Tablet 618

description 86 x 26 mm.
Archaeological data. Location: SG (bonfire site). Period: 3.
Only a fragment survives of the original diptych. It is almost certain that the left-hand edge of Side A is preserved but the tablet is broken on the other three sides. On both sides three lines of writing survive, both parts of letters. Side B is upside-down with respect to Side A.
The hand responsible for Side A is a competent, right-sloping cursive such as is often met with in the tablets. Interpunct looks certain in line 2; the two instances we have marked in line 3 could be stray ink marks. u ligatures with the following a in both quaedam and quae (lines 2-3). There is a wide margin of 3.5 cm at the left and the way the lines slightly overrun the right-hand edge suggests that this was part of the left-hand column of a diptych.
The hand which wrote Side B is more idiosyncratic with a few ligatures and there is some deletion in line 3. We have included the tablet in the Cerialis archive because we think it probable, though not certain, that this side was written in the hand which we have identified as that of Cerialis (see 615, introduction). We suggest, therefore, that Side A contains the remains of a letter sent to Cerialis and that Cerialis later used the reverse to draft a letter of his own. If so, he was writing to someone who was at least his equal (domine B.1; cf. 225) if not his superior.


. . . . . . . .
traces n
mandaui · ut quaedaṃ
quae · ad officium · tu[um]
pụto p̣er...ẹrẹ [ n
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
tu domine quid sen-
n de negotio hoc n
rog̣o [[notum]] [[m]] n
. . . . . . . .


'(A) I have sent instructions that certain matters which I think concern(?) your office '
(B) As to you, my lord, I ask [[that you let me know?]] what you think about this business '


A.1. There may be traces of one or even two descenders from this line visible. In any case the tablet is broken at this point as Side B proves, where line 3 is broken through the middle of the letters of rogo. If the mark above t in ut is ink, it would suit well for the tail of s and its position would be suitable for s[alutem. The letter proper, therefore, may have begun with mandaui.

A.4. pụto is reasonably secure. We should like to read p̣erṭịṇẹrẹ after this, but it is not easy to read ṭịṇ after p̣er.

B.1. Side A, where the feet of letters in line 4 are lost, proves that the tablet is incomplete at the top on Side B; nonetheless, there is no sign of writing above this line and the draft letter may have begun at this point.

B.2. negotio: the left-hand side of e is made in two non-joining strokes instead of the usual one, and the second of these may ligature with the cross-stroke.

B.3. notum m: there is no trace of ink after m. One might guess that the writer intended to write notum mihi plus facias, or something similar.

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