249-253 AD:  Four Bad Years 


Update 2/11/16: I have sold my coin collection (but am still very interested in the period of history and hope to improve my website)

These four years mark a low point in Roman History.  Civil war, barbarian invasion, and plague created unprecedented problems.  The coins of this period are particularly interesting because they are one of our best sources of information from a time from which few contemporary writings survive.  Each emperor chose a different political identity in an attempt to restore the empire.  Decius honored Roman traditional virtue, the good emperors, and the army.  Gallus portrayed himself as a fair and benevolent ruler who sought to bring peace to the land.  Aemilian based his claim to power on his military victory.  I welcome you to read my paper which goes into greater  depth on the topic.

Please contact me if you are willing to share picture of information concerning Decius, Gallus, or Aemilian history and/or coins marius1@sonic.net




Trajan Decius


Herennia Etruscilla



Herennius Etruscus


Hostilian Caesar






Hostilian AVG





Rome: Bronze  Silver  Gold

Cornelia Supera

Rome: Silver









Links:  for those who like this time period

Shapur's invasion of Antioch

and the coins of 253 AD

Before Decius:  Philip    

Divi Series

Philip Antioch Issues

After Aemilian:  Valerian & Gallienus


History of 249-253 - A comparison of the coins and the written sources

Portraits of the Third Century

Coinage studies    The Plague AD 251-260's

Gallus' coinage of Pax     Jordanes the Goth

Flavius Josephus (writing about Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage AD 251)

Gert Boersema's article on the Officina marks of Antioch antoniniani












This site was last updated 02/11/16