TRAJAN DECIUS (Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius)
- Gaius Messius Quintus Valerinus was born at Budalia, near Sirmium, in around 190.
- Senator, consul in 232, governor of Hispania Tarraconensis 235-8, and urban prefect at Rome early in the reign of Philip I.
- In 249 Philip I sent Decius to be governor of the provinces of Moesia and Pannonia.
- After achieving military successes, Decius persuaded his troops to accept him as emperor.
- He marched on Rome with his legions and met Philip in battle in September or October 249 near Verona. Philip was defeated and killed in the battle.
- Continuing to Rome to consolidate his power, he took the surname "Traianus".
- He initiated a number of building works in Rome, including the Thermae Decianae or Baths of Decius on the Aventine.
- Decius earned the disapprobation of the later Christian Church by obliging all citizens of the empire to make pagan sacrifice for the emperor's wellbeing.
- In 250 he raised his elder son, Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius (Herennius Etruscus), to the rank of Caesar.
- In 250 the he embarked on a campaign against the Goths, who had crossed the Danube and were ravaging Thrace.
- There were attempted usurpations by the governor of Thrace, Titus Julius Priscus, and Iulius Valens Licinianus, at Rome.
- In June 251, at Abrittus, on the Lower Danube, the Goths led his army into a trap and Decius was killed along with his elder son.
- The defeated army chose Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus as the new emperor. He adopted Decius's younger son, Gaius Valens Hostilianus Messius Quintus as Caesar.