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Submitted to the Board of University Stud- 
ies of the Johns Hopkins University in conformiti^ 
v/ith the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of 


Williaja Sherv/ood Fox 


\ ri.oi'^ 



■ ,. - • t1. History cind Description. . ,, . > :•- 

In the yeai' 1908 the Department of Classical Archaeology 

of the Johns Hopkins University acciuired several _tabellae 

def ixionum, popularly known as ciur-se-tablets . The person 

tiirough whom the acquisition v;as ifl5,de possil)le was xmable to 

give a definite assurance as to their provenience, "but stated 

his belief that they had been found at Pvome . Thorough study of 

the tablets themselves has led to the conviction that tiiey did 

actually originate in that city. This point will be fullv dis- 

cussed at the proper time. 

The tablets were in two distinct divisions. One of these 

consistitf of a nail .127 metres in lengtli, tlie point of which was 

cloven into tv/o long sharp splinters each }ialf as long as the 

whole nail.\it the broad head were tightly bound by a thick 

acciHHulation of rust ias,ny exceedingly tliin fragments of lead. 

On one side twenty-five lavers could be counted, and on the oj^- 

posite side twenty-eight. The greatest width of this mass of 

(1) A preliminary report of these was published by the pres- 
ent a,uthor in the Johns Hopkins University Circular, New^ Series, 
1910, No, 6, pp, 7-10. 

(2) Ch. Ill,, 5 3. 

(3) See PI. I, 

fragments "before it 7/as subjected to the chemical treatment to 
be described shortly, vms .051 and the Siuallest .048 metres. 

The other division of the tablets consisted of a promiscu- 
ous heap of brittle chips of lead, no two being of the same 
shape and size. In thiigkness the;^ varied from one to three mil- 
limetres, and in area from one-quarter of a square centimetre to 
thirty or forty square centimetres. Most of the fragments ap- 
proxima.ted the smaller area Ju-St mentioned. On nearly every one 
ivere visible early Roman ciu'sive characters that had been in- 
cised with a stilus. The incisions varied considerably in depth 
and distinctness, knotiier featiu'e in v/hich there was a verj'- 
marked lack of uniformity was color. Some pieces were charac- 
terized by the norms,! color of lead; some were reddish, some 
bluish and others of a shade midway bet'ween pm'ple and brown, A 
little handling and scrutiny of the ma-terial revealed the fact 
that the variations in thickness and color bore a direct and 
fairly constant relation to one another. This was invaluable in 
the subsequent reconstr\iction of the tablets, as will be siiov^n 
in a later paragraph. Besides the ground colors peculiar to the 
several fragments there y/as a coating of v/hitish powder and crys 
tals covering the surfaces unevenly and this in certain places 
made the writing wholly illegible. 

For the joint purpose of removing the coating and of ac- 
counting for the brittle condition of the lead, the on the 

nail and selected loose fragments were submitted to the chem- 
ists for exainination. Their report v/as that "the layers of the 
tablets have been changed in large part from metallic lead to 
compounds of lead by the action of soil or atmosphere or water. 
The whitish outer coating consists of a basic carbonate of lead, 
while underneath is another compound, probably litharge. In 
some instances there is an exceedingly tliin layer of unciianged 
met;illic lead." This whitish compound is evidently in pe.rt what 
Wflnsch in his description of the Attic tablets poetically calls 
"the dust of ages". 

"r 2. Reconstruction, ■ „ . 
The first step toward t}ie reconstruction of the tablets 
was to select the loose fragments on which even a single stroke 
of writing was visible, though not necessarily decipherable. The 
result v/as two hundred and ten working fragments, one-third of 
which were very s:iiall. Those set aside as useless number appar- 
ently about three hundred. Each of the working fragments was 
deposited in its own separate and muabered envelope. The larg- 
est were then deciphered as far as the condition of their siu*- 
faces permitted without cleaning by cliejaical means, .and in the 
process exact facsimiles were drawn on individual cards niua- 

(^) Professor S. F. Acree and llr . E. K. Marsliall, Jr., of 
tlie Jolins HopJcins University, 

(^ W^sch; Richard, Defixionum Tabellae Atticae, T,Q. 
III. 3, Praef, I. 

bered to correspond to tiie t^nvelopes just mentioned. This pro- 
cess supplied an alphabet and a muuber of broken lines of text, 
some of v/hich recurred several times in slightly varied form. 
The alphabet served as a key to the obscujr-e letters in the smal- 
ler fragments still to be deciphered, while the broken lines 
gave a clue to the general sense and connection of the writing. 
The recurrence of certain words and groups of words suggested 
that the fragments represented not one tablet, but several, 
originally pierced by one and the same nail. The decipherment 
of the sioaller fragments v/as carried on in the same manner. 

The first attempt to assemble the parts in their original 
relation to one another was made only v/hen the above stage of 
decipherment was completed. Several featm'es served as guides 
in this restoration. These are the sense of tne text, the uni- 
form relations between color and thickness of tne lead, the 
presence of outer or top edges on a few fragments, and the ap- 
pearance of vaulting on the reverse side of a relatively sms.ll 
number. On the other hand, there were ins-ny obstacles in the way 
of complete reconstruction, chief of vmich xfere the impossibility 
of making use of the portion of lead still on the spike and the 
similarity of outline in txie broken edges. 

Obviously the latter difficulty cou.ld not be removed, but 
the i^.^'. t 'A ' ^ - seemed not entirely insurmountable. In the hope that 
a few fragments migiit be released from the nail, the chemists' 

aid was again sought. By the use of a weak solution of sul - 
phijiric acid they succeeded after several days in loosening nine- 
teen fragments, v/hich, however, proved to be of little value 
owing to their mutilated condition. As the acid was apparently 
rendering the lead too "brittle to handle, it was thought wise 
to proceed no further with the experiment; moreover, it seemed 
i'jipro"bable that any fragments saved would make a sufficient con- 
tribution to counterbalance the loss of so valuable a relic as 
the nail and its holdings. But in spite of the difficulties 
the sense of the text, interrupted though it v/as , soon revealed 
the fact that we were dealing with five distinct tablets. With 
this established, the significance of the uniform relation be- 
tween the color and the thickness of the fragments became ob- 
vious. It was found that those belonging to the tablet tsia.t 
will henceforth be designated as Aquillia were very thin and 
alarmingly fragile and of a piu'plish-brown hue; those of Plotius 
\.'ere thin and bluish; those of Vesonia were thick and reddish, 
while those of Avonia were of a similar tinge but somewhat thin- 
ner; finally, the fragments of Secunda were thin and of that 
dull gray shade characteristic of pure lead. The presence in 
a fev/ instances, of riglit, left, or top edges ma-de it possible 
to locate some fragments with absolute definiteness to the right 
or to the left of tlie nail or at the beginning of the tablet 
from which they had been broken. No lov/er edges were found. 

Where writing could be read on 'both sides it was usually easy to 
locate a fraginent, as the obverse and reverse contexts afforded 
a sort of double check i'l their particular zones. After the 
application of this test it soon became apparent that only three 
of the tablets were opisthographic. 

There now remained two or three dozen fragments too thickly 
coated with the deposit of lead carbonate to be legible. These 
the chemists treated v/ith dilute nitric acid which after a very 
brief immersion readily dissolved the carbonate but did not ap- 
preciably affect the body of the laj'-er. In this way the ma- 
jority of these fragments were made decipjierable . The total 
nvunber read was two hundred and twenty, and all but sixt^^-two 
could be located in their proper places with almost a/osolute 
certainly. Of this latter group thirty-nine could b^"- the indi- 
cations of color and tiiickness of the lead and by the style of 
handwriting be assigned v/ith some degree of accuracy to the sev- 
eral tablets from which they came, but not to their original 
contexts. ■'■- ■ • ■- ^ - - ' ■ - . . v.. . 

3. Description of the Reconstructed Tablets. 
The facsimiles in black and white which later accompany the 
text of the ciu'se formulae were made only after reconstruction 
liad been carried as far as conditions permitted. Photographic 
reproductions would of course be preferable, but owing to the 

fragmentary character of the material it was found absolutely 
impossible to obtain them. The present re x^r eductions represent 
the actual size of the original tablets. They enable one to es- 
timate with fair exactness the dimensions of the laminae before 
they were shattered. Were their edges v/it}iout irregularities 
it would be possible to estijoate their several a.reas to within 
a centimetre or tv/o of the correct figures, as the general out- 
lines of the pairs of opposite edges are practically parallel. 
In the case of Aquillia the fragments are too few to bear 
out this statement; yet, if an attempt is xaade to reproduce in 
cursiye virriting its formula as supplemented from the other tab- 
lets, it will be found that most of the lines of the text are 
virtually uniform in length. Tovrards tlie end of the tablet some 
of the lines gradually become siiorter, but on reaching their 
minimiun length they return just as gradually to their average di 
mension. This points to a narrov/ing of tiie lamina at tiiis pa-rt. 
In Secunda a fragment from the lower right hand corner siiows a 
slight tapering towards the bottom of the lamina. The exper- 
iment of reproducing the formula, however, in letters similar 
in size and form to those of the original reveals the fact tliat 
the left hand edge continues to the ver''^ bottom with no loarked 


deviation from the straight line. 

(fe) Very few tabellae def ixionum are of greater superficial 
area than these. Cf. Audollent (Augustus), Defixionum Tabellae 
Albert Pontemoing, Paris, 1904, Nos . 15 and 271. 

To fit the present recoiiStruction to the broken layers on 
the nail is quite impossible, nevertheless, one can determine 
the original order by comparing the character of the lead on the 
nail with t?ie well-established character of the lead in the re- 
constructed tablets. The la^^ers nearest the head of the nail 


undoubtedly belong to Aqijlllia; Secunda caiae next, then Avonia, 
then Vesonia, and lastly Plotius. 

The fragments also tell us how tiie lajflinae were originally 
folded. On onl;- one fold that is visible on the nail does v/rit- 
ing appear on tlie outer, i.e., the convex side. Loose fragments 
t'nat have been broken at the line of folding have edges that 
turn slightly in towards the side bearing the text. Both of 
these observations lead to the inference that in general the 
tablets were rolled into cylindrical shape witii the writing on 
the inside for protection against abrasion and for concealment 
from prying eyes; for, should the writing be injured in an;^ way 
the formula v/ould be of no effect, or, should human eyes read it 
counter formulae might be composed or other means resorted to 
that might bring the evil of the formula back like a boomerang 
upon its author. The nail v/hen driven into such a yielding 
mater ia,l as lead, packed tlie laminae together and created very 
Cf) Thus designated for lack of a better name. 

pronounced lines of folding. Estimating the coLibined length 
of all the tablets at 148.3 cm. and allowing for twenty-seven 
layers, the average width of the folds was 5.5 cm. The widest 
fragment is one belonging to Vesonia ( #12) which measiires 8 cm. 
some are no wider than 2 cm. Tliese figures seem to indicate 
the two extremes of v/idth, \|, , 

r.' ''i^i.a J 

^ ■' U ■fXA^MJ^y^.J^?^ -^hjL 4aaC^ y- CU-»/w.«v.i^,£^ 

(Onli'- the more important "books are hare liientioned. The 
most extensive bioliography is contained in the work of 
Audollent to "be found in the following list,), 


DaremlDerg et Saglio, Dictionnaire des Anticiuites grecques et 

roBiaines, Paris, 1892-. ( Sag.). 
De Ruggier©, E. Dizionario Epigrafico di Antichita, 

Rome, 1908- . (Diz. Epig.), 
KlelDS, E. Prosopographia Imperii Romani, Saec. I, II, III, 

Partes tres, Berlin, 1897. 
Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Enc^'-clopadift der Classischen Alter tiunswissen 

schaft, Stuttgart, 1901-. (Paul2'--Wissowa) . 
Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Anti(iuities, 3rd, ed,, 

London, 1890. ' - 


Audollent, Auguste. Defixionum Tabellae quotquot innotuerunt 
tain in Graecis orientis qu&,m in totius occidentis partialis 
riraeter Atticas in Corpus Inscriptionuia Atticarum editas, 
Paris, 1904, (Aud.) . 

Battle, W, I. I'lagical Curses written on Lead Tablets. Trans- 
actions of the American Philological Association, XXVI , 
1895. Proceedings of Special Session, 1894, pp. liv-lviii. 

Mttnsterberg, Rudolf. Zu den attischen Pluchtafeln, Oster- 

,*S Arch. 

reieches.Inso. inWien. 1904, pp. I4l f f . 
IJiederiiiann, M. Remarques sur la langiie des tablettes d'execra- 

tion (Melanges De Saussiu*e, Paris, 1908) pp. 71 ff. 
Olivieri, A. Studi Italian! di Filologia Classica, vii, 1899, 

pp. 195-3. (Olivieri). 
Von Prexaerstein, Ein Pluchtafelchen rnit Lieberzauber aus Poetovio 

Ost. Arch. Inat, in Wien, 1906, pp. 192 ff . 
Wtlnsch, Richard. Corpus Inscriptiomua Atticarujfl. Appendix 

continens Defixioniua Tabellae in Attica Regione repertas ^= 

Inscriptionuin Graecariua III 3, Berlin, 1897. (Wttnsch DTA) 
Wtlnsch, R. Antike Pli.ichtaf sin, Marcus und Weber, Bonn, 1907. 
Wtlnsch, R. Sethianische Verfluchungstafeln aus Rom. Leipzig, 

1398. (Wttnsch, Seth.). 
Wtlnsch, R. ¥eue Fluchtafeln, Rheinisches Museum ftlr Philologie, 

1900, pp. 62 ff.; 232 ff. 
Wtlnsch, R. Reviev/ of Audollent*s Pefixionmi Tabellae in the 

Berliner Philologische Wochenscjirif t , 1905, pp. 1071-32. 
Wtlnsch, R. Review of V/alter Rabehl, De Seriuone defixioniua 

Atticartim, Dissertation, Berlin, 1906, in Berliner Phil. 

Wochenserift, 1907, 1574 ff . 
Ziebarth, Erich. "Der Pluch im griechischen Recht, Heriues, 

XXX, pp. 57 ff . 


De-Marchi, Attilio. II Culto Private di Rome. Antica, Milan, 
1896. (De-Marchi). 

Frazer, J, G. The Golden Bough, A Study in Comparative Re- 
ligion, 2 vols., London and New York, 1911. 

Gruppe , 0. Griechische Mythologie und Religionsgeschichte , 
2 vols., Munich, 1906, in Mtlller»s Handbuch series. 
(GruTjpe) . 

Harriyon, Jane Ellen. ProlegOiQena to the Study of Greek Re- 
ligion, CaiAhridge University .Press, 2nd ed., 1908. 

Martjuardt-Mau. Das Privatleben der ROmer, Part I, 2nd. ed., 
Leipzig, 1386. (Hi[arquardt-M^^»««) . 

Preller, L, Griechische Mythologie, Vierte Auflage bearbeitet 
von Carl Robert, Berlin, 1394. 

Reseller, W. H. Ausfttlirliches Lexikon der Sriechischen und 
rOmischen Mythologie, Leipzig, 1902. ^Roscher, Lex.). 

Supplements to the above: - 

Epitheta Deorum quae apud Poetas Latinas leguntur. 

Epitheta Deorim qwae apud Poetas Graecos leguntuir. 

Rouse, W. H. D. Greek Votive Offerings, Cambridge University 
Press, 1902. 

Stengel, Paul, Die griechischen Kultiisaltertttiiier , Munich, 

1898, in Mttller's Handbuch Series. 
Stengel, Paul. Opferbrauclie G^^iechen, Tenbner, Leipzig, 1 

1910 (Stengel, Opf . ) 
Wessely, C. Griechische Zauberpapirrus von Paris uad London 

(Denkscrirt der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenscliaf ten zu 

Wien — Philosopisch-historische Classe, XXXVI, 1388, zxrelte 

Al3theilung, pp. 27-206). 
Wessely, C, Neue griechische ZauberpapiT?i (Denksch. d. K. Akad. 

d. ¥iss. zu Wien-Phil.-hist. CI. XLII, 1893, 96). 
Wissowa, Georg. Religion und Kultiis der ROmer, Munich, 1902, 

in MQller's Handbuch Series. (Wissov/a) . 

Brock, Arth\ir. QuaestiomuA GraLnnaticoruiii, Capita duo, Dorpat, 

Corssen, W. liber A\issprache, Vokalisiaus und Betonung der 

Lateinischen Sprache, 2 vols,, 2nd, ed,, Leipzig, 1868. 
Georges, K, E, Lexicon der lateinischen Wortforinen, Leipzig, 

1890. (Georges) . 
Gildersleeve (B. L. ) and Lodge (G) . Latin GrajniTia.r, 3rd, ed.^ 

University Publishing Co., 1398. 
Krebs, J. P. Antibarbarus der Lateinischen Sprache, 5th. ed., 

Basel, 1386-8 (Krebs). 

Lindsay, W. M. The Latin Langua,ge , An Historical Accoimt of 

Latin Sounds, Stems, and Flexions. Oxford, Clarendon 

Press, 1394, (Lindsay). '" 
Lo£QLia.tzsch, E. Article on "Ei T^\r T auf lateinischen In- 

scliriften der Kaiseriieit" , in Archiv . fttr Lateinische Lex- 

ikographie und Graminatik, XV, 1908, pp. 129 ff. 

(Lomifia-tzsch) . 
Mohl, F. G. Introduction a la Chronologie du Latin Vulgaire, 

Etude de Philologie Historique, Paris, 1899. (Moiil) . 
?Jeue, Friedrich, Foruienlehre der :lateinischen Sprache, 4 vols.^ 

3rd. ed., Leipzig, 1902-5. (]Jeue). 
Reisig, C. K. Lateinische Syntax neu arbeitet von J. H, 
;\.': -, Sclunalz und Dr. G. Landgraf, Berlin, .1888. 

