Vindolanda writing tablet
Date: ca. 97–103 CE
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): United Kingdom
Dimensions: 223 mm in length
Description: These wooden writing tablets are among hundreds of tablets discovered at the Roman fort of Vindolanda (the north of modern-day England). Some were covered with wax so that the writer could inscribe them with a stylus while others were written with pen and ink. Their contents include military reports, literary fragments, accounts, and letters. They represent the largest collection of Latin letters ever found. The example here is a birthday party invitation from Claudia Severa (wife of Aelius Brocchus) to Sulpicia Lepidina (wife of Flavius Cerealis, prefect of the Ninth Cohort of Batavians). Severa hopes Lepidina will join her for her birthday on September 11, and she sends greetings on behalf of her husband and her young son. This is one of the earliest known examples of Latin writing from a woman.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 1
Repository and Online Resources: • The tablet displayed here is at the British Museum. • See the Vindolanda tablets online. • Read about a toy mouse made of leather recently discovered at Vindolanda.
Image Credits: © Trustees of the British Museum
Tags: Women, Status and identity, Family, Latin, Roman, Polytheist, Western European, Northern European, Domestic