Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 104

Lot 3343

Trajan Decius, Gold Aureus (4.65g). AD 249-251. Rome, AD 250. IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Decius right. Reverse: PANNONIAE, the two Pannoniae standing half-left and half-right, respectively, flanked by signum and vexillum. RIC 22. Calicó 3297. Very rare. An exceptionally brilliant example, fully struck up with broad borders, blazing luster and just a hint of reddish toning. A true gem! Superb Mint State. Estimate Value $12,500 - UP
Although hailing from the Danubian province of Pannonia celebrated on the reverse of this spectacular aureus, Gaius Messius Quintus Decius did not rise through the ranks of the Roman army as did the Danubian soldier emperors that followed him. From a prominant family, he married into the Roman aristocracy (his wife Herennia Etruscilla features on his coinage) and rose rapidly in the Senate. In AD 248-249, the Emperor Philip I placed Decius at the head of an army sent to the Danubian front to crush a usurper and eject Gothic invaders. Instead, as would become common in the following decades, Decius's soldiers proclaimed him emperor. He defeated Philip in battle and the Senate enthusiastically approved his elevation, granting him the additional name Trajan in honor of the great second-century emperor. Once installed, Decius cracked down harshly on Christianity and other cults he believed were undermining the ancient traditions of Rome. He had little time to impliment his domestic program as renewed barbarian invasions late in AD 250 demanded his attention. In 251, Decius foolishly pursued the Goths into the marshes of Abrittus. Decius and about half of his army perished in the debacle. The Christians called it God's revenge.

Realized $15,000

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