Schneider, E. Dialecti Latinae Priscae et Paliscae: Ejceiapla 
Selecta. Part I, of Dialectoruin Italicariua Aeui Vetus- 
tioris Exeiapla Selecta, Vol. I, Leipzig, 1886. 
(Schneider) . 

Schuchardt, H. Der Vokalisiaus des Vulgar late ins, 3 vols. 
Leipzig, 1866. 

Schulze, Wilhelia. Zvur Geschichte lateinischer Eigennaaen, 
Berlin, 1904. (Schulze). 
Stolz (P) and Schios-lz (J. H. ). Lateinische Grauirnatik, Laut — 
und Pormenlehre, Syntax und Stilistik, 4th. ed . , in 
Muller's Handbuch series, Munich, 1910. (Stolz-Sclimalz) . 


Thesaiu'us Linguae Latinae, Leipzig, (Thes. Ling, Lat,). 

'"ii WOlfflin, Tiber die a-llitterlrenden Verbindungen der latein- 

ischen Sirache, in Sitzungsberichte d. K, bay. Akad. 1881, 

II, pp. 1 ff. 


Cagnat, R. Coiirs d'Epigraphie Latine, Paris, 1898. 

L » Anne e Et i £;;r aph i que , Pa.r i s . 
Carnoy, A. Le Latin d'Espagne d'apres les Inscriptions, 2nd. 

ed., Misch and Tliron, Bru_x:elles, 1906. 
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinaruw, Vols. I-XV, Berlin, (CIL) . 
Diehl, Ernst. Vulgar lateinischen Insclorif ten, llarcus und 

Weber, Bonn, 1910. 
Diehl, E. Pompeiaaische Wand ins chr if ten und Verwandtes, 

Marcus und Weber, Bonn, 1910, 
Diehl, E. Altlateinische Inschriften, Marcus und Weber, Bonn, 

' E<|,>j i^i^ftls 'Aa;;^x.oKcY,l^>j ^ ^^q?, col. 19ff. 
HtJbner, E. Exeiapla Scripturae Epigraphicae Latinae, 

Berlin, 1885. 
Pirson, Jules. La Langue des Inscriptions latines de la 

Gaul a , Bruxelles, 1901. 

Ritschl, p. Opuscnla Philologica, 5 vols,, Leipzig, 1878, 
(Hitschl, Opus.) . 

■R.'t5cM. f- 


^Priscae Latinitatis Moniuaenta Epigraphicvo, (Ritaohl, 

7/essely, C. Sciirifttafeln zxir Alteren Lateinischen Palaeographie, 
Leipzig, 1898. 



IncliTdes letters lost through fracture 
of the lead . 

(^ ) Includes letters omitted through the 

erroi- of the scrite. 



^ /. Plotixxs. 

Lead tablet 31.6 X 11.3 cm. without writing on the reverse 
A preliminary transcription with restoration p\iblished in The 
Johns Hopkins Circular, New Series, 1910, No. 6, pp. 8-9, 

■bona'pulCiira proser^jina . lut . nis'uxsor 
seiue»ine» saluiain deicere' oportet* 

eripias«3aluteia*c lorein'uires' uirtutes* 

ploti* tradas* uiro* tuo* ni'possit'cogitati onibno 

5" sueis* hoc* vita illunc* ^ 

febri* quartan.e* t nae" cottidia ,ae 

quas* uct 

eu. .cant usq 

■ . .s« eripia nc* uictiiaam 

/ tibi* trad rpi e*me 

proserpin u.e^m eruosisiat dicere 

oportet^rne rcessitiiii'canen 

tricepitem*viui cor^eripiat* polliciarss 

illi* te»datiu'\im t .es'uictimas 
/5' palraa. , . .rica.* por .um»nigriua* 
hoc« s-ei* pe . . .cerit 

m r 

(1) Although Aquillia by virtue of its occupancy of the first 
position on the nail shoiild be considered first, we are forced 

ciim» compote'fe . . .is*do tibi*cap., 

ploti'auon. .... ,oserpina*s 

20 do tibi'fron ti* proserpina*sa,luia 

dCttb. sii ploti*proserpin. 

salvia do s "plo , . 

proserpina* sa . 

ploti* pr oser s 

25 la"bra» or m lin.t^aiia* 

dentes p...,.ni dicere*po;33it* 

ploti\i3*q.uid at* colluui'iiiiieros :, v..' 

"bracchia'd.git ssit* aliquit* t ■• ' k,:' '" 

se»adintare . . ,c cinera* cor* 

30 pulinones'n. sentique* quit* 

sibi* doleat .tina* venter* urn. lieu. 

latera .i p . . .it'dormi re« scapulas 

ni»poss. . s.nus'doruiire* uisciiiJi* 

sacriJin* ne i» possit* urina:a»f acere» 
35 natis^anxun ...ina* genua 

......tibias pe 

...... s« ungis* ni» po tare* ... 

. .rt .te» seiue , , . ,3* seiue* paruiua 

scrip quoiuodo* quicqu. . 

40 legitim* seic 

ego ploti* ti .... .ado*inando 
to consider it last owing to its fragmentary condition, 

ut* tradas nse* februarlo 

.cillunc*inal e'exset 

. . .e^disperd das'ni' possit 

45 ..... .s ulliua ere* 

Text supplemented from the other tablets. 

Bona pulchra Proserpina, ^HLutOnis vx:sor, 

seine me RaliiiaiQ deicere oportet, 

eriidas salutem, corpus, collorem, ui^es, viirtutes 

Ploti. Tradas Tpiutoni uiro ti'o, ITi possit cogitati 
5 sueis hoc uitare. Tradas illunc ^ 

febri (lUivrtariaJe, ttertialnae, cottidiah!ae , 

quas cuna illo luctent, deluctent; illimc. 

euincant, 'uincant', uscvue diiai ariiniam 

eiijs eripiapt. Q-iare hanc uictiioain 
10 tibi trado, Proserpina, seiiie me, 

Proserpina, seinie inle Aclleruos dicere 

r 1 

oportet. He mittas arcessitum canem 

tricepitem, qui Plot ij cor eripiat. Polliciar 

illi te datiirvim tres u.ictimas ^ 

15 palmals, caricab|, jiorlctxua nigruia 

f -I r 1 

hoc sei petrfecerit ante mensem' 

r "^ r 1 

IJtartium. Haec, Proserpina Saluia, tibi dabo' 

ciun compote feceris. Do tioi capiUt 

r -j r -T 

Ploti Auoniae, Prpseriuna Saluiaj, 

20 do tioi rroniteii Pldti , Proserpina Saluia, 

do rti|b|i| siJ^ercilie] Ploti. ProEerrin,ia| 

Saluia, do 'titi palpetra'S PlofeiJ. 

Proseri'ina Saluia, do titi iiupillasi 

Ploti. Proserpina Saluia, do tibi nare's, 

?.5 labra, oriculas, nasuin, linkliam, 

dentes Ploti, ni dicere i-ossit 

Plotius quid sibi doleat; colli'jr», i^uieros, 
I. -- 

bracchia. , dajgitps, ni p^ssit alitiuit 
se adiutare: ^.elcfeus, iocinera, cor, 

30 pulmones, ni possit senti^r'e) quit 

sibi doleat; 'intesitina, uenter, iu£p]Lici3)s|, 
latera, fnji ppsskt dormire: scapulas, 
Mi possp-tj s^nus doriuire : uiscum 
sacriun, nei posait urinajn f a^cere : 

35 natis, aniufl, feifiina, genua, 

[crura], tibias, pejdes, talos, plantas, 
digitcjs, ungis, ni polssit stare [siia 
uilrt|.i]te. Seiue (i^luls, seiue paruuia 
scripftum fiieritj, quomodo quicqulid' 

40 legitimfe scripsit, niandauit, seic 
ego Ploti tipi trjado, mando. 

vt tradas , fme.ndes ine'nse PebrDari/o 
e/cillimc. Male perdat, mal'e exset, 
iniale disperdat, Mandes, tradas, ni possit 
45 ;ampli\.is ulliim kaensem aspidere, 

uidere, contemplare 

^ %, Avonia. 

Letid tablet 29 X 11,3 cm., vath writing across the back 
about midway between the iipj'er and lower edges, 

. . ■ ■..,,.. -A^ . .. . ,. ,' „ 

•■ '■ .ona'pu roserT'.iria* pl\Jtoni , x ■. 

.xsor*£eii)e « deicere* oportet* 

eripias* Sciln . . , .corp. . colorei!i*\:ires* 

xar til tes at?, .ia.adas'plutoni* 
5 uiro tuo onibus's ........ 

quicqui , xdt 

febri qiiart . .ae*t 

qn&s cruii*illa .\icten 

euincant •uinca 

10 eius*eripiant« . .are Iianc* luctiirian 

.... trado .a»* me 

. . . .erriina»se eruosiam dicere 

. . .rtet* Lie 'in cessitiun'cane , 

te s cor eripiat 

15 urxun* tres« r;ictim. . 

palioB-s'carica .grum»lioc« sei» 

perfecerit* an marti\.iiii*haec 

....ia tibi'dabo ci; . •compoteui'feceris 

do tibi caput a,uon...s pr . . .rpina'saluie.* d. 
20 tibi«frontem auonla oserpina»saluia 

do tibi* £T;percilia . . . . .aes« proserpina 
.Ixiia* do* tibi 'palije . . ,s* proserpi . . 

alu.a'do , .bi» jiupillas ..onia. .s 

. ,uia*do» t . . . oric\;la. . . .bra . . . . . .nasun 

25 . .ntes*liguaM«auon e« possit 

. .nia*ciT3id« s .bi s 

.acchia* digito possit* ali. .. . 

se adivitare»i)ec nera»cor 

puliAones'ni* quit' sentire* 

30 quit'sibi'dolea ina^uenter* 

luablicus* f;cap\'.l . . latera'ni* po . . . .»iuscuia sac.iun'ni possi, 
urinajri»f . . .re . . . .s* f eiriina • 

anT3in»gen a»tibias*pedes 

35 tctlos .la tos« ungis* ni* 

..ssit su te seiue 

plus* . . . .e p..u\un ....ptiun 

fuerit*quomodo«ciuicqii.i me * 

Kcripsit«iiiandau . . . .eic'ego* . . .niam 

40 tibi* trade man.. ut*tradas 

.erisi f ebrxiario . , xs . . 

The remainder of the formula is continued on the back of 
the tablet, the vvriting running in the opposite direction to 
that on tlie face. 

male* disperd. . . . .nd adas 

nei'po.s.t. ampl i , , ull . . 
men. em aspicere»\a . . , . 

45 contemplare . 

■■ . ; ^ . ■ . . r • - 

Text siJppleinented from the other ta^blets. 


r T ^ '' ^ • . ■ ■ ■ ' 

Bona inilchra Proserpina Plutonis 

ijxsor, seiue me deicere oportet, 

eripias salntem, corpus, colorem, vires, 

idrtxites Aiionlicve', Tradas Pliitoni 


r 71 r 1 

5 uiro tiio, Ivi possit cogitationibus Stieis hod 

qiiicquM vitare. Protinvs tradas illanc! 
felDri cii3artlar]ae, tertianae, cottidianaej, 
quas cum ilia 3juc tent, deluctent; illanc] 
euincant, uincant, usque dum animejaj 

10 eius eripiant. JQuare lianc uictima-ia 
[tibii trado, iProserpina, seiije me, 

Proserpina, seiue me Acheriiosiam dicere 

r T r: 1 r 

ioportet. Me mittas arcessatum canem 

tricipltein, qui Auoniaeis cor eripiat . 

15 jPollicearis illi te datx^rum t.res uictiinasj 

r T 
palmas , crtricaB, porcum nigrum hoc sei 

perfecerit ante laensem] Martivna. Haec, 
|Salii!ia, tibi dabo, ctanl compotein feceris . 
Do titi caput Auonia.e's. Proserpina Salxiia, doj 
20 tibi frontem Auoniaes . Proserpina Saluia, 
do tibi supercilia Auoni,aes . Proserpina 

jSaJluia, do tibi palpebras Auoniaes. Proserpina 

1 ri T' "! r 1 r- '" 

Saluife, do tibi pupillas 'AvioniaeiS , Proserpina 

Saluia, do tibi oriculas, laWa, nares, nasui/i, 
25 identes, liguain Auoniaes, ni dicere possit 

Auonia quid, sjibi doleat; colluin, tuner os , 

[bracchia, digitols, ni possit aliuuid' 

se adiutare : pectus iocinerB., cor, 

pulmones, ni possit quit sentire 
30 quit sibi doleat: intestina, uenter, 

r r ] 

umblicus, scapulas, l£itera, ni possitj 
dornire: t(isciyn. sacriuo, ni possit 
urinam facere; natis, femina, 
anuia, genua, cr\ira, tibias, pedes, 
35 talos, plantae , digitos, ungis , ni 
jossit stare sua uirt\<te. Seiue 
plus, seiuie pMuum ^crijiittun 
fuerit, quomodo quicquld legitime 

scripsit, mandauit, seic ego Auoniajn 

r ^1 
40 tibi trado ras,n^o, ut tradas illanc 

mensi Pebruario . Male perdat, male exs'eatf, 

(On t}ie reverse) 
male disr^erdJat . I\iland^s, tr'adas • 
nei pos'si't ainpli[isl ull^un] 

r -, 

iiiensem aspicere, vudere, 

45 contemplare. 

li ct 

^ 3. Vesonia., 

Lead tablet 50.3 J 11.5 cm, v/ith v/riting on the reverse 
midway between tlie ends. 


bona'pulch a»plutoniE» nxsor 

seine* rae« s . .uia e» oportet* eripit^s* 

.sali?tem*c , rp\is coloreia»uires«iiirtiites 

rnaxiins,e« uesoniae* tra. . . .pint on, 
5 uiro ... ni' poss . . . . .gitationibus" s\A. . . . . . . 

quicq tinu . . tra 

f ebri* cixi anae 

quas»ciim illa*luc 

eu.ncant»uincan, . ,sque»d\).m«aniDQa. . 
10 e... eripiant* q. . .e«hanc»uictiina. , 

tibi* trad.*p ue«me»pros ..■..., 

sei\je*iae dicere'oporte .... 

mitta m'canem tr . .ep. . . . 

qui e cor'er . ,iat 

15 polli turum'tres iiictiKia.s 

palm \im* nigrum 

hoc'sei ,erf te'iriense'i/iartiiun* 

ha.c ti cum» compote , 

fece . ,s»do tibi* ca . . . ,max,m,e*uesoniae 

20 p pina s.lui. do'tibi frontem 

ina.imae ae» j.roserpina s 

do titi* sijper esoniBes'i'.roserpina 

saluia* do tibi* palpetras'iiaxiioa.e'ijesoni . , 

proserpina saluia'do'tibi'pupillas'uesoniae 
25 jiroserpina* saluia* do tibi* eric las* Ic.bras" 

nares* nasiam*lingua*dentes»inaxiina.e 

iiesoniae* nei* dicere* pes sit* maxima/ 

uesonia,* ciiiid* sibi' doleat* colliim* 

timeros bra. .... .digitos* ni* possit*aliq 

30 se....utar inera* cor 

piiliAone t* sentire'ciuit 

doleat» i . . .St . . . .uenter'unb. .... 

scapulae ni 

uiscu n .rina. 

35 face 

genua... bie. a pedes 

talos s*\ingis« ni* 

possit* sta tute* seiue»plus» 

seiue*par m fuerit* 

40 quomod scripsit 

man ax . .am 


The remainder of the formula is continued on the reverse of 

the tablet, the v.-riting rimning in tlie same direction as that 
on the face , 


trado m nc* 

jiiensi fehrxiar male* 

45 male* per da t.* 

male'disp.rdat* tr .da.8 

ni« rossit , .mpliu, ullmn* 



Text supplemented from the other tablets. 
Bona pulci^ra Proserpina Plntonis \ucsor, 
seine ne ^^iiiam dicere oportet, eripias 

salutem qojrpus, colorem, uires, uirtutes 

f 1 r 1 

Msjcimae Vesoniae. Tradasi Plutonil 

5 uiro jtuol. lii possit coigitationihxjs siieis hocj 

quicrmid iiitare, ProitinuBj traidas| 

febri quiartanae, tertilanae , ^cottidianae, 

quas cxnn. ilia liictent, eluctent; illanc^, 

exij^ncant, uincanit, i5Bq\;e dvm. animajm] 
10 elus! eripiant, Qxiar^e hanc uictimajaj 

tibi tradOj, Proserrdna, seine me, Prosjerpinal 

seine me /AcherusiaiQ] dicere oportejt. MeJ 
Kiittals arcessiti;!m canem trici e pa tern}, 
qui jMaxima.e Vesonia'e cor eriWiat , 

r 1 

15 Poll i'c ear is illi te datiiri^m tres r.ictinjas--- 

palma s , c ar i c a s , p or cxna n i gr nm 

hoc sei 'jierfecerit an'te mense L/lartXT^in, 
Hae|c, Saliiija, tilbi dabo' cum corripoteinj 
feceris. Do tibi ca|p\it I^feixlikns.e Vesonia.e, 

20 Proserpina SaliiiW, do tibi frontein 

Maixlmae iVesoniae, Proserpina Ss.liiiaJ, 
do tibi supericilia wesoniaes, Proserpina 
Saluia, do tibi palpetras Ms.ximB.e Vesoniaej. 
Proserpina Sa.luia, do tibi pDjullas Vesoniae 

25 Proserpina Saluia, do tibi oriclas, labras , 
nares, nasuin, lingua, dentes Ijlaxiin&.e 
Vesoniae, nei dicere possit lulaxiine, 
Vesonia (i^jid sibi doleat: colliua, 
uineros, bracchia', digitos, ni possit aliquit 

30 se ladiiutai'e: pectus, ioclinera, cor, 

pulnones, ni possit sentire qxiit sibi 
doleat: i'ntestina], uenter, i;aablicus|, 
scapulae , I latera', ni possit dorrairej: 
uisctija sacriufi , ni possit ijrinain 

35 facere: natis, anuti, feminaj. 

genua, ■ ti'bia^'s, cri.ira, pedes, 

" J L -• 

r- 1 

talos , 'r^Ei-ri'tc-s , digitos, ungis, ni 

possit sttlre sua uirtute. Seiiie plvis 

r 1 

seine parinma scriptiim fxierit, 

40 quomodo citiicciiiid legitime scripsit, 

ma-ndauit, seic ego Ma.ximB.ia 

Vesonia.m, Proserpina, titi 

(On the reverse) . 

trade, iTiando, ut tradas illainc 
inensi Pebriiar'io. Male], male, 
45 h^ale perdat, ^a,le §xi^^e*5 

male disperdat. Tradas, 
ni possit ampli\/s iilliun 
iiiensem aspicere, uidere, 

J ^J 

r 1 

4 4 Secunda. 

