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6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters
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6. F2011 Vindolanda Letters

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Letters found at Vindolanda illuminate life on the frontier of Roman Britain

Letters found at Vindolanda illuminate life on the frontier of Roman Britain

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  • Vindos – whiteLanda – enclosure
  • cornets and buccinae. The trumpet sounds the charge and the retreat. The cornets are used only to regulate the motions of the colors; the trumpets serve when the soldiers are ordered out to any work without the colors; but in time of action, the trumpets and cornets sound together. The classicum, which is a particular sound of the buccina or horn, is appropriated to the commander-in-chief and is used in the presence of the general, or at the execution of a soldier, as a mark of its being done by his authority. The ordinary guards and outposts are always mounted and relieved by the sound of trumpet, which also directs the motions of the soldiers on working parties and on field days. The cornets sound whenever the colors are to be struck or planted.The tuba of ancient Rome is a military signal trumpet, quite different from the modern tuba. The tuba (from Latin tubus, "tube") was produced around 500 BC. Its shape was straight, in contrast to the military buccina or cornu, which was more like the modern tuba in curving around the body. Its origin is thought to be Etruscan, and it is similar to the Greek salpinx. About four feet in length, it was made usually of bronze, and was played with a detachable bone mouthpiece.uditum'(t he bucina, which is made of bronze, is curved toward itself in a circular fashion; the cornu, which is made from bovine material, is decorated with silver, and produces a modulated sound according to the ability and force of the breath of the player) by restoring the Vegetius text to its original form ('cornuquodi n semetaereocirculoflectitur; bucinaquaee x urisagrestibus,argentonexa, temperatumartespirituquecanentisfatusemittitauditum'), we shall arrive at an exhaustive description of the two instruments, according to which the cornuis the instrument' of bronze and curved in a circulars hape' (see Pl. VII (a) and (b), where a cornicenisportrayedwith his instruments),8 and the bucinai s that which is 'made of bovine horn', decorated with silver, which produces a modulated sound, according to the ability and the force of the breath of the player (Pls. IX (a) and (b); X (a) and (b)).9 Thus one
  • heaven by continual rain and cloud,
  • A letter from one slave to another about preparations for the Saturnalia festivalThe household of an officer in the Roman army included slaves, who appear both in the correspondence and documents found at Vindolanda. On the back of this letter from Severus to Candidus, referring to some payment for the Saturnalia festival, Candidus is described as a slave of Genialis, and there is no doubt that Severus was also a slave. The Saturnalia, a festival in December, was particularly significant to slaves; it was the one day of the year on which they were formally allowed to change places with their owners.Translation:'Severus to his Candidus, greetings. Regarding the ... for the Saturnalia, I ask you, brother, to see to them at a price of 4 or six asses and radishes to the value of not less than 1/2 denarius. Farewell, brother.'Back: 'To Candidus, slave of Genialis the prefect, from Severus, slave of ?16 as to a denarius
  • Roman Britain, late 1st or early 2nd century ADVindolanda Roman fort (modern Chesterholm), NorthumberlandIn the commanding officer's residence (praetorium) at Vindolanda, probably during the occupation by Cerialis and his family, someone took a wooden writing-tablet on which a private letter had been begun, but not finished. They wrote on the back of it, in a rather good hand, a complete line from the second half of Virgil's Aeneid(9.473).It was certainly not a readily memorable line, which makes us wonder: Were the texts of Virgil available at Vindolanda? Were they used for writing practice as is commonly found on papyri? By whom? Cerialis' children?Last word should be urbem
  • A writing tablet records a squad of builders being sent torepair or construct this bath house, around AD 100. The garrison was then the 1,000 strong Ninth Cohort of Batavians. The building was demolished in the mid second century, being too large for the reduced garrison of 500 men.
  • 5c Bronze enamelled wheel-shaped brooch; Corbridge (Scale I:I). 5.5 cm.6 Gold wheel-pendant; Dolaucothi (Scale 2:I). 2.2 cm
  • The largest single concentration in the distribution of hairpins in the 3rd century has come fromthe baths, and in particular the drain running through the floor of the changing room. In thecontext of changing clothes and preparing for a bath it is not surprising that so many shouldcome from this area. It is more difficult to explain why hairpins should be found in reasonablenumbers from the bath house toilet drains. A possibility explanation is that the hairpins couldhave been washed down into the toilet drain from the changing room drains before becominglodged the toilet sediment. It is difficult to ascertain whether or not the dominance of bonehairpins in the archaeological record from Vindolanda reflects that fact that bone was thematerial of choice, readily available and therefore cheaper than metal, shale or jet, or wassimply less durable than copper alloy, and therefore more liable to break and be discarded.The dwelling immediately to the east of the baths also produced a number of hairpins as it hasfor a number of different artefact categories in this study such as beads, spindle whorls andgaming counters.
