SacoHarry
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Joined: August 22nd, 2006, 9:29 pm

April 16th, 2013, 5:56 pm #11

Amazing find!

Here is a link to the photo in its original size. Not a whole lot larger, but perhaps someone in the know can do some deciphering:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BH_CCalCYAAV9se.jpg:orig
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SacoHarry
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Joined: August 22nd, 2006, 9:29 pm

April 16th, 2013, 6:10 pm #12

Alright. I'm going to dive in a bit. The last line and a half are interesting. It seems to read "VOT R ET L M." This seems to be a new take on a common abbreviation: "VSLM." That was the stock abbreviation for "votum solvit libens merito" -- "willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow." This would be "VRLM," which -has- shown up before (according to Google) as "votum retulit libens merito." What's cool is adding the "ET" in between R and L. That looks like a more colloquial way of saying it. Anyone else have thoughts?
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Badger
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Badger
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April 16th, 2013, 6:53 pm #13

Well....ok

In the line above it looks like ...VEATNLLES.. or something like that. Could this be a variant on the local deity mentioned on other Vindolanda altars?

RomanoBritian lists the following variants from Vindolanda:

VETERIBUS
VETERI....TIN...S
VETERIBUS
VETERI

Given the difficulty reading the darned thing I am uncomfortable saying anything more....But I am pretty sure there is a VET in there....

Badger
hope the speculation is appropriate. As Sarcannon says, the image is posted on the official Vindolanda blog.

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SacoHarry
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Joined: August 22nd, 2006, 9:29 pm

April 16th, 2013, 7:14 pm #14

For those interested, Wikimedia Commons has a -great- collection of Roman altars/dedications that use the "VSLM" ending. Neat to see all the variants & abbreviations. And how they were used.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Categ ... scriptions
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sarcanon
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Joined: May 3rd, 2010, 6:01 pm

April 16th, 2013, 7:29 pm #15

Harry:

My guess will be to expand RET as RETULIT (third person singular perfect active indicative of refero) rather than R ET. So, VOT(UM) RET(ULIT) L(IBENS) M(ERITO) ("freely and deservedly repaid his vow"). While not nearly as common as VSLM, VRLM is not unheard of. Use of "ET" within the votive formula is not something I've run across before.

Of course, without a clear transcription, it's heard to be sure of anything. There may very well be ligatures in there hiding additional letters.

- Scott

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SacoHarry
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Joined: August 22nd, 2006, 9:29 pm

April 16th, 2013, 7:36 pm #16

sarcanon wrote:My guess will be to expand RET as RETULIT
Ahh, that does make sense! Especially given the "VOT" instead of "V." I saw a notch between the R and ET, but that could easily just be a bang in the altar instead of an intentional "space." Nice!
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Fiona D
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Fiona D
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Joined: May 30th, 2010, 10:07 pm

April 16th, 2013, 7:57 pm #17

Seem to have eaten, breathed in, and got eyefuls of Vindolanda dust today - soooo windy it was unpleasant even though wonderfully sunny. Every 5 minutes someone was chasing after kneeling mats, dustpans, wheelbarrows!!! or pages from notebooks (Kate).

I won't enlarge on excitement of altar as Justins fab photo has more than done it justice, but can add a few shots of areas developing.

Unfortunately forecast is for heavy rain tomorrow --- but you never know, and with winds at gale force nothing is sticking around for long.
Central_barrack_walls.jpg
Floor.jpg
Rampart_slope_appearing.jpg
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sarcanon
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Joined: May 3rd, 2010, 6:01 pm

April 16th, 2013, 8:09 pm #18

wrote:I won't enlarge on excitement of altar as Justins fab photo has more than done it justice, but can add a few shots of areas developing.
Ah, Fiona, but as nice as Justin's photo is, it's less than ideal for reading the text, at least for the epigraphers among us. If you have (and can post) a clear photo of the text, that would be much appreciated. But even if you can't, thanks for the other photos!

- Scott
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Fiona D
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Fiona D
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Joined: May 30th, 2010, 10:07 pm

April 16th, 2013, 8:44 pm #19

Sorry Scott - I have no better photo of text - Andy said he would elaborate when they had had chance to study in more detail - these things are never cut and dried are they. the lettering did look pretty sharp to me though.
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SacoHarry
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Joined: August 22nd, 2006, 9:29 pm

April 17th, 2013, 1:15 pm #20

Brilliant photos Fiona, thanks much! That flagged floor must have been a thing of beauty back in the day.
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