| 4. the editor's has a form
entirely different from that of the same letter in lines 1 and 2,
whereas it looks exactly like the that follows on
in line 1. The of is written with an angularity which is in sharp
contrast to the full curves of in line 3.
These observations are intended to justify the publication of a new text of the ostracon. For the sake of clarity I have introduced punctuation, and further critical remarks may be found in the footnotes.
With this revision the text becomes an account of wine or beer, probably consumed at a dinner or banquet, perhaps by the members of a social club, religious society, or trade guild.19 "Meetings for drinking purposes on fixed dates played a conspicuous part in the activities of societies of this type."20 Since a limit was set to the consumption of intoxicating drink21 and a fine imposed on drunkenness,22 accurate records would be very much in point. We must not insist, however, on this background for the ostracon; it is at best conjectural and only one out of many possible situations that might lead to a notation of this kind.
This ostracon bears a brief text of two lines written in the early
first century A.D. 23(Pl. IX, 3). As
published in 0. Mich., 1, it is too fragmentary to be significant, and
the editor has placed it in a group labeled "Uncertain." Nevertheless,
the text is worth repeating here since it provides a number of
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