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Encyclopedia > Decius (emperor)
Decius
Emperor of the Roman Empire
Coin featuring Trajan Decius.
Reign 249 - 251 (alone);
251 (with Herennius Etruscus)
Full name Gaius Messius Quintus
Traianus Decius
Born ca. 201
Budalia (near Sirmium)
Died June 251
Abrittus
Predecessor Philip the Arab
Successor Priscus / Trebonianus Gallus
Issue Herennius Etruscus, Hostilian

Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius (ca. 201- June 251), Roman emperor (249 - 251), In the last year of his reign he co-ruled with his son Herennius Etruscus until both were killed in the Battle of Abrittus. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. ... Events Trajan Decius becomes Roman emperor. ... Events July 1 – In the Battle of Abrittus, the Goths defeat the Romans; emperors Decius and Herennius Etruscus are killed. ... Events July 1 – In the Battle of Abrittus, the Goths defeat the Romans; emperors Decius and Herennius Etruscus are killed. ... Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius (c. ... For the New Jersey area code, see Area code 201. ... Ruins of Sirmium Julian solidus, ca. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Events July 1 – In the Battle of Abrittus, the Goths defeat the Romans; emperors Decius and Herennius Etruscus are killed. ... The Battle of Abrittus (now Razgrad, Bulgaria), also known as the Battle of Forum Terebronii, occurred in 251 between the Roman legions and Goths under King Cniva. ... Marcus Julius Philippus (c. ... Trebonianus Gallus on a coin celebrating Aeternitas. ... Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius (c. ... Hostilian celebrating Securitas, the security of the Roman Empire. ... For the New Jersey area code, see Area code 201. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Events July 1 – In the Battle of Abrittus, the Goths defeat the Romans; emperors Decius and Herennius Etruscus are killed. ... This is a list of Roman Emperors with the dates they controlled the Roman Empire. ... Events Trajan Decius becomes Roman emperor. ... Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius (c. ... The Battle of Abrittus (now Razgrad, Bulgaria), also known as the Battle of Forum Terebronii, occurred in 251 between the Roman legions and Goths under King Cniva. ...

Contents

Early life and rise to power

Decius, who was born at Budalia (near Sirmium, in Lower Pannonia) was the first among a long succession of distinguished men to come from the Illyrian provinces. He served as consul in 232, as governor of Moesia and Germania Inferior immediately afterwards, was governor of Hispania Tarraconensis 235-238, and urban prefect of Rome during the early reign of Emperor Philip the Arab (Marcus Iulius Phillipus). Martinci (Мартинци) is a village in Serbia. ... Ruins of Sirmium Julian solidus, ca. ... Position of the Roman province of Pannonia Pannonia is an ancient country bounded north and east by the Danube, conterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. ... Location of Illyria Illyria (Albanian Iliria Land of the Free; Ancient Greek ; Latin Illyria [1] (see also Illyricum) was in Classical antiquity a region in the western part of todays Balkan Peninsula, founded by the tribes and clans of Illyrians, an ancient people who spoke the Illyrian languages. ... Consul (abbrev. ... Events Relics of St. ... Moesia is an ancient province situated in the areas of modern Serbia and Bulgaria. ... The Roman province of Germania Inferior, 120 AD Germania Inferior was a Roman province located on the left bank of the Rhine, in todays southern and western Netherlands, the whole of Belgium and Luxembourg, parts of north-eastern France, and western Germany. ... Roman Imperial province of Hispania Tarraconensis, 120 AD Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman provinces in Hispania. ... Marcus Julius Philippus (c. ...