  • In the third century there was a degree of commonality between intramural and extramural areasof the site of Vindolanda in terms of leisure activities represented by gaming counters. Thedeposits of gaming counters matches that of military kit (section 4.4), and industry (section4.12) in the 3rd century extramural areas. Therefore although counters have been chosen asrepresenting a ‘shared activity’, the results of this depositional pattern could be interpreted asbeing military by association with other categories of artefacts that have been designated asbeing part of military kit.
  • The lowdeposition rate of artefacts associated with women inside the fort (ramparts aside) compared tothe evidence from the extramural area suggests that although women were most definitely notexcluded in the 3rd century their presence may have been in some way limited. Some mayquestion whether women, other than those associated with centurions or commanding officers,were permitted to stay inside the fort at night. The evidence presented here would support thetheory for female day time activities such as spinning where daylight would have beenpreferable. However, it could be argued that the evidence for women equates to actual residenceif personal adornment is taken into account. For surely it is more likely that the majority ofthese types of artefact would have been deposited when undressing at night. This is of courseconjecture but the results of the artefact distribution, have, I believe, successfully shown that thewalls of the Vindolanda fort acted as a demarcation line in the 3rd century but also that theywere porous in both directions and cannot therefore be regarded as a great divide.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Vindolanda
      gwynfinn
      You’ve Got Mail!
      white (fair)
      llan
    • 2. Signaling
    • 3. Short Range Communication
      Trumpets
      Charge, retreat
      Cornets ( played by cornicen)
      Motion of colors
      Classicumor buccina(horn)
      Used by commander, salutes, executions
      Tuba (played by tubicen)
      Signal trumpet
      Vegetius, De Re Militari
    • 4. Trajan’s Column
    • 5.
    • 6. Longer range communication
      Beacons
      Semaphores
      Coded signals
      Manpower needed?
      caelumcrebrisimbribus ac nebulisfoedum
    • 7. Signaling
      The other 'evidence' from field archaeology, aerial photography and excavations for Roman military signalling systems is hypothetical, and varies from the ridiculous to the inconclusive.
      Donaldson, “Signalling, Communications and the Roman Imperial Army” 1988
      Probable Method: pony express
    • 8. Vindolanda
    • 9. Resources
      Find slag
      Find coal in 2nd C.
    • 10.
    • 11.
    • 12. Where?
    • 13. The Place
    • 14. When? Stages
    • 15.
    • 16. Who?
    • 17. Leading Cast
      Flavius Cerialis, Prefect
      AeliusBrocchus, another prefect (off-stage)
    • 18. Roman Names
    • 19. Significant Others
      Sulpicia Lepidina, wife of Flavius
      Claudia Severa, wife of Aelius
    • 20. Their Home
    • 21. Correspondents
      Felicio, a centurion
      Priuatis, a slave
      Caecilius September, prefect of a cavalry unit
    • 22. The Extras
      Types of auxiliary units
      Quingenaria or milliaria
      Equitata
      VIIII Batavians
      I Tungrians
      Itinerant cavalry, legionaries, other units
    • 23. Cavalry Present
    • 24. Bronze military diploma
      Malpas, Cheshire 103 CE
      To:
      Reburrus, a Spanish decurion in the 1st Pannonian cavalry
    • 25. Military Diploma
      From Hadrian for the units:
      which are in Britain…. … soldiers who have served twenty-five years and received an honourable discharge …. To them and to their children for posterity has been granted … citizenship.
    • 26. Marriage
    • 27. Life at VindolandaThe Written Record
    • 28. Not Written on Stone
      Papyrus
      Vellum
      Wax tablet – business and legal use
      Ink tablet – ephemeral use
    • 29. Wax Writing Tablet/Styli
      Found in or near the River Walbrook, London
      1st or 2nd century
    • 30. Wax Writing Tablet-Vindolanda
    • 31. Writing Tablets and Scribes
      PROC AVG DEDERVNT BRIT PROV
      'The imperial procurators of the province of Britain issued this
    • 32. Ox Goad
      Or Pen?
    • 33. Challenge-Reading the Tablets
      Conservation
      Dirt: Infra-red photography
      Reading script
      New words, new spelling
      Filling in missing parts
      Formulaic writing
      Standard abbreviations
      Recognized names
    • 34. Script
    • 35. Cerialis Seeks Advancement
      Now (?), in whatever way you wish, fulfil what I expect of you and ... so furnish me with friends that thanks to you I may be able to enjoy a pleasant period of military service.
    • 36. Wishing Cerialis Success in his Upcoming Meeting with the Governor
    • 37. Expenses
      Dinners with Brocchus
      Hunting
      Distribution of beer to the decurions
      Chickens
      Dinner guests
      Holidays
    • 38. Account
    • 39. Account - Details
      Cloaks, number 6, 11 /2 denarii each, total 69 denarii
      Skillets, number 4, denarii 2 7/8 and 1 as each, total 11¾ denarii.
