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I knew the rich bought their kids diplomas but this is ridiculous! Military diploma under Antoninus Pius for 16,000 CHF


Ryro

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You too can buy yourself or your child a military diploma and fight for the purple of none other than Antoninus Pius!

https://www.biddr.com/auctions/leu/browse?a=3501&l=4042318&hl

For sale at the upcoming Leu:

Antoninus Pius, 138-161. Military Diploma (Bronze, 154x182 mm, 245.51 g, 3 h), f...

 

 

Description below-

★ An unpublished and highly importrant military diploma issued on 6 October 142 ★

Antoninus Pius, 138-161. Military Diploma (Bronze, 154x182 mm, 245.51 g, 3 h), for T. Paccius Diutenis, son of Diuzenis, soldier in the Praetorian fleet of Misenum. Valerius Paetus, fleet prefect, issued during the reign of Antoninus Pius, on 6 October 142, in the consulate of L. Tusidius Campester and Q. Cornelius Senecio. Unpublished and of great historical interest. An exceptionally well preserved military diploma for a Thracian fleet soldier with the original metal cord still attached. Pierced three times and with a few minor breaks, otherwise, extremely fine.

From an Austrian collection, formed in the 1990s (with Austrian export license enclosed).

Obverse inscription:

IMP(erator) CAESAR DIVI HADRIANI F(ilius) DIVI TRAIANI PAR-
THICI NEPOS DIVI NERVAE PRONEPOS T(itus) AELIVS
HADRIANVS ANTONINVS AVG(ustus) PIVS PONT(ifex) MAX(imus)
TRIB(unicia) POT(estate) V IMP(erator) II CO(n)S(ul) III P(ater) P(atriae)
IIS QUI MILITAVERUNT IN CLASSE PRAETORIA
MISENENSI QUAE EST SUB VALERIO PAETO SEX
ET VIGINTI STIPENDI(i)S EMERITIS DIMISSIS
HONESTA MISSIONE QVORVM NOMINA SVB-
SCRIPTA SVNT IPSIS LIBERIS POSTERISQVE
EORVM CIVITATEM ROMANAM DEDIT ET CO-
NVBIVM CVM VXORIBVS QVAS TVNC HABVIS-
SENT CVM EST CIVITAS IIS DATA AVT SI QVI CAE-
LIBES ESSENT CVM IIS QVAS POSTEA DVXISSENT
DVMTAXAT SINGVLI SINGVLAS
PR(idie) N[ON]A[S] O[CT]OBR(es)
L(ucio) TVSIDIO CAMPESTR[E Q(uinto)] CORNE[LIO] SENECIONE CO(n)S(ulibus)
EX GREGALE
T PACCIO DIVZENI F(ILIO) DIVTENI TOPIRO EX BESSIA
ET EPTAEPYRO BASSI FIL(iae) VXOR EIVS TOPIRO
ET TALEBORO FIL(io) EIVS ET HELENAE FIL(iae) EIVS
ET VERAE FIL(iae) EIVS
ET FIDELI FIL(io) EIVS
DESCRIPT(um) ET RECOGNIT(um) EX TABVLA AEREA QVAE
FIXA EST ROMAE IN MVRO POST TEMPLVM
DIVI AVG(usti) AD MINERVAM

Translation:

'Imperator Caesar, son of the deified Hadrian, grandson of the deified Trajan Parthicus, great-grandson of the deified Nerva, T. Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, pontifex maximus, holding tribunician power for the fifth time, imperator for the second time, consul for the third time and father of the country.

(He) has granted Roman citizenship to those who have served as a soldier in the Praetorian fleet of Misenum, which is under the command of Valerius Paetus, (who) after twenty-six years of service, have been honorably discharged, whose names are written below, to themselves, their children and descendants, and the right of legal marriage with the spouses they had at the moment when citizenship was given to them, or, if any were unmarried, with those whom they later married, insofar as each has only one (wife).

(Issued) the day before the Nones of October, in the consulship of L. Tusidius Campester and Q. Cornelius Senecio.

From the ranks of the common soldiery:

(These rights were granted) to T. Paccius Diutenis, son of Diuzenus, from Topeiros in Bessia.
And to Eptaepyrus, daughter of Bassus, his wife, from Topeiros.
And to Taleborus, his son, and to Helena, his daughter.
And to Vera, his daughter.
And to Fidelis, his son.

Copied and checked from the bronze tablet which is attached to the wall in Rome behind the Temple of the Deified Augustus next to Minerva.'

