Tablet 657

description 93 x 26 mm. Plate 20.
Archaeological data. Location: SG (bonfire site). Period: 3.
The tablet has writing on both sides, like 655. It is written in the same hand and could form part of the same letter, but we do not think the two pieces join. On both sides the writing is complete at the left, Side A having a margin there of some two centimetres. The tablet is incomplete at both the top and the foot (see A.4 note). The writing could be complete at the right on both front and back, but in neither case is that certain. Side B contains greetings and so presumably came near the end of the letter. It may well be part of the same letter as 656, written on a separate tablet (see the introduction to 656). If so, one would expect Side B to contain the end of the letter proper and to precede immediately the back of 656, which apparently has the end of the closing greeting. 657 is written in the same hand as 346 and the writer greets some of the same people.


. . . . . . . .
....ṭum ịn oc.[ n
si quị mẹ dixerịt ...r.[ n
contiḅernium g̣us [ n
traces (?) n
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
.] . feceris saluta a me [ n
Rhenum Felicioneṃ [ n
Tetricum F̣ḷọre.[ n n
. . . . . . . .


(A) if anyone has said that I the mess
(B) Greet from me Rhenus, Felicio, (?), Tetricus, "


A.1. ịn oc̣.[: or ịn op̣.[.

A.2. For the form of the initial s see 655.A.6 note. si qui is for si quis; see Adams (1995a), 101. After dixerịt we have traces of two or three abraded letters before an almost certain r; then only one more letter before the edge of the tablet. This letter might be i, and if nothing is lost at the right we suggest ḥẹrị, with a broad h. Alternatively we have tried to read ẹx̣ṭrạ, but this is more difficult. extra could govern contibernium; the phrase occurs in Digest in a description of the way to recognise a bad soldier: si remansor aut neglegens suorum aut segnis aut extra contubernium agens (translated "neglectful of his messmates" in the edition by Watson (1985)).

A.3. g̣us[: although the top is unclear, g looks inescapable. Presumably we have some form of gusto; perhaps cf. Appendix, 482.ii.1; OLD, s.v. 4, quotes the verb with much the same sense as experior, see also TLL VI.2 2368.37ff. But it could refer simply to the writer being accused of eating (or drinking) away from the mess to which he belonged.

A.4. There seems to be a trace of at least one ascender from this line.

B.2. The trace before feceris would suit e or f, e.g. e]f̣feceris. There is a hole to the left of this and then further to the left there appear to be traces of the feet of two letters. Either this is not ink or this line projected further to the left than the two lines following. saluta a me: this supports our suggested reading in 346.ii.1note. This line and the next may well have been complete as they stand; but there is no reason why other names should not have occurred in both this line and line 3.

B.3-4. 657 confirms our suggestion to read R]henum in 346.ii.3 and to read Tetricum rather than Tetrecum (preferred in CEL 106) in the same line.

B.4. F̣ḷọre.[: if right, the name was no doubt Florentinus; a man of this name occurs in 641.ii.6 (cf. the note there).

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