Lead tablet 30.4 X 16,5 cm. witli writing on the reverse 
beginning at the lower end, ITo thing of this tablet is preserved 
to the left of tlie longitudinal axis, 


, seine* lae" 


ir t i ti'a .as • 

us* Bu. .s'hoC 

5 tan.e 

s c\i uctent* 

uin nt* usque* 

s . . .ipia re'hanc • 

tra seiue*ue* 

10 dicere* 


pia. . . .lliciarus 



15 iricf tibi* 

is* do» t i c i* 

a* do* tibi 

luia do titi" 

liiicJ? do tioi* 

20 do tibi' jiupillas* 

.ares* la bra 


quid .... 

acch. , .dig possit* 

25 ect nera.* 

sit* sen quit* 

nter .... .iimblicus* 

cap .las* ni 

m* sacriim 

30 f num 

u as* pedes .., . . 

(On tlie reverse ) . 

,q. . t* legitime 

'3 70 tl 


seic ego 

titii trado 

= .llun. .m.nsi . , 

........0 inal . . .erd.t* male 

40 ..,.,...,.. rd . r m. das 

nf m. . . .m aspicere 

"ftxt suppleiaented froai the other tahlets. 
j3ona pulchra Proserfjina Plutonis ijxsor, seine me 
[Sa-luiat'i dicere oportet, eripias salutemj, c'dlrpus , 

[colorem, uires, ijjir twites ji , TraJdjas 

jPlutoni uiro tuo . lU possit cogitationimis sileils he 

5 Iquicciuid -uitare. Tradas illunc feori qiiai^tarQe , 
jtertianae, cottidianae, quas cum illo ijuctent, 
eluctent; illunc euinjcant, uincalnt, usque 
\dma anijoam eiiis ler^ipiant, Qu&lre ha,nc 
luictimam tibi traldo, Proserpina, seiue me, 

10 iProserpina, seiue me Acherusiajnj dicere 
[oportet. Me mittas arcessitu-'u caiaem 

|tricipite:a, ajjii i cor erijpiajt. Pop-liciarus 

lilli -tQ daturiun tres uictijna,s- - -palmas , 
Icaricas, porciun nigrum lioc sei perfecerit 

15 fante mensem liar tiitin. Haec, Proserpjina, tibi 
^dabo, CiJin compotem f eceris . Do tibi 

caput i. Proserpina SaliiJIa, do tibi 

'frontem i. Proserpina Saluia, do tibi 

jSupercilia .i. Proserpina Saluia, do tibi 

20 fpalpebras .i. Proserpina Saluia], do tibi pitpillas 

u _l 

r i. Proserpina Saluia, do tibi n'ares , labra, 

joric\ilas, linguaxn, dentes, nasiua 

r. ... = ,i, ni dicere possit ....i\i^ quid Isibi doLLeat; 

jcollijim, u^-neros, bracohia,' diglitos, ni^ possit 
25 aliquid se adiutare: plectkis, iociteiera, 

[cor, pulmones, ni possit senrtirej quit 

[sibi doleat: intestina, uenter, uinblicus, 

latera, ni possit dor mire: f acapu^Jas , ni 

[possit sa-nus dormire : uiscitm sacrujn, 
30 jni possit urinaia fg-cere : natis, anvim, 

ifeniina, genua, crura, tibjuas, pedes, 

(On the reverse), 

't8-los, plantas, digitos, ungis, ni 
'possit stare sua uir|tu|te. Sei'ue 
[plus,: seiue pa-rum scrip^ 
35 fuerit, quoinodo quicquit legitime 

jscripsit, inandauitj, seic ego 

r. rj tibi trado , 

flaando, ut tradas jjlluiJcI iijefrisi 
pebruario. Male derc^t, ina.le 
40 jexseat, male disperdjdt. Mandes, traldas, 
fni possit amplius lilliya inensam aspicere, 
[uidere, contemplarej. 

^ 5, Aquillia. 

Lead tablet 27 X 15.4 cm. v/ithout writing on the reverse 

.proser . . .a' pi xsor ae . , . 

. , , . .ere ias* s . .utem 

ae' aqu 

pos .ationibus .... 

5 11a . , . .elari qua . .ana . 


.ncant* u ..... , 

re hanc 

, tra s e iue me 

10 , m'dic 


, trice 


.pi'os t . .1 . . . 

. . . .serpin d . . . .bi su 

20 ; ros .pilla 

o t 

2 b 





f . . . 

• >•>••• t • 1 • B* Cyii . 


• %BX'& SUci . . 

. .psi. 

seixje par\i. 

. . . .riptiun. ...... 


• das 11. , , , 

. . . .erd. . . . 

Text supplemented from the other tablets. 

P "7 r 1 ^ ''■ r. 

•|Bona piilchra', Proserpina ?l\itonis lucsor, se[iue 

me Saluiam dicere oportet, eripias ^llutem, 

corpiis, colorem, uires, uirtutes , . . . jae Aqulllii 

Tradas Plutoni uiro tuo . ITi' posisit cogitationibus [sueis 
5 hoc Liuicquid uitare. Trada.i^ uLlanc febri cii;a5rtkna[e , 
tertianae, cottidianae, quas ciun ilia luctent, 
eluctent; illanc euincant, uincant, 
usque dum animaia eius eripiant. Quaire hanc 
uictimam tib^ trado, Proserpinaj, seiue me, 



Proseri:)ina, seiue me Acherusiajm dioere oportet, 

Ate Mittas arcessituiQ caneioj tricejpitem, 

qui ae Aquilliae cor eripia.t. Polli^ciarus 

te datiwum tres uictixns,s---palincJs , carica.s, 
porcuia nigrum hoc sei perfecerit ante xnensex/i 

15 Martiiua. Haec, Proserpina Pal^iia, tibi dabo, cum 
compotem feceris. Do tibi caput . . , , .ae 

Aquilliael. Proser2)ina Saluici, do tabji prontem ae 

Aquilliae. Pro'serpink Saluif2, djo tijbi siijiercilia 

. . . . .ae Aquilliae. Proserpina Saluia, do tibi palpebras 

20 ae AquilD.iae. Proserpimi Saliiia, do tibi piljiillals 

ae Aquilliae. Proserpina Saluia, do tabi nares, 

labra, oriculas, nasxun, linguam, dentes ae 

Aquilliae, ni dicere possit a Aquillia quid 

sibi doleat: collum, luaeros, brtt,cchia, digitos, 

25 ni possit aliquid se ddiiitaf-e: pectiis, 

cor, iocinera, pulmones,ini possit sentire 
quid sibi doleat: intiestina, uenter, \unblic\is. 

latera, ni possit dorjuire : scapulas, ni 
possit Sana doraiire: uisjciiia IsadrvLm, 

30 'ni -nossit lurinaia facere: fiemina. , 

natis, aniu/i, genua, tibials, crura, pedes, 
talos, plantas, digiltos, [ungis, ni possit 
stare sua'uirtute, Seiue plus.', 
seiue I'^ariixun s<Sriptiun fuerit, 

35 quoiaodo quicquid legitime scripsi't, 

inandauit, seic ego Aquilliain tibi trade, 
mando, ut trsildas , inp,ndes illanc mensi 
Pebruario . Ifele perdat, ma.le exseat, male 
disperdjat. Ifendes, tradas , ni possit amplius 

40 ullum mensem aspicere, uidere, contemplare. 

Transcription of fragments which ca.nnot b( 
assigned to their original places. 

(a) Probably belonging to Plotius 
120 129 

1 a ri 

2 a 

(Id) Prolaably belonging to Avonia. 

1 se 

2 ra 

(c) Probably belonging to Secunda. 
52 (Obv.) 52 (Rev.) 87 128 131 
1 o ti V. . .ru r . .a 



(d) Probably belonging to Aquillia 
54c 56 58 95 

In .. [Pro^erpfnaj ep.,.ii. 





157 (Obv.) 


1 170 

1 ..s(?) 









































m (?) 


c . 



2 r, e s 

3 r 

195 196 199 201 293 204 

1 r ia ti m rpo|ss&.tj m 

(e) Fragments which cannot be assigned to any t-^Meir, 
59 89 98 112 127 










































a. . . 

^ u 













Commentary on Plotius #1 . 

■ 1. Bon a IOCS or . ■ The manner of addressing 

tiie doity in a def ixio v/as deemed of the iitiuost importance. 
Care was taken to specify beyond all doubt the exact deit^^ in- 
voked, 30 that the petition laight not fail to reach its des- 
tination; and to use suitable lang\iage ao as to avoid giving 
offence. Ordinarily, tiie laost familiar xveuae of the deity was 
thought sufficient; biit often the composers of the formulae in 
tlieir desire to be more explicit were led to employ many ex- 
clusive and flattering epitliets. A.s a rule, 8,mong both Greeks 
and Romans the invocation of Proserpina ( 1^0041) /^^TttoiVik ^ 

was veT-j simple (Cf. V/tlnsch DTA 101; 102 a, b; 103 a). The 
Romans, preferring other deities, Yevj seldom appealed to her. 
The formula De a Atae cina Turibrig Proserpina per tuam lAaJes - 
tatem (Aud. 1?.?,) and that of the Johns Hopkins tablets are un- 
usual for their length. This conception of the power of Pro- 
serpina is qiute Homeric, for H^omer rejjresents her as the con- 
sort of Kades who along with her luj.sband puts into effect the 
cuj'ses of men upon tiie souls of the dead (Cf. Jl. IX, 457, 569 
Od. X, 494; XI, ?.?.6\ 385-6; 634-5). The epithets bona pul- 
chra suggest Greek and Roman poetry rather tiian magic; e.g., 
pul clira (Virg. Aen. VI, 142 ) ; T^t o/ M.otW'nS (Horn. H. II, 

493); casta (m» VI, 402; Sil. Ttal. XIII, 546); ^icocima. (Ovid. 

t / 

Met. V, 507};o^y^y^ (Hora. Od. XI, 386); coniumc ?luto nia 

(Prudent, con. Sym. I, 367); domi nam Pit is (Virg, Aen, VI, 
397) ; vi^(J>'.j 'A(i>o^/ (Eurip, Ale. 746). Bona is found only in 
our tablets. Otlier deities coia;uonly invoked are Pluto, Dis 
Pater, Mercurius, Terra Mater, Ceres and Hecate, Praxidicae 
and Ge . In late times we actually find the God of tiie Jews 
regarded as an infernal deity and addressed as XkoO (Aud. 241, 
23-27). Often, on the other liand, no deity at all v/as ad- 
dressed (uf. Wttnsoh, DTA 67; 77). 

uxsor. cf. exset ^3. . The use of xs for simple 
X is no evidence of date. It is a phenomenon that appears in 
all classes of composition and ranges from the S.C. de Bacch. 
of 136 B.C. at least to tJ-ie second century' of the Empire. 
Alongside this spelling is read Maxima with simple x in every 
instance in Vesonia. This lack of uniformity is very common 
and mB,y be observed even in such carefully prepa-red documents 
as the Moni;uaent\im Ancyramua; e.g., sexsiens (III, 24); ex- 
stinxeram ( VI , 13 ) . 

2. deicere . oo Avonia 2; elsewhere dicere . Simila.rly 
seiue 10-11; 38 (bis); sei 16 ; w»-w^U^v-a, ^ ''c\^il^ W^fi^^.iP'^r^^p^f^ 

^^'^' seic - . 40; sue i s . . 5; nei . 34; but _ni elsewhere in 
this liand (. . 4, 26, 20, 30, 27, 44, 46); and die ere - 26. 
See the other four tablets. These forms are archaic (Lindsay, 
p. 243; Loiiim. pp. 129 ff.j Stolz-Schinalz, p. 31; Georges s. 
verba) and h£„ve therefore a very decided bearing on the date 
of oiir tablets; see Ch, III, <^ ^' ^°^" seiue see And, 196, 
3 * GIL X 1604; GIL I 197,3 ; 200, 31; 203, 3. Simple 
sei appears jauch laore cojjunonly tlian sein e ; see note on 16. 
Deicere and inflections are not rare; e.g., Plant. Poen, 474; 
GIL I 1007; 198, 32; 205, col. 2, 28. 

Seiue., . opor tet . Cf, 10-11. Similarly seiue qt:i o 

alio noraine uoltis adpellare (And. 129 .)) ; Pis pater Veio uis 
Mane s, sine quo alio nomine f as es t _n^inare (ivIacrobius^III , 
9, 10). In this manner of address the magus is seeking for :, 
the name that will bind the deity to perform his reai^est to 
the last word {cf. Gruppe, pp. 883 ff.; Frazer, Golden Bough, 
ed. 1911; p. 225; Wtinych, Rhein. Mus . LV, 81). In tlie spliere 
of religion a similar manner of address is employed, but its 
purpose is to propitiate, not to bind (cf. Prazer, i.e. and 
Hor. Sat, II, 6, 20; To. Carm. Saec. 14-15; Aesch. Agam. 160 f f ^ 

Shorey on Hor, Carxu. 15; Milton, P. L, III, 7). 

Selue . S_iue or seu {■ =uel si) is rare and old-fashioned 
(cf. Reisig ^ 256), See Pers . I, 67; Prop. IV, 6, 81; Tit. 
1,6, 21. ^<^ ^^r^pi^pH . , .„ 

, Like siue . . . . siue , seu seu it generally follows 

the logical const •■•uct ion. 

me. Here and in 10, 11, 12 we read the only reference 
to the person in whose interest tlie cijrse has been written. 
In trado (10, 41), laando (41) and in the frequently repeated 
formula do tih i (17-24) the reference is implied. But nowhere 
is the person mentioned hy najae for fear of xnagic vengeance 
and of the penalties ii.aposed by law on tliose detected in re- 
sorting to def ixionea against tlieir fellows (cf. Aud , p.xliv. 
ff.). Ilames are found as a riile only in amp-tor;^ tablets (cf. 
lb. p. xlv. note 1) , 

Paluiain. An epithet of Proserpina hitherto unattested. 
It seems to be connected in thougiit with the petition eripias 

salutem, v/hich iimaediately follows, There is one instance 
where Salv ia is used in the religious sphere as here, viz., 
nau ia Saluia employed in the cult of the Magna Itater (CIL VI, 
494). In tv/'o other instances religious associations are im- 
plied: aquae SaJuiae, the name of the Roman fountain, a.nd Urbs 
Sal uia in Picenum whose patron divinity was Sal\is (CIL IX 
5530 T=. 6078 ). Por the etymology of Saluia consult Schulze, 
p. 471. Saluis, is apparently a transla.tion of Su^rt, j«< a 
common Greek epithet of Proserpina; e.g., V^o% CS.o„ij«, S.<w/c/yoo<5 
(Paus. Ill 15, 2); ^■*l i^ X»3»]/ ^C 2:<^rtf3^»r A<:<<X<='y(rii/' ol */y/cl(^$ 
(lb. VIII, 31, 1); Vi?7rw5 a^otTs "^V ^i^Ttiiv./ yi/i^flt/ws T^ (pa^v^ /«,oV7r*^6 , 

^ogs 378-0). On coins of Cyzikus is read Koavt .^cxjTti^f^ 
(Cf. Ivlacdonald, Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection, II, 
pp. 265-266, Glasgow, /?o / ). 

3. erin ias . ITot found elsev/here in the def ixiones in 
this connection; cf., however, aufe ras (Aud. 250 a 4; 288 b 5; 
289 b 6;. 16) a.nd aps xima.tis , desiuoatis, consumatis (250 a 23-24). 

Salu tem. Cf . uale tudines (Aud. 135 a 9 j cf . 195 
3-7); b'yU^i^ (sic) (41, 19). 

corp us . Also Olivieri I. These are the only cases 
vdiere the body is specified in the Latin tablets; but (T^^Mot 
appeyjr's often in the Greek, e.g., Aud. 41 a 9 and b 16 j Wttnsch 
74, 3. 

t colorem, Cf. Aud. 190, 5, ££2:iP>'S , colorein — an al- 
literation found only here. 

uires . Cf . note on eripias 3. ' 

uirtutes. Cf . 38. This is v/ithout parallel in 
other Latin tablets. But the Greek afford uiany similar ex- 
pressions; e.g., ^<^i\z^^t ^^^•'" ''■^^ cus/a^^,^ Ki 7^y ^\k^^.. 

(Aud. 22, 7); 'Tuvt.){tri u,oi r i>jV /VJ^i/.^ r>jV iio^KU-i*^ 

(38, 19-21). Mai^i. Tvo ^'i'paMA^ 

Contrast uirtus . . . .nee er ipi , nee surripi potest unquam (Cic. 
Parad. VI sub fin.). For the a,lliteration cf. uirtutem 
uir iuaa (Q,. Curt. IX 7,29); uirt utem uiresque (Tac. Hist. III. 
13); also Apul . Met. IV 8; Plaut . Amph. 191. 

