AE Sestertius. 18.1g, 29.4mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 249
REF: RIC 105a (rare)
OBVERSE: IMP CAES C MESS Q DECIO TRAI AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: GENIVS EXERCITVS ILLVRICIANI, Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia; signum to right.
Acquired from Alan Cherry, London Coin Fair 2014.
Almost Very Fine. Beautiful olive-green patina, minor flan crack on obverse.
Rare early obverse legend. The reverse acknowledges the region of Illyricum, from where Decius hailed.
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 . Sestertius . "Genius of Illyricum" . RARE
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