Reverse inscription:

IMP(erator) CAES(ar) DIVI HADRIAN(i) F(ilius) DIVI TRAIANI PARTHIC(i)
NEP(os) DIVI NERVAE PRONEP(os) T(itus) AELIVS HADRIANVS
ANTONINIVS AVG(ustus) PIVS PONT(ifex) MAX(imus) TRIB(unicia) POT(estate) V
IMP(erator) II CO(n)S(ul) III P(ater) P(atriae)
IIS QVI MILIT(averunt) IN CLASSE PRAETORIA MISENENSI
QVAE EST SVB VALERIO PAETO XXVI STIP(endiis) EMER(itis) DI-
MIS(sis) HONESTA MISS(ione) QVOR(um) N[O]MIN(a) SVBSCRIPT(a)
SVNT IPSIS LIBER(is) POSTERI[S]Q(ue) EOR(um) CIVIT(atem) ROMAN(am)
DEDIT ET CONVB(ium) CVM VXOR(ibus) QVAS TVNC HABVIS(sent)
CVM EST CIVIT(as) I(i)S DATA AVI (sic!) SI QVI CAELIB(es) ESSENT
CVM I(i)S QVAS POSTEA DVXISS(ent) DVMTAXAT SIN-
GVLI SINGVLAS

Translation:

'Imperator Caesar, son of the deified Hadrian, grandson of the deified Trajan Parthicus, great-grandson of the deified Nerva, T. Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, pontifex maximus, holding tribunician power for the fifth time, imperator for the second time, consul for the third time and father of the country.

(He) has granted Roman citizenship to those who have served as a soldier in the Praetorian fleet of Misenum, which is under the command of Valerius Paetus, (who) after twenty-six years of service, have been honorably discharged, whose names are written below, to themselves, their children and descendants, and the right of legal marriage with the spouses they had at the moment when citizenship was given to them, or, if any were unmarried, with those whom they later married, insofar as each has only one (wife).'

This wonderful military diploma was issued on 6 October 142, during the reign of Antoninus Pius, for a soldier who had served in the Roman fleet stationed at Misenum in Italy. Rome possessed two major naval bases in Italy, one at Misenum (near Naples) directed towards the Tyrrhenian Sea, and one at Ravenna towards the Adriatic. Each fleet was headed by a praetorian prefect, the most famous of whom was no doubt Pliny the Elder, who died in his capacity as prefect of the Misene fleet when he organized a rescue mission for the victims of the Vesuvius’ eruption in 79 AD. Although the Empire generally had little to fear from any foes on open water, its navy was vital in securing shipping lanes from pirates, and it played an important role in official transport and communication.

Before the so-called Constitutio Antoniniana was enacted under Caracalla in 212, granting Roman citizenship to all free men in the Empire, military service offered one of the surest paths towards citizenship and social promotion for many provincials. A career in the navy lasted twenty-six years, after which the soldier received citizenship for himself and his descendants, and the right of legal marriage. Often, soldiers were discharged en masse, after which a bronze plaque would be produced and set up in the capital recording the grant, each veteran receiving an individual copy, the so-called military diploma. These consisted of two bronze tablets sealed to one another, the first one (tabula 1) recording the rights and the names of the soldier and his family, the other (tabula 2) the seven witnesses present. To avoid tampering with the text, the inside of the tablets was inscribed with a copy of tabula 1, though usually less refined and with a high number of abbreviations. If there was suspicion of fraud, the seals could be broken and both versions compared without having to journey to Rome to inspect the original.

Our diploma, which preserves tabula 1, was issued for T. Paccius Diutenis, son of Diuzenus, hailing from ‘Topeiros in Bessia’. Topeiros was a city in ancient Thrace located on the banks of the river Nestos, close to the Aegean coast, which struck provincial coins during the imperial period. The region as a whole, extending from north-eastern Greece to southern Bulgaria, was called Bessia after the Thracian Bessi, a tribe noted for its ferocity and barbarism. For unclear reasons, the Bessi, not known for any seafaring talent, would prove popular candidates for Rome’s fleets, although our diploma indicates that some communities nearer to the coast were also included under the umbrella term Bessia by this time. Named alongside Diutenis are his wife, Eptaepyrus, also from Topeiros, and their four children, Taleborus, Helena, Vera and Fidelis. Interestingly, only the first child carried a Thracian name, whereas the later-born children received Latin names. The prefect of the fleet cited in our diploma, Valerius Paetus, is attested as the prefect of the Ravennate fleet in August 142, while our diploma, along with a few other examples, dates to October of the same year, meaning that Paetus changed command in the meanwhile. As the Misene prefecture was slightly more prestigious, this effectively constituted a promotion. The two suffect consuls are likewise attested epigraphically, but little is known of their further careers.

As a whole, the diploma as a document is in many ways emblematic of the success of the Roman Empire. Apart from the basic bureaucratic processes that produced the diploma – registration, copying and verification of official documents – which underpinned Rome’s strength, the text shows how the Empire managed to coax provincial communities into serving her willingly, even in those regions which at one point had bitterly resisted conquest. T. Paccius Diutenis’ name in itself is a wonderful blend of Latin and Thracian elements, while his children have Thracian and Latin names. Roman culture, it seems, seeped into this family through the army, though this did not mean that their local identity was completely supplanted. Indeed, in Rome, home could be as large as an empire or as small as a town nestled along a Thracian river.

  https://youtu.be/9oM3VMhbxN8

 

And here are a few of my favorite Pie faces:

 

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image.png.be1f85ab9c2c95c5ac2b7f1ea5efdf8b.pngimage.png.7175f23c2526aced151cbb4fe1b02fa2.png

 

 

 

  

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

These days, if it doesn't have a provenience (I did not see anything of that in the description) you might want to steer clear of getting something like this.  Even if it's authentic, as the demand for provenience increases, your ability to sell unprovenienced artifacts will decrease, while the probability that you could have it seized increases. Just sayin'.

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