TRAJAN DECIUS 249AD Rome DACIA DRACO Authentic Ancient Silver Roman Coin i60347
Item: i60347 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Trajan Decius – Roman Emperor : 249-251 A. Silver Antoninianus 22mm (3.16 grams) Rome mint: 249-250 A. Reference: RIC 12b; RSC 16 IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Decius right. DACIA, Dacia standing left, holding draco standard. Numismatic Note: Unusually detailed reverse, showing the standard held by Dacia is a dragon-headed draco, not an “ass’s head” as described by RIC. Province of the Roman Empire 107271 A. Roman Dacia (also Dacia Traiana and Dacia Felix) was a province of the Roman Empire from 106 to 274275 AD. Its territory consisted of eastern and south-eastern Transylvania , the Banat , and Oltenia (regions of modern Romania). It was from the very beginning organized as an imperial province and remained so throughout the Roman occupation. Historians’ estimates of the population of Roman Dacia range from 650,000 to 1,200,000. The conquest of Dacia was completed by Emperor Trajan (98-117) after two major campaigns against Decebalus’s Dacian kingdom. The Romans did not occupy the entirety of the old Dacian kingdom, as the greater part of Moldavia , together with Maramure and Criana , was ruled by Free Dacians even after the Roman conquest. In 119, the Roman province was divided into two departments: Dacia Superior (Upper Dacia) and Dacia Inferior (Lower Dacia) (later named Dacia Malvensis). In 124 (or around 158), Dacia Superior was divided into two provinces: Dacia Apulensis and Dacia Porolissensis. During the Marcomannic Wars the military and judicial administration was unified under the command of one governor , with another two senators (the legati legionis) as his subordinates; the province was called tres Daciæ (Three Dacias) or simply Dacia. The Roman authorities undertook in Dacia a massive and organized colonization. New mines were opened and ore extraction intensified, while agriculture, stock breeding, and commerce flourished in the province. Dacia began to supply grain not only to the military personnel stationed in the province but also to the rest of the Balkan area. It became a highly urban province, with 11 or 12 cities known, 8 of which held the highest rank of colonia , though the number of cities was fewer than in the region’s other provinces. All the cities developed from old military camps. Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa , the seat of the imperial procurator (finance officer) for all the three subdivisions was the financial, religious, and legislative center of the province. Apulum , where the military governor of the three subdivisions had his headquarters, was not simply the greatest city within the province, but one of the biggest across the whole Danubian frontier. There were military and political threats from the beginning of Roman Dacia’s existence. Free Dacians who bordered the province were the first adversary, who, after allying themselves with the Sarmatians , hammered the province during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Following a calmer period covering the reigns of Commodus through to Caracalla (180-217 AD), the province was once again beset by invaders, this time the Carpi , a Dacian tribe in league with the newly arrived Goths , who in time became a serious difficulty for the empire. Finding it increasingly difficult to retain Dacia, the emperors were forced to abandon the province by the 270s, becoming the first of Rome’s long-term possessions to be abandoned. Dacia was devastated by the Germanic tribes (Goths, Taifali , Bastarns) together with the Carpi in 248-250, by the Carpi and Goths in 258 and 263, the Goths and Heruli in 267 and 269. Ancient sources implied that Dacia was virtually lost during the reign of Gallienus (253-268), but they also report that it was Aurelian (270-275) who relinquished Dacia Traiana. He evacuated his troops and civilian administration from Dacia, and founded Dacia Aureliana with its capital at Serdica in Lower Moesia. The fate of the Romanized population of the former province of Dacia Traiana has become subject of spirited controversy. One theory holds that the Latin language spoken in ancient Dacia, where Romania was to be formed in the future, gradually turned into Romanian ; in parallel, a new peoplethe Romanians were formed from the Daco-Romans (the Romanized population of Dacia Traiana). The opposing theory argues that the Romanians descended from the Romanized population of the Roman provinces of the Balkan Peninsula. Caesar Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius Augustus. 