Around 245, Emperor Philip 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[1]; the soldiers were enraged because of the peace treaty signed between Philip and the Sassanids. Once arrived, the troops forced Decius to assume the imperial dignity himself instead. Decius still protested his loyalty to Philip, but the latter advanced against him and was slain near Verona, Italy. The Senate recognized Decius Emperor, giving him the attribute Traianus as a reference to the good emperor Trajan. Events Roman emperor Philip the Arabian entrusted future emperor Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus with an important command on the Danube Trieu Thi Trinh Vietnamese warrior women begins her three year resistance against the invading Chinese. ... The Danube (ancient Danuvius, Iranian *dānu, meaning river or stream, ancient Greek Istros) is the longest river in the European Union and Europes second longest river. ... The obverse of this antoninianus celebrates Pacatianus as unconquered, while the reverse celebrates the 1001st birthday of Rome. ... After Islamic Conquest  Modern SSR = Soviet Socialist Republic Afghanistan  Azerbaijan  Bahrain  Iran  Iraq  Tajikistan  Uzbekistan  This box:      The Sassanid Empire or Sassanian- Zaza nian)- Empire (Persian: ṢāṣānÄ«yān) is the name used for the fourth Iranian dynasty, and the second Persian Empire (226–651). ... Verona is a city and provincial capital in Veneto, Northern Italy. ... This article is about the Roman Emperor. ...


Political actions

Decius was reputed as an excellent soldier, and to be of an amiable disposition. He also was considered to be a capable administrator.


Decius' political program was focused on the restoration of the strength of the State, both military 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 (afterwards emperor). But Valerian, well aware of the dangers and difficulties attaching to the office at such a time, declined the responsibility. The invasion of the Goths and the death of Decius put an end to the abortive attempt. Censor was the title of two magistrates of high rank in the Roman Republic. ... Valerian on a coin celebrating goddess Fortuna, associated with health and wealth. ...


Persecutions of Christians

Seeing it as a disruptive force, early in 250 Decius issued the edict for the suppression of Christianity. Exploiting popular hostility as a means of unifying the Empire, the "Decian persecution" famous to Christians began. Another motive for this persecution may have been Decius' religious views and pride in his Empire. He was a roman of the old style who wished to restore Rome to its ancient glory. However, there were several factors eclipsing this glory: barbarian incursions into the Empire were becoming more and more daring, the ancient traditions were being forgotten, and the Empire was facing a serious economic crisis. To a traditionalist such as Decius, it would seem obvious that these problems were partly caused by the people neglecting the ancient gods. For Rome's ancient glory to return, she would need to return to her ancient religion. Therefore, Decius may have tried to stamp out the Christians because they were daily turning more and more people away from the traditional practices of worship and therefore, according to Decius' religious views, daily turning the gods away from Rome.


Measures were first taken demanding that the bishops and officers of the church sacrifice for the Emperor[2], a matter of an oath of allegiance that was taken by Christians as offensive. Certificates were issued to those who satisfied the pagan commissioners during the persecution of Christians under the emperor Decius. Forty-six such certificates have been published, all dating from 250, four of them from Oxyrhynchus.[1] [2] Oxyrhynchus (Greek: Οξύρυγχος; sharp-nosed; ancient Egyptian Per-Medjed; modern Egyptian Arabic el-Bahnasa) is an archaeological site in Egypt, considered one of the most important ever discovered. ...


Just at this time there was a second outbreak of the Antonine Plague, which at its height in 251 to 266 took the lives of 5,000 a day 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 gave a vivid picture of the demoralizing effects of the plague [3] and Cyprian moralized the event in his essay De mortalitate. The human reaction to overwhelming devastations is universally twofold: to moralize them, and to lay the blame on a nearby minority and wreak vengeance. As Jews paid with their lives during the 14th century's Black Death, so in Carthage the "Decian persecution" unleashed at the onset of the plague sought out Christian scapegoats. Decius' edicts were renewed under Valerius in 253 and repealed under his son, Gallienus, in 260-1. The Antonine Plague AD 165-180, also known as the Plague of Galen, was an ancient pandemic, either of smallpox or measles brought back to the Roman Empire by troops returning from campaigns in the Near East. ... This page is about Cyprian, bishop of Carthage. ... Carthage (Greek: , from the Phoenician meaning new town, Arabic: , Latin: ) refers both to an ancient city in North Africa located in modern day Tunis and to the civilization that developed within the citys sphere of influence. ... ‹ The template below (Religious persecution) has been proposed for deletion. ... It has been suggested that Plague doctor be merged into this article or section. ... Gallienus depicted on a lead seal Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus (218-268) ruled the Roman Empire as co-emperor with his father Valerian from 253 to 260, and then as the sole Roman Emperor from 260 to 268. ...


