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Home > Auctions > 24th November 2020 > Roman Contract for Sale of Land on Wooden Tablet Witnessed by Iulius Aequirius

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LOT 0144

GBP (£) 1,000 - 1,400
EUR (€) 1,100 - 1,540
USD ($) 1,300 - 1,820

Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £900

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Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £900

Roman Contract for Sale of Land on Wooden Tablet Witnessed by Iulius Aequirius

Late 3rd-early 4th century AD

An inked wooden tabula, square in plan, used for a contract of sale of land, with shallow rectangular socket dividing the field horizontally; above, ten lines of later cursive script; below, ten short lines of later cursive script written perpendicular to the first and a short legend below in a different hand; using the typical legal formulae and the signatures of witnesses (e.g. a Iulius Aequirius). 299 grams total, 15 x 14cm (6 x 5 1/2"). Fair condition, split.

Condition report [Click to show]

Ex Monsieur Alain Sfez collection, Belgium; acquired by gift from his father Albert Sfez, 1965; acquired by Albert in the early 1950s.
Rothenhoefer, P., Neue römische Rechtsdokumente aus dem Byzacena-Archiv / New Roman Legal Documents from the Byzacena Archive, (forthcoming).
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.
The contract follows standard Roman legal formulae.