The condemnation of the victim in this line is plainly 
general and anticipates the detailed specifications to follow. 
The writer is fearful of omitting some item that would Ciiuse 
the curse to fail in its all-eiiibracing effects. Salutem re- 

fers in general to the condition of the victim, cor pus to the 
entire material f ra^ne , _colorei:a to its appearance, and uire s 
and uirtutes together its faculties. 

The absence of the conjunction e_t will be noticed; in 

fact, no examile of either e_t or que is foimd in any of our 

tablets. Asyndeton is an occa,sional characteristic of the 
curse formulae in general. In the Greek formulae it is much 
more frequent than in the Latin. In the earlier tablets from 
Latium (Aud. 13?;-1:^9) e_t is more rarely found than it is later. 
Asyndeton is archaic and is characteristic of religious formu- 
lae; :aagic follows religion. (Cf. Stol/.-Sclimal/. , p. f^85). 

4. Plo ti . Prom .. . 19 we learn that this Plotius was the 
slave of Avonia, one of the victims involved in these tablets. 
The gens Plautia or Plotia was a vell-knovm plebeian gens few 
of whose laeabers ever attained to distinction. for au was <a 
feature of ru.stic Latin and of the vulgar Latin of the streets 
of Rome. That the demagogue Clodius changed his name to this 
form from Olaudius to win public favor is notorious. TTnder 
plebian influence Plautius became Plotius . In oriculas . . 

25 v/e have a change froM aur iculas due to the Serine general 
causes (cf. Lindsais pP • 40-41; Stolz-Sclii-ialz , pp. 79-30). 
This manner of spelling is one anong ms.ny indications that in 
these tablets we have to do with the lowest classes of the pop 
ulation. In Aud., 215, 10 appears tlie name Plotius Kerines . 
,.. The najne of the victim (cf . note on 1) was regarded as 
the most important part of the formula, for among tjie ancients 
tJie name was looked on as the person himself. To the 
curse fully effective the name hs.d to be written vfith the ut- 
most clearness; hut compare Wttn^h DTA 55; 77; 88; 95 and 
praef , 17. Sometimes the was itself defixed, as 'nve^bcn 
^J-oO ro iVo/^x (Aud. 22, 40; and cf.2^23; 26, 28; 3^, 26; 
Wttnsch DTA 57, 20). To jjrevent the goddess mistaking an- 
other Plotius for the intended victim his social status is 

mentioned in 1. 19 -Plo ti Auoniae . In ancient medicine the 

patient's ne.ros was occasionally regarded as a value.hle adjunct 
in effecting a cure; e.g., de sangu ine ipso ljuj fl^it nomen 
eius in fronte scribe, c\ti medend um est (li/larc. X 33 ; cf. XIV 
68). ^.. . 

Usually the dat. is used with eriper e; the gen. is em- 
phatic: e.g., non pecuniam modo, uerim^etiam hominis Pr°PA^'i^^ 
sang xunem uit amci\i e eripere^ cona.tur (Cic. Pro. Q,uin. 11). 
Cf . Ploti 13 where the gen. preceding is even more empliatic 

Trada s Pluto nl . There are many different f or imaae 
deuot oriae emplo3''ed and these vary according to whether a de- 
ity is asked to consign tjie victims to the lower regions or 
wliether the ai'.thor of t}ie c\?rse does so di-r^ectly without such 
an appeal. The verlo trado is used, as it happens, in both 
cases; e.g., t rade Plutoni (Aud. 140, 7) with an appeal to 
tiie god, and _trad_o (. . 2) v/here tiie curser performs the action 
himself symholically . In the former class are o"bligare (247; 
251; 253; 268); deligar;e 217 "b6); alligare (217 Td 6; 277; 
279); and many others. In Greek are '^t'^•, ItKr^oCTr, TT^ jo^O /<^/^'<^/ 
and many others. For complete lists cf. Aud, Tnd, pp,474 ff. 
and Wtlnsch DTA Ind, pp. 48-49. 

4-5, ^Ti . , , , . , sueis . Ni and nei are .Jjyforms of ne 
(cf. under nei 34). ITi possit follov/ed by an infinitive oc- 
curs very frequently (26, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, 37, 44) in a 
great variety of connections. Both ne , non and ut non are 
comi-rion in other Latin tahellae (cf. Aud. Ind. p. 480), Thus 

we read ne ui ribus suis possint (Aud. 251, 14-15), The 

Greek equivalent constantly recurring is /a-vj or <• ^x u*^ with 
a subjunctive Of <) c/»^aito<K/ in a final clause, as in Aud, 234, 
1;. 19, 45, 60-61; and 38, 23-:M, T.he imperative of the 3rd 
person Vv-ith U-vi , the neeirest equivalent cf the Latin subjimc- 

tive v/ith n£. arrears but rarely; as /a.-^ "b u ^ oi<r & uJQ^^/ (349 
a 12-13). 

cogitat ionibus . Not "thoughts" but "devices", For 
this msxiner' of completing a word at the end of a line see fac- 
similes of Plotius 13 and Vesonia 29; cf. Aud. 190, 9. 11. 

5.. sue 

is. For spelling see note on 2 and Ch. Ill, p 4 

Cf. na tels sueis (CIL VI, 15676); uote is sue is (X 3757); in- 
fereis (Aud, 199, 6). • -. ' 

hoc uitare. That tiie victim ma.y not escape tlie doom 
prepared is the v/ish implied in everi^ Gurs6-f ormula ; here only,, 
apparently, is it explicitly expressed. Koc sumiJiarizes ; cf. 
hoc op to : mor ia re jna.1 i s exempl i s cr uc ia t us etipse nee te mmc 
liceat qxxo me priua.sti lumen uidere et tu des poenas . . . 
{]:Tot, degli Scavi 1900, p, 578, no, 35). 

jLll unc . To read e_(c)cillimc as in . . 43 , would over- 
crowd the space (cf, ITeue II, 429). Ill iinc belongs exclu- 
sively to the vu^-gar sphere and among the authors is confined 
v/it/i rare exceptions to Plautus and Terence; e.g., Plaut . Cvir- 
cul. 590; Trin. 520; Persa 738; I,lerc. 272. Belonging as it 
undoubtedly does to the sphere of conversation it is but rare- 
ly foiind in in.scriptions : illunc (OIL IV, 1691); illuc =i 
illud (2013) . 

6. febri . cott idi anae . Of tertianae only the initial 

letter and the last tiiree letters are legible; the jresence of 
quar tanae and cot tidianae makes it eas;- to complete the word. 
Of cottidi anae the second _t is out faintly written. 

To consign an enemy to the various inanif estations of ma- 
laria wa.s coioinon to Greek and Roms.n alike, e.g., patiatur__fe- 
bris frigus tortionis pallor is s udores _obr i p i la.tionis meridi- 
ana s serutinas noctiirnais (Aud. 140, 8-11 =Wttnsch, Seth. 1); 

ter cia nas guar tana (Olivieri IV ); K<\( S^^k^ k^t K^^' 

-fjU-iiKfT /coidjj;(ct^4/KWc TuatJCj (Aud. 74, 6; 75, 10-12); cf . 
51 1-2, -'^lA-'i.x-'iv.A.i '^-'..'it-A^i^i j\-^-^rp^''r'n,-^ l\ 


no other Latin tablet is fe^bris cottidiana mentioned. 

Cf,, however, Terence, Hec. 357. J'or the prevalence of ma- 
laria in ancient Greece, see Jones, W, H. S,, llalaria and 
Greek History, pp. 41, 63; and in a,ncient Italy see Jones, 
Ross, Elliott, Malaria, chapter entitled "In Ancient Italy", 
Of the ancient nedical aiithorities on the, see Hip- 
pocrates, Epid. I. 24-25 (pp. 200, 201 Kflhlev/ein) ; Celsu£ 
III 3, 13, 14, 15; and cf. elato, Tiinaeua 06 A. ?or tiie 

picriodic fevers as demons, see Kyiims of the Atharva-Veda 

(Blooiiifield) I 25; V 22; 711 116; and cf. Cic. ::.I^. Ill, 


25; r^e Leg. II 11. 

cottidianae . Correctly spelled thus: cf . Burger 
under cot tidie in Thes. Ling. Lat., and Buechler, Carm. Epig, 
231, 3 note. 

c ^ a 

"^ • quas . The accusative for the nomina,tive; of. oV = os 

(Aud. 159 a 53); interjiiuibiis as inter quos (106, 6). 

illo. After illunc 5 one would expect illoc , and sim- 
ilarly iliac in Avonia 8 and Vesonia 8; b\jt in these two in- 
stances v/e actually find ilia . B^^ analog^'- we tjierefore res-d 
illo in this line. 

luctent. ThiB vvord is restored b;- a coinparison of all 
tlie tablets. The active lucto ie found almost entirely among 
the old v/riters according to Priscian VII J 5, 25 p. 797. X. 
Luctant is read in ITon. p. 472 from Ennius IX 339; l\>cta uimv-S 
and luctat in lb. p. 468 from Plaut. Vid. Fr . IX and Terence, 
Heci. :. G29; delu ctauit (or according to isola.ted LISS . deluctaiii) 
from Plaut. Trin. 839;: luct are in Varro Deldng. Lat. V |,e, 61. 
Only three instance?^ appear later tlian the Rep\?blic and those 
are all compoirnds Vvith re-; reluctabat (Apul. I.Tet. IV 20 p. 
281); ^eljJctabant (lb. VII 5 p. 455); a passive re luctat is 
rebus (Claudian, De Raptu Pros. I 42). It will be observed 
that these post-Rej.ublicEfn examples belong to an £(,uthor or to 
a department vdiere one is not surprised to find arc}iaic dic- 
tion. Luctent vvould seem to be zin evidence of the date of the 
tablets (cf. ch. Ill, <^ 4). 

deliictent. At this point occi^.rH the onlj- e>;tensive 
lac\ma coiaiaon to all the tablets; hence, conjecture is the 
only means ava^ilable for t}ie restoration of the original text. 
On the analogy of the grouping of cognates or synonyms, as in 
6, 8, 41, 42, 43-44, 45-46; in Aiid . 250 a and h ( quoted in 
note on erip ias 3); also in Aud, 16 X 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13; 
deluctent would "be very apt in this connection, For tlie use 
of delucto cf. the the i)revious note, r el uctent reserrrdes the 
English idiom "to fight it out vritli a person," It v;ould ii£,ve 
"been hard for t/.e author of the tti-hlets to clioose other verbs 
that Vvould as vividly descrilie t}ie shivers and deliriuJn of 
malarial fever as do l\JCten_t and de^luctent, Cf . Osier, The 
Principles and the Practice of Medicine, pp, 16, 17, 

illunc. As cum illo could not accompany euincant 
uincant, the direct o"bject must he assuiaed. The omission of 
et is in ha,rwony v/itli the prevailing asyndeton, Piirther, tlie 
nujriDer of letters in the conjectured words would give the en- 
tire line an average length. 

8, ]iS(.iue dum. Cf, usqu e d'ui'i per me tihi licuerit, (Cic 
in Verr. Ill, 5); Plaut, Men. 728, 

animajm, Cf , pertransBeas lip.niinai n et i spirl txua (And, 
250 a 17-18); also "b 13 and Olivieri III. In the Greek tab- 
letfi ^^){n is frequently used in such a connection and oc- 
casionally along v,it}i it are other words connoting the im- 
material part of man, as TTi^tOu-x V«/)(ijk dfo(K»(M^ paov ^ri*^ 
aii*rQy^riv $ot^s/ (Aud, 41, 9-10). The expression deriando 

ut facici,s illujn MorUium (300 b 3-6) embodies the same senti- 
ment in other words. 

9. uictiioam. the word refers to an animal a.s in 
14 and Ovid, Am. Ill 13, 16 (see Wissowa, H..-. d. 'PX..., p. 
347), but here it refers to a lauos.n being. Similarly Hqstia. 
in Aud. 138 v/here a v/ome.n is the victim. Cf . uictima, (Aud. 
243, 28). Both words are rare in defixiones. 

11. Ach ernoaiam. Ach - rat}ier than ac-: cf. pul c^jr'a 1 and 
bracc hia 28. The syllable i^ not jireserved in any of the 
tablets. The -_uo- neems to be an inadvertent metatliesis of 
the vowels of the diphthong in 'A)^c o <acro-/os . por inser- 

ticn of -iaui of. And, 49, 3, 4; li> and 50, 5, 8 and see note 
on cogi tct-tlonilius 4, 

Just as Salv lam 2 anticipates eripi as sali'.tem 3, so 
Acheruosiaic anticipates the smmnons of Cer'oerus 12-13. This 
is a nev/ epitliet of Proserpina; cf, Ptygia (Stat., Theb . IV 
526-527); infer n a (Verg. Aen. VI 138 and CIL X 7576/; oj^ viArific 

^toS (Sopjx. Oed. Col. 1548). Cerheriis eenerally appears 
as the watch-dog of the house of Pluto and Proserpina, as in 
Apul. Met. VI 19; Verg. Aen. VI 400; Hes. Theog. 76 7 ff. 
Sometimes he is definitely located in the region of Acheron , 
as in Stat. Theh. VIII 513 ff.; Ovid. Met. VII 409 ff; Sil. 
Ital, III 35; Pomp, Mela I 19 , 7 ; and Acheron often stands 
for t}ie entire region of Hades as pars pro toto; e.g., Plaut. 
Most. 499. 509; Poen. 344: see Preller, Gr. Myth, I p. 8l7. 
Acheron is mentioned only once elsev/here in the defixiones, 
Aud. 250 a 11. 

12 mi_t_tas . ITo trace of a letter after -a- is found in 
any of tlie liands, yet it is natiur'al to suppose tliat the vei-b 
v/e require liere is coordinate vvitli eripi as 3; the only pos- 
sible alternative is to assume mittam, hut this, of course. 

would not suit the context, 

^^ * Me pro Li ihi clicebaiit_^ antiquj. (Pestus, j ,1(=;1) ; 
cf, temp l a te scaque me Ita sun to (Varro De Ling. Lat. VII 2, 
8); ITd, De R. p.. Ill 16, 2; ccciperes tute / eam^ ama^re 
et :ae_ires consi; lt\ufi iixale (Plaut. Baccli. 565); 113, 684; 
si qu id lae fuerit hiunanitus (Ennius 125) v/ith v/idch compare 
si quid miVi^ ]fUme,nitus accidisset (Cic. Phil, I 4^10). See 
Stolz-Schjji£.lz p. 216; ITeue II 352; Lindsay, 422; Reicl-ir.rdt, 
N. Jahrh. ftVi^ cl Phil. 139, 110 ff. 

12-13. can em tricipiteio. Certerxis if. often referred, 

to vitlio\it explicit mention of his name: e.g., form a, que tri- 
fauci lersonat inaoinnis leicrimosae ianitor t^J^f.e (Sil, Ital,II 
551); tricipitem ediucit, H^'-dra generatum, canem. (_Cic. Tusc. 
Disp, II 9j, Otlier descriptive compo\mds of a similar Ciia,r- 
acter occur: tergeminr.s (Prop* .• f,:!- ^^^ , IV 7, 52; Ovid Tr . IV 7, 
16); tr i f or mis (Statius Theh . II 53-54). Among the Latin 
taoellae defixionum t}iere is discovered no other reference of 
any sort to Cer oer\is ; Tout in tlie Greek (Aud. 74, a 5; 75 a 0- 
10) the epitliet d>u\x^ is apjlied to liim twice. Tha,t Cer- 
beriis does not figm^e more frequently in the tacellaie is 

strange, in vievi of ias importance in i'i£,gic&l operations in 
general (cf . P.osciier, Lex. under Ker"beros p. 1134) . Siiidas 
cites Tot k.^P'r\yoS as an epithet do\'btless iJiea.nt to axi-ly 

to Cer-oeriis . Under -Kof^M the same ciutliOr v.rites: c/ /^i "tt^o 

. . IS, Tri ceat'tfem rxtn'e. ipitcw . The mistake of vv-riting e_ 

for i, is a very coimrion phenomenon in the inscriptions; but 
exact jiarallels to the present case are very rare : conieciant 
(CIL I 198, 50); accepient (V f^731, ?1) ; arce ptorem (in Greek 
script) != accipj. trem (Aud. 270, 3). Without doubt the pop- 
ular pronunciation sometimes retained tlie £ of the nom. triceps 
tiii'ou.ghout tlie oblicue cases; hence the error in ortliography . 
In the popular sjelling of many words there v/as a confvision of 
e and i (cf. Lindsay, p. P,?-9). 

Ploti This is conjectured on the analogy of 

J Auonia^ s in Avonia 14. In this and the corresponding pas- 
sages in the otlier tablets one would expect eit}ier eiu s or the 
name of the victim in the genitive. The vs,rying length of the 
lacunae corresponds with the varying length of the respective 
names . 

cof . Cf. ?.9 , Ceroerus v/as regarded as a devoiu.-'er of 

huoB.n flesh; cf. qui lascera saeuo spargis nost ra ( hiunana) 

? / 

cani (Lucari, Phars. VI 702-3); ooju.ri(r irjV (Plesiod, Theog. 

311)- £(r6>(tt ^^^ ^^ X'^'trjTl TTt/XluJK t/< TeO-^tl^ to«'r<K 

(lb. 772); PhilochoruB, Fr. 46, Mttller. 

polli cjgj'izs. g pollicearls . Vulgar confr-sion of £ and 

i, especie^lly in unaccented syllanles, v/as very coL-mion. Simi- 
larly (h)a'Dias (Aud. 228 a(^ ; b6): ( h)£.b iat (270, 8-9); ualia t 
(223 al6); pari at (CIL I 197, 10). In all these instances J. 
for e precedes a as in poll iciarus ; but it is found before 
other vowels as v/ell, e.g. abieg nieis (I 577, col. 2,1). 

