BYU’s ancient Roman plates have found their way to the David O. McKay Library this week for students to admire on the second floor.
Brent Schmidt, a faculty member in the Department of Religious Education, said the exhibit was notable to members of the LDS church because “it provides clues into the importance of Roman citizenship in the apostolic world of Paul.”
Schmidt said he enjoys writing about the biblical world and tying together the ancient classical world and the restored gospel.
The plates are on loan from BYU Special Collections.
“When I first heard the words ‘Roman plates,’ I immediately thought of big, bulky, heavy and thick slabs of rock,” said Sydnee Yates, a sophomore studying child development.
Yates said she was surprised to see how small the plates were. They were nothing like what she expected.
BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library’s webpage stated, “This exhibition features an extraordinary set of Roman military plates from A.D. 109.” The webpage reported the plates were used to grant Roman citizenship and military honors to soldiers retiring after 25 years of service.
Connor Wilkes, a freshman studying general education, said the Romans respected and cared about their veterans.
A post on the Harold B. Lee Library webpage explains that the Romans preserved these plates because they contained important historical records.
“It’s quite fascinating that we are able to find documentation from that far back of the legal documents from the Romans,” Wilkes said.