Some more non-elite Latin provided by Brandon Conley.
A birthday invitation, excerpt (Vindolanda, Britain, 1st cent. CE)
Claudia Severa invites her friend Sulpicia Lepidina (wife of the prefect at Vindolanda) to a birthday party. Despite the use of soror, the two women are not believed to be sisters. With part of the document written by Severa herself, this (and the accompanying notes) is believed to be the earliest-known Latin written by a woman.
Cl(audia) · Seuerá Lepidinae [suae
iii Idus Septembr[e]s soror ad diem
sollemnem natalem meum rogó
libenter faciás ut uenias
ad nos iucundiorem mihi
[diem] interuentú tuo facturá si
Cerial[em t]uum salutá Aelius meus .[
et filiolus salutant …
… sperabo te soror
uale soror anima
mea ita ualeam
karissima et haue
(The italicized text was written by Severa herself)
“Claudia Severa to her Lepidina, greetings. On September 11, sister, for my birthday celebration, I ask you sincerely to make sure you come to (join) us, to make the day more fun for me by your arrival…Say hello to your Cerialis. My Aelius and little boy say hello. I await you, sister. Be well, sister, my dearest soul, so I may be well too. Hail.”
A Jewish child at Rome (Rome, c. 400 CE)
A sad text. Also a good one to use in class, it utilizes both Latin and Hebrew, and goes well with a discussion of diversity in the city and empire. It is also one of the latest dated texts in this document.
(H)Ic iacet Gaudi=
qui bissit annoru=
m plus minu(s) tre=
s requiebit in
“Here lies the child Gaudiosa, who lived around three years. She will rest in peace. Shalom (in Hebrew)
3 thoughts on “A Woman’s Party Invitation and a Girl’s Epitaph: Some Documentary Latin”
Philocrates had a friendly dog
And a bright whirligig.
At five, he died.
But it had been worth it.
Inspired by a funerary stone I saw in Sicily, from my book SILENT HIGHWAY, Anvil 2014, second addition with minor changes out soon, now distributed by Carcanet.
The use of the future for the subjunctive in requiebit is probably Hebraism/Aramaism. Cf. the actual Hebrew expression: ינוח בשלום