Likewise imaccented i and v. v/ere confused ov/ing to the 
similarity of the sounds they represented (cf. Lindsay pp. 
25 ff.; Stolz-Scluo&.lz, p. 67). The error is most frequentlj'- 
fou.nd in superlative endings (cf. Q,\iiritil. Inst. I 4. 8 — 
mediu s ^st^ciuidan u> et i littergue somzs, PPITt_ eni^i_i>Pt>»i^ 
diciaus aut optumtua; and Brock, Quaest. Gram., p. 72); b\?t it 
is also fo\md in other parts of si:ieech tlian adjectives, as 
utariits (CIL I 126 7 = IX 604); spatiariis (I 1220 - IX 1837); 
figarus (IV 2082); Caesarus (I 685); Caesaru (696); Gas torus 
(197, 17); hominus (200, . . 60, 63). According to Stolz- 
Schmalz (p. 199) this is an early plienoi'ienon. 

?or t}ie lOBTLuer of completing the word cf , the note on 
cogitationl"bus 4. 

14, tres uictimas. Here vActimB.s refers to other tlian 
human heings (cf. note on ulctim am 9). Doubtless the tiiree 
victims or offerings emiirierated in the next line are to "be 
given one to each movth of the hell-hoimd, thus leaving no 
part of hira unpropi tiated . Are-rt from the special reason for 
tliree offerings in this case, the mi:aerical trinity is a prom- 
inent feature of nearly all cha,rm-f ormulg.e e,nd incantations. 
(Cf. Shakes], eare , i-Iacbetli I 3; IV, 1.) 

15. palm as . ITeither dates nor tlie otlier tv/o offerings 

are recorded as ever having been given to Cerberus. Nor is 
there elsewhere any iaemtion of dates as gifts to Proserpina or 
Demeter. Por association of figs, and dates cf. hie m;x, hie 
mixta est rugosis_ Cc>^ica j^almis (Ovid, Met. VIII 674); quid 
Ltolt palma. sib I rugosaque carica (lb. Fasti I 185). 

caricas . Carlca -^s. ficTis Ce.rlca. iVuit -offerings wero 
characteristic of tlie Demeter-Proaerpina worsidp (Stengel, Gr. 
Kult., p. 91; It. qpf., p. 167; Pans. IX, 19, 4; VIJJ, 37, 4; 
42,. 5). The fig v/as the special friiit of the chthonic cults 
in general (Gnippe, p. 790) , A wilo fig jia.rked the ple.ce 
\;here Plvto went down with Proserpina (Palis. I 38); cf. Pans, 
I 37, 2. 

porcvm nigruiQ, Por \iic tiica ajidied to a pig as here 
see Ovid. Am.,' Ill 15, 16. The sv/ine was characteristic of 
t}ie chthonic worship in general and of that of Demeter - Pro- 
serpina in particular (cf, Gruppe, p. 1178, note 2; p. 38; 
Ovid. Pasti I 349, 466; SerV. ad Aen. Ill 118; Ifecr. Sat. 
Ill 11, 10; Varro, Pe R.P.. IV, 9; Hyg. Pab, CCL XVII. 
Altliough not always given, black victims were preferred by tlie 
chthonic divinities (Stengel, Opf . p. 188; Dittenberger , Syll . 
615, 25; Zosimus, Hist. Nou. II 1; CIL XI 1420; III 9, 11; 
Val. Max. II 4,5); ^3^' '^^ Toc'r) vX^eoU^j )(o/.o,s .^5 

iOiOc, fc >cc£.A°</^'« (Eph. Epig. 1891, 134, 11); 

cf . also Wissovi/a, - . ■ P« 3478, The same is true of 
male victims (Stengel, Opf. p. 192; Dittenberger , Syll . 615, 
17); [IT j?fJ<r%.<f)oVo^ ){o>^tv c<J^rc«^« (Ziehe^i, Leg. Sacr. 

It will liave been observed that these offerings are of 

t}"ie kind given to Deineter and Proserpina. For the 
food of CerlDerx^s see note on 13; occasionally he \7as ple.cated 
with a honey-cake, as in Verg. Aew. VI 417 ff.; Apul . Met. 
VI. 19 passim; cf. Griippe , p. 407, notes 4,5. 

16. hoc sei perfeceri_t: Sc_. CerTDerps . A siuula.r promise 
of a sacrifice in the event of the petition "being granted "by 
the divinity is found in Wttnsch LTA 109, 6-7: M<iCv7\JS Kotkwi 
TT^^ke^vTos e^'xyycA/ac Ourui , p^j, ^y^g spelling of se_i, see note 
on 2. It is read also in CIL I 33; 196) 28; 571; 603; IV, ' 
64; 1196; P.430; 4971; 4972; Plaut. Men. 239, 241, and else- 
v/here . It is not found in any ot?ier Latin tabella. 

16-17, ante mense m Ife rtiiaia. Time limits for the inception 
and the consv^mmation of the curse are often imposed. Cf . £i 
possi t amplius idling mensem as pice re (44-45); pridi e idijs 
ian uaria.s siaie idus (Atid. 248 h 5-7)^ i-o^^oUc^tM.^ (252, 44). 
Par commoner tlian the reference to months are references to 
moments, hours, days, nights, v/eeks, years ,^s a"b liac (h)ora, ah 

hoc nocte (140, 11 =» V/ttnsch, Setli. 1); (.£ enk. '>f>j ok u.ou.iv'To 
(231, PA); intra anrujmi itw-Sm :=;: istv-m {1?.9 "b 12-13); perd\TCas 

_ad domus Tartareas intra, dies sept ejm) (250 X, 13-14); 

ti<, i/ioa/ToV (189 b 7) ; r^ u,<./3o/ (174, 23). In one formula 

tlie effect of tiie curse is expected to be valid for all time, 

V - - 

as ^-T] / //■ tot/cv/^ (V ou.(ri TiuTTc^s = det ineatixr in omne tempus 

(231, 11-12). ; • :'• ■-■-: ■/ / 

17-18. hae c . . . .feceris . Cf . note on }ioc sei perfecerit 
16, K Roman prayer \7ar. frequently a ca\itious CjUid pre quo; 
e.g., Bellona, si hodie nobis uictoriam duis, a st ego tibi 
templrm aoueo (Livy X 19, 17); cf. lb. I 12, 4; XXII 10, 2 ff. 
CIL III 1933; Laing (G. 5".), Cla.ssical Philology, VI 2, pp. 
180 ff. 

17, Pr OS erpina Saluia . Saluia onl;^ can be read in 
Avonia 18 and Vesonia 18, but a very djfstinct r together with 
the demands by the length of the line compel us to rec^d 
here Proserpina as well as Saluia. 

18. compote (m) . The v/eak pronunciation of m in Latin 

is v/ell-knovm (cf. Lindsa.y pp. 60-62; Stolz-Scliina,!?, , p. 156). 
In the tabellag m is often dropj/ed before vov-els and consonants 
alike, as colore (m) f icnra.(m) caput (And. 190, 5); fronte(m) 
super cil_i (135 a6); Ser gia(in) Glj^cinna(m) (139, 18); ui t a ( m) 
ualetudin(em) (195, 3). See Aud, Ind. 539 ff. In Avonia 18 xre 
read coiapo tern f ecerig ; "but in Vesonia 17 laense L'lartiiu n. 

^'^J^P^??^ "? E"ie compoten i;oti, as in insequere, et uoti 
postmodo compos erlsl (Ovid, Ars Azaa.t. I 486); Nunc me t\oti 
compotem facis (Seneca, Hipp. 718), 

do tib i. Do appears only here in the tabellae, 

caput. Also in Aud. 134 a7 ; 135 a3 ; 190, 6. Cf . 
r/»'^)(5S Kt^xA-f^K £V/<ty>^Aov imoruj-rrcv (419.. 16-17) ;-^"V fcc^xX^^'v 
(Wttnsch DTA 89 a3). In all other than t}ie Johns Hop>:ins tab- 
lets the ne,ti^ral order of the enumeration of the parts is fol- 
lov/ed very imperfectly. 

19, ?lo_t i_ Aux)niae . Sc. Seruj . It is quite possible that ilie 
original was Auon iaes , as in Avonia 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. 
The word geruus in such a case as this might be v/ritten in 
full or in abbreviated form, or it might be oi.iitted altogether 

as here. In the x;asc.._ Ai-r e t_i na (CIL XI 6700-1) the usage 
varies; "but in the tesserae c o n s \;l_a r e s (I 7l7-776h) seruus is 
omitted, Cf . llarqiiardt - Mau, Privatleben d, Rfiin. I pp. 20- 
21, and p.. 21, note 1, -^ • 

20, frontem. col lus os "bucas dentes laTpJas men tus oclo s 
fro n t e_ sn-per'c i 1 i (Aud, 135 a^^ ; cf, 134; cere"bru f rute s\;pe^ei'|'i' ^ 
OS nasii me tu bucas (190, 7) , The nearest approach to this in 
Greek is -rrpoT-toTrov' (V/tlnsch DTA 171, 3 and 4laL 16-17). 

21. supe r cilia. For example, See previous note; a<^^\/s (A"- 
41, 17; and Wttnsch, DTA 89a 10). 

22-23. palpehras, pupill£i,s. ITov/here else tli;;,n in these 
tablets, apparentl;^, are these parts of the eye enumerated. 
The eye a,s a whole, however, is frequently mentioned, e,g,, 
among the Latin tablets, 134 a8; 135 al . 6; b2 ; Olivieri I; 
also see note on frontem 20. Among tlie Greek occur: o^O^cX/t^o'^^ 
(Aud. 49, =14. le);"^^ ou^LyT(x (241, 13-14; 242, 57-58). 
Cf. ni aspicere, uidere,^ contemplare .(44-45). 

24-26. nares dentes. The order of the parts dif^- 

fers iroiii this in Avonia 24-25, Vesonia 25-26, Seciuida 21-22; 
the order in Aquillia is conject\i_rHl. The sudden grouping of 
the reiiiaining i^arts of the head after the extended and fjnelv 
detailed enu^neration of the preceding parts is plainly re- 
sorted to for the sake of brevity, in Aud. 135 a •■"■rv' b all 
the parts of the body are grouped in the one appeal with lit- 
tle regard for order. 

24. nare s. Pound only here in the Latin tablets; but 
M'UKT'^ot^ (Aud. 41 a 17), 

25, labra , Por example, see note on front era 20; cf , 
Aud, 190, 8 a,nd labra s in Vesonia 25, 

o^riculas. The sense of hearing is referred to biit 
rarely in the tabellae and t/ien by the verb I'atlier tha.n by the 
noun, Cf . nee frenis audire po ssint (Aud. 275, 29-30); nee 
fren is audiant (280, 15; 281, 15; 282 a25) ; also i^KoKS 
(41, 17), 

Por spelling of oric\ilas :=; auriculas cf , note on Plotl , 4 

Vesonia 25 £^ives the syncopated form ^iclas . Auricula is a 
popular diiainutive of auris . Cf . Ora ta genus piscis arPQA" 
laUw a colore auri, ^uod rustic! oriun dice"bant , jit auriciilas, 
oriculas (Pestus, p. 182, 13-15 under orata). 

nasiufl. For exainple , see note on fro ntem 20; and cf. 

caput olaus at olfactiis (134 a7). The nose and nostrils are 
in no other tablets mentioned together. 

linguam. The tongue is ^re-ry freuuently defixed; as 
licua (Aud, 134 1d2) ; all igo deligo ling^ias (217 a4) ; adligate 
linguas (218, 6-7); ^iriimicoruja meoru:n_ling\ias j^.duersus iiie 
obmutescant (222 bS-S) ; lig o oligo (aiobligo) linguas illcfq 
media s extre mas n oixissiaias ne quit possint respondere contra 
(219 a 2-8) ; /< «-T'>t y o^^to y\^TiKv^ (Aud. 47, 7-9) ; 

KocTa^O y\Z7rfK.y k<^) y/^^/^w (49^ o^ 4, 5^ 7^ o- n, 

12, 15);'Si^ro(( /^lovucrfois, y\u^<rrkv (81 a ^-^) \ l<<x.7oS iZ 

r^v y\>^~T^\y (Wttnsch, DTA 49; 50) ; f/' 7* i^tWt, 

(96, 3-16). The faculty of speech is defixed in various other 
ways also; e.g., os _bucas dentes lahias (Aud. 135 a5) ; crus 
OS pedes (^4); os nasu m etu "bucas la bra uer' ou (190, 7-8); 

o ^ ^ecX /U,oi/i A.«/ 0-/oA4«< (49, 16); .... (pi a^ujQ-o<^ (o^- 
It T«. ^cf/jLtuy^ Wcivroui/^ (15, 24); Tre<,aot\^/ii,rL 

r°<3 9!>u;K»ci (oo^ 37. 24, 21; 25, 6-7); 7ro< o«xKc<- it ^t 

^...Tous \cy oi/S (32, 24-25); /CxT<x-au; k"^/ koyo^i Aj</ toy, 

26. den tes . os Ijucas dentes labias (Aud . 135 a5) 
manus detes oclos bracia Co 1-2); odio»^T«5 (41, 10) 

26-27. ni dicere possit Plotius quid sibi doleat» 
Pinal, not optative, expressing the purpose in defixing the 
utterance of Plotius in 24-26. Similarly lig o oligo (^obligo) 
linguas illoro medias extrenias nouissiins-s ne quit respon dere 
£ontr_a (Aud. 219 a 2-8) ; k<KT \ K o , i^ 1 (Tc^Ti. ^-^f y K^trr^c^ 

3'or construction of q-aid. sibi doleat see scio eg o qui d dol eat 
mihi (Plant. Mil, Glor. 1325). I find no other exaiaple of 
the indirect question in the def ixiones • 

27-23. collum, waeros , 'bracchia, digitos. Objects 
of do tibi 24. In this group are deiixed the :neiabers on 
which a :/ian depends .aost for assistance; hence, the pixrpose 
of ni possit aliquit se a d iu t are , 20-29. 

£ollTxn. Cf. collu s (Aud. 135 a5); colu (190, 9); 

iHneros, Cf, colli iocur jujnej-os cor (Aud, 190, 9); 
sjcaplas TilneriiiQ neruias (135 a7) ; kct-T^y aoi d>oC 

bracchia. In no other tablet is the v-'ord spelled thus; 
cf,, hov/ever, manus dici tos bracias unci s ^ (Aud. 135 a2 ) ; 
rnamis detes oclos Joracia^uenter (b 1-2); 190, 10; 3/>«.)^/c'v^£S 

(74, 13; see previous note), Ilcinus is strangely ouittad from 
tiie list in o\w tablets, though, it is found elsewhere, as 
135 a2; "b 1; 190, 11; 247, 9. X^r^ei (or Xj.7o<xs ) frequent- 
ly occxu's in Greek tablets; e.g., (234, 57; 240, 40; 47, 2; 
4, 6. 3); (64, 8. 10). For bearing of the aspirate ch in 
bra e Cilia on the date of the tablets see ch. III. <^ 4. 

digit OS . Cf, brac e ia digitcs inam^s (And. 190, 10-11) 
135 a2 . Por digiti (pedim) see Plotius 37, 

aliquit . So quit 30, According to the inscriptions 
_t for d v/ei,s very cojinuon in all parts of the Romy.n world and at 
all periods. It belongs to the vulgar sphere, Cf. quit 
(Aud. 219 a6; 303 I 3; II 4 . 6 ; IV . 1 . 2 ; VI 2; GIL V. 
3415); aliquit (IX 5660; XII 915). 

28-29. ru possit__se adiutare , Exact parallels are 
not to be found; but cf. Ct i^<^ oj e) ty i^y^oc/j o(^^o-rj G^jTc J^s 
■7ro/-«r->^T«. (Aud, 161, 28-31 = WtSnsch 

Setii. 22; Aud. 159a 44-45; b27-29; 160, 15-16, 38-39; 88-39}; 

I^^ovIt^xJS v^'ov/3 TTofL (Wttnsch DTA 98, 5); 

Aud. 164, 23; If'S, 22-23; 166, 12^ 32. The Latin defixi ones 
offer no parallel^ 

29-30. pectus 1 DC iner a co f pulinone^s. Objects of do 
tioi 24. Here are defixed the organs which were regarded as 
the seat of the senses; hence the force of n i__p o s s it sen t jr e 
quit sihi doleat 30-31. 

pectus . Although only -_c- shoves liare, there is no 
doubt about t} ^ reading, in view of Avonia 28 s.nd Secunda 25. 
Cf. natis U Di-Li cus pectu s laaLiilas (Aud. 135 a4) ; uenter 
ma mila pectus osu (b2-3); pectoris ....cor .... (l4Zb9); 
/54,x)(io/o^S r-l^^.s o-ly^^X^^ (74, 13-14); 

tcc<<'^6oi/S -.- Tly^Qos (75, b 1-2), Por pectus as the 

seat of perception-oculis pectoris a^liquid liaurire (Ovid, Met, 
XV 63); also quint. X 7, 15. ' • •' ' - 

Sj.o\ c inera. The first syllable is lacking in all our 
tablets and must be supplied ^q^ conjectiu'e. The only exaitiple 
in the defixiones is iociu' (Aud. 190, 9) and in this sphere 

iocinera rather than ieci nora is almost certainly required. 

