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Trebonianus Gallus was proclaimed emperor by the Roman army after the defeat and death of Trajan Decius. Gallus signed a humiliating treaty with the Goths, before spending the next couple of years repelling barbarian incursions in both the North and East of the empire. Gallus was murdered, along with his son, by his own forces after the usurper Aemilian defeated them in battle.
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TREBONIANVS GALLVS (Caius Vibius). - This emperor's family, native country, and time of birth are not known with any degree of
(missing text)... near Abricium A.D. 251.
Being immediately afterward proclaimed Augustus, he began his reign by conferring the title of Caesar on his son Volusian and making Holstilian, the son of Trajan Decius, his colleague in the supreme government.
In the same year he advanced Volusian to the sovereign rank of Augustus; and precipitately concluded an ignominious treaty of peace with the Gothic invaders of the empire, whom he not only permitted to return to their own country with their booty, and even their Roman prisoners, but also engaged to pay them an annual tribute in gold. Having in this base and impolitic manner pacified the foreign enemies of the state, he arrived at Rome, into which he made as pompous an entry as if the peace he had just concluded with the barbarians had been the fruit of his victories over them. The pestilence, which was then ravaging the world, had attained its most frightful mortality. Hostilian is said to be one of its numberless victims A.D. 252.
Trebonianus, ascribing to the Christians this wide-spread and desolating plague, subjected them to cruel persecution. Meanwhile, he and his son remained in the city, endeavoring to gain popular favor by their courtesies and liberalities, nor with all such as were as indolent, voluptuous, and corrupt as themselves did they fail of success. But famine accompanied pestilence.
The Goths, in another invasion, on one side, and the Persians, rushing across the eastern frontier on the other, over-ran the finest provinces, and the reign of Trebonianus became a succession of miseries, devastation, and horrors. In 253, Aemilian, commander of the legions of Thrace and Moesia, who had just vanquished the Gothic invaders, was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers. On hearing this, Trebonianus at length abandoned the course of effeminate luxury, which had brought his affairs to the verge of ruin, and began to take measures for the defense of his throne. He entrusted the first operations of the war to Valerian, who had for that purpose drawn forces from Gaul and Germany. But Aemilian was beforehand with him, and ere the close of the year had entered Italy at the head of a great army.
In the beginning of 254 Trebonianus set out from Rome to encounter Aemilian, by whom he was totally defeated in a pitched battle; his own soldiers, despising his cowardice, slew him in his flight, together with his son Volusian, near Interamna (now Terni), in Umbria. During the eighteen months of his holding the government, he had done nothing worthy of praise, nor had he been favored with a singe incident of good fortune; on the contrary, his reign was one of the most calamitous, s well as the most disgraceful, recorded in the annals of the empire. Fore the consequences which immediately followed the deaths of Trebonianus and Volusian, see Aemilianus and Valerianus.
The coins of Trebonianus Gallus are - in gold, RRR.; in silver C. (with very few exceptions); first and second brass C.; Latin colonial R. - On them he is styled IMP. C. GALLVS. AVG. - IMP. CAE. C. VIB. TREB. GALLVS. AVG.