Tablet 686

description 37 x 21 mm.
Archaeological data. Location: N. Period: 4.
This fragment contains on one side two lines of an account written across the grain, with possible traces of the tops of letters of a third line. On the other side are the remains of what must be an address: the first line is a place-name written on the slant in the top left corner and the second line is in address script. This is not easy to explain. We think it most likely that this tablet was originally a letter sent to Sever- at Vindolanda. Some or all of the right-hand side of the tablet was left blank (cf. 301) and this was then rotated 90 degrees clockwise and used, perhaps by Sever- himself for an account; there is a parallel for such a use of tablet in 233. If this is correct, it is conceivable that the traces after line 2 of the account might in fact be the ends of lines of the letter on the left-hand side of the diptych, but we think it more likely that it is a continuation of the account. The hand is a neat one with emphatic ascenders to d and a in line 2


. . . . . . . .
ratio · S. [ n
v Idus Apriles
. . . . . . . .
[Vind]olande n
] Ṣeuer [ n
. . . . . . . .


1. The letter after s is most likely or . There are a number of accounts with ratio plus personal name (192.back, 207.back, 601, cf. 683.A.1 note) and it would be possible to supplement with names attested in the tablets beginning Se- or So-. Equally, we might have a commodity such as as sebum (184.22 etc.) or soleae (346.i.3, 5); the remains of the last letter do not favour sị[liginis (586, 673). If our explanation of the nature of the tablet is correct (see introduction) there is no compelling reason to connect this heading with the name on the back. Back

Back.1. On Vindolande for Vindolandae see 645.back 24 and note ad loc.

Back.2. It would be possible to imagine that the name was preceded by ratio but in view of the place-name this is surely part of an address to a person probably named Severus or Severinus (see previous note). In addition to which the position of the place-name suggests that there would not be room for ratio at the left on this half of the diptych.

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