Past Dense: Nothing was delivered
Romani ite domum
Some forty years ago this month, the first of the Vindolanda tablets was discovered in northern England by Robin Birley. Vindolanda was a Roman fort built near Hadrian’s Wall. Hadrian’s Wall was a wall built to keep Picts, et al., from entering Roman territory and taking all the low-wage jobs. The Vindolanda tablets, which were initially thought by excavators to be garbage, contain some of the earliest examples of writing done by Roman women; actually, their scribes likely scrawled a majority of the Latin cursive extant on the tablets. Education wasn’t believed to be of value to women by the Roman patriarchy, some members of which have apparently lived thousands of years and currently occupy certain seats in the U.S. Congress. The tablets provide an insight into quotidian life on the Roman frontier. Overall, it seems a pretty depressing life to have endured – being stuck in a backwater whose inhabitants – many of them, anyway – actually respected the inherently corrupt authority you represented as a tool of Roman power.
I’ve often had the urge to visit the site, which is located in a part of the U.K. where, to put it in simple terms, “they talk like this.” The spoken word of English: It’s a wonderful, exciting language that we in the United States of America have barely begun to ruin.
One of the more notable Vindolanda tablets is a birthday party invitation from Claudia Severa to her friend, Sulpicia Lepidina. It must have been some party; perhaps it rivaled even this one in terms of fun and memories made.
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