Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus was born in 206 in Italy from a family with strong senatorial roots. His early career had a combination of both political and military achievements.
In 250 he was promoted by Decius from Suffect Consul to governor of Moesia Superior. His military skills helped thwart frequent attempts of invasion by the Goths which made him a popular and respected man among his soldiers.
When the army heard the news in 251 that Decius and his son Herennius had been killed in battle, they instantly proclaimed their leader Trebonianus as Emperor despite Decius’s youngest son Hostilian retaining rights to the throne. Accepting the inevitable, Trebonianus did not challenge this decision, possibly to keep peace and not create another civil war.
As it was he did not have to wait to long to take the throne as later in the year the plague swept through Rome, killing Hostilian. Trebonianus seized the throne and appointed his own son Volusianus as co-emperor. He quickly buried those killed by the epidemic, showing respect for a sensitive situation.
However the Goths continued raging and with no response from Trebonianus, neighbouring governor Aemilianus began to defend his region and succeeded. The soldiers proclaimed him emperor and Trebonianus prepared to fight to defend his title. However, in 253 as Aemilianus marched forward to enforce his claim, Trebonianus and his son Volusianus were murdered by their own troops.
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