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What's On

Lanchester Diploma: Britain’s first complete fleet diploma

16 October 2017 - 30 September 2019
Museum of Archaeology

Visit the Museum of Archaeology Durham University to view an important addition to the display.

Found in 2016 by metal detectorist Mark Houston near Lanchester, Co. Durham, this is the first complete Fleet Diploma to be discovered in the country and reveals the identity of one of Britain’s first named sailors. The diploma is made of a copper alloy and is now broken into 8 fragments, although it would have originally consisted of 2 rectangular bronze plates which were attached together with metal wires.

Roman Military Diplomas were the physical proof of rights granted to non-citizen soldiers to mark their honourable discharge on retirement after 26 years of service. This diploma was issued by the emperor Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161) to Tigernos (Velvotigernus), a native of Lanchester, Co. Durham, in around AD 150. The diploma granted him and his descendants Roman citizenship and the legal right of marriage. To earn the diploma he had served in the Classis Germanica -the Roman fleet in Germany, most likely for 26 years, before being honourably discharged on his retirement.

The diploma contains a wealth of information which is still being translated and researched. Mark brought the diploma to the attention of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, who were instrumental in the reporting, recording, identification and final acquisition by the Museum of Archaeology.

The diploma not only provides information on governors, consuls, and commanders, such as the then Prefect of the German Fleet, Marcus Ulpius Ulpianus, but we are hoping that it will also allow researchers to map the career of Tigernos.

Contact: archaeology.museum@durham.ac.uk
Exhibition
Monday, October 16, 2017 - Monday, September 30, 2019

Visit the Museum of Archaeology Durham University to view an important addition to the display.

Family activity
Monday, December 17, 2018

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, January 7, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, January 14, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, January 21, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, January 28, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, February 4, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, February 11, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, February 18, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, February 25, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, March 4, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, March 11, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, March 18, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, March 25, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, April 1, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, April 8, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.

Family activity
Monday, April 15, 2019

Our group for under 5s and their parents and carers includes fun crafts, messy play, storytelling and singing.