previous next


The Roman term for the dismissal of soldiers from service, whether on account of illness (missio causaria) or of some dishonourable offence (missio ignominiosa), or at the expiration of their period of service. The last-mentioned, missio honesta or honourable dismissal, carried with it, under the Empire, the maintenance of the dismissed soldier. At first a fixed sum of money was given him; afterwards a parcel of land in Italy or the provinces was assigned. He also received the rights of citizenship, if he did not already possess them, and the privilege of contracting a legal marriage. The imperial decree which contained a list of those dismissed, arranged according to the subdivisions of the army and with the privileges granted, was posted on a public building on the Capitol or in the Forum, and each one of those specified received an extract from this document, made out in the presence of seven witnesses and inscribed on a bronze diptychon (q. v.). Sixty-two such military diplomas have been preserved completely or in part. (See Exercitus.) The same term was used of the release of gladiators from the gladiatorial school. See Gladiatores, p. 733.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: