Inv.no.93.1309. 92 x 37 mm. Plate 21.
Archaeological data. Location: SG/NE (intervallum road). Period: 3.
A fragment with six lines on each side, all in the same competent, markedly right-sloping, hand. The side we have described as the back has the ending of a letter. It is not clear whether we have a right-hand column on the front and a left-hand on the back or vice versa. On both sides the left margin of the writing is preserved. There may be traces of the end of a line of the left-hand column to the left of line 4 of the front; on the other hand there could be ink traces to the left of line 6 of the back. Part of a tie-hole may be preserved at the right on the front; if so, this was a right-hand column. It seems likely that the writer began with a two-column letter on the front and then completed the letter on the back (cf., e.g., 643).
The tablet may be incomplete at top and bottom, though no writing is likely to have been lost at the foot on the back and perhaps also on the front. At the right it is virtually complete on both sides. The ink is in places very faint and sometimes completely abraded.
The front seems to be concerned with a gift which the writer is giving as a surprise to his/her domina. This may be just a term of respect (dominus is so used frequently in the tablets) or it may mean that the writer is a servant speaking of his/her mistress. It is noteworthy that the recipient was unable to read (lines 4-5). While perfectly possible if the recipient were a man, this makes even better sense if the letter is being sent to a woman, as we think very probable; see further Back.6 note. There is no indication of whether the writer was a man or a woman.
. . . . . . . .
.ab....ụ.d dọminae munụs n
deṃ c̣urare autem debebiṣ n
ut niḷ qui tibi ep̣isṭụḷam n
5meam leg̣et ịḷḷud domina[e] n
indịcet belḷe muḍetur
. . . . . . . .
' which I may present as a gift(?) to the mistress. But you(?) will have to take care that the person who reads my letter to you does not indicate that in any way to the mistress. (Back) Greet from me both Dioscurides(?) and both(?) our . Farewell, my dearest sister(?). '