traces must belong to the gentilicium of September.

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