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Trajan Decius




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Trajan Decius

 
     DECIUS Caius, or Caesus, Messius, Quintus, Trajannus). --This Emperor was born at Bubalia, a town of the Sirmienscs, in Lower Pannonia (near what is now Micowitz, in Hungary), A.D. 201.  Descended from an Illyrian family of rank, he prove himself an able statesman and a great captain.  But by what means he acquited his earliest promotion is not recorded.  Whilst the Maesian and Pannonian leginons were in revolt, he was at Rome; in favour with Philip, and free from all suspicion on the score of his loyalty.  Accordingly he was selected by that prince for the task of settling the seditious tumult of the insurgent soldiers, who had proclaimed Marinus.  But no sooner did he appear in their sight than, in order to avoid the threatened chastisement, they, without his consent, proclaimed him Imperator.  Yielding, therefore, to the necessity of the moment, he stuck his tents, and hastened into Italy; where in an engagement with Philip, near Verona, he gained the victory, A.d. 249.  On the defeat and death of Philip, Decius was acknowledged as Emperor at Rome, and declared Augustus by the Senate at least as early as the beginning of autumn.  In the year 250 he conferred the dignity of Caesar, and the office of Consul, on his son Herennius Etruscus, and sent him against the Illyrians, who routed the son, but were energetically repulsed by the father.  In a battle with the Goths, fought near Abricium, in Thrace, A.D. 251, he was, thro' the treachery of Trebonianus Gallus, lost in a morass, his body never having been recovered for burial.  In the same engagement the young Herennius also perished.  This occurred after the month of October.
     The historian, Victor (II.) bears testimony to the eminent virtures and great accomplishments of Decius; to his quiet demeanor as a man, and to his promptness and energy as a soldier.  In all these characteristics he is represented by Sosimus, as being greatly the superior of Philip.  The most remarkable event by which the records of his life and govenment are distinguished, was his revival and restoration to the Senate, of the office of Censor, so many years disused, and, till this time, discharged almost universally by the Emperor.  Eutropius, ever liberal in awarding divine honours to princes, states, that Decius and his son were numbered among the gods. --By ecclesiastical historians, however, he is accused of having, in a spirit of injustice and persecution, exercised great cruelty towards the Christians during his reign.  He perished in the 55 year of his age, after holding the imperial sceptre somewhat more that two years.  He married Herennia Struscilla, who bore him two sons, namely, Herennius above named, and Hostilianus. --See D.N. Vet. viii. 342-43.
     The coins of this Emperor are common in brass, except two or three medallions.  In silver they are also common, except a medallion.  The gold are all of very great rarity.  On these he is styled IMP. TRAIANUS AUG. -- IMP. Caesar M. 

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