201 June 251 was Roman Emperor from 249 to 251. In the last year of his reign, he co-ruled with his son Herennius Etruscus until they were both killed in the Battle of Abritus. Early life and rise to power. Decius, who was born at Budalia , near Sirmium in Pannonia Inferior (now Martinci and Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia), was one of the first among a long succession of future Roman Emperors to originate from the Danube provinces, often simply called Illyricum. Unlike some of his immediate imperial predecessors such as Philip the Arab or Maximinus who did not have extensive administrative experience before assuming the throne, Decius was a distinguished senator who had served as consul in 232, had been governor of Moesia and Germania Inferior soon afterwards, served as governor of Hispania Tarraconensis between 235238, and was urban prefect of Rome during the early reign of Emperor Philip the Arab (Marcus Iulius Phillippus). Around 245, Philip I entrusted Decius with an important command on the Danube. By the end of 248 or 249, Decius was sent to quell the revolt of Pacatianus and his troops in Moesia and Pannonia; some modern historians see this rebellion as a reflection of emerging Balkan separatism. After the collapse of the revolt, Decius let the troops proclaim him Emperor. Philip had to advance against him and was killed at Verona , Italy , in September 249. The Senate then recognized Decius as Emperor, giving him the attribute Traianus as a reference to the good emperor Trajan. According to the Byzantine historian Zosimus , Decius was clothed in purple and forced to undertake the [burdens of] government, despite his reluctance and unwillingness. Political and monumental initiatives. Decius’ political program was focused on the restoration of the strength of the State, both militarily opposing the external threats, and restoring the public piety with a program of renovation of the State religion. Either as a concession to the Senate, or perhaps with the idea of improving public morality, Decius endeavoured to revive the separate office and authority of the censor. The choice was left to the Senate, who unanimously selected Valerian (the future emperor). But Valerian, well aware of the dangers and difficulties attached to the office at such a time, declined the responsibility. The invasion of the Goths and Decius’ death put an end to the abortive attempt. The Baths of Decius. During his reign, he proceeded with several building projects in Rome, “including the Thermae Decianae or Baths of Decius on the Aventine”, which was completed in 252 and survived through to the 16th century; Decius also repaired the Colosseum, which had been damaged by lightning strikes. Main article: Decian persecution. See also Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire#Under Decius. In January 250, Decius is said to have issued one of the most remarkable Roman imperial edicts. From the numerous surviving texts from Egypt, recording the act of sacrifice, it appears that the edict itself was fairly clear. All the inhabitants of the empire were required to sacrifice before the magistrates of their community’for the safety of the empire’ by a certain day (the date would vary from place to place and the order may have been that the sacrifice had to be completed within a specified period after a community received the edict). When they sacrificed they would obtain a certificate (libellus) recording the fact that they had complied with the order. That is, the certificate would testify the sacrificant’s loyalty to the ancestral gods and to the consumption of sacrificial food and drink as well as the names of the officials who were overseeing the sacrifice. Potter, Decius did not try to impose the superiority of the Roman pantheon over any other gods. It is very probable that the edict was an attempt to legitimize his position and to respond to a general unease provoked by the passing of the Roman millennium. While Decius himself may have intended the edict as a way to reaffirm his conservative vision of the Pax Romana and to reassure Rome’s citizens that the empire was still secure, it nevertheless sparked a terrible crisis of authority as various Christian bishops and their flocks reacted to it in different ways. Measures were first taken demanding that the bishops and officers of the church make a sacrifice for the Emperor. The sacrifice was “on behalf of” (Latin pro) the Emperor, not to the Emperor, since a living Emperor was not considered divine. Certificates were issued to those who satisfied the commissioners during the persecution of Christians under Decius. Forty-six such certificates have been published, all dating from 250, four of them from Oxyrhynchus. Anyone, including Christian