Archaeologists have found during the excavation of the ancient city of Perret a bronze military diploma from the Roman period, which was issued in 123 AD, that is, during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. The text of the diploma contains information about its owner – it turned out to be Calcilius Antik, who served 20 years in Syria. This is reported by the Daily Sabah.
During the era of the Roman Empire, there was a developed reward system intended for professional military personnel. It included different types of awards that were awarded to members of the military elite, centurions, soldiers from among the Roman citizens, as well as soldiers who did not have citizenship. The latter were usually volunteers or slaves, who usually served in the navy or in auxiliary troops. For them, one of the important rewards was military diplomas.
Roman military diplomas are a document confirming honorary retirement and a number of privileges for veterans. So, retired soldiers received Roman citizenship, their entire family was exempt from the poll tax. In addition, the diploma recognized the veteran’s wives and children as legal, or allowed him to enter into a legal marriage. The earliest military diplomas date back to the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD). Outwardly, these artifacts are two small rectangular plates made of bronze, tied together with a wire or cord, which contained an inscription duplicating the text of the imperial decree.
Archaeologists reported on the results of excavations in the ancient city of Perret, located in southeastern Turkey near Adiyaman, which have been going on intermittently since 2001. Over the past year, they have found the remains of a fountain and water supply from the Roman period, the ruins of various buildings, as well as a bronze military diploma.
This artifact is a bronze plate on which the text was written in Latin. It says that the military diploma was awarded in 123 AD, that is, during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. Professor Mustafa Hamdi Sayar of Istanbul University said that the diploma was given to Calcilius Anticus, who served in the army in Syria for 20 years. For this he received Roman citizenship, as well as the right to marry.
The researchers emphasized that in total about one hundred thousand of such diplomas were issued in Rome. However, at present, about 800 such artifacts have survived in various forms, about 650 of which have been studied by scientists.
Photo: Bronze military diploma from the time of the Roman emperor Vespasian, 1st century AD / Wikimedia Commons