P on Roman Voting Tablets




It is a remarkable coincidence that all of these types, RRC 292, RRC 335, and RRC 384, all made by different moneyers from different families each represent a voting ballot* with the letter P. I find it hard to accept that in each case the P stands for a tribe.  Why would they all select the same tribe or initial if it is indeed generic?  Compare the voting tablets market V for V[ti Rogas], RRC 413 and also as a controlmark for Piso Frugi (obv. 33, Crawford 1974: table XLII), or the A[bsolvo ] C[ondemno] of RRC 428.  I think the P needs a bit more investigation.

* – On the Nerva coin the P on the tablet is more commonly understood as a placard identifying the unit presently voting at the polling station.

A better example of the Papius control mark in question:


I’ve been using Tom Elliott’s list of latin epigraphic abbreviations to think through this P.

Maybe… Praesens or something similar?!

OR just PRO as in for or on behalf of as in the titles of speeches!  That, I might just believe…


P(accio), p(ace), p(aeses), p(agani), p(agi), p(agina), P(alaestinae), P(alatina), p(alma), p(almarum), P(almyrenorum), P(annonia), P(annoniae), P(annonicae), P(annoniorum), P(aphlagonum), P(apiria), p(arentes), p(arenti), p(arentibus), P(aria), p(arte), P(arthica), P(arthicae), p(artis), p(assum), p(assus), p(assuum), p(ater), p(ater), p(aterna), P(aternae), P(aternam), p(aternis), p(atinam), p(atre), p(atre, p(atres), p(atri), p(atriae), p(atriae, p(atribus), P(atriciae), p(atrimoni), p(atrimonii), p(atrio), p(atris), p(atroni), p(atrono), p(atronus), p(atrum), p(ax), p(ecunia), p(ecunia, p(ecuniae), p(ecuniam), P(edes), p(edes, p(edibus), P(edites), p(editum), p(edum), p(er), p(eregrinorum), p(erfectissimi), p(erfectissimo), p(erfectissimum), p(erfectissimus), p(erfetissimum), p(ericulo), p(eriit), p(erpetua), p(erpetui), p(erpetuis), p(erpetuo), p(erpetuus), P(ertinaci), p(ertinebit), p(ertinet), p(es), P(estiensia), P(etronius), P(huensium), P(i), P(ia, P(ia), p(iaculum), p(iae), p(iae, p(iam), p(ie), p(ientissima), p(ientissimae), p(ientissimi), p(ientissimis), p(ientissimo), p(ientissimus), p(ietate), p(ietatem), p(ietatis), P(ii), P(iis), p(iissima), p(iissimae), p(iissimis), p(iissimo), p(ili), p(ilo), p(ilus), P(io), P(io, p(iperis), p(istorum), p(ituitae), P(ium), p(ius), p(lacerent), p(laceret), p(lano), p(lebis), p(lus), p(lus, P(oetovionensium), P(olybium), P(ompei), P(ompeia), P(ompeio), P(ompeius), p(ondera), p(onderata), p(onderatum), p(ondere), p(ondo), p(ondos), p(ondus), p(onendam), p(onendum), p(oni), p(ontes), p(onti(fex), P(onti), p(ontifex), p(ontifice), p(ontificem), p(ontifices), p(ontifici), p(ontificis), p(ontis), P(ontius), P(opidium), p(opuli), p(opuli, p(opulique), p(opulo), p(opulum), p(opulus), P(orolissensis), P(orolissensium), p(ortori), p(ortorii), p(ortus), p(ortuum), p(osita), p(ositi), p(ositum), p(ositus), p(ossederunt), p(ossessionem), p(ossint), p(ossit), p(ost), p(osterique), p(osterisque), p(ostulante), p(osuerunt), p(osui), p(osuit), p(osuit), p(osuuerunt), p(ot(estate), P(otaissa), P(otaissensis), p(otestate), p(otestate), p(otestatis), p(raecepto), P(raedia), p(raediis), p(raedio), p(raedis), p(raeerit), p(raeerunt), p(raeest), p(raefecti), p(raefecto), p(raefectorum), p(raefecturam), p(raefectus), p(raeposito), p(raepositus), p(raeses), p(raeside), p(raesidi), p(raesidis), p(raestare), p(raesunt), p(raeteriens), p(raetor), p(raetore), p(raetoria), p(raetoriae), p(raetorio), p(raetura), P(rastina), p(ria), p(ridie), P(rima), p(rimae), p(rimi), p(rimigenia), P(rimigeniae), p(rimigeniae, p(rimno), p(rimo), p(rimus), p(rinceps), p(rincipe), p(rincipi), p(rincipibus), p(rincipis), p(riores), P(risci), p(rivata), p(rivatae), p(ro), p(robaverunt), p(robavit), p(robe), p(roconsul), p(roconsuli), p(rocurandis), p(rocurator), p(rocuratori), p(rocuratoris), p(romiserunt), p(romotionem), p(ronepos), p(ropio), p(ropria), p(roprio), P(ropter), p(rosedente), p(rovincia), p(rovinciae), p(rovinciarum), p(roximae), p(roximi), P(soricum), P(ubli), P(ublia), P(ublias), p(ublica), p(ublicae), p(ublicam), P(ublicani), p(ublicarum), p(ublice), p(ublici), p(ublicis), p(ublico), p(ublicorum), p(ublicos), p(ublicum), p(ublicus), P(ublii), P(ublio), P(ublio), P(ublio, P(ublium), P(ublius), P(ublius, p(uella), p(uellae), p(uellam), p(uer), p(ueri), p(uero), p(ugnabunt), P(ulli), p(urus), P(usinnus), P(ylis)

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