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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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Rare denomination introduced with this issue, and equal in value to the obsolete silver quinarius. The c. 4g brass "semis" introduced at the same time as this issue, may well have been a "reduced as" half of the c. 8.5 gram dupondius, one quarter of the c. 17 g sesterius, and one eighth of this coin. Completing the sub-antoninianus denominations, a rare, small, silver coin of c. 1.6 g was a denarius. The double sestertius, easilly distiguished by its radiate crown, was also issued by Gallienus and especially Postumus. A rare denomination of Aurelian and Severina is sometimes referred to as a "dupondius," sometimes as an "double sestertius." its rarity precludes its use as a smaller than half fraction of the c. 275 A.D. aurelianus. Probably the 7 g "as" was a half of the aurelianus, making the 14 g radiate Aurelian / Severina bronze an attempted bronze aurelianus.
SH26392. Orichalcum double sestertius, RIC IV 115d, Cohen V 39, Hunter III 47, SRCV III 9395, Choice VF, weight 34.518 g, maximum diameter 36.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, drapery in left shoulder; reverse FELICITAS SAECVLI S C, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; exceptional quality for this late issue, olive patina; ex The New York Sale, Auction XIV, 10 January 2007, lot 373; SOLD


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The double sestertius, easily distinguished by its radiate crown, was also issued by Gallienus and especially by Postumus. This rare denomination, equal in value to the obsolete silver quinarius, was introduced with this issue. The c. 4g brass "semis" introduced at the same time, may well have been a "reduced as" half of the c. 8.5 gram dupondius, one quarter of the c. 17 g sestertius, and one eighth of this coin. Completing the sub-antoninianus denominations, a rare, small, silver coin of c. 1.6 g was a denarius.
SH82658. Orichalcum double sestertius, RIC IV 115c & pl. 12, 16 (R); Cohen V 40 (30 fr.); Hunter III 46 & pl. 78; SRCV III 9395, gVF, attractively centered on a full flan, green and brown surfaces, minor roughness, small areas of light smoothing , closed flan crack at obv. 7:00, weight 37.403 g, maximum diameter 37.0 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Rome mint, 3rd emission, 250 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FELICITAS SAECVLI (age of good fortune), Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, long caduceus grounded and vertical in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; ex CNG e-auction 410 (29 Nov 2017), lot 379; SOLD


Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), Syria Palestina

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After the First Jewish Revolt, the Jews were disbursed from Jerusalem and prohibited even from visiting. About 130 A.D. Hadrian established a colony on the site and built a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus on the temple mount. His actions prompted the Second Jewish Revolt or Bar Kochba Rebellion.
SH90827. Bronze AE 27, Kadman Aelia Capitolina 170 (same dies), Sofaer Collection 141, Meshorer Aelia 154, Rosenberger 89, F, weight 13.132 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, Aelia Capitolina mint, obverse IMP C G MES Q TRA DECIVS AVG, laureate bust right; reverse COL AEL KAP COM P F, Serapis seated left on throne, kalathos on head, reaching right hand toward Cerberus at feet on left, long scepter vertical behind in left; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection; extremely rare; SOLD


Divus Commodus, Commemorative Issued by Trajan Decius, 250 - 251 A.D.

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RIC notes that the commencement of the divi series of antoniniani may be attributed with certainty by their weight to Trajan Decius and issue may have continued into the reign of Trebonianus Gallus.
RS77211. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV TD93 (R); RSC II 1009; Hunter III p. 257, 27; SRCV III 9480, Choice VF, well centered, toned, some luster in recessed areas, weight 4.387 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, struck under Traianus Decius, 250 - 251 A.D.; obverse DIVO COMMODO, radiate head right; reverse CONSECRATION, eagle standing slightly left, head turned back right, wings open; rare; SOLD


Divus Nerva, Commemorative Issued by Trajan Decius, 250 - 251 A.D.

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RIC notes that the commencement of the divi series of antoniniani may be attributed with certainty by their weight to Trajan Decius and issue may have continued into the reign of Trebonianus Gallus. An otherwise identical type was struck with the obverse legend DIVO NERVE (RIC 83b). The final visible letter does not, however, looks more like an A than an E and there does seem to be a slight indication of the missing final letter.
RS77193. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV Decius 84b (R2); RSC II Nerva 153; Hunter III p. 256, 14; SRCV III 9469, Choice gVF, superb portrait, well centered, light toning with mint luster in recessed areas, some areas frosty, some a little porous, die wear, tiny flan crack, weight 3.552 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 250 - 251 A.D.; obverse DIVO NERVAE, radiate head of Divus Nerva right; reverse CONSECRATIO, large rectangular flaming altar, taller than it is wide, with two panel doors on front; rare; SOLD


Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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In 256 A.D., about six years after this coin was struck, the Persian King Shapur conquered and plundered Antioch.
SH60143. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 1116(d), Prieur 528, BMC Galatia -, SNG Cop -, Choice aEF, weight 14.750 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 195o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 249 - 250 A.D.; obverse AYT K Γ ME KY ∆EKIOC TPAIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, four pellets below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing left on palm frond, wings open, head left, wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; very light corrosion, much remaining mint luster; SOLD


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Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
SH08053. Bronze semis, RIC IV 128, Cohen V 102, Hunter III 55, SRCV III 9433, gVF, weight 2.660 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse Mars standing facing in military garb, helmeted head left, resting right hand on grounded shield, inverted vertical spear behind in in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; SOLD


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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
SH13734. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 112b; Cohen V 18, SRCV III 9399, Hunter III 32 var. (bust), gVF, weight 18.398 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse DACIA, Dacia, wearing robe reaching feet, standing left holding vertical staff topped with the head of Draco, S - C (senatus consulto) across field; SOLD


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The Dacian Kingdom existed between 82 B.C. until the Trajan's conquest in 106 A.D. This coin commemorates Trajan Decius' recovery of Roman Dacia from rebelling Carpo-Dacians. The province was abandoned by Aurelian in 275, recovered again by Constantine the Great by 336, but abandoned again permanently soon after Constantine's death.
SH71498. Copper as, RIC IV 113c (R); Cohen V 29; Hunter II - (noted p. xcvii), SRCV III 9423, VF/F, well centered, some earthen encrustation, weight 9.877 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 5th emission, 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse DACIA, Dacia standing left, wearing robe reaching feet, Roman legionary standard before her in her right hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking at sides; we know of only a few other examples of the type and this is the first example handled by Forum; very rare; SOLD


Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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The obverse legend abbreviates the Emperor's name, Gaius Messius Quintus Decius.
RY57241. Billon tetradrachm, Prieur 509 (2 specimens); McAlee 1112 (pl. coin is the same coin as Prieur); BMC Galatia p. 221, 588, VF, near perfect centering, old scratch on reverse, weight 12.513 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 249 - 250 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K ΓIA ME KYIN ∆EKIOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, officina mark missing or off-flan; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing left on palm branch, wings spread, head left, wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; very rare; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

IMPCAESCMESSQDECIOTRAIAVG
IMPCAESCMESSTRAIQDECIOAVG
IMPCAESQTRAIANVSDECIVS
IMPCAETRADECAVG
IMPCAETRADECIVSAVG
IMPCDECIVSAVG
IMPCMQTRAIANVSDECIVSAVG
IMPTRAIANVSAVGDECIVS
IMPTRAIANVSDECIVSAVG


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Caliců, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappťes 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 Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Trajan Decius