Antiquities > Other Metal Antiquities

Roman Diploma Fragment

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Joe Sermarini:
I am working on this item now. Anyone have additional info to share? Thanks.

Joe Sermarini:
This diploma appears to list service in Legio VI Hispania. Wikipedia notes, "Legio VI Hispana ("Sixth (Hispanian) Legion") may have been a legion of the Imperial Roman army. Only a few records attesting a "VI Hispana" were known in 2015. Seyrig (1923) argued that this unit was created in AD 68 and disappeared before 197. Another theory is that VI Hispana was created after 197 and was destroyed in the turmoil of the Empire's Third Century Crisis. The scarcity and ambiguity of records of "VI Hispana" has led some scholars to doubt that this legion ever existed and that the inscriptions attesting it were erroneous references to the legions VII Gemina or IX Hispana." The legion was not included on list of legions existing in 197.

Joe Sermarini:
Anyone with suggestions for date or province?

Scribonius Probus:
Joe: Have you investigated the reference in Livius.org on Legio VI Victrix, which notes that the legion had earlier been named Legio VI Hispaniensis, at some point in Augustan times, during or after its participation in the Cantabrian War?  The article notes that the earliest attestation of the title Victrix is in Neronian times.  And the legion was stationed in Hispania throughout the Julio Claudian period. 

However, if you read the article on romancoins.info on Roman Military Diplomas, they present some statistical data which shows that the earliest clearly dated identifiable military diplomas are from the Claudian era. So, that would have to place your diploma fragment at the early end of the known diplomas, if you accept that Legio VI Hisp could be the earlier name of Legio VI Victrix.

Maybe too much of a stretch.....

https://www.livius.org/articles/legion/legio-vi-victrix/

http://www.romancoins.info/MilitaryDiploma1a.html

Gary

Joe Sermarini:
Hmm. Thanks Gary. Seyrig's theory that the unit was created in 68 A.D. and the existence of VI Victrix during Nero's reign would date this quite precisely, but I don't have confidence in making that claim.

Anyone else have something they can share?

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