A merchant malcontent, Octavius,
at Vindolanda on the Wall
complained that he’d been diddled
by non-payment for hides
and five thousand modii of grain.
He wrote on wooden tablets
to claim his just deserts
from Candidus, his brother.
Near two thousand years later,
I hope the chap was paid.
image from the Vindolanda Charitable Trust, Northumberland
It is extraordinary to learn from the hundreds of written tablets found at Vindolanda on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland which tell us of life on the edge of Roman Britain, and that their concerns were remarkably similar to our 21st century ones. I’m studying a course on Hadrian’s Wall, my 4th in the excellent free FutureLearn series from various UK universities.