Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Decius, Arch-Persecutor

    Trajan Decius (AD 249-251). AV aureus (18mm, 3.87 gm, 6h). Rome, AD 250-251. IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust of Decius right / VBERITAS AVG, Uberitas standing left, holding pileus in right hand and cornucopia cradled in left arm. RIC --, cf. 28 (bust also draped). Cohen 104. Calic├│ 3299. An attractive piece with full, brilliant luster and none of the waviness often seen on aurei of Decius. NGC Choice MS 5/5 - 4/5.

    Born on the Danubian frontier, Gaius Messius Quintus Decius rapidly rose to a series of important positions, including the governorships of Spain and Moesia Inferior. In AD 248-249, when the Emperor Philip I faced a series of revolts and usurpations, Decius convinced him not to abdicate. Philip instead placed Decius at the head of an army sent to the Danubian front to crush the usurper Pacatian and eject Gothic invaders. With these tasks accomplished by June of AD 249, Decius' soldiers proclaimed him emperor, much against his wishes (or so he claimed). His army defeated Philip in battle near Verona in September; the Senate enthusiastically approved his elevation and gave him the additional name of Trajan in honor of the great second-century emperor. Decius seems to have come to the throne with a ready-made agenda for the restoration of Rome's fading glory. He cracked down harshly on those he believed were undermining the ancient traditions of Rome. Christianity was particularly singled out, and thousands of Christians were forced to either make sacrifice to Rome's gods or face torture and execution. Renewed barbarian invasions late in AD 250 took his attention away from domestic affairs. Seeking a decisive battle, Decius pursued the fleeing Goths into the marshes of Abrittus and straight into an ambush. Decius and about half of his army perished in the debacle, the first time a Roman emperor had fallen to a foreign enemy. The Christians claimed it was God's revenge on an arch-persecutor. In any case, the catastrophe at Abrittus accelerated the Roman Empire's slide into anarchy.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    13th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 859

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 April 22 - 27 Central States World Coins Signature Auction - Chicago.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Due completely to Heritage's thoroughly diligent and professional management and promotion of the collection, the faraday Collection stirred national attention among numismatists and the auction results brought a gross value greater than that last estimated by the experienced collector.
    The Estate of David M. Faraday ,
    San Rafael, CA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 5-7 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 5-7 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $9,490,536
    2019 December 5 - 6 HKINF World & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2019 December 5 - 6 HKINF World & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $3,848,341
    2019 December 4 - 6 HKINF World Paper Money Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2019 December 4 - 6 HKINF World Paper Money Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,667,605