The career of Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, who survived the episode, only to be martyred later, offers a picture of the disorders and divisions in the doubly traumatized Christian communities, when it was a question whether or how to receive back those who had weakened, paid civic homage to Decius and were inscribed in the libelli as having performed their civic obligation. The persecution of Decius, in which Fabian, Bishop of Rome is said to have been martyred, also provides the context for the seven "apostles to Gaul" of Christian history and legend. In its classic form their story is a brief mention in Gregory of Tours' "History of the Franks" (written in the decade before 594) quoting a lost vita of Saturnin of Toulouse. These seven bishops sent out to re-Christianize Gaul are individually discussed at their own entries: Gatien to Tours, Trophimus to Arles, Paul to Narbonne, Saturnin to Toulouse, Denis to Paris, Austromoine to Clermont, and Martial to Limoges. This page is about Cyprian, bishop of Carthage. ... Saint Fabian (died 250; feast day: January 20), pope and martyr, was chosen pope, or bishop of Rome, in January 236 in succession to Pope Anterus. ... Saint Gregory of Tours (c. ... Saint Saturnin (in Latin Saturninus, now Sernin in France and in Navarra Cernin), with a feast day entered for November 29, was one of the apostles to the Gauls sent out (probably under the direction of Pope Fabian, 236 - 250) during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250-251 AD... Gatianus or Saint Gatien (3rd century AD) was the founding bishop of the see of Tours. ... Tours is a city in France, the préfecture (capital city) of the Indre-et-Loire département, on the lower reaches of the river Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. ... According to Catholic lore, Saint Trophimus of Arles or Saint Trophime was the first bishop of Arles, in todays southern France. ... Coordinates Administration Country France Region Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur Department Bouches-du-Rhône (Subprefecture) Arrondissement Arles Canton Chief town of 2 cantons: Arles-Est and Arles-Ouest Intercommunality Agglomeration community of Arles-Crau-Camargue-Montagnette Mayor Hervé Schiavetti  (PS) (2001-2008) Statistics Altitude 0 m–57 m... Saint Paul of Narbonne (3rd century CE) was one of the apostles to the Gauls sent out (probably under the direction of Pope Fabian, 236 - 250) during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250-251 AD) to Christianize Gaul after the persecutions under Emperor Decius had all but dissolved the... Narbonne (Narbona in Catalan and in Occitan, commonly Narbo especially when referring to the Ancient Rome era) is a town and commune of southwestern France in the Languedoc-Roussillon région. ... Saint Saturnin (in Latin Saturninus, now Sernin in France and in Navarra Cernin), with a feast day entered for November 29, was one of the apostles to the Gauls sent out (probably under the direction of Pope Fabian, 236 - 250) during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250-251 AD... New city flag (Occitan cross) Traditional coat of arms Motto: (Occitan: For Toulouse, always more) Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Midi-Pyrénées Department Haute-Garonne (31) Intercommunality Community of Agglomeration of Greater Toulouse Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc  (UMP) (since 2004) City Statistics Land... Saint Denis, also known as Denise, Dionysius, or Dennis is a Christian saint, bishop of Paris, martyr, and a patron saint of France. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... In Roman Catholic lore, Saint Austremonius or Saint Stramonius or Austromoine, the apostle of the Auvergne, was the first bishop of Clermont. ... Clermont is the name of several places in the United States of America: Clermont, Florida Clermont, Georgia Clermont, Indiana Clermont, Iowa Clermont, New York Clermont County, Ohio Clermont is the name of several communes in France: Clermont, in the Ariège département Clermont, in the Haute-Savoie département... Saint Martial was the first bishop of Limoges, in todays France , according to a life of Saturninus, first bishop of Toulouse, which Gregory of Tours quotes in his Life That is all that is known and it may be summed up thus: Under the Emperor Decius and of Gratus...


