Roman Military Diploma

Culture: Roman
Period: 26th October 153 A.D.
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: 13 cm x 10.4 cm
Price: Sold
Ref: 3405
Provenance: Collection Adolfo de Velasco, acquired in the 1950s. Thence English private collection Ronald Bussey. Accompanied by a letter from P. John Casey, lecturer at the Durham University 1999 and 2000, mentioning the diploma.
Condition: A corrosion hole in the lower center, one corner is missing, otherwise very well preserved and legible.
Description: Almost completely preserved Roman military diploma which was issued under Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161 A.D.). The owner was a foot soldier or horseman with the Thracian name Disa from Moesia, who last served for the governor from Mauretania Tingitana Flavius Flavianus and who received Roman citizenship through this document after a total of 25 years of service. Military diplomas are official documents. In addition to his citizenship, he received the conubium, the right to enter into a legally recognized marriage. Such diplomas consist of two boards connected to one another (this explains the holes in the board), each with the same text on the outside and inside. The diploma was sealed, should there be any doubt about the authenticity of the inscription on the outside, it could be opened and the inscriptions could be compared. The present diploma is dated 26 October 153. The text also shows who was honorably discharged from the army. The first letter of the name is missing; the soldier probably had the Thracian name Disa. Completely preserved is his origo (origin): He was Moesian. The diploma is one of a series of military diplomas that were all issued on the same day and of which 11 are known so far for various soldiers, some of whom – like the soldier from the present diploma – come from the lower Danube region. Best preserved is the one kept in the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum and published in RGZM 37,1 No. 34. Accompanied by a complete transcription, translation and comments by the Viennese epigraphist Katharina Michner MA.