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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Crisis and Decline| ▸ |Trajan Decius||View Options:  |  |  | 

Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D.

Trajan Decius, a general under Philip I, successfully crushed the revolt of Pacatian. His troops forced him to assume the imperial dignity and although he still protested his loyalty, Philip advanced against him. Decius was victorious and Philip was killed. The Senate then recognized Decius as Emperor, giving him the attribute Traianus as a reference to that good emperor. As the Byzantine historian Zosimus later noted: "Decius was therefore clothed in purple and forced to undertake the government, despite his reluctance and unwillingness." Decius spent the rest of his short reign combating barbarians. Sometime in the first two weeks of June 251, Trajan Decius and his son Herennius Etruscus became the first Roman emperors to die in battle against a foreign enemy. Herennius died at his father's side, struck by an arrow. Decius survived the initial confrontation, only to be slain with the rest of the army before the end of the day.


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The rare double sestertius denomination, distinguished by its radiate crown, was introduced with this issue. The denomination was also issued by Gallienus and especially by Postumus.

Trajan Decius, a general under Philip I, was sent to crush the revolt of Pacatian but was forced by his troops to declare himself emperor. He defeated Philip in a great battle at Verona. Decius spent the rest of his short reign combating barbarians. In June 251, Trajan Decius and his son Herennius Etruscus became the first Roman emperors to die in battle against a foreign enemy.
SH94035. Orichalcum double sestertius, RIC IV 115(a) (R), Hunter III 42, Cohen V 39, SRCV III 9395, NGC XF, strike 5/5, surface 2/5, removed from NGC holder, flaws on obverse, edge crack, weight 34.843 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder (as normal for similar busts, not described in references except in Hunter); reverse FELICITAS SAECVLI (era of good fortune), Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, grounded long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking at center; ex Pegasi sale 154 (21 Aug 2018), lot 425 ($2950 on tag, $2500 estimate, unsold), big 35 mm DOUBLE Sestertius!; rare; $1260.00 (1134.00)


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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Roman people, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIVS EXERC ILLVRICIANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the army in Illyria (western Balkans).

Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RS92348. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 16(c), RSC IV 49, Hunter III 11, SRCV III 9374, VF, well centered, toned, flow lines, edge splits, die wear, weight 4.066 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse GENIVS EXERC ILLVRICIANI, Genius standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, standard right; $95.00 (85.50)


Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 249, Decius began persecuting the Christians and others refusing to participate in Emperor worship.
RX88862. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 2813; Dattari 5083; SNG Cop 735; Kampmann-Ganschow 79.15; Emmett 3642.1; BMC Alexandria p. 270, 2076 var. (...DEKIOCE), aVF, well centered, dark brown toning, areas of corrosion, edge cracks, weight 12.609 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 249 - 250 A.D.; obverse A K Γ M K TPAIANOC ∆EKIOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse Nike walking right, raising wreath tied with fillet in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, L - A (year 1) divided across field; $90.00 (81.00)


The Coinage of Trajan Decius (A.D. 249 - 251)

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Please note that if you order 3 or more books and our shopping cart shipping charges add up to an excessive amount, we will reduce the shipping charge and only charge the actual cost of postage!
BL43194. The Coinage of Trajan Decius (AD 249 - 251) by Augustus Brown, published by the author c. 1960, 8vo, paperback, 20 pages plus one plate; $6.00 (5.40)







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

IMPCAESCMESSQDECIOTRAIAVG
IMPCAESCMESSTRAIQDECIOAVG
IMPCAESQTRAIANVSDECIVS
IMPCAETRADECAVG
IMPCAETRADECIVSAVG
IMPCDECIVSAVG
IMPCMQTRAIANVSDECIVSAVG
IMPTRAIANVSAVGDECIVS
IMPTRAIANVSDECIVSAVG


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calic, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & C. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol IV, From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume IV, Gordian III to Postumus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values III, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Monday, February 17, 2020.
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Roman Coins of Trajan Decius