PRAETORIAN FLEET DIPLOMA

MS 698
MS Short Title PRAETORIAN FLEET DIPLOMA
Text FLEET DIPLOMA GIVEN BY EMPEROR ANTONINUS PIUS TO THE VETERAN SAILOR MARCUS LOLLIUS NEON FROM LAERTES IN PAMPHYLIA AFTER 26 YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE PRAETORIAN FLEET OF MISENUM UNDER THE COMMAND OF CAECIUS SEVERUS, UNDER THE CONSULS ANTONINUS AUGUSTUS PIUS AND GAIUS BRUTTIUS PRAESENS. 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: TIBERIUS CLAUDIUS MENANDER, PUBLIUS ATTIUS SEVERUS, LUCIUS PULLIUS DAPHNUS, PUBLIUS ATTIUS FESTUS, TITUS FLAVIUS ROMULUS, TIBERIUS JULIUS FELIX, GAIUS JULIUS SILVANUS
Description MS in Latin on bronze, Roma, 13 February 139, 2 tabellas (complete), 19x16 cm, single column, 22 lines and 2 columns, 7 lines with witnesses' signatures, in formal Latin capitals, the insides, 12+3 lines in more informal capitals, 2 holes through each tablet for a wire that originally bound the two tablets together, secured with the seals of the 7 witnesses.
Binding Barking, Essex, 1991, dark blue quarter morocco 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 1836, 1899, 2051/1-6, 2051/8, 2052, 2086), and 3 fleet diplomas (MSS 698, 1921, 2032). 6 of the 7 witnesses on the present diploma also signed MS 1921.

Provenance 1. Marcus Lollius Neon, Laertes, Pamphylia (from 139 until his death); 2. Found in the Dardanelles, Turkey; 3. Private Collection, Beverly Hills, California (until 1990); 4. Bernard Quaritch Ltd., London.
Commentary The present diploma gives Marcus Lollius Neon an honourable discharge from the navy of Emperor Antoninus Pius, Roman citizenship for himself and his descendants, and the right of legal marriage.

The present MS contains the unusual information, of both date, place and the exemplar copied. The exemplar, the bronze tablet set in the wall on Forum Romanum, still survives in fragments.

Published Margaret M. Roxan: Roman Military Diplomas 1954-77 (I), no. 38.
Exhibited 1. Conference of European National Librarians, Oslo. Sept. 1994; 2. Kistefos-museet, Jevnaker: Romerske portretter i gull og marmor, 22 mai - 25 september 2005.
Mentioned
Boxing
See also
Place of origin Roma
Dates 139 AD

Location