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Home > Auctions > 30th August 2016 > Roman Tablet Recording the Sale of the Slave Girl Victoria

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LOT 0669

Estimate
GBP (£) 15,000 - 20,000
EUR (€) 17,760 - 23,680
USD ($) 19,150 - 25,530


ROMAN TABLET RECORDING THE SALE OF THE SLAVE GIRL VICTORIA
DATED 19TH MAY, 274 AD
6 x 6" (41 grams, 15 x 15cm).

A wooden tabula with holes to the long borders, recess to one face with indistinct traces of lettering impressed into the wood from excessive pressure by the stylus, wax fill absent; sulcus to the reverse and handwritten ink text recording the sale of a ten-year-old slave girl; supplied with a detailed academic report (in English), including a full transcription of the Latin text and its English translation: "D(omino) n(ostro) Aureliano Aug(usto) II et Kapitolino co(n)s(ulibus) XIIII kal(endas) Iun(ias) (= 19. Mai 274) (2) Apertius Florus emit de Masuna Masincthanis filio (3) habitantem AULUemi Maioris puellam ++MG/AM Aegipti¬ (4) am Garamantisam qu(a)e nunc vocari coepit Victoria (5) an(norum) ‚X‘ denaris triginta unu(m) milibus EAque (denarios) XXXI ∞ (6) QVERS sunt praetium puellam; S(ummam?) idem MASUNARIS ab eodem qu(a)e s(upra) s(criptae) ? (7) Apertio Floro accepisse et habere se dixit ++++ t(enebit) h(abebit) die IV k(a)lendas IuN(ias). " translated as "On May 19th, AD 274. Apertius Florus buys from Masuna, son of Masincthanis, the Egyptian-Garamantican girl ++MG/AM who lives at Auluemi Maior, who from now on is called Victoria, 10 years old, for 31 thousand denarii. (...) Masuna said that he received and has this sum from Apertius Florus. ... He has (the girl?) on May 29th ...", with accompanying signatures of seven witnesses.

PROVENANCE:
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.

PUBLISHED:
See Münchner Beiträge zur antiken Papyrologie und Rechtsgeschichte, Leopold Wenger Institute (LMU Munich); forthcoming. Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate.

LITERATURE:
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.

FOOTNOTES:
The contract follows standard Roman legal formulae.

CONDITION