Por the great variety of orthography and inflection of this 

word see ITeue I pp. 337-339. In the Greek defixiones o^rn^^ cce^n^ 

as in Aud. 42 b3 ; 156, A2; 252, 3-9; 253, 15. Por iociir 

(or iecur) as seat of the affections and passions cf . non 

ancil la tuiu n iecur uloeret ulla pu-erue. (Hor. Epist. I 18, 

72); also It. Odes I, 13, 4: Jiiv. T 45 . 

cor . See note on cor 13. Cf. iocur vjneros . cor 

fulmon es itestinas vetre (Aud. 190, 9-10); 250 a24; 270, 11. 
19; oc/Ve^o-,^ ^o^V /(cio^f^u' (41, 10 - 11); 

42 h3; 51, 3; Wtlnsch ])TA 89 h7; 93 a4; b3 . Por cor as the 
seat of understanding see quicquaia sapere corde (Plaut, llil, 
Qlor. 336); Cic. Phil. Ill 6, 16. 

pul mones . So fulmones - piilmones (Aud. 190, 9); 
TT^'^t^A'OVXs /(H/«''/vv -TjTrtK/i (42 /)3); 

(T-t^U-tK TTvt'^ Ufv)(yty d/a<"»^e/a./ ^Jo^">7ff-/^' (41 a9 ) 
73, 5. 

30 -31. ni p ossit sent ire quit sibi dol eat . For 
sentire the original has sentique . Of. A.vonia 29-30; Vesonia 
31-32. For construction of quit s^ibi doleat see note on 
26-27, Here qui t ^"but quid 27; see also under aliq uit 28. 
The saiae word even in the same co!aj)osition is soraetimes spelt 
v/ith both d and t; e.g., apud (Arid. 139, 4) and aput (9). 

2>\ - 3<L. intesti na u enter umblicus latera . Objects 
of do tib i 24. The parts here defixed represent the front 
and sides of tiie body, and scapulars 32 the back. A rna.n 
sleeps reclining on sides, front or back; hence the pertinency 
of ni p ossit dorinire 32; and ni p os sit sanus dormire 33 (on 
"vvhich see note), ' '•' 

in tes tina. Cf. corjfulinones itestinas uetre (Aud. 190, 
10); uis cera interania (250 a24) ; €^T(.c<k (75 b 2); 

i/7roy«!r73/o«^ (74, 14 - 15). 

iienter . Here v;e should expect uentr em, as in Aud . 
190, 10, V;}i3re we read uetre. But the use of the word as a 


neuter is not ^:)ci,ralleled; e.g., Aud. 135 a3 , 8; b2 , 3, 5. 
There is no other authority for the neuter th£!,n this very lim- 
ited vulgar usage. In Greek v/a find A'o/\/o(V (42 "'04); 

crTou.xyfci/ (74, 14); TijV yxTTtao, (WtSnsch, DTA 89 a4) . 
Proai the point of view of anatomy uente_r was a.s loosely used 
as is oxn' English word belly, Cf . note on intestina. 

umb licus. The reading of the final _s in Scciuida 27 
establishes the original text v/itiiout a aoubt. As in the ca,se 
of uenter a limir.ed vulgar usage i-s the sole authority for it^; 
use as a neuter; e.g., lunl i cus (Aud. 135 a4) ; b6 ; cf . 
ublic u ( [^Cj } 1) , By the ancients the navel was regarded as the 
middle point of the bod;'-; e.g., corporis centr um med ium 
natm^aliter est umbilicus (Vitruv. Ill 1, 3); cf, hov/ever, 
Varro, De Ling. Lat. VII 17. See Gruppe , pp. 723 ff. 

la t era . So latus (Avid, 134 b6 ) ; laixis - lat us 
(b 1), The plural is not found elsewhere in the tabellae. 
The Greek equivsilent is found no\;liere in the Greek tabellae 

3^' • ni p oss it d ormire , Cf, ni p ossit dor inire 

33, Similarly cKft^ .77-orriVp/ ?eyaw.f(-/)^(Avid . 267, 19 - 20); 

ot/6 Vo^ 6>o/]u,/a(^ ("bis) (270, 4-7); auferas soiimiua, 

non doriaiat I^Iaurusaiis (250 a4-5); cf, 265 a8-9; 266, 7j 
i/TT/os c/ ' o( TTttrTIc) ■y\uku Qyju.0% ou.iKot.~r u>\/ (Arist. C\^u.<i.^ yor-4)^ 
Shakespeare, lalacljeth, I 3, The sentiment is not expressed 
an"^Avhere in tlie Greek tablets. 

s cap iilas . Cf. scapulae in Vesonie. 33. Elsewhere in 
the tabellae only in Aud. 135 a7 ^jYi^^tb s capias is read. 
Cf, a^7o^ot/o/ v'ZiTov u/roy<x(rro »<3v^ (74, I4- 

15), Sca,piilae v/a,s sometimes used for tergum, as pa,rs p ro 
toto ; e,g,, _s_capixlas prae'p ere uerb erious (Seneca, De Ira, III 
12); cf. Plaut. Cas. 955-6; True. 793; Ter. Phor . 76. 

33, ni p ossit sanus dormire. In ^amxs there is 

spa.ce between z_ find n for one letter only which must be a in 
this connection.. "Go that he nici,y not sleep a liea,ltjiy sleep". 
This doubtless refers to the deliriiun of the fevers (cf , 
Celsus 1113.13, 14, 15) , 

33 -34. uisc iun sa crum . Object of do tibi 24. The 
connection with nei possit v irinam facere is obvious. Usually 
not uiscus -i (or per imps uisc iim -i ) , but uiscus - eri s ; the 
word is most corniaonly used in the plu_r'al. Visciis ra: uterus_ 
in ITeiiies. Cyyi. 124, 132; Quint. X 3, 4; U)p . Dig. XI. VIII 
8, 8; ^ testes ^Petr. CXIX, 20; Plin. IT. H. XX 13, 51 ^142. 
Referring to the epithet <-ex)«/ in a^ov oTttoi/" 
(cf. OS s acrum) the Thes. Gr. Ling, offers this among other 
suggestions a.s to its origin - "qjiod in ea aliquid sa cri 
arcaniqu e insit". In uiscera interania (Aud. 250 a24) the 
word is u.sed in a general sense only; onl:^ here and in our* 
tablets is it found in the def ixiones . Cf . cunus (Aud, 135 
b6); c^/^o7cv^ (42 b5); T^/^[ovJ (74^ 17); 

Tx's yfui\ks . . • To^s Kir&o^/s (Wttnsch DTA 77 

bl-2; 5-6). 

34 . nei po s sit urinain facere . Cf . s_i in lee to 

••• uJ-inam faciat; (UJp. Dig. XXI 1, 14); Coluja. VI 30, 
3. 4; Pliny, IT. II. VIII, 68. The only parallel to this is 
where the uisica « uesica is cursed in Aud. 190, 11 . 

nei . Appears only here and Avonia 43 and Vesonia ?.l , 
This is an old form of the classical ne (Lindsay, p. 244). 
For its hearing on the date of the tablets see ch. Ill, <^ 4, 
See also notes on serve, deicere 2 , and ni 4. 

35 - 37, natis ungis . Objects of do ti bi 24. 

gi p os si t stare 37 shows the irmnediate jnirpose in dftfixiag 
the parts of tlie legs . 

natls . Elsewhere among tlie tabellae only in Aud. 135 
a4 — pede s femus uenter natis uinlicxjs ; for other e:xai-'iples set 
Cat. XXXI J 3 7; Hor. Pip. VIII 5; Juvenal VI 612. Cf. 
ungis 37. On the si-elling see Lindsay, p. 404 and Neue I, 
p. 383 ff. In the Greek tablets we find TT 'i u) K, t c t/' 
(Aud. 42 b5) ; TTJ-J/^Tx (75 b2 ) ; T^^ "^fe'v) *?j *^ 
(Wttnsch, DTA 89) . 

anvun. Pound only here. 

femina. Cf . femena cenua crura talos planta ticidos 

9£(j nO 

if I .r 

xi ,:.o:.ui?tin 

(Aud, 190, 11); femus (135 a3); jur\^o\/S (42 b5; 74, 

16) . Only in these passages from tlie tabellae are the thighs 

defixed. For tlie inflections of femus see Neue I, pp* 834ff, 

genu a. Only liere and Aud. 190, 12 where it is spelled 


36. cr\ya . -a (Aucnia 34; Vesonia 36); -u- 
(Secunda 31); cru - (Aquillia 31). Simileirly cr^u^a (Aud, 
190, 12; see note on femina.) ; crus only (135 e^8) ; £riii8 os 
pedes (b4). In the Greek occur: A <*Toc^ >^ ^«Ti Tx '^KiKy 

(241, 12); of, 239, 46-48; 240, 55-60. Only in the above 
passages are tlie legs defined. 

tibials . Only here and in kv-^A^^S (Aud, 42 

b6) is this part of the leg mentioned in a curse. 


pede s. pedes femu^ (Aud. a3); cms os_ pedes frontes 

unci s dicitos (b 4-5); 247, 12; 250 bl2 ; 252, 41 (Greek 

script)3 TTo'^'^^ * (15, 19; 47, 2 . 6.8; 49, 3. 13. 

16). The feet of both men and horses are very frequently 

defixed in latin and Greek tabellae alike. 

talcs. Occurs elsewhere only in Aud. 190, 12 (see 
note on femina ) », Tx Tcjiu^o^ (15, 20) is tlie only in- 

stance in the Greek tablets. 

pla ntas . In Avonia 35 after uaos is read - la- 
The next i>art of the leg in order is plant a , &s in crura ta 
planta. ti cidos (Aud. 190, 12-13) the only other i^^ssage in 

the de f i X i o n e s v/here fAie vvord is found. No ^P 


The heel is defixed once onl;' in the Greek: ^y]/aoOS 

T7^u«kro\/ Kv)y^o(S "TTT^^i^acs (Aud, 42. b6 ) . 

37. d_igitos. The toes are rarely defixed; .ticid_o£ 
(Aud. 190, 13 on which see previous note) and ^^^^ ttoc^coi^ 
<x. f^ T>j\ o u 5 (42 b7) are the only ex- 

amples . 

It v^-- «'Vi.j 

(*.<^. i^tnovi. 


ungis. Uncls (pediun) occiirs in Aud, 135 b5 (see note 
on pedes); in &?, uncis = ungues los.nuuin, as prolDably oi<t//^s 
(42 bl5 and 75 bl ) . For ace. in -is see note on natis 35. 
In pronunciation there wfis a tendency to laa^ke gu sourid like 
simple g, as seen here and in ^^ntari^^ (CIL I, 1065}; 
ungentario (1268); exsenyi iua - exsajriguluic (Aud. '^51, col. 2, 
13); see Lindsay, p. 301; Stolz-Schmal!'. , p. 109 . 

37-38. ni possit stare sua j;irtute. The following 
are the readings for uir tute; j:jrt-te (Plotius 3^; -• -— t e 
(Avonia 36); ---tute (Vesonia 38); ---tu- - (^Seounda 32). The 
word is here the etiuivalent of uiribus , as in gei ua uirtute 
est te unde hospitio accipitja (Plaut. Mil. Glor. 676); 
uir tus in inf irmi tate perf i£i tur (Vulg. II Cor. 12, 9) where 
uirtu s translates ^c/ ; cf. Vuxg. Ps . 85, 8. 
There is no exact jiarallel of ni^ poss_it__s_tare elsewhere among 
the defixiones, we may regard as quasi-parallels the 
oft-repeated wishes expressed by cadat or cadant resi-ecting 
both horses and drivers i-ientioned in tablets 272-284 of 
Audollent's collection. 

3ni;t 9*1 a 9-^ 

38 - 43 . ^eiu^ plus ecilliinc . These lines 

sliov* that this formula belongs to the very limited class of 
counter-charms. In Audollent's collection there are only two; 

39, scr iptvm_fuerit , Sc, a Pl otio; cf , s_cripsi_t 
mands.TU t ( sc. Plotius) 40, Scri'bo as used here is a literal 
transl&,tion of \ ^<=<<i>uo -^^ }<<To^y o^ <i>tyO 

which are freui-.ently employed as synonjTHS of TJu and 
A^Ta'^«2 , as in Aud, 4 a7 ff. and 14 (see previous 
note); A; a Tet y a? x ^ c*) eay« 'Tp'^ktv ^ . T, A . 
(47,4); hL \TKy,'ficf><*J ^Jxyo^^«^ X^^"^^ 

rro^<<s k.-r.\. ( ^^.^^. also 67, 5; 74; 75; 76; 84, 5. 9; 
87. Describe (or perhaps ascribo) is used in this sense in 
134 aB, £cjribo is therefore in this passage a synonym of 
defig^o, trado, do, c ommendo , l^igo and its compounds, ma,n do, 
or any other verbs of defixing. 

39 - 40, qijioiaodo mandai; it ; £fic ma.ndo . "In 

what manner he (Plotius) has according to the laws of irjagic 
coaiiosed anv curse (against me) and entrusted it to v/riting; 
in like nanner do I consign and entrust him to thee." Cf, 
the previous note. There is a very close parallel structural- 
ly in Aud. 139, 1-6: £uomodo mortuos q\u istic jsepultus est 
nee loqui nee sermonare potest, seic Rhodine . . . . mor t ua. s it 
nee loqui nee sermonare_ possit . Cf. 98, 2; 111-112, 5-19. 
The same construction is found in Greek: e.g., Aud. 241, 15-lC 
WOnsch, DTA 107, contains two clauses guarding against ti^e 
roachinations of the victims hostile to the writer or inspirer 
of the tablet. 

39. quicquid =:: aliquid; cf. tu , s i quid eri^. de 
c^eter is, ( sc. s cribe) de_ Bruto_ utique quidquid^ See Stolj;- 
Schmali:, p. 626; Wolff lin Sitzb. E. Acad. 1882, p. 446 ff. 
The word is used similc.rl;'' in Avonia 6 and Vesonia 6. 

40, ^ legitime . That the ri'les of def ixiones v/ere 
known as leges is shown by uti vos eas deuotas 


^^.•t r-fv." '. 1, 

consecrfitasciije habeat_is ollis^^legiloijs qiabus Cjuand o qx-ie sunt 
maxime hostes deuoti (Macr, Sat, III 9, 10). Nomen delatvim 
(Aud, 196) is legal pliraseology. 

mandaiiit, SimilEirly mado (Aud, 195, 7; 297, 4); .c 
dema nd o (268, 2; 286 b2; 290 b2 ; 291 a"^; cocuaendo (190, 1. 
139, 12). 

seic . See under sei\je , del cere 1, 2. This rare spel- 
ling of sic occurs also in Aud. 139, 3. 9 s=. GIL I 818. 

41. Plo ti . This must be for Plotium; cf. .Auoni aja in 
Av on ia 39 where the context is parallel. The Latin tabellae 
contain Many instances of the omission of final -m after -u; 
e.g., Crispu (Aud. 219 a 10); eximii- (Greek script) (241, 10); 
ilu - illjum (219 al); lucru (135 a9) ; tauru (247, ;6.18); 
but nowhere do I find an instance where tlie entire syllable 
-■um is dropped. 

trad o niando, cf, tradas^ mandes 42; mand es tradas 44; 
aspicere uidere contemplare 45-46. Only in ovr tablets are 
these words found side "by side. This acciuaulation of syn- 
cni'-ras is chfirexteristic of def ixi ones ; also of early prayer - 
formulae (Stolz-Schroalz, p. 669). '■ - ■ '.■ • i ■ 

42. mense jFebruar io . But x^nsj. in Avonis, 41; 
Vesonia 44; Secunda 38. Cf. 16-17; 45 and Ch. IIJ,'^ 4. 

43 e^cillunc. _e— is conjectural. What is probably 

the upper half of a £ appears irmaedici.tely before -i_llunc and 

too close to it to belong to another word, Eetvreen the £ e,nd 

the original left-hand edge there is room for one more letter 

and one only. The word seems to be a hitherto ^mat tested 

collateral form of eccil luxa wit?i one £ omitted. But this is 

not surprising as the non-gemination of £ and other consona.nts 

is very coLimon in the tabellae and in vulgar inscriptions in 

general; e.g., b u c ( c ) a s (Aud. 135 a5) ; oc ( c ) idas (286 b6 . 0; 

" (Ap«/. Met. 
287); Suc( c)es(s)a (227, 3). We read eccille a y^LIII 513); 

eccil li (lb. L7XIV 550); ecci lliun (piaut. Merc. 435; Persa 

09 £i^ 

It- e'to' 

247. 59?. ( ec ilium P)j Pseud. 911; Trin. 622 (e_ciri.via P) ^ 
Curciil. 278/, Ecclllunc woi'.ld be a combination of ecce 4- ille + 
ce (cf. _illunc 5); one or other of the demonstrative con- 
stituents, therefore, is superfluous. Since redunde^nc;^ is 
one of the coninonest characteristics of plebeian speech, we 
shall have to account for e^c(.c) illunc on the ground of the 
plebeian origin of the tablets. Cf. Krebs , I p|>. 441-2; 
Neue II p.987. 

43-44. male disperdat . Here is another ac- 

ci^jiulation of synoninns as in 7^ 8, 40. 41. 4?. ^ 44. 45-46. 
The effect is something like the English "Itay he most misers- 
ably perish." Probably in populg-r speech these three verbs 
were used intercliangeably to signify "to perish." Per da t and 
disperdat seem to owe their intransitive use in this passage 
to the analogy of per e o , as per d i amsper de am for i^eream in 
Plaut. Poen, 684. The presence of exse(a) t in this sa,me 
sentence would the parallel between p er do a,s e.n intrans- 
itive and pereq very close. 

exse(a)t. The omission of a is probably a lapsus 

itili. Cf. exiat at exeat (Aud. 250 bi5) . 

