ROMAN EMPIRE, Trajan Decius, 249-251 AD, silver, antoninianius


ROMAN EMPIRE, Trajan Decius, 249-251 AD, antoninianius, 250-251 AD, Rome mint, Obverse: radiate bust, IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, Reverse: two Panonniae standing 1/2 L, holding standards, PANNONIAE, silver, 21mm, 3.92g, SR9378, mushy rev., AU

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Decius was Praefect of Rome under Philip I and advised the Emperor in his response to a rebellion in Dacia. Sent to Dacia to take care of things, his troops acclaimed him Emperor. It was a thing that happened a lot in the Roman Empire in the 3rd century AD. He was a rigorous persecuter of Christians, fought barbarians, died in battle.

The Roman Empire was a system of theoretically constrained autocracy. The Emperor was supposed to be accepted by the Senate, which was supposed to be representing the people. It became difficult to restrain the autocrats. The succession problem was never solved. Many Emperors were murdered. In the 4th century AD the Empire was split for administrative purposes into eastern and western branches, the west devolving into local kingdoms in the 5th century AD, while the eastern branch continued as what we call the Byzantine Empire until 1453.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.