A standard Roman military diploma consists of two bronze plaques bound together on both sides and sealed with wax by seven witnesses. The front cover contained a copy of the complete text also repeated on the two interior leafs. The back cover contained the names of seven witnesses who sealed the diploma. These diplomas are actually copies of original bronze documents that were kept in an archive in Rome. The copies were distributed to a serviceman upon his retirement as proof of his honorable service and newly acquired citizenship (at the end of a minimum twenty-five year military service, citizenship was awarded to the soldier and wife and children). The text was repeated twice, on the outside and on the inside, to prevent fraud since the sealed interior text could not be tampered with. If a former soldier enjoying retirement on the Dalmatian coast was suspected of forging the cover of his diploma, local government officials could break the seals and verify that the interior text corresponded to the front cover without having to wait for confirmation from the archives in distant Rome. Today, Roman military diplomas are beloved by scholars because they contain of wealth of information that can be precisely dated. Through such records, it is possible to track the deployment of troops throughout the empire and to chart the rise in rank of specific individuals. Likewise, in the life of a specific soldier, we can determine where he was born, raised, what wars he fought in, and where he retired to.