Ancients: Hadrian (AD 117-138). Bronze Military Diploma for Itaxae Stamillae, Dated 20 August AD 127....
Important Diploma Naming Governor of BritanniaHadrian (AD 117-138). Bronze Military Diploma for Itaxae Stamillae, Dated 20 August AD 127. A partial bronze tablet approx 11 X 12.3 cm, in thickness about 0.8mm, representing about 70 percent of the complete diploma, with two binding holes at center and a third hole at lower right corner of the obverse. The ancient document is carefully inscribed on the outer face (obverse) with neat letters about 3.5mm in height, and rather more coarse lettering (repeating the obverse inscription) on the reverse (inner face) at a 90 degree angle to the obverse, allowing virtually all of the diploma's original inscription to be recovered although about 30 percent of the plate is missing. Natural pale green patina overall, with some light earth in letters.
Published: in 1997, by M Roxan, in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 116, RMD number 241, (20 August 127).
Roman soldiers serving in the non-citizen auxiliaries, termed Auxilia, played an important role in the defense of the Roman Empire. Raised in the provinces and grouped into cavalry Alae and infantry Cohorts, the made up a considerable part of the available manpower to defend the frontiers. Upon completing his 25 years in the auxiliaries, a soldier received Roman citizenship in an imperial legal act published on a bronze plate in Rome, of which a copy was issued to him in the form of a notarized bronze diploma granting him and his descendants Roman citizenship and legalizing his marriage with his wife.
The example offered here is a highly important military diploma, issued to a soldier serving in Britannia (the modern United Kingdom) at the peak of Roman power under the Emperor Hadrian. Although about 30 percent of the plate is missing, the Roman practice of inscribing the same formula on each side of the plate in a different orientation allows virtually all of the original text to be recovered. The diploma names the foot soldier Itaxae Stamillae, a Dacian serving in Cohort II Lingonum, as the recipient. Of high importance, the diploma names the Roman governor of Britannia in AD 127 as Trebius Germanus, who is otherwise known to history only on a semi-legible inscription found at Bewcastle.
This transcription uses text from both sides to fill in gaps caused by the missing section; text in square brackets is missing but interpolated:
[IMP CAESAR DI]VI TRAIANI PARTHICI F. DIVI NERVAE [NEPOS TRAIAN]VS HADRIANVS AVG PONT MAX TRIB [POTEST] XI COS III [EQVITIB ET PEDITIB QVI] MIL IN AL VIII ET COH XXVII QV APP AVG [GALL PROC ET A]VG VOC C R ET I PAN SAB ET GALL SEB ET [this cavalry unit missing] [ET II] AST ET GALL PETR ET I HIS AST ET [this infantry unit missing] ET I NER GERM ET I CELT ET I THR ET I HIS ET [this infantry unit missing] ET I SVNV ET I HAM SAG ET I AQ ET I [this and following infantry units missing] [ET I TUNG]R ET I AEL DAC ET II GALL ET II PANN ET II AST ET [I]I DEL ET [II] NER ET II LIN ET III BRECAVG ET IIII GALL ET IIII LIN ET IIII BRE ET V GALL ET VI NERV ET VI NER ET VII THR ET SVNT IN BRITT SVB TREBIO GERMANO QVIN ET VIC PLVR STIP EMER DIMISS HON MISS QVORVM [NOMINA SVB]SCRIPT SVNT IPSIS LIBER POSTERIS [QVE EORVM] CIVITAT DIDIT ET SONVB CVM VXORIB QVAS TVNC HAB CVM EST CIVIT IIS DATA AVT SIQVI CAELIB ESSENT CVM IIS QVAS POSTEA SVXISS DVM TAX SINGVLI SINGVLAS AD XIII K SEPT Q TINEIO RVFO M LICINIO CELERE NEPOTE COS COH II LINGON CVI PREAST C HEDIVS VERVS PITINO MERG EX PEDITE ITAXAE STAMILLAE F DACO DESCRIPT ET RECOGNIT EX TABVLA AENEA QVAE FIXA EST ROMAE IN MVRO POST TEMPL DIVI AVG AD MINERVAM
Translation: The Emperor Caesar Trajan Hadrianus, son of the deified Trajan Parthicus, grandson of the deified Nerva, in the 11th year of his Tribunican Power, thrice Consul, gives to the cavalrymen and infantrymen who have served in the eight alae and 27 cohorts which are called [cavalry units] (1) I Augusta Gallic Proculaeiana, (2) I Augusta Vocontiorum (Roman citizens), (3) I Pannonian Sabiniana, (4) I Gallorum Sebosiana, (5) [unit missing], (6) II Asturum, (7) I Gallorum Petriana (Roman citizens), (8) I Hispanorum Asturum, [infantry units] (1) [unit missing], (2) I Nervia Germanorum, (3) I Celtiberorum, (4) I Thracum, (5) I Hispanorum, (6) I [unit missing], (7) I Sunucorum, (8) I Hamiorum Sagittaria, (9) I Aquitanorum, (10) I [unit missing], 11 [unit missing], (12) I Tungrorum, (13) I Aelia Dacorum, (14) II Gallorum, (15) II Pannoniorum, (16) II Asturum, (17) II Delmatarum, (18) II Nerviorum, (19) II Lingonum, (20) III Lingonum, (21) III Brecaugustanorum, (22) IIII Gallorum, (23) IIII Longonum, (24) IIII Breucorum, (25) V Gallorum (26) VI Nerviorum, and (27) VII Thracum who are in Brittania under (governor) Trebius Germanus, who have served 25 years, likewise members of the fleet who have served 26 years, and have been honorably discharged, whose names are written below: to them that do not possess it, Roman citizenship is given and conubium (legal marriage) 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 13th day before the Kalends of September (August 20) in the consulships of Q. Tineius Rufus and M. Licinius Celer Nepos. On behalf of Cohort II Lingonum under C. Hedius Verus Pitino Mergente, to the Infatryman Itaxae Stamillae, son of Daco. Copied and checked from the bronze tablet which is fixed in Rome upon the wall behind the Temple of Augustus near the [statue] of Minerva.
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