Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius was born in 201 and served as consul in 232. He had a long succession of high authority positions such as governor of Moesia, Germania Inferior, and Hispania Tarraconensis until 238 and became urban prefect of Rome during the reign of Philip the Arab.
In 248 Decius was sent by Philip to calm a revolt occurring in Moesia which came about when a peace treaty was signed by Philip and the Sassanid’s. The troops forced Decius to claim the throne as his own, Decius claimed he was still loyal to Philip but when Philip and his armies advanced upon him he was forced to fight back and was victorious when Philip was killed.
Decius was recognized as emperor by the senate and was known as and excellent soldier and capable administrator. He restored strength to the State and attempted to renovate the state religion.
Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius, born in 227 was the son of Decius and the older brother of Hostilian.
In 248, Herennius accompanied his father when Decius was sent to quell the revolt in the Danube frontier. When Decius was declared emperor by the troops and marched on to Rome, Herennius was declared heir to the throne.
At the beginning of 251 Decius elevated his son to the position of co-emperor and decided it was necessary to slay King Cniva of the Goths as punishment for the Goths invasion and frequent raids. They set out on an expedition leaving Herennius' younger brother Hostilian in Rome.
When confronted with the Goth army, the Romans realised that their tactics weren’t enough to defend themselves against the Goths, Herennius died in battle when struck with an arrow.
Decius was slain by the Goths during battle in 251 and was the first emperor to be killed by barbarians in battle. This battle also claimed the life of his son Herennius Etruscus.
Gaius Valens Hostilianus Messius Quintus was born after 230 and was the younger brother of Herennius and the son of Decius.
As son of the Emperor he was treated as an imperial prince but was always overshadowed by his older brother. When Herennius and Decius went to battle the Goths, Hostilian was forced to remain in Rome due to his inexperience.
When his father and brother died in battle, fellow soldiers proclaimed the well respected general Trebonianus Gallus as emperor. Rome however, acknowledged the rights of Hostilian and crowned him emperor. In 251 Rome was infected by the plague which Hostilian died of. Trebonianus took over the reign
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