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Pagans Hill A (no. 7)

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        English translation         

Author: Unknown

Authority: Roger Tomlin

Publications:

Keywords: money

Description:

Major portion of a rough square of sheet lead, 95 by 101 mm, found(FN1) with two other items in 1983 (PagansHill-2 and PagansHill-3). Three corners are missing, another fragment is detached, and there is extensive surface damage, pitting and corrosion, especially at the top and where the two sides were folded inwards. It has been inscribed on one side in cursive letters(FN2).

 

(FN1) With a metal detector, no further details known. All three were bought by the antiquities dealers Fox & Co. of Yeovil, whose Mr D. Darwish informed RSOT and made them available. They were cleaned by Mrs S. Pollard and photographed by Mr S.C. Renow. For the temple complex at Pagans Hill excavated in 1949-52 by Mr (now Professor) P. Rahtz, see his reports in Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological  and Natural History Society xcvi (I951), 112 ff., and ibid., ci-cii (1956/7), 15 ff.

(FN2) The hand has similarities with, as well as differences from, the hand of a writing-tablet found in a nearby Roman villa at Chew Stoke: see E.G. Turner, ‘A Roman writing tablet from Somerset’, JRS xlvi (1956), 115 ff. Both hands can be dated to the first half of the third century, but hardly later. A closer dating would be desirable, to know what ‘3,000 denarii’ was worth in real terms; and also because excavation dated the whole temple complex to after 258 and probably to the last quarter of the third century (see Proceedings cited in note 1 above, ci (1956/7), 31). However, Antonine coins were found on the site in c. 1830 (ibid., xcvi (1951), 14), and it may be conjectured that this tablet, and probably PagansHill-2 and PagansHill-3 as well, belong to an earlier temple.

Edition:
1 [c.17]ri[c.8]
2 . . [c.14]mitr[1-2]pio[c.5]
n 3 in (denari)is iii milibus cuius [de]mediam
4 partem tibi ut ita illum [e]xigas a Vassicil-
n 5 lo [.]pecomini filio et uxore sua quoniam
n 6 [pe]rtussum quod illi de hospitiolo m[eo]
n 7 [pec]ulaverint nec illis [p]ermittas sanit[a-]
n 8 [tem] nec bibere nec ma[n]d[u]care nec dormi[re]
n 9 [nec nat]os sanos habe[a]nt nessi hanc rem
n 10 [meam] ad fanum tuum [at]tulerint. iteratis
n 11 [pre]c[i]bus te rogo ut [ab ip]sis nominibus
n 12 [inimicorum] meorum hoc [pertu]ssum recipi
13 [. . .] perven[ia]t

Diplomatic:

Commentary:

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. . . in 3 thousand denarii, of which (I give) you half part on condition that you exact it from Vassicillus the son of [. . .]cominus and from his wife, since the coin(?) which they have stolen(?) from my house (the syntax breaks down) and you are not to permit them health nor to drink nor to eat nor to sleep [nor] to have healthy [children] unless they bring this [my] property to your temple. With repeated [prayers] I ask you that this [coin(?)] may come to be recovered [from the very] names of my [enemies].