Tablet 300

description 165 x 68 mm. Plate XXII.
This diptych preserves parts of the top, bottom and right-hand edges. The letter is written to Lucius, but the name of the sender, of which only the end survives, seems to be irrecoverable. The writing is generally very abraded and we can make nothing of the last part of col.i and the first part of col.ii. The part of the message which has survived records that the sender has despatched two equites to camp. This is appropriate to the identification of the addressee as Lucius the decurion (see back note).


........] -9 Luciọ suo n
]ạ.. um et Fṛọntinum n
equites remisi ad
5 castra iiii · K(alendas) Martias n
[ .. ] ... ḷlegạs tibi ṛ.. n
[. 4 . ..... . 8 .] n
. u qui ... laḅọre ..... [ n
[[. ]] hic ut scires scṛ.... [ n
10 tibi opto frạṭer beṇ[e n
ualeas n
uale n n
traces n
. . . . . . . .


'... to his Lucius, greetings. I sent back ... and Frontinus the cavalrymen to the camp on 26 February ... so that you might know I have written to you. I pray, brother, that you are in good health. Farewell. (Back) To Lucius, decurion (?). '


1. It is common, but not universal, for the opening line of a letter to project further to the left than the first line of the main message (line 3) which, in turn, is often set further to the left than the lines following. The loss at the left is therefore uncertain but we should probably allow for at least 13 or 14 letters, including the traces, for the name of the sender, which no doubt included both gentilicium and cognomen. For Lucius as a cognomen see RMR 82.3, 184.ii.21 and note and cf. 156.2 note.

3. There appear to be two names, which is appropriate to what follows (cf. 295.i.3). The first may have lost one or two letters at the left. The second name, Frontinus, does not occur elsewhere in the tablets.

5. Numerals are sometimes preceded and followed by medial points (e.g. 295.i.4), a common phenomenon in later manuscripts, but in this case there is only one following.

6. The reading is very uncertain. If it is correct, the author may be referring to sending back some other colleagues (collegas).

7. The traces are very abraded and obscured by dirt.

8. qui looks certain (but note that the form of q is quite different from that in line 4, cf. Fig.1 (p.53, above), cols. 1 and 2). After that we could read ịṭạ although t is not easy.

9. The reading may be simply scṛịp̣ṣị.

10-12. It is noteworthy that the scribe has written the substantive closing greeting, leaving the author to add only uale in his own hand (cf. 250.ii.17, 353.ii.3).

12. uale is written in a quick scrawl; u is practically a flat dash; l has hardly any vertical; for the form of e see Fig.1 (p.53), col.3.

Back. It is difficult to read anything except u in the name. At the right we may have d followed either by an abbreviation mark or by ec (cf. 299.back).

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