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Home Gallery One of the earliest known examples of writing in Latin by a woman (1st century AD), (British Museum, Romano-British Department)

One of the earliest known examples of writing in Latin by a woman (1st century AD), (British Museum, Romano-British Department)

In a letter written in ink on wooden tablet, Sulpicia Lepidina, the wife of Flavius Cerialis, prefect of the Ninth Cohort of Batavians, stationed just south of Hadrian’s Wall, is invited to a birthday party by Claudia Severa, wife of Aelius Brocchus, commander of a nearby fort. The letter is part of the Vindolanda tablets – the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain.

The stamp shown depicts a bronze head statue of Emperor Hadrian which was found in the River Thames in 1834. The stamp is from Royal Mail's 1993 'Roman Britain' issue.