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writing-tablet

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1986,1001.64

  • Description

    Wood writing tablet with a party invitation written in ink, in two hands, from Claudia Severa to Lepidina.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 97-103
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 223 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        back
      • Inscription Language

        Latin
      • Inscription Translation

        (1st hand) To Sulpicia Lepidina, wife of Cerialis, from Severa
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        front
      • Inscription Language

        Latin
      • Inscription Translation

        (1st hand) Claudia Severa to her Lepidina greetings. On 11 September, sister, for the day of the celebration of my birthday, I give you a warm invitation to make sure that you come to us, to make the day more enjoyable for me by your arrival, if you are present (?). Give my greetings to your Cerialis. My Aelius and my little son send him (?) their greetings. (2nd hand) I shall expect you sister. Farewell, sister my dearest soul, as I hope to prosper, and hail.
  • Curator's comments

    Writing-tablet with a letter inviting Sulpicia Lepidina, the commander's wife, to a birthday party

    One of the earliest known examples of writing in Latin by a woman

    Sulpicia Lepidina was the wife of Flavius Cerealis, prefect of the Ninth Cohort of Batavians. This birthday invitation is one of two letters she received from Claudia Severa, wife of Aelius Brocchus. The scribe who wrote the greater part of this letter is the same person who wrote the letter from Niger and Brocchus to Flavius Cerealis. The handwriting of Severa herself (the 2nd hand) is less elegant, but it is one of the earliest known examples of writing in Latin by a woman.

    T.W. Potter, Roman Britain, 2nd edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1997), p. 59, plate 42

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Tab. Vindol. II 291 bibliographic details
    • Potter 1997 p. 59, plate 42 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs & Jackson 2010 p. 64 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs & Jackson 2010 p. 76, fig. 60 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs & Jackson 2010 p. 77, fig. 61 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G49/dc2

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1986

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1986,1001.64

COMPASS Image Caption: Wooden writing-tablet from Vindolanda;Birthday invitation to the commander's wife;Gwahoddiad pen-blwydd i wraig y comander

Unknown

COMPASS Image Caption: Wooden writing-tablet from Vindolanda;Birthday invitation to the commander's wife;Gwahoddiad pen-blwydd i wraig y comander

Image description

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Object reference number: BCB88434

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