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Justin Blake's official Vindolanda excavation Twitter feed

Unless otherwise noted, all plans below are unofficial interpretations only.
They are meant to help orient diggers & friends.
They are not designed to scale, nor to imply archaeological accuracy.

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Session 2; 15 - 26 April
Topic Started: Apr 14 2013, 06:29 AM (2,245 Views)
sarcanon
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OMFG! That altar is amazing. Does anyone have a clearer picture of the text? Pretty please!
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sarcanon
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Badger:

Well, given that Justin tweeted a photo of it without any attempt to obscure it or the fact of its discovery, I would assume that the usual rule of checking before publication would not obtain in this case. Had Justin not been the source, though, I would wholeheartedly agree that caution should be taken. In any event, given my particular research interest in inscriptions, I'll beg your pardon for my zeal.

- Scott
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sarcanon
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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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sarcanon
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Quote:
 
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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sarcanon
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Fiona D
Apr 17 2013, 01:45 PM
I gather from Andy the altar was set up by a guy called Aprilius to sun god - Sol Invictus I assume - very appropriate! Lets hope he carries on interceding for us.
Very interesting. I could find only one other instance of the nomen Aprilius in RIB volume I. Two bronze statuettes of Mars were found at Cockersand Moss (Lancs) in 1718, and have since been lost. One of them was inscribed:

Quote:
 
D(eo) M(arti) N(odonti) | Lucianus | colleg(ae) Aprili Viato|ris v(otum) s(olvit)

"To the god Mars Nodons, Lucianus fulfilled the vow of his colleague, Aprilius Viator"

Whether this Aprilius is the same guy who dedicated the Vindolanda altar is hard to say. Context doesn't help much. The Cockersand site is in the middle of nowhere, nearly 5 km from the nearest Roman road (70d, Preston-Lancaster), and even from further from any known military site. The Vindolanda Aprilis was almost certainly military-affliliated given where the altar was found and the fact that the dedication is Mithraic. The Cockersand dedication was to Mars Nodons, a syncretic god conflating the well known Roman war god with the Celtic god Nodons. So, a military connection there seems not too implausible. And, Aprilius appears to be a relatively uncommon nomen, so who knows?

I'm very eager to hear what Andrew and Justin have to say.
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