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In Bulgaria, Polish archaeologists discovered fragment of document confirming granting of Roman citizenship


Ruins of the Roman military hospital in Novae

In Novae (Bulgaria), within the Roman camp, a fragment of a document confirming the granting of citizenship to a soldier serving in a local unit was found.

Excavations are carried out on site for almost 50 years by a group of Polish archaeologists. The Roman camp was the location of the VIII Augusta and I Italica legions.

The discovery was made within the remains of a centurion’s house among the ruins. The document granted citizenship to an auxiliary soldier after serving for 25 years. It was published during the reign of Emperor Gordian III (238-244 CE).

This document consisted of two “pages” connected by a chain; which in turn was sealed by officials. This meant that content could not even be read by the owner of the document; and unsealing took place only in the presence of officials. A copy of such a document – in the form of papyrus – went to the archives in Rome.

According to specialists of this type of certificate, about a thousand were found in the former Roman Empire; but not much from the Danube. Researchers plan further research and analysis. They hope to find out the name of the veteran soldier.

Sources

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