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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Crisis and Decline ▸ Trajan DeciusView 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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In 249, after his legionaries proclaimed him emperor, Trajan Decius marched them to Verona, where he defeated and killed Philip I. Philip's eleven-year-old son and heir was likely killed with his father.
RS59950. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 11b, RSC IV 4, Hunter III 6, SRCV III 9366, Choice gVF, weight 5.062 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ADVENTVS AVG, Trajan Decius on horseback left, raising right hand in salute, scepter in left; SOLD


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

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In 256 A.D., about six years after this coin was struck, the Persian King Shapur conquered and plundered Antioch.
RY71795. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 1134(c); Prieur 595; BMC Galatia p.221, 592; Dura Coins 526, VF, well centered, toned, some corrosion, weight 12.891 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 3rd issue, c. 250 - Jun 251 A.D.; obverse AVT K Γ ME KY TPAIANOC ∆EKIOC CEB, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind, three pellets below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC, eagle standing left on palm branch, wings spread, wreath in beak, S C in exergue; rare; SOLD


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The Dacian Kingdom existed between 82 B.C. until the Trajan's conquest in 106 A.D. This coin commemorates Trajan Decius' recovery of Roman Dacia from rebelling Carpo-Dacians. The province was abandoned by Aurelian in 275, recovered again by Constantine the Great by 336, but abandoned again permanently soon after Constantine's death.
RB83139. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC IV 112e; SRCV III 9413, VF, smoothing, weight 9.662 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 250 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse DACIA S C, Dacia standing left, wearing robe reaching feet, Dacian draco standard in right; rare; SOLD


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His troops forced Decius 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."
RS40105. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 11b, RSC IV 4, Hunter III 6, SRCV III 9366, EF, weight 4.363 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 240o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ADVENTVS AVG, Trajan Decius on horseback left, raising right hand in salute, scepter in left; SOLD


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Caesarea, about 30 miles north of Joppa and about 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem, was the capital of the Roman province of Judaea, the seat of the procurators, and the headquarters of the Roman troops. It was founded by Herod the Great and named after Caesar Augustus.
JD14114. Bronze AE 29, SNG ANS 829 var, aF, weight 19.500 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, 249 - 250 A.D.; obverse IMP C C MES Q TRA DECIVS AVG or similar, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse COL PR F AVG C CAES METROP SP or similar, altar, palm-tree and olive-tree behind; rare; SOLD


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In 249, Decius began persecuting the Christians and others refusing to participate in Emperor worship.
RS26721. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 11b, RSC IV 4, Hunter III 6, SRCV III 9366, EF, reverse die worn, weight 3.933 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ADVENTVS AVG, Trajan Decius on horseback left, raising right hand in salute, scepter in left; sharp obverse; SOLD


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In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RS34675. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 45 var (no officina mark), VF, grainy, weight 4.030 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch mint, obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right from behind, three pellets below; reverse AEQVITAS AVGG, Aequitas standing left holding scales in extended right and cornucopia in left; rare; SOLD


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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.
RS28147. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 16, RSC IV 49, SRCV III 9374, Choice aEF, weight 4.546 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 AD.; 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, cornucopia in left, standard right; SOLD


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

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RB39112. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV p. 135, 113b; SRCV III 9401, VF, small flan, weight 15.607 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse DAC[IA FELIX] S C, Dacia standing left, wearing robe reaching feet, legionary standard in right; nice style; rare; SOLD


Maeonia, Lydia, Time of Trajan Decius, c. 250 A.D.

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RP82381. Bronze AE 18, BMC Lydia p. 131, 31, aVF, weight 2.981 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, obverse vine-tree with large trunk, branches and two bunches of grapes; reverse MAIONΩN, bearded Herakles, naked, holding cornucopia and lion-skin and leaning on club; SOLD




    




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OBVERSE LEGENDS

IMPCAESCMESSQDECIOTRAIAVG
IMPCAESCMESSTRAIQDECIOAVG
IMPCAESQTRAIANVSDECIVS
IMPCAETRADECAVG
IMPCAETRADECIVSAVG
IMPCDECIVSAVG
IMPCMQTRAIANVSDECIVSAVG
IMPTRAIANVSAVGDECIVS
IMPTRAIANVSDECIVSAVG


REFERENCES

Caliců, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappťes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Mattingly, H.B., E.A. Sydenham & C.H.V. 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.A. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume IV, Gordian III to Postumus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values III, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, August 04, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Trajan Decius