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Lot 5: Roman Tablet Recording Sale of Clothing

Antiquities: Day 1

by TimeLine Auctions

December 6, 2016

London, United Kingdom

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Description: Dated 334 AD. A wooden tabula with three holes to the sulcius to accept binding strips; handwritten ink text recording the sale of textiles in which Julius Julianus buys from a person PRA[...] different kinds of clothing, especially dalmaticae (the standard overgarment of upper-class men).; Side A: signatures of eight witnesses right of the sulcius, (A)emilius Numerianus, Iulius [...], Pomponius Fidentius, Iulius Marartarius, Iul, Quintus, [...]C(?)larinus, [...] lius Quadratianus, Numerius Octavianus with signavi '(I) sealed (it)' after each name; the main text written to the left of the sulcus; consular date (Leonti et Sallustio consulibus = 344 AD), then recording the sale of clothes: Iulius Iulianus [...]emit de PRA[...]MI PIS[...] in VATRINIO [...]Numerio patre [...] pars [...] sicut in F[...] pro C[.]E[...]. (...) auro argento veste lintiam in erebusque aestim[...] ... Iulio Iuli .... albam cum mafortio suo afro clavante folles n(umero) octoginta [...] dalmaticam nativam disimam cum mafortio suo folles n(umero) se[...] confectum dalmaticae STUPLINAE cum [...] folles n(umero) TRIgin ... quinqualium confectum lana +unativa+ dalmaticae folles [...] lineam afram ... folles dece et octo, aliam lin[.]am[...] ... folles non+ FACIALEM alexandrinum folles viginti, SEUDONI[.] M [...] M folles octo ... [...]ADUA folles tes[...] facialem afrum folles octo, Caracallam medio[...]am et FACIALEM [...]DICUM folles tres, CA[.]E[.]IAM ... folles ... folles quadriginta ... quatenos et [...]'; Side B (recessed face) text indistinct, then.[...] 'recte dari sine dolo mal(o) dolus malus abest abe[...] ... Iulius Iulianus ... [...]CVND[..]... pretium ut s(upra) s(cripta) est ... acepisse et habere ... ' and legal formulas typical of Roman sales contracts. For examples of wooden tabulae re-used as a writing surfaces, see Thomas, J. D., Vindolanda: The Latin Writing Tablets, Britannia Monograph Series No 4, London, 1983; for examples of testamentary documents on wooden tablets that have survived, see FIRA III, p.47 for Anthony Silvanus from 142 AD and see BGU VII 1695 for Safinnius Herminus; for another from Transfynydd, North Wales, see Arch. Camb. 150, pp.143-156. See Münchner Beiträge zur antiken Papyrologie und Rechtsgeschichte, Leopold Wenger Institute (LMU Munich); forthcoming. Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate. 84 grams, 21 x 25cm (8 1/4 x 9 3/4"). From an important London collection since 1975; acquired by a London dealer 1973; formerly the property of Monsieur Alain Sfez, a Belgian collector; acquired by gift from his father Albert Sfez, 1965; acquired by Albert in the early 1950s; accompanied by a copy of a witnessed ownership statement from Alain Sfez. The contract follows standard Roman legal formulae.

Condition Report: Fine condition. A rare and exceptional legal document, providing a fascinating insight into the functioning of Roman society and its economy.

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