Tablet 314

description 112 x 46 mm.
A fragment of the left-hand side of a diptych with a notch in the left edge. It contains six lines of a letter concerning the transport of lime which the addressee is being asked to despatch speedily. The fact that the recipient of the letter, who is presumably at Vindolanda, had guaranteed or approved supply of the lime and that the sender of the letter anticipates its arrival primo mane suggests that it must have been quarried in the vicinity (see Bruce (1978), 43, RIB I 1007-15, Davies (1968)). See also 156 and 316. It is noteworthy that the writing slopes down across the grain. Word division is good but is not observed after monosyllables.


. . . . . . . .
].. [ . ] ....... [ n
miṣsi quae calcem petereṇ[t n
quam nobis commoḍasti
quas rogo continuo n
5 iubeas onerari ut prim[o
mane nobis iteṃ ... [
. . . . . . . .


'... I have sent ... to get the lime which you have provided for us. I ask you to order them to be loaded without pause so that ... to us early in the morning in turn (?) ..." '


1. In view of quas in line 4, which is certain, the object of miṣsi in this line must be feminine. The animals used for draught-work of this kind would be oxen (therefore a masculine word or a neuter like iumenta) or mules. It does not seem possible to read mulas at the end of the line but it is possible that there was a noun, now lost, followed by a number (perhaps qụịṇqụ[e). On the feminine form see Adams (1993) and for the use of mules as pack-animals and draught-animals see Toynbee (1973), 185-92, esp. 191-2 and for oxen 152-62, esp.161-2. An alternative might be raedas (which is also incompatible with the traces at the end of the line) followed by a number; for their use in routine transportation see Adams (1993), 49, note 26 with further references.

2. miṣsi: see 255.i.6-8 note, 309.i.3 note. calcem: cf RMR 9.6k, where the reading printed in the text is calceṃ. Fink comments in his note that the suggestion cal(ceamenta) cen(turionis), "working on foot-gear of the centurion" is attractive but we think that calcem is preferable; cf. 156.4 and note.

4. For the construction perhaps cf. 326.ii.1.

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