44. laandes. The readings for this are: --nd--(Avonia 
42) J m----' (Secunda 40). Mande^ is the orilj- word tJia.t 
satisfies all conditions. After me^de^s, tradas supply ^Ijamc 
as in 4. 

44 _ 46. ni possit contempaare . "So that he ma.: 

not see another month more," 

46. uidere, contemplare . That only these two words 
stand in the last line is evident from indications that the 
tahlet tapers suddenly at the lower edge. In tixe facsimile it 
can he noticed that the v,riting of the last tiiree or four - 
lines is crowded. 

CemH-ietttAcy en AvoniA 

?,, deicere. Cf. Ploti\:.s ?, . 

4, ■Auonlae . The lacuna is not le.rge enough to per- 
mit reading ?t Greek genitive as in 14 » 19. 21, 22. 23, 25. 

This v*oma,n is the owner of Plotius, the victim xaentioned 
in the tablet Just annotated (cf. Plotius 19). More clcselv 
than this we cannot identify her. She "belonged to the ple- 
heian gens^ Auonia (or Aoni a ) most of whose rej-resentatives 
were located in Roiae, as the inscriptions show (see Thes . 
Ling. Lat. under Auon ius ( Aonius ) and Ch. Ill, ^ 3). Gen, 
not tAjlt.: cf. Plotius 4, 

5. hoc . In no s^urviving lortion of any of the tablets does 
one read hoc and qui c quid together. In this passage, as in 
Vesonia 5, there is c-jnple room both to complete sue i s and to 
read hoc in the same line. In Secunda 4 hoc is the final wore, 
of the line and guicg uid must be read in order to give the 
next line an average length. That qj'i^.ci^'id is not found in 
Plotius is probably d\ie to the error of the copyist. 

6. q\il_cqul_[d] . Here ctn adverbial ace; Cf, Plotiiis 
39 and note. 

6. r£ot.iai!s. This is oonjectvred on the basis of ---tinr -, 
tlie rei-vding in Vesonia 6; without it the line v/ould fall short 
of average length. It does not ccciu- in the other tliree tab- 
lets. Should vfe attempt to read it into Sectmda 5 and Aquil- 
lia 6, it would be necessary to wait quiccitud, as these two 
lines will not permit the ciddition of two words each. 

j^llanc , Ace. feiti. reqiiired here, as in 8. 40 and 
Vesonia 8. 43. Cf. illanc Aqxullia 5 and illunc Plotius 5. 

14. Auo nia es. So ^uonia IP, 20, 21, ?,2 . 23. 25 and 
Vesonia 22, Greek genitives, as might be expecteo. in a sphere 
of conpiosition introduced into Rome t]riroi:gh the Greeks, are of 
frequent occurrence in the Lectin tabellae : e.g., Plotiaes 
(Aud, 134 ao); Teneries, Venerioses (129 8,6.-8); Aselles (140, 
5, 14, 15, 18); SeTrT,^£s ^ Septimes (270, 13), 

18. Sal Ilia . Here vje cannot read Pr o s e r p ina Sal w ia 
in Plotius 17, 

corapotem. Cf . compote in Plotius 18 

1,25. liguam. Cf. liguas (And. 219 ai2-13); ligii a 
(303 I 2, 4); II. 2. 5; V 6; VI 5. The omission of the n 
is probable'- not a JiSj)_S3^s - ^-^A j-j- * ^^'^ rather a faithful represen 
tation of a vulgar pronunciation; for we know that before 
guttuj:*al and dental mutes n was frequently dropped (cf . Lind- 
say, p. 66), Even in the Monumentum Anc;.-raniuii apjiears pro 
U.icias - prouincias in one passage (V 11 Monimsen) , 

31-32. Ni_ p o s s i t^ d or liiir e is not repeated in Plotius 
and also lacks the adjective sana. 

40. illanc. On the analogy of e(c)cillunc (Plotius 
43) we sliould expect ecc illanc , but space forbids so long a 

41. mens 1 . But raens e Plotiijs 42, See Lindsay, p, 
390; Stolz-Schmalz, p. 210. 

43. ^ei« Cf. Plotius 34. 

4, Maximae Vesoniae. This name is not found once in 
all the inscriptions containing the names of mexalDers of the 
gens Vesonia. In all the Roiafm inscrirtions of this class 
only fouj" women are mentioned: Vesonia L . 1 . Call utuche 
(sic) (CIL VI 6136); Vesonia Proba (20638); Veson ia L.J.. 
Athena is (28623); Veso nia Cn. f. Procula (28624). The fact 
that in Maxima Vesonia the individual name is written as a 
praenomen is of prime importance in dating the tablets (cf. 
Ch. Ill, <7> 4); for range of the gens Vesonia see ch. IT J <^3 - 

6, prot inus . Only tinu - can "be rejid; the reiixiin- 

der of the v ord is conjectur'ed. If the victim v/ere to "be 
handed over forth^¥ith to the fevers, the granting of the wish 
by the end of February would practically be c.ssui'ed. 

13. ifli.t.ta[s ] . In Avonia 13 m- only. The second 
person is siiggested "by tr a [dag] 4, and polligla^rxi s] 15 (suj^' 
plied from Plotivs 13). ,. '•■ . ,- '<■ 

13. Saluia. Not Proserpina Saluia, as in Plotius 17. 

22. Ves oniaes. Onl;'' one Greek genitive in Vesonia; 
cf., however, note on Avonia 14, 

23, palpetras, ra palpe bras , Fotmd only in this tab: 
let; either a vulgar form or due to a lapsus stili. 

25. oriclas. Vulgar form of auriculas; cf , note on 
Plotius 25. Similarly cornicula oeccime corni cla (Mohl, p. 
161); ocu los , o^os (Aud. 135 a6 ; ^2); scapulas, scaplas (135 
a7). See Lindsay, pp. 170 ff.; Stolz-Schmalz, pp, 170-171, 


labras, ITowhere else than in this tatlet is the word 
thus inflected. Labra iias here been vifrongly regc>.rded as a 
noun of the first declension. We have other instances of co:;- 
f us ion of gender and inflection: e.g., uenterszuentrem 32; 
uis cuja=-ui3cus 34 ; iunblicus=um"bilicuBi 32 . Cf . notes on 

26. ling ixa. Per drojjping of final m cf, note on 
compote, in Plotius 18. S imilarly 1 i cu asl ia^ua (134 b2 ) ; 
flcur a=figura (190, 6); filia (228 a4) . 

27. nei, Cf. note on Plotius 34, 

33. scapulae . The writer of the tablet probabl;/ for- 
got tjiat the series of nouns in pec tus ........ . umbl icus 30-32 

v/ere actually accusatives, tho\igh also nom. in form. 

ni possit dormire, Cf . note on Avonia 31-32 

42, Proserpina, tibi, Tibi alone is read in the oth- 

er taolets, but here it will not suffice, as a nvuaber of il- 
legible strokes show that much more than t^ibi was written. 
Pros erpina is conjectured. A.ltho\igh \mique in this context 
of the formulae it suits perfectl2^ and fills the space avail- 

43. illanc. Cf. note on Avonia 40, 

44. There is space between Febr uario and male for 
another male. We read it against the single appearance of 
male in the other tablets in this context, because it is con- 
trary to the custom of these tablets to leave so large a space 
absolutely blank, . . •- - ■: 

(^f>niiMer\Zb^y\l o't becicnct*. . 

3 i_. That triis is a genitive singular of a 

man's nsjae we know for a certainty from illunc in 1, 38, It 
is thus parallel witli Ploti in Plotius 4. The length of this 
and other lines where the victim's naxae occurs regula-rly in 
the formula indicates pretty clearly that as a rule onl;' the 
gentiliciim is employed. 

15, The length of the line does not allov; one to 
read Salu ia before Pros erpina; .-aoreover, nov/here in all the 
formulae is that order observed. 

23, ....ius, Assimied on the basis of the gen, in i in 3. 

28-29, ni p ossit dormire; scapiilas^. The mistake of 
Plot ius is repeated iiere. San us must be read. 

35. quici -iuit . Only here can the last letter be made 
out. It may be that t was written si/allarly in all the othei 
tablets; nevertheless, in them v/e have assiuaed the regular 
ending in d. 

37, The mere nomen is too short for the lacuna, Prob- 
aJ^ly- the original ¥/as either a phrase like Ploti A uoniae in 
Plotius 19 or consisted of praenoaien and nomen together. 

,ae Aquilliae. That we are here dealing with 

a woman's name consisting of an individual name and nome n is 
certain from tJie letters visible and from the context. We as- 
sixme the order just iaentioned on the analogy of Maxima, Vesonia, 
yet v/e cf^nnot deny tiiat Aqu... may belong to an individual 
name such as Aquila or Aquilina; of. CIL VI l2P,5o-4. The 
nomen, Aqiiill ia, is by far the coi.imonest of those beginning in 
Aqu., and in the los.jority of instances where it is found in 
inscriptions from the city of Rome (the place of origin of the 
tablets) it is spelled v/itl-x two I's; see Thes, Ling, Lat. 
under Aquillius (or Aqu il ius) , Nearly all of the women of 
this gens mentioned in the Roman inscriptions are freedwomen, 

5. q\acqu id , Cf . note on Avonia 6j quia qui d is bet- 
ter attested than protinus 

15, Pro serpina. The line is too short unless the 
reading of Plotius 17 be assiuned, 

27, (Suit or quid must be read in this position loy rea- 
son of the -nt- of intestina being ijnmediately beneatji pulmones 
of the next line above; otherwise there will be a gap unac- 
counted for. 

36, Aquillia ja. The length of the line indicates tiiat 
one part of the name' only is employed here as in Vesonia 22,24. 

' ,>^ 1 . Palaeography of the Tablets. 

All five tablets represent a type of ciirsive script not far 
removed from the early capital. When this type is coinpared v/ith 
the handwritings of other periods tliat are broi'ght together in 
Plate VIII, its primitive character becomes still raore evident, 
even after due allowance is made for conspiciious differences 
tiiat must result when v;ax or papyrus is substituted for lead. 
Beneath all these variations due to liiaterial the typical hand 
of a period is clearly visible. 

Papyrus presented the easiest surface for writing, as the 
freedom and frequency of long curved strokes testify; moreover, 
it allowed the writing-point to turn at a sliarp angle from a 
down-stroke to a,n up-stroke witnout being lifted; 3,s in S^ in 
col. III. On lead, free cujr'ves are fev/ in mmber and up-strokes 
are very v/eak. The sliglit angular up-tiirns to be noticed on 
E, I, P, T, especially in the Johns Hop-kins tablets, are not, 
strictly speaking, up-strokes, but &re s.ccidents due to careless 
lifting of t}ie stilus for tlie next dovm-stroke. Writing on lead 
of all periods sho\/s how difficult it was for the writer to con- 
trol his stilus at a sharp tur*n, or in describing more tha.n a 
very sma.ll arc of a circle. As a rule, v/hen the standard form 
of letter called for a large arc the writer sketched it in a 
broadly angular fashion b^^ lifting his stilus two or three times . 

The number and form of the strokes varied with the relative 
hardness of the lead. Kometiines wlxere one would expect a curved 
stroke, the stilus has suddenly shot forv/ard over an unusually 
hard or glazed spot in the jaetal and engraved £i long straight 
stroke. At other times the point has met a Jiard granule of 
stone v/ith the result that what was intended to be a straight 
line lias become a cxur've . The style of v/riting on wax is about 
midway between tha,t on papyrus and that on leud; that is to 
say, it is marked b;' only an average nvjaber of curves and up- 
strokes. The graffiti of Pompeii were written on the most un- 
yielding of all the ina.terials chosen to receive v/riting. In 
them up-strokes are almost wholly wanting anu it ir. evident 
that ciirvea were impossible except on a very large scale, for 
the granular surface of the vi/alls offered too great a resist- 
ance to the metal point. The writing of the graffiti is even 
more cramped and angular than any found on lead. But, beneath 
all these differences due to the materials the typical iia.nds 
of the various periods can be distinguished. Applying this 
conclusion specifically to our tablets, we find tlia.t with all 
th«ir peculiarities of handwriting tuey nevertjieless «hov/, even 
wit/iou.t the detailed analysis wnich follows, tjieir close kin- 
ship with all OMTHive v/riting of tlie first century B. C. on 
lead , papyrus , wax or wall . 

In o\Ar tablets A is the variable letter of the entire 

alphaoet. Stripped of its eccentricities it reduces itself 

to four tvpes /\ //s A /N • These are older forLns 

than a very large niufilDei* of those found in the Pompeian wax- 
tatlets and are apparantl;'- about contemporary with those in 
colvjnns I, II, Hi, IV. But other letters are more conclusive 
for date than this. (Cf. the tables in Cagnat, Cours d»Epi- 
graphie Latine, 3rd, ed., p. 3). 

S resolves itself into two types. One is iiia,nifestly a copy 
of the capita.l, a.s in the first line of Plotius -dAid. Vesonia, 
where for obvious reasons all the letters are written with much 

more than ordinary care. The other type -- • p is shown 

by a comparison v'ith the letter in other alphabets to be con- 
fined to handwriting of the first century B. C. The concave 
upper portion of the right -liand stroke differentiates it from 

the later ciu'sive form cK which is easily mistaken for 

a Jj . But the early form cannot be so mistaken. This let- 
ter therefore points with considert/ule probability to the first 
centi.u^y B. C. as the period to vdiich our tablets belong. 

C varies Just as we should expect a ".urve to do on this ma- 
terial. The form with two strokes seen in columns III--Z, does 
not occiu' in our tiiblets, and, as it is found on lead onl;r in 
tiie later period, it jaa;^ }ia,ve been developed on pa.pi'T'us . 

D clings closely to the capital in form, 1 1 . Save 

in one or tv/o instances, and tiiose accidental, tlie left-hand 

stroke is i^eriiendicu.lar , v/hile tJie right-hand stroke extends 
in a regular ciirve fron a joint to the left of and above the 
other stroke to c^ point to the right of and helov/ it, thus de- 
scribing a quadrant. The lainus^ule d is formed by converting 
the left-hand stroke into a loop and tl.e right into a straight 
line which gradually a.ssiiaied tlie perpendiciilar . This letter, 
therefore, is a good indicator of jieriod. •, . „ 

.E and F are xmif ormly | j and I I , and are of no value in 
dating, as consultation of the tables will .siiow. 

G in almost uniformly C^^ , its variations being accidental. 
This points to a date at least as early as the Pompeian wax-tab- 

H exiiibits consistently the pure capital form. All of its 
lines are practically straight, and siiov/ none of the minuscule 
tendency seen even as early as the handwritings of columns III 
and IV, This letter :(ia.i' be classed with B and D for purposes 
of dating. " . . 

I varies greatly in height, hvt tliere is no connection be- 
tween this variation and the quantity of the vowel, 

K appears nowhere in the tablets. 

As a rule the lov/er stroke of L rises above the horizontal. 
In late handwriting the tendency was for it. to drop. In col- 
Uiwri I v/e must understand a faint up-stroke or an attempt at an 
up-stroke baulked b^' tiie unyielding surface of tiie v/all, im- 

mediately preceding the visilale dov/n-stroke . The process of 
making this kind of L is seen v/ith great distinctness in inany 
instances in all oiir talalets. ■ ^' ■ " ' . -u. 

M generall;/- a.ppears in the capital form v;ith stich laodi- 
fications as the material would cause. In three tablets a.n oc- 
casional Mil is noted. ■■■'"''■ ' - '- ■■■■■ ■ ' '■' 

]:T shows natiiral variations of the capital only. This 
letter and M are of no service in determining date. 

The two-stroked - () , (^ — which is found in oTxr tab- 
lets, is norjiia.l for all periods. The letter form itiay he at- 
tributed to haste rather than to .'n3,terial. 

The loop of F is never written; the letter is always ( . 
This would point to a period prior to tlie second century A. D. 

Of Q our tablets give only the cursive form, ''~X — 

never the modified capital, C) . Both forms are early, 

as Plate VIII shov/s . 

R is as a rule a hastily written capital, but sometimes 
shades off towards the p\irely cursive form without full;' at- 
taining it, 

S is uniformly my,de with only one stroke. It seems to be 
a little earlier tiian the forms of S in coluinns III I'.nd IV. 

T, V, and X fail to exhibit any notewortiiy peculiarities. 

Y and X do not occiir. 

In none of the five tablets is a ligatm^e employed. This 

is cliari^cteristic of the defixiones and doubtless results from 
the desire to make the v/ords complete. The Sethian tablets 
are an exoerition to the rule (cf. Wttnsch, Seth. pp. 53, 55), 
but even here the ligatures are fev/ and siiaj-.le. 

In nearly every instance the v/ords are clearly divided 
from one another oy points situated a little above the line. 
Although unnecessary, this kind of punctuation is frequentlir 
observed even at the end of a line. On the other liand, the 
tv/o vvords of the oft-repeated phrase do tibi a,re seldom di- 
vided. Wider spacing bet-./een words than between letters of 
the same Vv^ord also helps to distinguish the different words. 
Among the palaeographical peculiarities of the tablets 
ma;' be classed the syllabic division of words at the end of a 
line, as in Plotius 4, 13, and Vesonia 29. Very similar is 
the method of correcting an omission, as in Plotius 11. 

<^ 2 . dumber of ?Iands . 
The handwriting of the several tablets is .almost our 
sole criterion for determining the probable number of hands 
employed in their production. Examination shows ti-iat the same 
iiand wrote Avonia, Vesonia, Plotius and Aquillia, although the 
script is not absolutely uniform. Avonia and Vesonia differ 

very little from one another. They are ca.refiiily and evenly 
written tiirougiiout . Piotxas and Aquillia, on the contrary, 
manifest a great lack of care. The notable variation in size, 
slant, and alignment of t}ie letters indicates a certain aifiount 
of iiaste. The hand, however, is the same (cf , with Avonia and 
Vesonia, e.g., Plotius 25-42, a passage written with more than 
us\;al care; and with Aquillia, tlie most careless part of Plo- 
tius, namely, 10-15). 

