Tablet 629

description

Inv.no.93.1498 + 93.1500. 204 x 50 mm. Plate 13.
Archaeological data. Location: SG (bonfire site). Period: 3.
The greater part of this diptych is preserved, although it is incomplete at the foot (see ii.5 note) and lacks the start of most lines of the right-hand column, together with a piece at the top left-hand corner. There is a tie-hole visible at the end of the fourth line in column ii. It is particularly interesting for the unusual hand in which it is written, one that is more upright than normal, even slightly left-sloping. It contains a letter to Cerialis from Super, presumably the same Super as the man who sent 255, even though the main hand of 629 is quite different from the first hand of 255; see further the notes to i.1 and 5 and to the back. On Super see also A.R.Birley (2001b), 23.

edition

i:
[Cl]odius Super       Ceriaḷi suo n
                             saluṭeṃ n
libentissime frater sicut uoluer[as] n
     Lepidinae tuaẹ [....]ạ.. interf̣[u-]
5       issem
n utique ṭe [[traces]] ..ḷẹ.ṭe. ..[ n
. . . . . . . .
Back:
Flauio Cerịạ[li] n
. . . . . . . .

translation

'Clodius Super to his Cerialis greetings. Most willingly, brother, just as you had wanted, I would have been present for your Lepidina's birthday(?). At any rate For you surely know that it pleases me most whenever we are together. If(?) I did not think lest before (Back, 3rd hand?) To Flavius Cerialis '

commentary

i.1. It is regrettable that 629 is broken at precisely the same place as 255, so that of the gentilicium only -odius survives. For our reason for preferring Clodius to Modius (the only realistic alternative) see 255.1 note.

i.2. saluṭeṃ: the cross-stroke of does not protrude to the left of the hasta, with the result that the letter looks exactly like the writer's p elsewhere.

i.3. uoluer[as: also possible is uoluer[at, the subject being Lepidina.

i.4. Lepidinae: l is always short in this hand (except for the initial letter in i.3), and here and elsewhere it is virtually indistinguishable from i with a serif or t with a short cross-bar. After tuaẹ the surface is badly abraded over the space of some four letters, of which probably nothing remains. There are traces before inter- of three to four letters, which could be read in several different ways. We tentatively suggest reading nat]ạḷị, while admitting that it is short for the space available. This gives excellent sense; for the celebration of the birthday of Lepidina's friend Claudia Severa see 291. Alternatively we might read ]ṇṭị before inter-, in which case we should presumably take Lepidinae as dative and supply a participle agreeing with this; for the construction cf. TLL VII s.v. intersum 2283.55ff.

i.5. We suggest a strong stop after interfuissem. Then some 7 or 8 letters have been crossed out after ṭe and are now illegible. Over the top is an insertion in a different hand. This might be the same as the second hand of 255, presumably the hand of Super himself. A participle ending -lente looks possible (agreeing with te preceding the deletion?) but the reading is far from certain. At least one line must have been lost after this (see ii.5 note) so that it is impossible to reconstruct the sense.

ii.1. ṛeddere.: the reading after ṛeddere is unclear; easiest perhaps is ṛeddereṭ, but we would not rule out ṛeddereṃ or ṛeddereṇṭ. In any case a new sentence will have begun with utique enim (for the phrase see, e.g., Seneca, NQ 5.1.4).

ii.2. On the use of the adverb see OLD s.v. sum 13b.

ii.3-4. After ṣi, which is reasonably secure, the next letter is most like , with or to follow; it is possible, but less likely, that we should read these two letters as ạụ. In the next line the first two or three letters are lost; after that the tops of two letters are preserved followed by a letter which could be i or l (less probably c or t) and two letters best read as ạṃ, though ṃạ is not impossible. ṣiṃp̣[l- does not suggest any obvious supplement and the word division is unlikely. If we read ṣiṃị it could be part of similis, or something similar, or we could divide ṣi ṃị-, e.g. ṣi ṃị[nus.

ii.4. mịṭ: i is more curved than usual in this hand and might be taken as e with the top half abraded away; then looks most likely, although is possible. If the correct reading is mịṭ we presumably have some part of mitto.

ii.5. The top of one or two letters from a line 6 may be visible. In any case the tablet is broken at this point as can be seen from the back, where the feet of the letters are incomplete; cf. also the following note.

Back. The similarity between this hand and that responsible for writing the address on the back of 255 is so close (apart from the absence of an apex mark in 629) that they are very probably identical. In 255 the writer put the last two letters of Ceriali on the next line together with praef and the same could well be the case in 629.

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