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Roman diplomas showing military career in Roman fleet have been discovered

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Artwork that stand next to the Roman diploma at the Durham Museum of Archaeology
Artwork that stand next to the Roman diploma at the Durham Museum of Archaeology | Photo: Handout

In northern England, in 2017, in the Roman fort of Lanchester, a Roman military diploma was found, presenting a military career in the war fleet of a Roman. The lucky finder of the object was Mark Houston.

As it turns out, this is the first such well-preserved find in the region. Diploma presents the service in the Classis Germanica unit – the Roman fleet in Germania – a certain Tigernos.

Diploma was a Roman document confirming the discharge of a soldier from the army and granting him Roman citizenship in exchange for good service (usually 25 years). The diploma, written on two bronze tablets, was a notarized copy of the original imperial edict. The soldier used it to confirm his rights in the place of settlement.

Found diploma tells the story of a young man who spent most of his life on Roman ships in Germania. His name Tigernos means “king” or “lord”; and his father Magiotigernus mentioned in the document can be translated as “great lord”. The document was issued in about 150 CE, during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius. Originally, the diploma consisted of two plates made of bronze and connected with metal wires. The document has survived to our times in eight parts that have been preserved.

  • Incredible fleet diploma detailing naval career of its holder is unearthed near Roman fort, "Chronicle Live", 11.07.2017

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