The relation of Secunda is loy no means as easy to deter- 
mine. Only a small portion of the tablet has siir-vived. It 
shows fewer free curves and tov-'ar-ds the end degenerates to a 
mere scrawl. Nevertheless, taken as a whole, the hand is ev- 
idently the sa,me as before. It is true that the writing is 
very much larger, but it was quite possible for a man to s,dopt 
a nev« size of iiandv/ritlng in beginning a new tablet or a r.ew 
page^ as is shown by the enlarged hand uniformly maintained for 
seven lines on tli.e reverse of Vesonia. A comparison of this 
with t}ie best writing of Secunda ma.kes it plain that the two 
handv.-ri tings are of equal proj crtions_^ and, moreover, exliibit 
in aliaost every point the same c'liaracteristics . With tliis con- 
clusion compare the remark of Wttnsch: "Lie Hand eines Zau- 

berer ist auch tiberall da im Spiele, wo ein Fund melirere Tafeln 

mit demselben ausffQir lichen magischen Apparat vereingt . . . ." 

(1) Seth. p. 76, note 1. 

There are, on ti.e other }ifc.nd, Bevere.l featvires of the 
foriiuilae which tend to divide the tablets into gro\;ps in a 
striking v/ay and v;hich laB.y }i&,ve some connection with the ques- 
tion now under discussion. In Avonia and Vesonia we find 
_scapulas (or scajulae) in its natural iiosition; Loth prota-oly 
have protinus and neither repeats the expression nl po ssit d_or - 
mire. On the other liand, Plotius, Aquillia and Secunda, show^ 
out of its logical position, omit prot ini;s , and repeat ni pos - 
sit dormlre wit}; the addition of sanus or saria , as the case ujay 

These discrepancies find their most plausible explana- 
tion in the assi52iption that the author first wrote Avonia and 
Vesonia, when he w8.s freslt and unwearied, for they exjiibit the 
best handv/riting and contain fewest errors; that he next wrote 
PlotiTis and Aeiuillia (or in reverse order), omitting pr o t i nus , 
misplacing scapulas, repeating n i po ssit d ormi r e , and at the 
same time allowing the writing to degenerate somev/mt; and th^t" 
last of a,ll he wrote Secunda, where the mistakes of Plotius and 
Aquiilig. are repeated a.nd the increasingly careless writing 
manifests the writer's weariness in a long task and his grow- 
ing impatience a.s he e.pproached the end. 

A 3. Provenience. 

Positive testimony is la.cking to sliow exactly wLere the 
Johns Hopkins tablets were v/ritten, lovt the appeai-ance of the 
noiain a gent ilie., Vesoriia and Avonia , and the peculie.r cast of 
the formulae . all jioint to Rome. 

The gens Vesonia, as vfas pointed oi;t in the coiniiien tarp- 
on Vesonic.. , v/as known over a wide i^egion of the Roma.n \7orld. 
The name is found once in a Spanish inscription (CIL II 1509; 

eleven times in Campania and vicinity (IV 273; 830; 3471; 

(3477; 347B; 3480; 3481; 3482; 4512); 4012; 4678; 5918; X 170; 

901; 3091 his); six times in Ap\ilia and Samniiim (IX 898 ; 
2020; 2021 bis; 2421 bis); once in Worthern Italy (V 961); 
twelve times in Rome (VI 6136; 10407; 20638 ter;^28622; 28623 
bis; 28624; XV 3688); once in Gallia ITarbonensis (JII 5690- 
128). In brief, the najae is foimd by far the most frequently 
in Central Italy. . , ^ 

In the second place a jeculiar cast of the formulae 
links them with formulae the jjrovenience of v/hich is certain, 
Porxaulae written in one locality are, as a riue , very similar 
in most i)articulars ; v/hile there uib^i' be ms.ny individual differ- 
ences in spelling and in the order of the expressions employed , 
yet there still remain the ea.r-m&-rks of the local school of 
magi, Por example; formulae from Cyi^rus have such strong mu- 
tual resemblances that these, in the absence of other evidences, 
(3) Numbers in brackets refer to one individual. 

would "be sufficient to identify a tablet from that island; 

(6) (7) 
and the saine is true of tlie tablets froiii Carth&^ge, Pladri'xietvun, 

and fourth century Rome , The lautual resemblsLnces a.iiiong formu- 
lae iroifl other localities are less iJiarked, but are nevertheie-ss 

(9) (10) 

far from being ima.ginar'";^; e.g., the Cnidian a.nd the Attic 

formulae. In addition to these there is a group of th-ree 

tablets from Latium whose formulae not only resemble one an- 
other, but are very similar to the formulae of our tablets. 
The feati^re cominon to all is the painfully detailed list of 
bodily' iiiejabers of tlie several victims concerned. This is 
found to some extent in other gro\ips, but in none but the 
grou.p from Latiiun does it receive such careful attention. Au- 

dollent assigns all three tablets to the second century of the 

Cliristian era, a period at two centuries letter tiian 

that in v/hich our tablets originated. But the chronology'- of 

t}iese tablets has less bearing in the present connection tiis.n 

the fact that all possess in coimnon a characteristic feature 

which stamps them as a local grox-'p. It seems therefore likely 

(5) Cf. Aud. 22-57. 

(6) Cf. Aud. 234-242. 

(7) Aud. 272-274; 275-284; 2B6-291; 292-294. 

(8) Cf. Aud. 159-187. 

(9) Aud. 1-13. 

(10) Wttnsch DTA 64-73. 

(11) Cf. Aud. p. xlv. 
(11a) Aud. 134, 135, 190. 

(12) Cf. Aud. Indices, p. 556; ■ Schneider, no. 389. 

that our tablets represent an ea.rl'"' type of which the later 

formr.lae a,re degenerate offsjiring. 

Ktill cleo.rer and uiore definite indications are fur- 
nished by the range of the gens Auonia which is known only 
from epigraphical sci;rces. The naiae (including the form 
Aonia) occurs in thirty-six inscriptions fron Rome, in tl"iree 
from Old Lati\ufl,arid in onl;- five from all ether localities to- 
gether. (Cf. Thes. Ling. lat. u.nder Auoniiis and Aonius) . Its 
presence in our tablets points with strong probability to the 
conclusion that they were v.T-itten in Rome. 

The only evidence bearing on the date to which the tab- 
lets should be assigned is that furnisiied by the text itself, 


especially the type of the alphabet, the jsise of the aspirate 

ch, of ei for i, of lucto for the deponent luctor, and finally 

the order of words in the name Maxima. Vesonia . 

^ The alphabet has been so fully discussed in ^ / tliat 

only a summary of its special features needs to be given here. 

The letters may be divided into tiiree grades according to 

their importance in this connection. First, there are those 

letters that have practically no value - C, F,, P, I, M, N, 0, 

Q,, T, V, X; second, those that indicate the time within cer- 

(13) "Dissentire praecipue defixiones fateor quae locis 
aetateque separatae a diuersissimis exaratae sunt hominibus, 
duii contra arta quadam adfinitate ne dican cognations fere co- 
niunguntur quae conscriptae simul fuerunt; diuisos nihilominus 
regione quanouam re et tempore proximos titulos aut contra loco 
uicinos aetate longinquos non miraberis oinnino non consonare." 

tcvin 'broad limits - A, G, L, P, R; B.nd third, those thcit de- 
termine the period within comparatively narrow limits - 
B, D, H, S. . ^ ..... • 

The letters of the second group a.lone v/arrant the asser- 
tion that our tablets are earlier than the v/ax tablets of 
Dacia; but tliose of tiie third group set the limit back fullj- 
a century. In fact tliey probably anteda.te tlie hands represent" 
ed in coliunns III and IV of Plate VIII and at the same time 
ffill betv/een the j-eriods represented by the hands in columns 
I and II. B and H are particule.rly decisive letters. Alpha- 
betical peculiarities, therefore, not only fix the termi nus a d 
quern at 100 A, I),, but point to tiie period betvfeen 75 e.nd 
25 B. C. 

The use of tlie aspirate ch in pulch ra and b racch ia sets 

the term inus a quo not earlier tlian 105, and, in all probabil- 

ity not earlier t};an 75 B. C; for only one example of an as- 
pirated consonant is noted j;rior to the jieriod 105-95. The 

phenomenon flvictuates bet\7een 95 and 55, but after the latter 

date is practically constant. 

The phenomenon of £i for T appears in our tablets in 

sei, seiue, seic, sue is , nei ,^deicere , The first foi;.r words 

appear imiformly thus, but the le,st two appear generally as 

(14) e.l.L. I 541; VI, 331. 

(15) Ritschl, Opus. IV, p. 765; Schneider, p. 131. 

ni and dicer e . The absence of ne is notev^orthy. 

In the depa.rtment of def ixiones , ever;- tablet where thais 
spelling is foimd is assigned to tlie first century, B. C, 
The following v/ords occur: eimferis (Aud, 137, 1); infereis 
(199, 6); nisei (197, 3; sei\;e (196, 3); g ue i (139, 11); seic 
(139, 3; 9); tihei (139, 13). In his note on i.nfere^i£ Audol- 
lent accounts the spelling as one of the reasons for assigning 
the tablet in which it is found to the first century, B. C. 

Beside this v/e place the testimony of the Poinpeian pri- 
vate inscriptions v/hich likewise belong to the vulgar sphere, 

Fere Loimnatzsch has collected the instances tliat manifestly 

belong to the Empire and finds only eighteen, "This," he 
says, "beside the great mass of extant inscriptions is s, van- 
ishingly sma.ll number." His final conclusion (p. 137) em- 
bracing official and private inscriptions together is,tlis-t the 
use of _ei for _i in the inscriptions of the Empire is limited 
to a few quite definite instances, especially the plural end- 
ings of the second declenaionj and, though frecnient at the be- 
ginning of the Empire, it soon declines to the extent of prac- 
tically disappearing, except in a few fossilized words, as 
he i c , sei, seiue, seic, 

So far then as sueis, sei, seiue, se i c and nei are con- 
cerned t};ere is nothing to sijggest a period earlier timn the 

(10) pp. 132-133. 

reign of Augustus, "but de a cere and nei occiu'ring tliree times 

each as against d ie ere six times and ni fourteen times point 

iDack to a period of transition. In accuratelv dated inscrip- 

tions deice re dies out with the Lex Ix'.lia Municii^alis of 45 

3. C, where v;e find only deicet ( 8) and deice re ( ,110) as 
compared witli many occurrences of the later form. In tliis in- 
scription ni is found once {. ^l3b) and niue once ( ,131); nei 
and neiue ten times all told, vmile exc^Biples of ne and neue 
are too numerous to count. These facts, too, point to a peri- 
od of transition fvnd to the decided predominance of ne and di- 

~(20) ~" 
cere over tlie earlier forms. In the Cenotaphia Pisana, of 13 

A. D,, nei and neiue heA'e disappeared and only ne , neue , and 
ni , n iue_ remain, while the Momentum Anc;rramua of the next year 


shows only ne , Douotless had the Pisan^^heen luider Imperial 

direction the forms ni and niiie would not appee^red at al3 ^ 

Now Ritschl ha-s observed that _ni occupied a middle position in 

time between nei and ne . In other words, ne was the form em- 
ployed almcr>t exclusively in the fifth century of the city; 
then nei appeared, foil owed closely by ni. In the seventh cen- 
tury the tliree forms are used side by side; but in the eighth, 
ni forms drop out, nei forms appear but seldom, and ne forms 
become established as the standard. The almost exclvisive use 
of ni_ in Our tablets is, therefore, clear warrant for assign-. 

(19) CIL I, 206, ' (22) Cf. Lommatisch. 

(20) CIL, XI, 1420-1, 

(21) Opus. II, pp. 624 ff. 

ing tliem to a period not ffir reiaoved fro;/i the Lex lulia, Mu- 
nicipalis, sa.y, not later tlian 25 B.C. 

The use of lucto in the active voice jioints v/ith consid- 
erable proba,bility to the first century B.C. The latest ap- 
pearance of lucto uncompo\mded is a in the Be Lingua 

(25) (24) 

Latina of Varro which was v»-ritten before 43 B.C. Only tlie 

compound re l ucto appears after the end of the Republic and 
that only tiiree times e^nd xmder circ^unstances where v/e should 
expect to find archaic diction. The testimony of Priscian 

relaitive to the antiquity of the active lucto is tJrjat it \7a,s 

used only by the very eaxlj" authors. In ovr tablets, there- 
fore, we have one of the latest recorded excuaples of this verb 

v/hich disappears from extant literattire before 40 B.C. 

Momiasen, in a note on CIL I, 1063, makes this reiiiark; 

"Insunt in hoc cum quibusdam notis altioris a-ntiqui tatis ut 

sunt noraen pi'-opriujn muliebre primo loco I'ositum (ilarta Postu- 

mia, Saluia Seruia) et orthographica quaedfuu (liberteis, meeis 

Antiocus)". 0^^r tablets exiiibit the first of these phenomena 

in the name Itojci m a Vesonia , and possibly in Aquillia. It is 

(23) V 10, 61. 

(24) See Scha,nz, ROmische Litteratiirgesciiichte , 3rd. ed., 
VIII, 1, II, p. 441. 

(25) "Pra e tere a p liu'ima i nueniu ntvtr ap ud iietus ti ssimos , 
quae c o n tr a _c o ns ue t u dine m uel acti uam_ pro passiua \xel passiuam 
pro actiua habent terminationem, ut . . . .lucto pro luctoi-*. ..." 
VIII" 5, 25. k. 

(26) Cf. note on Plotius 7 .j and ITeue III 53. 
(26a) See Aquillia 3. 

, rT9sr">rcV 

well known that in the earlier Reptiblic a daughter's name 

was up of her father's gentilici uja and an individual mime 

used as a praenomen; e.g., Secu nde, V aler ia., L fe .xsvaaa Sadria, 

Prima Poi npeia . This praen omen was not ahlDreviated like the 

masculine prae nomen , but was written in full. Its use was, 

however, optionctl and resembled in tliat respect the masculine 

cognomen . In the later Republic it beccune customary to drop 

the praenom en a,l together and employ simply the gentile name, 

e.g., .Antoni a, Caesonia, Cal purnia, Cornelia, lulia. About 

the end of the Republic tlie cijstom changed again e.nd the indi- 


vidual names \/ere once inore used, not as praenoml^, hov/ever, 

but as cognomina; e.g. Vitellia Rufilla, Caecilia iletella. 

~~ ~~ " 728") "" 

This became the establis}ied custom for the Empire, How the 

name Ifax ima Vesonia belongs to the older type while Auonis. 
conforms either to the optional method of aropping the prae - 
nomen in the earlier period or to iim customary usage of a 
somewhat later period. The mixed doubtless indicates a 
period of transition, which must be placed several years es.r- 
lier tiian 25 B.C. and probo/ol;'- even earlier tiian the year 40. 
At all events our tablets are earlier than Aud . 130 ( CIL I 
818) which is dated 50 - 10 B.C.; there we read Sergia Gly- 

(27) Of', Lto-rquardt-Maaiasee, p. 17, which we have substan- 
tially translated. 

(28) See also llau in Pauly-Wissowa under cognomen, IV, 

p. 229. 

cXt^e Bdi ni 

In short, all the lines of evidence point clee-rl;'- to the 
first centxrry B.C. as tlie period in v/hich the Johns Hopkins 
ta'blets were v/ritten. The character of the alphabet employed 
and the use of ei for i sliovv tiiat tl-iey are not later than 25 
B.C., and the appearance of the aspirate ch indicates a time 
not :auch ea.rlier than 75 B.C. The axtive lucto coiud scarce- 
ly have appeared " orjfoFQ 40 B.C., nor is it likely that the 
naiaes LTaxiLoa Ve s onia and Avonia coxild have oeen used together 

hat date. We are therefore Justified in concluding 
that the ta'blets were written in the month of Pehruary (as the 
formulae state) during a year of the period betv/een 75 and 
40 B.C., the actual date probably being nearer to 40 tlian 
to 75. 


William Sherwood Fox was born in Throopsville , N. Y., June 
17, 1378. His elejientary and High School educittion was re- 
ceived in Erie and Pittsburg, Pa,, and Toronto, Canada, In 
1396 he entered McMaster Universitv of the last named citj'-, 
where for four years he pursued the special coivrsea in the 
classical languages. He there obtained the degree of Bachelor 
of Arts in 1900 and five years later tha.t of Ms-ster of Arts 
(extra-mural). In the autiunn of 1900 he was appointed Profes- 
sor of Latin and Greek in Brandon College, Brandon, 3/Ianitoba, 
which position he held until 1909. During this period he was 
granted two years' leave of absence for tiie pxxrpose of further 
study. The first year, 1902-03, was spent in the University 
of Geneva, Switzerlaiid, and Athens, Greece; and the follov/ing 
year in Johns Hopkins University, At the termination of his 
residence in Brandon in 1909 he resuraed his studies in Johns 
Hopkins, selecting as his subjects Classical Arcliaeology, 
Greek and Latin, For the year 1909-10 he was Fellow by Coiuf- 
tosy, and for 1910-11 University Fellow in the department of 
Classical Arclxaeology . 

Ackn0'»7led£^ients are due to Professor H, L. Wilson at whose 
suggestion the j^resent subject was undertaken, ana to Professors 
B.L .Gildersleeve, K.F, Smith, D.M.Robinson, C .W.E .Miller , W.P. 
Mustard for their invaluable advice and assistance. Their un- 
failing courtesy and joan;'' kind attentions will alv/a;^s be most 
gratefully rej.iembered . 



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