Tablet 574

description

Inv.no.93.1418. 83 x 82 mm. Plate 1.
Archaeological data. Location: SG (bonfire site). Period: 3.
This tablet, of which brief accounts have already appeared in print (Tab.Vindol.II, p.76, R.E.Birley (1997), 348) contains the first, and thus far only, complete example of the type of military report with a renuntium-heading. The text is written on a single half-leaf, now broken into two pieces, which has no clear signs of notches or tie-holes. The back is blank.
The layout of the text is noteworthy. Lines 2, 6 and 8 which might be regarded as different sections of the main part of the text are in ecthesis. The word-division in lines 4-5 suggests clearly that we should construe the formula as qui debunt (third person plural of debeo) rather than q(ui) uidebunt, which we favoured in Tab.Vindol.II, p.75, and this is supported by the appearance of the form habunt in 628.ii.14. On the meaning and socio-linguistic implications of debunt see Adams (1995a), 102-3. The report was delivered by the same optio as in 128, in which the formula renuntiarunt optiones et curatores is also found, but it should be noted that the two reports are not written in the same hand. The hand of 574 is an interesting one; somewhat crude with cursive tendencies, e.g. di ligatured in line 5 and final s in 7 and 9 written as a single loop; there is a remarkable ligature of en in Crescentis in line 9. For detailed analysis of the elements in the reports of this type see Tab.Vindol.II, pp. 73-6 and cf. A.R.Birley (2002), 80-4.

translation

'15 April. Report of the Ninth Cohort of Batavians. All who should be are at duty stations, as is the baggage. The optiones and curatores made the report. Arcuittius, optio of the century of Crescens, delivered it. '

commentary

1-2. There is some blank space at the right in line 2; the date and the word renuntium are written in slightly larger letters than the text which follows.

3. The bar over the numeral is not just a line; it has an upright at the right (and left?) and so is a bit like an elongated H (cf. Tab.Vindol.II, pp.55-6).

4. lọca: what is written looks like lica but there is no doubt that the writer intended loca. We suggest that he made the o rather carelessly, writing the right-hand curve over the top of the left-hand one; the final letter of optiọ (line 8) is made in much the same way.

5. debunt: see introduction.

8. This must be the same man as in 128, where the name is spelled Arquittius, and the reference is to the same century (see also Appendix, 129.2). The fact that the texts are not written in the same hand does not preclude the identification.

9. The name Crescens is very common at Vindolanda. For references to a centuria of Crescens or a centurion named Crescens (see 128.4, 148.2, 169.1 note; the first two are renuntia and the other, uncertain, one is a request for leave). It is interesting that 217, a letter which mentions a Crescens, was found and inventoried together with 128 in which the (centuria) Crescentis occurs. See also 607.b.3, 609.ii.12, 13 and notes.

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