AD 249-251

AR Antoninianus. 3.37g, 21.9mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 249-250
REF: RIC 12b; Cohen 16.
OBVERSE: IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: DACIA, Dacia standing left holding staff topped with a wolf's head (Draco).



Very Fine. Lightly toned; nice details.

This distinctive type honours the province of Dacia, a rich territory in the Carpathian mountains conquered over a century earlier by Emperor Trajan, whose name Decius took and whose glorious rule he sought to imitate.  The personification of Dacia on this coin holds a 'draco', a tall staff surmounted by a hollow metal wolf's head.  The staff was traditionally employed by Dacian and Skythian warriors, and it was said to have made a menacing howl when the wind passed through the wolf's head.


Historical Notes:

Trajan Decius was a prominent senator who came to power in a revolt against the rule of Philip the Arab.  Upon his ascension, he adopted the name of the revered 2nd century emperor Trajan and took measures to revive a number of old Roman traditions and institutions.  Despite his brief reign, Decius's coinage was relatively varied and interesting, surviving today in large numbers.  His downfall about came at the Battle of Abritus in June 251, against an army of invading Goths.  When his son Herennius Etruscus fell early in the battle, Decius is said to have stoically proclaimed, "Let no one mourn; the death of one soldier is not a great loss to the republic."  Decius himself was soon thereafter killed and his army destroyed.  He has the the unfortunate distinction of being the first Roman Emperor to die in battle against a foreign enemy.

TRAJAN DECIUS . AD 249-251 . AR Antoninianus . Dacia and 'draco' staff

SKU: 2188
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