      Scarlet curtain (?), measuring 11 ½ , total 54 ½ + denarii
      Hair, 9 pounds in weight, 5¾ denarii per pound, total 51¾ denarii.
      Drawers, number 10, 2 ½ denarii each, total 25 denarii.
    • 40. Supplies – Detailed List
      • Wheat
      • 41. Hides from tannery at Catterick
      • 42. Send cash
      • 43. Delivery delay because the bad roads would have resulted in injuries to the animals
    • Inventory
    • 44. Buying Food for the Holiday, etc.
    • More for the Saturnalia
      Back: To Candidus, slave of Genialis the prefect, from Severus, slave of  ?
      Severus to his Candidus, greetings. Regarding the ... for the Saturnalia, I ask you, brother, to see to them at a price of 4 or six asses and radishes to the value of not less than 1/2 denarius. Farewell, brother.’
    • 48. Recipe
      Found in kitchen
    • New Year’s Day Sacrifice
    • 52. Early
      Late
      Footwear
    • 53. Lepidina’s‘Designer’ Sandal
    • 54. Birthday Invitation
      To SulpiciaLepidina from Claudia Severa, wife of AeliusBrocchus
      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 (?).
    • 55. Birthday Letter
    • 56. Child’s Sock
    • 57. HW
      INTEREA PAVIDAM VOLITANS PINNA TA .VBEM segn.
      Meanwhile, the winged [bird, rumor], flying though the trembling city. Virgil IX 473 Slack
    • 58. Neglecting HW?
    • 59. Damaged pottery
      From Graufinesque, S. Gaul
    • 60. The Rank and File
    • 61. Roll call
      18 May, net number of the First Cohort of Tungrians, of which the commander is IuliusVerecundus the prefect: 752, including centurions 6 of whom there are absent:
      [list numbers of absentees and where they are]
    • 62. Work
      Three groups
      • Building a hospitium
      • 63. Working at lime-kilns
      • 64. Getting clay for making wattle fences
    • Recommendation Letter
    • 65. Clothing
      I have sent (?) you ... pairs of socks from Sattua, two pairs of sandals and two pairs of underpants, two pairs of sandals ... Greet ...ndes, Elpis, Iu..., ...enus, Tetricus and all your messmates with whom I pray that you live in the greatest good fortune
    • 66. Expense Account
    • Travel
    • 72. Account of Loan(?) of Wheat
    • 73. Request for Leave
      I ask, my lord Cerialis, that you consider me a worthy person to whom to grant leave
    • 74. Masclus’ Request
      P.S. My fellow soldiers have no beer. Please order some to be sent.
    • 75. Purchases by Lower Ranks
    • Complaint
      I want you to know that I am in very good health, as I hope you are in turn, you neglectful man, who have sent me not even one letter. But I think that I am behaving in a more considerate fashion in writing to you ... to you, brother, ... my messmate.
    • 80. Mistreatment - Complaint
      I implore your majesty not to allow me, an innocent man, to have been beaten with rods… I implore your mercifulness not to allow me, a man from overseas and an innocent one, about whose good faith you may inquire, to have been bloodied by rods as if I had committed some crime.
    • 81. Intelligence on the Britons
      ... the Britons are unprotected by armour (?). There are very many cavalry. The cavalry do not use swords nor do the wretched Britons (Brittunculi) mount in order to throw javelins.
    • 82. British Uprising
    • 83. Fort
      Vicus
    • 84. Development of Vici
      Traditional model
      Extra mural area with bath house and a few traders and camp followers
      Economic development
      Some political independence
      Survive dismantling of the fort
      Military annexes or fortified civilian annexes
    • 85. Extramural Vindolanda
      Antonine (~160)
      Defensive enclosure perhaps to facilitate wagon parks, horse lines
      Severan (~210)
      Stone fort
      3rd century
      Settlement
    • 86. Vindolanda 3-4 C.
    • 87. Baths
    • 88. Baths
    • 89. Footwear for the Baths
    • 90. Roman-Celtic Temple
    • 91. Model altar and stands
    • 92. Brooch and pendant
    • 93. The Environment
      c. 180 CE
      85-92 CE
    • 94. Traditional View
      Fort – combatants
      Vicus – noncombatants
      Merchants
      Women
    • 95. In the vicus or nearby
      Oxherd; keeper of pigs
      Brewer
      Veteran
      Guesthouse
    • 96. Finds in barracks
      Female shoes – not just associated with prefect
      Bracelets and beads at Catterick
    • 97. Shoes in barracks2nd C.
      21% smaller sizes
    • 98.
    • 99.
    • 100.
    • 101.
    • 102. Women in the fort - 3rd & 4th C.
      Weaving work
      Not just associated with prefects or centurions
      Fort boundaries porous in both directions

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