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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Archive : Roman Bronze Military Diploma
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Roman Bronze Military Diploma - CK.0120
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 133 AD
Dimensions: 5.75" (14.6cm) high x 4.875" (12.4cm) wide
Collection: Classical
Medium: Bronze


Additional Information: SOLD (HERT)

Location: United States
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Description
A standard Roman military diploma consists of two bronze plaques bound together on both sides and sealed with wax by seven witnesses. The front cover contained a copy of the complete text also repeated on the two interior leafs. The back cover contained the names of seven witnesses who sealed the diploma. These diplomas are actually copies of original bronze documents that were kept in an archive in Rome. The copies were distributed to a serviceman upon his retirement as proof of his honorable service and newly acquired citizenship (at the end of a minimum twenty-five year military service, citizenship was awarded to the soldier and wife and children). The text was repeated twice, on the outside and on the inside, to prevent fraud since the sealed interior text could not be tampered with. If a former soldier enjoying retirement on the Dalmatian coast was suspected of forging the cover of his diploma, local government officials could break the seals and verify that the interior text corresponded to the front cover without having to wait for confirmation from the archives in distant Rome. Today, Roman military diplomas are beloved by scholars because they contain of wealth of information that can be precisely dated. Through such records, it is possible to track the deployment of troops throughout the empire and to chart the rise in rank of specific individuals. Likewise, in the life of a specific soldier, we can determine where he was born, raised, what wars he fought in, and where he retired to.

IMP CAES DIVI HADRIANI DIVI TRAIANI PAR- THIC NEP DIVI NERVAE PRONEP T AELIVS HA- DRIANVS ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PONT MAX TRIB POT XVI IMP II COS IIII PP EQVITIB ET PEDITIB QVI MILIT IN ALIS V COH XI QUAE APPELL I AVG GALLOR ET GEMELLIAN C R ET I TAVRIAN VICTRIX C R ET III ASTVRPE C R ET I HAMIOR SYROR SAG ET I ITVRAEOR C R ET V DELMATAR ET II HISPANOR C R ET I ASTVR ET GALLAE- COR C R ET II SYROR SAG(IT?) ET III ASTVR C R ET II HIS- PANOR C R ET [I] LEMAVOR C R ET III GALLOR FELIX ET IV GALLOR CR ET IV TVNGROR VEXIL ET SVNT IN MAVRETAN TINGITAN SVB FLAVIO FLAVIANO PROC QVINIS ET VICEN ITEM CLASSIC SENI ET VICEN PLVRIBVSVE STIPEND EMERIT DIMISSIS HONEST MISSION QVOR NOMIN SVBSCRIP- TA SVNT CIVITAT ROMAN QVI EORVM NON HABE- RENT DEDIT ET CONVB CVM UXORIB QVAS TVNC HABVISS CVM EST CIVITAS IS DATA AVT CVM IS QVAS POSTEA DVXISSENT DVMTAXAT SINGV- LI SINGVLAS A D VII K NOV C CATTIO MARCELLO Q PETIL DID GALLO COS ALAE I AVG GALLOR C R CVI PRAEST COSTORIVS TRANQVILLIANVS ROMA EX GREGALE P VERIBVRI DABONIS F DACO DESCRIPT ET RECOGNIT EX TABVL AEREA QVAE FIXA EST ROMAE IN MVRO POST TEMPL DIVI AVG AD MINERVAM TRANSLATION

The emperor Caesar T. Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, son of the deified Hadrian, grandson of the deified Trajan Parthicus, great grandson of the deified Nerva, pontifex maximus, in the sixteenth year of his tribunician power, twice imperator, four times consul, father of his country, gives to the cavalrymen and infantrymen who have served in the five alae and eleven cohorts which are named (1) Augusta Gallorum civium Romanorum and (2) Gemelliana civium Romanorum and (3) I Tauriana victrix civium Romanorum and (4) III Asturpe... civium Romanorum and (5) I Hamiorum Syrorum sagittaria and (6) I Ituraeorum civium Romanorum and (7) V Delmatarum and (8) II Hispanorum civium Romanorum and (9) I Asturum and Callaecorum civium Romanorum and (10) II Syrorum Sagittariorum and (11) III Asturum civium Romanorum and (12) II Hispanorum civium Romanorum and (13) I Lemavorum civium Romanorum and (14) III Gallorum felix and (15) IV Gallorum civium Romanorum and (16) IV Tungrorum Vexillatio and are in Mauretania Tingitana under governor Flavius Flavianus, who served twenty-five years, likewise members of the fleet who served twenty-six years or more, and have been honorably discharged, whose names are written below: to them who do not possess it, Roman citizenship is given and conubium with the wives they then had when citizenship was given to them or with those they later marry but only a single one each.

On the 26th of October, when C. Cattius Marcellus, Q Petillius and Didius Gallus were (suffect) consuls.

On behalf of the alis I Augusta Gallorum civium Romanorum under Costorius Tranquillianus Roma.

To the ex cavalryman P. Veriburis, son of Dabonis of Dacia.

Copied and checked from the bronze tablet which is fixed in Rome upon the wall behind the temple of Augustus near the shrine (?) of Minerva.

Witnessed by M. Servilius Geta, L. Pullius Chresimus, M. Sentilius Iasus, Ti. Julius Felix, C. Julius Silvanus, L. Pullius Velox, P. Ocilius Priscus. - (CK.0120)

 

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