R(omanorum)J and variations such as exer[(citator) equit(um) speculatorumJ, or exer[(citator) equitum pr(aetorianorumJ] and [ce1lturioJ ex e(quite) R(omano), but admits that these are only specUlative and leave unsolved the problem of the ending of line 3 - JNIAE. Although there is a punctum between EX and ER. there is no indication of any separation between the E and R. Apart from three Neronian diplomas (CIL XVI 4. 5 and 6), abbreviations are uncommon in the main body of diploma texts prior to AD 114 (CIL XVI 61). In any case it would be unusual to fmd a rank or status abbreviated so markedly in any period. Rank or status of a recipient has so far appeared only in auxiliary or fleet diplomas, but the earliest diploma known to us, which gives the rank of a veteran recipient in the form EX ..... is a fleet diploma of AD 79 (CIL XVI 24); earlier. veteran status had been indicated simply by the verb mi/itaverunt (Mann (1972). If it is assumed that the letters ER are part of a word that is completed on line 3 (cf. lines 5 and 6 for a probable parallel AEI[neaJ) a possible completion is EX ERI[godataJ. This unusual term is found in a 2nd - 3rd C. inscription from Misenum (AlA II, II, 1898, 393 no. 51 = ILS 9219): D.M. I P. AEUO THEAGENE VEITERANO EX CL. [pJR. MISEN. I MILlTAVlT ERGODATA. I VlXIf ANNIS LVIll M. XI AVREUA SYN/'YCHE CONIUGl BM.F. Ergodata from the Greek £PYO-&>Tl1s. describes a man who probably let out work to a contractor (Oxford Lati1l Dictionary). Starr, (1960) 62. note 4. suggests that he worked in the shipyards of the Misene Reet, like the caementarius of CIL X 3414 = ILS 2871 (Naples). Nevertheless. the tombstones of both men show that they were bona fide veterans of the Misene fleet and, as such. entitled to diplomas. The presumed date of this diploma fragment and the veteran status of the recipient. together with this. the least strained restoration of the preserved text. makes this more likely to be a fleet diploma (if it does not have a civilian context, note 2 supra).