The Vindolanda writing -tablets: edition with commentary and electronic database

The principal aim of the project was to offer a complete electronic publication of the Latin writing-tablets from Vindolanda published by A.K.Bowman and J.D.Thomas in Tabulae Vindolandenses I-II (1983 and 1994), supplemented by the addenda and corrigenda from volume III (2003). The publication includes all text and commentaries, together with a full photographic record and accompanying historical and archaeological essays. These are an essential part of the objective of the project to make this very important material widely accessible in its archaeological and historical context - the early phases of the development of the Roman frontier in northern Britain. Digital images of the tablets are made available through a zoomable image viewer up to the full resolution of the photographs used in editing and revising the texts. Preparatory work, involving creation of xml texts, the addition of metadata records to the database, and editing of image files, to add the texts published in volume III has now been undertaken during the period September-December 2004 and we anticipate the publication of this material online by the end of 2005.

Principal investigator
Professor Alan Bowman
Principal project staff
Dr Charles Crowther; Professor Alan Keir Bowman
Start date
Monday, October 1, 2001
Completion date
Saturday, March 1, 2003
Source material
The texts and commentaries are derived from A.K.Bowman, J.D.Thomas, The Vindolanda Writing-Tablets, I-III (1983, 1994 and 2003). The images were captured directly by Dr. R.J.H.Pearce from the original tablets which are part of the collection of the British Museum. The contextual material includes photographs and images reproduced (with permission) from a number of published sources, archaeological sites and museum collections.

Bowman, A. K. Roman Writing Tablets from Vindolanda. London: British Museum Publications, 1981.

Bowman, A. K. Life and Letters on the Roman Frontier: Vindolanda and its People. London: British Museum Press, 1994; second edition, 1998, revised edition 2003.

Bowman, A. K. ‘The Vindolanda Writing-tablets and their Significance: an Interim Report,’ Historia 24 (1975): 463-78.

Bowman, A. K. ‘Roman Military Records from Vindolanda,’ Britannia 5 (1974): 360-73.

Bowman, A. K. ‘The Vindolanda Writing-tablets and the Development of the Roman Book-form,’ ZPE 18 (1975): 237-52.

Bowman, A. K. ‘The Roman imperial army; letters and literacy on the northern frontier’, in Bowman, A.K. and Woolf, G.D. eds, Literacy and Power in the Ancient World, Cambridge: Cambridge UP 1994: 109-25

Bowman, A. K., and J. D. Thomas. Vindolanda: the Latin Writing-Tablets. London: Britannia Monograph no.4, Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, 1983.

Bowman, A. K., and J. D. Thomas. The Vindolanda Writing-tablets (Tabulae Vindolandenses II). London: British Museum Press, 1994.

Bowman, A. K., and J. D. Thomas. The Vindolanda Writing-tablets (Tabulae Vindolandenses III). London: British Museum Press, 2003.

Bowman, A. K., and J. D. Thomas. ‘Appendix to Roman Britain in 1973: the Vindolanda Writing-tablets,’ Britannia 5 (1974): 471-80.

Bowman, A. K., and J. D. Thomas. ‘Vindolanda 1985: the New Writing-tablets,’ JRS 76 (1986): 120-3.

Bowman, A. K., and J. D. Thomas. ‘New Texts from Vindolanda,’ Britannia 17 (1987): 125-42.

Bowman, A. K., and J. D. Thomas. ‘Two Letters from Vindolanda,’ Britannia 20 (1990): 33-52.

Bowman, A. K., and J. D. Thomas. ‘A military strength report from Vindolanda,’ JRS 81 (1991): 62-73.

Bowman, A. K., and J. D. Thomas. ‘New writing-tablets from Vindolanda,’ Britannia 27 (1996): 299-328.

Bowman, A.K., Brady, J.M., Tomlin, R.S.O, ‘Imaging incised documents,’ in Bowman, A.K. Deegan, M. (eds), The use of computers in the study of ancient documents (special issue of Literary and Linguistic Computing Vol.XII, no.3, September, 1997)

Bowman, A.K., Tomlin, R.S.O., ‘Imaging Roman Stilus Tablets,’ in Bowman, A.K., Brady, J.M. eds, Artefacts and Images of the Ancient World . London: OUP/The British Academy, 2005.