followers, who refused to offer a sacrifice for the Emperor and the Empire’s well-being by a specified date risked torture and execution. A number of prominent Christians did, in fact, refuse to make a sacrifice and were killed in the process, including Pope Fabian himself in 250, and anti-Christian feeling[s] led to pogroms at Carthage and Alexandria. ” In reality, however, towards the end of the second year of Decius’ reign, “the ferocity of the [anti-Christian] persecution had eased off, and the earlier tradition of tolerance had begun to reassert itself. ” The Christian church, despite no indication in the surviving texts that the edict targeted any specific group, never forgot the reign of Decius whom they labelled as that “fierce tyrant. At this time, there was a second outbreak of the Antonine Plague , which at its height from 251 to 266, took the lives of 5,000 daily in Rome. This outbreak is referred to as the “Plague of Cyprian ” (the bishop of Carthage , where both the plague and the persecution of Christians were especially severe). Cyprian’s biographer Pontius gave a vivid picture of the demoralizing effects of the plague and Cyprian moralized the event in his essay De mortalitate. In Carthage, the “Decian persecution”, unleashed at the onset of the plague, sought out Christian scapegoats. Decius’ edicts were renewed under Valerian in 253 and repealed under his son, Gallienus , in 260-1. Fighting the Goths and death. The Goths enter the Balkans. The barbarian incursions into the Empire were becoming more and more daring and frequent whereas the Empire was facing a serious economic crisis in Decius’ time. During his brief reign, Decius engaged in important operations against the Goths , who crossed the Danube to raid districts of Moesia and Thrace. This is the first considerable occasion the Goths who would later come to play such an important role appear in the historical record. The Goths under King Cniva were surprised by the emperor while besieging Nicopolis on the Danube; the Goths fled through the difficult terrain of the Balkans , but then doubled back and surprised the Romans near Beroë (modern Stara Zagora), sacking their camp and dispersing the Roman troops. The Goths then moved to Philippopolis attack (modern Plovdiv), which fell into their hands. The governor of Thrace, Titus Julius Priscus , declared himself Emperor under Gothic protection in opposition to Decius but Priscus’s challenge was rendered moot when he was killed soon afterwards. Then the invaders began returning to their homeland, laden with booty and captives, among them many of senatorial rank. Main article: Battle of Abritus. The final engagement, the battle of Abrittus , in which the Goths fought with the courage of despair, under the command of Cniva, took place during the second week of June 251 on swampy ground in the Ludogorie (region in northeastern Bulgaria which merges with Dobruja plateau and the Danube Plain to the north) near the small settlement of Abrittus or Forum Terebronii (modern Razgrad). Jordanes records that Decius’ son Herennius Etruscus was killed by an arrow early in the battle, and to cheer his men Decius exclaimed, Let no one mourn; the death of one soldier is not a great loss to the republic. Nevertheless, Decius’ army was entangled in the swamp and annihilated in this battle, while he himself was killed on the field of battle. As the historian Aurelius Victor relates. Decius and his son, while pursuing the barbarians across the Danube, died through treachery at Abrittus after reigning two years. Very many report that the son had fallen in battle while pressing an attack too boldly; that the father however, has strenuously asserted that the loss of one soldier seemed to him too little to matter. And so he resumed the war and died in a similar manner while fighting vigorously. One literary tradition claims that Decius was betrayed by his successor Trebonianus Gallus, who was involved in a secret alliance with the Goths but this cannot be substantiated and was most likely a later invention since Gallus felt compelled to adopt Decius’ younger son, Gaius Valens Hostilianus, as joint emperor even though the latter was too young to rule in his own right. It is also unlikely that the shattered Roman legions would proclaim as emperor a traitor who was responsible for the loss of so many soldiers from their ranks. Decius was the first Roman Emperor to die in battle against a foreign enemy. Ilya Zlobin, world-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be very happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. 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- Ruler: Trajan Decius
- Composition: Silver
- Material: Silver