Tablet 588

description (a) 184 x 20 mm. (b) small scrap.
Archaeological data. Location: SG (bonfire site). Period: 3.
A diptych, which appears to be complete at the top and both sides, containing remains of an account written in two columns. The bottom corner of each side of the leaf has the remains of a v-shaped notch. There is one tiny scrap which appears to belong to the diptych, probably the left-hand half, but we have not been able to place it. The back is blank.
The writer uses both apex and interpunct. A point of lexical interest is the occurrence of the word contrullium, qualified by the adjective cocinatorium, perhaps referring to a set of cooking pots (see a.i.3 note). The relatively high cost of this item and the fact that we are apparently dealing with a consignment of goods from London suggests that this is more than an account of routine expenditure. On the fractional symbols in column ii, see 596 introduction.


a: i:
mandata t.[] ...... [] .á · per Adiutorem n
á Londinị[o] n
contrullium · c̣ocịnạtorium (denarios) xị n
senapịs . [ n
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
] . · ad . [ n
] traces [ n
. . . . . . . .


' Ordered and brought (?) through Adiutor (?)
from London
A set of cooking bowls , 10+ denarii

Anise, 1 sextarius, 1/4 denarius
Caraway, _ sextarius, 1/8 denarius
Thyme, 1 sextarius, 1/8 denarius


a.i.1. t.[c.6].á: the remains of the letter before the gap might suit r and the letter after the gap might be t; after that, final a with an apex looks certain. We have tried to place fragment (b) in this gap but are convinced that it does not fit, particularly because of the interpunct before ad. With some hesitation, we suggest restoring tṛ[ansla]ṭa (for the apex on short final a see Tab.Vindol.II, p.59 and cf. 645.i.3 note); we can think of no restoration with a long final vowel, other than a name preceded by a or ab, which is excluded by the traces after mandata. For Adiutor as a personal name, which it is likely to be here, see 199.2, 214.1; we cannot exclude the possibility that it simply means "assistant".

a.i.2. For other references to London in the tablets see 154.9, 310.back 1, 658.a.4 and perhaps 762.

a.i.3. contrullium c̣ocịnạtorium: the reading of the adjective depends on the placing of a small fragment on which the letters ocin are clear, preceded and followed by traces. The first trace is compatible with the top of c and the last makes a good fit with the remains of a on the main leaf. We are indebted to A.R.Birley for this suggestion. The only citation of the word contrullium in TLL IV is from Not.Tir. 101.68 which shows that it is associated with situla (a bucket or urn). As TLL IV 789.51 suggests, the word must be formed from con + trulla and should designate something which goes with a trulla, i.e. a vessel or cooking-pot of some sort, and in this case a fairly expensive item. For the meaning of trulla and the range of uses see 596.ii.15-17 and note. The figure at the end of the present entry is either xị or xḷ; the latter looks more plausible palaeographically, but the former is perhaps more likely as the cost of pots or dishes. Dr. Pearce offers the attractive suggestion that it might refer to a set of handled skillets, as sometimes found together in votive(?) deposits, e.g. RIB II 2415.1, 10+16+28, 40+44 (but it should be noted that although RIB II 2415, introd. refers to these skillets as trullae, we have found no example of such a vessel which has the actual word inscribed on it). The phrase in the present text would then mean a set of cooking pots; the closest parallel we have found uses the adjective with the noun instrumentum (OLD s.v. coquinatorius, citing Digest

a.i.4. senapịs: see 591.b.8 and note, and Adams (2003). What we have here should presumably be construed as the genitive singular of senapi/sinapi. The placing of the small fragment (see previous note) yields a trace further to the right, which is probably the top of the sextarius-symbol.

a.ii.1. anịṣị: only the bottoms of the last two letters survive but the reading is not in doubt, cf. 591.a.1 (anesi).

a.ii.2. carei: this word does not occur elsewhere in the tablets. The writing is noticeably cursive.

a.ii.3. thumuṃ: the last letter is incomplete but the reading is not in doubt. It is curious that the writer uses the accusative here when the genitive would follow the pattern in the previous two lines (on the syntax in accounts see Adams (1995a), 114-6).

b.1-2. See a.i.1 note.

Download EpiDoc version using the CC license Creative Commons License and EpiDoc Schema v.5