My husband read through some of my recent posts this weekend and he noted that the last 4 all dealt with female things such as jewelry and make-up. I assured him that the post today would be interesting to both sexes!
In my second novel, Eleri’s Tale, my character Eleri is learning to read and write Latin. She writes her translations out on wax tablets.
These were thin sheets of wood with a poured layer of wax. A stylus would be used to engrave your letters in the soft surface of the wax. The wax could be easily softened over a small flame when you needed a new page.
Above is a fresco from the tomb of a Roman lady. She is shown holding the aforementioned wax tablet and stylus.
Wax tablets have been around for thousands of years. Pictured below is a reproduction kit made for the reenactors of Roman and Celtic history like the organization called PENNSIC.
The wax tablet below is similar to the Vindolanda wax tablets found in the 1980’s in the Roman fort of Vindolanda on Hadrian’s Wall in northern England. Most date from around 100 AD and they cover a wealth of information about life in the fort, from shopping lists and requests for warm socks to a birthday party invitation, sent from a lady in another fort to a lady at the Vindolanda fort.