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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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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 GENI ILLVRICI dedicates this coin to the Genius of Illyria (an area in the western Balkans).
RB91024. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 117a, Cohen V 53, Hunter III 34, SRCV III 9404, VF, superb portrait, attractive patina, small squared flan, edge crack, weight 13.228 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIVS EXERC ILLVRICIANI, Genius standing left, naked except for polos on head, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, standard behind, S - C (senatus consulto) across field below center; from the Eric J. Engstrom Collection; scarce; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


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The Dacian Draco was the standard ensign of troops of the ancient Dacian people, which can be seen in the hands of the soldiers of Decebalus in several scenes depicted on Trajan's Column in Rome, Italy. It has the form of a dragon with open wolf-like jaws containing several metal tongues. The hollow dragon's head was mounted on a pole with a fabric tube affixed at the rear. In use, the draco was held up into the wind, or above the head of a horseman, where it filled with air and gave the impression it was alive while making a shrill sound as the wind passed through its strips of material.Draco
RB91613. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 112b; Cohen V 18, SRCV III 9399, Hunter III 32 var. (bust), TOOLED, mostly just smoothing but also some tooling, weight 19.104 g, maximum diameter 30.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse DACIA, Dacia standing facing, head left, wearing robe reaching feet, vertical staff topped with the head of Draco in right hand, S - C (senatus consulto) across field; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; TOOLED, AS IS, NO RETURNS; $25.25 (€22.22)


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In 249, Trajan Decius put down a revolt in Moesia and Pannonia. After his legionaries proclaimed him emperor, he marched them to Verona, where he defeated and killed Philip the Arab.
RB91614. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 124a (S), Hunter III 54, Cohen V 87, SRCV III 9407, F, some corrosion, reverse a little off center, edge split, weight 18.880 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 250 - Jun 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse PANNONIAE, the two Pannoniae standing facing, looking away from each other, each holding a standard, S - C across field below center; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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In 249, Trajan Decius put down a revolt in Moesia and Pannonia. After his legionaries proclaimed him emperor, he marched them to Verona, where he defeated and killed Philip the Arab.
RB92355. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 124a, Hunter III 54, Cohen V 87, SRCV III 9407, EF, superb portrait, brown tone, centered on a tight flan, reverse double struck, edge split, weight 11.916 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul 249 - Jun or Jul 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate, cuirassed, slight drapery, bust right; reverse PANNONIAE, the two Pannoniae standing facing, looking away from each other, each holding a standard, S - C across fields; $300.00 (€264.00)
 


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 (€79.20)
 


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Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. It appears they were held over a container, covered with coins and the excess swept away back into the container. The proper number of coins would fill the holes and then would be dumped out to the recipient. On coins this symbol indicated the prince had given to the people money, grain, or other articles of consumption. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RB88868. Copper as, RIC IV 120b (S), Cohen V 71, Hunter III 52, SRCV III 9428, VF, dark brown patina, oval flan, porosity/light corrosion, pit on jaw small edge split, weight 10.394 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul 249 - Jun 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG (the generosity of the Emperor), Liberalitas standing slightly left, counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; scarce; $50.00 (€44.00)
 


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 (€5.28)
 










OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

IMPCAESCMESSQDECIOTRAIAVG
IMPCAESCMESSTRAIQDECIOAVG
IMPCAESQTRAIANVSDECIVS
IMPCAETRADECAVG
IMPCAETRADECIVSAVG
IMPCDECIVSAVG
IMPCMQTRAIANVSDECIVSAVG
IMPTRAIANVSAVGDECIVS
IMPTRAIANVSDECIVSAVG


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées 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 Sunday, December 8, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Trajan Decius