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Bust of Decius. Musei Capitolini, Roma (Italy). Photo Jona Lendering.
Decius (Musei Capitolini, Roma)
Decius: emperor of the Roman world (249-251).


  • 195: Gaius Messius Quintus Decius Valerianus 
  • June 249: Imperator Gaius Messius Quintus Decius Valerianus 
  • September 249: Imperator Caesar Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus Decius Augustus
  • June 251: killed in action
Successor of: Philippus Arabs


Main deeds:

  • 195 Born in Budalia near Sirmium
  • Consul before 232
  • c.230 Marriage to Herennia Etruscilla
  • c.232 Propraetor of Moesia
  • c.235 Propraetor of Germania Inferior
  • c.237 Propraetor of Hispania Tarraconensis
  • Praefectus urbi
  • Propraetor of both Moesian and both Pannonian provinces
  • 249 Proclaimed emperor; defeats Philippus Arabs near Verona; major persecution of the Christians
  • 250 Consul II (with Vettius Gratus); Visigoths in Thrace; a local Roman commander named Priscus proclaimed emperor; Decius fights against the Visigoths, and kills Priscus; Decius accepts titles Dacicus maximus and Germanicus maximus; in the meantime in Rome a brief insurrection by a man named Julius Valens Licinianus
  • 251 Consul III (with his son Quintus Herennius Decius); death, together with Herennius, in a battle on the Danube
  • Decius is succeeded by his youngest son Hostilian, while the army proclaims Trebonianus Gallus; civil war is averted when Hostilian succumbs to the plague
Buildings: Baths of Decius

Contemporary events:

  • 250 Diophantus publishes his Arithmetica
  • 251 Cyprian publishes De lapsis
  • 251 Martyrdom of Agatha
Succeeded by: Hostilianus; Trebonianus Gallus
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This brief article has been written to offer background information
to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be
improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 23 Oct. 2012
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