Length: 15.600 cm
Room 49: Roman Britain
Bronze military diploma
Roman Britain, AD 103
From Malpas, Cheshire
This official certificate is inscribed on two joining bronze plates. It was issued by the Roman emperor Trajan (AD 98-117) to Reburrus, a Spanish decurion (junior officer) in the 1st Pannonian cavalry regiment.
It granted him Roman citizenship and the right of legal marriage with a present or future wife. These privileges were usually granted to the non-citizen auxiliary soldiers when they retired after completing the twenty-five year period of miltary service, but occasionally they were conferred earlier as a reward, for example, for conspicuous bravery in battle.
Such diplomas included information on many different military units and are of great importance today to historians of the Roman army.