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Portrait of Trajan Decius on Silver Antoninianus
Portrait of Trajan Decius on Silver Antoninianus

The Emperor Impersonating Pax on Reverse of Trajan Decius Silver Antoninianus
The Emperor Impersonating Pax on Reverse of Trajan Decius Silver Antoninianus

Trajan Decius
249 - 251 AD

Caius (Cnaeus?) Messius Quintus Traianus Decius
Decius was a capable soldier, and proved to be also a good statesman. Details of his early career are uncertain, although he is known to have been a senator, but by 234 AD he was governor of Lower Moesia (or Maesia). In 249 AD, while Decius was in Rome, and free of any suspicion, Philip I despatched him to deal with a revolt by Pacatian in Upper Moesia, but the legions delared Decius as emperor and forced him to march against Philip who he defeated, probably along with Philip's son Philip II.
Most of Decius' reign was spent fighting on the northern frontiers, and in 251 AD he was defeated and killed along with his elder son Herennius Etruscus at Abrittus.

Featured Coin
We show a silver antoninianus with a radiate crowned portrait of Decius facing left, and the legend IMP C M Q TRAIANUS DECIUS AUG.
The reverse shows Decius riding a horse to the left, although it appears to us more like a camel. An alternative suggestion would be that the emperor was taking part in the first recorded game of polo (this coin is mint!). The reverse legend reads ADVENTUS AUG, meaning the arrival of the emperor, in this case almost certainly in Rome, and probably in 249 AD.

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