Ancient history

Roman military diploma discovered in Bulgaria

A fragment of a Roman military diploma it was discovered during excavations in the central part of the Roman city of Deultum near the village of Debelt in the municipality of Sredets in Bulgaria .

The director of the archaeological reserve, Krassimira Kostova , described the find as “ unique “.

It was the first such discovery in almost 40 years of archaeological excavations at the site of the former Roman colony, said Kostova .

Deultum , about 10 km west of the Bulgarian city of Bourgas in the Black Sea , was annexed to the Roman Empire in 46 BC and became part of the province of Thrace .
After the civil war of 69 BC , a colony for military veterans was built .

The colony was built during the reign of Emperor Vespasian and it was called Colonia Flavia Pacis Deultensium or Colonia Flavia Pancensis Deultum .

The discovery of August 2019 it is part of a bronze plaque , of the type released to auxiliary soldiers who had served for at least 25 years and were awarded full Roman civil rights .

“The fragment is extremely valuable to us and, although it is only four square centimeters , it's quite informative, ”said Kostova .

Graphologist Professor Nikolai Sharankov examining the fragment, he established that the diploma contained an extract from a decree of the Roman emperor Hadrian , issued on 17 July 122 , which fired soldiers on duty from auxiliary units in the Roman province of Lower Dacia .

The analysis shows that half a century after the founding of the colony, the Roman emperors continued to settle veterans in the city and thus to maintain the Roman spirit of Deultum .

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