Tablet 317

description 87 x 43 mm.
This fragment belongs to the right-hand portion of a diptych with two notches in the right-hand edge. We may have virtually the whole of the half-leaf; we have considered, but are inclined to reject, the possibility that we may have the ends of lines of col.i at the left. The leaf contains part of a draft of a letter with erasures, corrections and interlinear additions. These make it difficult to be sure of the line divisions or of the articulation of words and phrases, especially since so little of the content is preserved. There seem essentially to be six lines of writing, well spaced out with good word division. The draft is of interest for the insight it provides into the process of composition of a letter and it might possibly be the work of the hand of Cerialis (see 225-32; the form of n with a long descender at the right in line 3b is very like the eccentric n in 225.back 24). In so far as we have any clue to the subject-matter, the occurrence of the words cognitionem and misi suggests that the writer may be informing a higher official that he has sent a miscreant to be dealt with; cf. 322, 344.


. . . . . . . .
]. ṛạ. [[. ṛ. mur]] detu n
] ... [....] ita ut iuss[[erạs]]`isti´
] . om [ . ] . o.. ṇti. traces c̣ọm... n n
] ạḍ [[cogṇitiọṇem]] inscriḅ-
n n cognitionem n
5 ]ṃ misi [[a... ]] n
]. eṭ [. 9 .] ṃẹntụṃ
. . . . . . . .


1. detu: this might be part of the verb defero which looks suitable in the context (cf. 127-9) but the traces at the left of the next line are not easy to reconcile with an appropriate verbal ending.

3-4. We take this to be an interlinear correction to line 3b. If ].om is the end of a word cf. saluom, 225.6.

3a. ạḍ is very uncertain.

3b. inscriḅ/en]ḍam looks a likely restoration, perhaps erased. If the context is legal it might be connected with cognitionem, whether the bungled attempt before it or the word after it, which has clearly not been erased. inscriptio in its legal sense, however, means "accusation" and the verb inscribere is not used with cognitio as a direct object (see TLL VII.1 1848 and perhaps note Digest, si libellos inscriptionum deposuerit). We cannot elucidate the supralinear addition at the end of line 3a; the last three (or four) letters are very obscure indeed and may themselves have been erased.

5. misi has not been erased (the horizontal line through mi is the grain of the wood). What follows has certainly been erased. It might begin with ad.

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