Tablet 668

description 100 x 38 mm.
Archaeological data. Location: Site II/W. Period: 4? .
A fragment containing five lines of a letter. There seem to be faint traces of an address on the back, in which case the front is no doubt part of the right-hand side of a diptych. The text is clearly complete at both right and left in lines 3-4 (scire te uolui) and the same is no doubt true of the following lines. It is incomplete at the top and probably also at the bottom. The middle part is severely abraded.
It is written in a cursive hand which is in general unremarkable; but note the use of the form of a with an additional stroke at the foot of the second diagonal. Word division is sometimes indicated. There appears to be an instance of interpunct in line 3.


. . . . . . . .
traces n
.].e dimịṣị ad castra m[ n
.].niạ . re..ẹ.... scire te n n
uolui exc̣ep̣to turmali n n n
5me.......ui bidum iam n
. . . . . . . .


' I despatched to the camp . I wanted you to know that everything was going well(?), the cavalryman for two days already '


1. Two or three descenders only survive.

2. At least one and perhaps two letters are lost at the start. The trace of the first surviving letter is indeterminate; one possibility would be r and there may have been just enough room to read he]ṛe. ad castra m[: the lines following seem to indicate that not more than one letter can have been lost at the right; if this were a left-hand column (but cf. the introduction), the writing could have overrun the central fold, in which case m[ea would be possible. We would not rule out castram with the space after it left blank, even though elsewhere in the tablets castra is a normal neuter plural; for the feminine singular form see TLL II 548.44ff. It is also found in poems from Bu Njem, see Adams (1999), 125.

3. The trace at the start suits m, so that o]ṃnia looks inescapable. After this there seems to be a medial point. The traces following would permit, though not compel, the reading rec̣ṭẹ. After this we suggest ẹṣṣẹ, but the traces are too meagre to confirm this. For recte esse cf. 670.A.i.3-4 note.

3-4. scire te | uolui: on the phrase see 645.3 note. It seems likely to go with what precedes (as suggested in the translation) but it may begin a new sentence. It may well be followed by a medial point.

4. exc̣ep̣to: expecto would fit with bidu(u)m iam in the next line, but the third letter has a curved hasta and is much better taken as c.

4-5. We cannot offer a satisfactory solution to this passage. turmali is certain and could be dative or ablative. exc̣ep̣to turmali might make sense if o]ṃniạ rec̣ṭẹ ẹṣṣẹ in the previous line is correct: cf. TLL V.2 1248.73ff (for the useof excepto in a renuntium see 545); or Exc̣ep̣to could be a personal name. Alternatively, the name of the turmalis may have come at the start of line 5 (but it does not seem possible to read qui before bidu(u)m). bidum: Adams (1995a), 93 was able to cite only one example of u for uu in the tablets previously published (Ingenus in 181.11; see now also 648.i.2, ii.2).

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