ROMAN MILITARY DIPLOMA

MS 2052
MS Short Title ROMAN MILITARY DIPLOMA
Text AUXILIARY DIPLOMA GIVEN BY EMPEROR MARCUS AURELIUS TO THIA TIMARCHUS F. DACO, AFTER 26 YEARS OF SERVICE WITH THE COHORT II GALLORUM VETERANA IN BRITAIN, STATIONED AT THE ROMAN FORT IN OLD PENRITH IN CUMBRIA, UNDER THE PREFECT T. DOMITIUS HERON OF NICOMEDIA AND THE GOVERNOR OF BRITAIN, ULPIUS MARCELLUS, UNDER THE CONSULS SERVIUS SCIPIONE ORFITUS, AND D. VELIUS RUFUS. COPIED AND CHECKED FROM THE BRONZE TABLET SET UP IN ROMA ON THE WALL BEHIND THE TEMPLE OF AUGUSTUS, NEAR THE STATUE OF MINERVA. WITNESSES: C. BELLUS URBANUS, L. SENTUS CHRYSOGONUS, TI. JULIUS CRESCENTIS, L. PULLUS MARCIONIS, S. VIBUS ROMANUS, C. PUBLICUS LUPERCUS, M. JUNUS PIUS
Description MS in Latin on bronze, Roma, 23 March 178, 2 tabellas (complete), 14,2x11,2 cm, single column, 31+7+22+9 lines in Latin capitals, 2 holes through each tablet for the original wire that still binds the two tablets together, originally secured with the seals of the 7 witnesses.
Binding Barking, Essex, 1995, blue cloth gilt folding case, by Aquarius.
Context There are 3 praetorian diplomas (MSS 1801,1870, 2051/7) in The Schøyen Collection, further 11 auxiliary diplomas (MSS 18361899, 2051/1-6, 2051/8, 2052, 2086), and 3 fleet diplomas (MSS 69819212032).
Provenance 1. Thia Timarchus f. Daco (of Thrace) (178 until his death); 2. Found at Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria (ca. 1990)
Commentary The present diploma gives Thia Timarchus an honourable discharge from the army of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Roman citizenship for himself and his descendants, and the right of legal marriage. The diploma is exceptional in that the 2 tabellas still are bound together with the original wire. It is also of special British interest since it records for the first time that the Cohort II Hispanorum was stationed in Britain, and of historical significance for recording Ulpius Marcellus as governor of Britain in 178. It also states that the recipient Thia Timarchus from Thrace served in Cohort II Gallorum Veterana, stationed at the Roman Fort in Old Penrith, Cumbria. The present MS contains the unusual information, of both year, place and the exemplar copied. The exemplar, the bronze tablet set in the wall on Forum Romanum, in fact, still survives in fragments.
Published M. Roxan & Paul Holder: Roman Military Diplomas, IV. Institute of Classical studies. London, 2003. no 293, pp. 547-551.
Exhibited Kistefos-museet, Jevnaker: Romerske portretter i gull og marmor, 22 mai - 25 september 2005.
Place of origin Roma
Dates 178 AD

Location