Tablet 662

description 87 x 32 mm. Plate 21.
Archaeological data. Location: SG/NE (intervallum road). Period: 3.
A fragment with writing on both sides, Side B upside down in relation to Side A. There is no way of deciding which is the front and which the back, although the beginnings of some lines are preserved on both sides, as well as the ends of some lines on Side A. The tablet is broken at top and bottom, but no writing may have been lost at the foot on Side B, see B.3 note and 4 note.
If the two sides are in different hands, we no doubt have drafts of two different letters. Both sides are written in a competent, right-sloping cursive, and many of the letter-forms are closely similar: in particular both use a tall, right-sloping e, o open at the right, an upward slanting cross-stroke on t, which much resembles s, and an n in which the first stroke can descend well below the line. Word division is more clearly indicated on Side A than on Side B. It is most probable that both sides are in the same hand, but this still leaves open the possibility that they are drafts of different letters.
So little can be recovered that the context is wholly obscure. The occurrence of ebriacum (or ebriatum) in A.4 is noteworthy, as are the words rumpantur inuidia in B.2.


. . . . . . . .
......... ].ḅẹs hom.[.. n
........ ]ṣ constat esṣ[e
non factum eṭ ịllum
mạgịs essẹ ebriac̣um n
5..]. mạxṣimum eṭ hoc̣ n
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
..].ṛẹs nobis benefic̣ [.]..[ n
..ẹ. rump̣aṇtur inuidị [. n
.[.]ḷ.ḅṛa bona ẹṣṣẹ [ n
]. uacat n


' (A) is agreed to have not been done and that he was more(?) inebriated '


A.1. There may be a letter lost between b and e.

A.4. mạgịs: uncertain but it suits the traces which survive. ebriac̣um: cf. 302.margin. Since the occurrence of the word at this early date is of interest, see Adams (2003), §7, it should be stressed that, while we cannot exclude the reading ebriaṭum, it is certainly easier to read the doubtful letter as c.

A.5. mạxṣimum: for the spelling cf. Adams (1995a), 90-91. It is not wholly certain that s was written.

B.1. There is room for some three letters after benefic̣ before the tablet breaks off and faint traces survive.

B.2. The initial letter is very tall, most probably l. rump̣aṇtur: p is difficult but the phrase rumpantur inuidia is likely to be right: cf. OLD s.v. rumpo 2b, and especially Martial 9.97, who has no less than 12 instances of rumpitur inuidia. The actual words used in our letter are found in Virgil, Ecl. 7.26: inuidia rumpantur ut ilia Codro. For the expression Adams has referred us to Dunbabin and Dickie (1983), 7-37; see especially pp. 10-19 on the literary and epigraphic tradition and note the mosaic from Algeria quoted in n.31: inuida sidereo rumpantur pectora uisu.

B.3. The trace surviving at the start could well be the top of d; then one or two letters lost before, probably, ḷạḅṛa or ḷụḅṛa. This would suggest can]|ḍ[e]ḷạḅṛa or ḍ[e]ḷụḅṛa. If the trace at the start is not ink, other possibilities are uentilabra and pol(l)ubra; or we may have just labra in the sense "bowls". All of these, except delubra, could be described as bona, though none fits at all well with the preceding line. ẹṣṣẹ: an uncertain reading. After it the tablet appears to be blank; if so this could be the end of the letter (cf. the next note).

B.4. It is not at all certain that the trace surviving after the break is ink.

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