Military actions and death

Bust of Trajanus Decius

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 troups. It was the first time a Roman emperor fled in the face of Barbarians. The Goths then moved to attack Philippopolis (modern Plovdiv), which fell into their hands and who treated the conquered with frightful cruelty. Its commander, Titus Julius Priscus, declared himself Emperor under Gothic protection. picture of Roman Emperor Traianus Decius This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... picture of Roman Emperor Traianus Decius This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Invasion of the Goths: a late 19th century painting by O. Fritsche, is a highly romanticized portrait of the Goths as cavalrymen. ... Thraciae veteris typvs. ... Cniva (flourished mid-3rd century) was the Gothic king who defeated and killed Decius and his older son, Herennius Etruscus, at the Battle of Abrittus in 251. ... Nikopol is a town in North Bulgaria, Pleven Province, on the Danube river. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Stara Zagora (Bulgarian: ) is a city in the cental part of Southern Bulgaria, and represents an important economic center. ... Plovdiv (Bulgarian: ) is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia, with a population of 341,873([1]). It is the administrative centre of Plovdiv Province in southern Bulgaria, as well as the largest and most important city of the historical region of Upper (or Northern) Thrace, famous for its...


The siege of Philippopolis had so exhausted the numbers and resources of the Goths, that they offered to surrender there booty and prisoners, on condition of being allowed to retire unmolested. But Decius, who had succeeded in surrounding them and hoped to cut off their retreat, refused to entertain their proposals. The final engagement, 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 Dobrudja near the small settlement of Abritum or Forum Terebronii (modern Razgrad): see Battle of Abrittus. 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." However, his army was annihilated in this battle, and Decius slain. He became the first Roman emperor killed in a battle with barbarians. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Events July 1 – In the Battle of Abrittus, the Goths defeat the Romans; emperors Decius and Herennius Etruscus are killed. ... Dobruja or sometimes Dobrudja (Dobrogea in Romanian, Dobrudzha in Bulgarian, Dobruca in Turkish) is the territory between the lower Danube river and the Black Sea, which includes the Danube Delta and the Romanian sea-shore. ... Ibrahim Pasha (İbrahim Paşa) Mosque Razgrad (Разград) is a city in northeastern Bulgaria and the capital of Razgrad Province, built upon the ruins of the Ancient Roman town of Abritus on the banks of the Beli Lom. ... The Battle of Abrittus (now Razgrad, Bulgaria), also known as the Battle of Forum Terebronii, occurred in 251 between the Roman legions and Goths under King Cniva. ... Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius (c. ...


Fictional references

Decius was also the name of a Romulan starship in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Future Imperfect."
It was also the name of a Romulan officer in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Balance of Terror." Romulans are a fictional alien species in the Star Trek universe related to Vulcans. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ... Future Imperfect is an episode from the fourth season of the science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... The starship Enterprise as it appeared on Star Trek Star Trek is a culturally significant science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry in the 1960s. ... Balance of Terror, written by Paul Schneider and directed by Vincent McEveety, is a first-season episode of the original Star Trek series that first aired on December 15, 1966. ...


Notes

  1. ^ The legions guarding the frontiers of the Empire in Moesia and Pannonia were IIII Flavia Felix and XI Claudia.
  2. ^ The sacrifice was in favour of the Emperor, not to the Emperor, since a living Emperor was not considered divine.

Antoninianus minted under Carausius. ... Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis (faithful and loyal Claudian legion) was a Roman legion. ...

References

Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

External links

Preceded by
Philip the Arab
Roman Emperor
249–251
with Herennius Etruscus
Succeeded by
Trebonianus Gallus

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