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In 249 CE Roman emperor Philip the Arab sent senator Decius to be the governor of the troubled provinces of Moesia and Pannonia.
Roman legions under the ineffective command of the governor there were deserting to the invading Goths who were angry because Philip had cut indemnity payments.
After defeating Philip and consolidating his power in Rome, the emperor focused on a number of building projects including a repair of the aging Colosseum and the construction of the Baths of Decius.
In 250 CE he returned to military service when he led forces to the Balkans to confront the resurging Goths who had crossed the Danube into the province of Thrace and attacked the city of Philippopolis.
Decius was the first Roman emperor to die in battle against a foreign enemy.
Trebonianus Gallus assumed the imperial title (251-253 CE) and quickly made peace with the Goths.
After repelling the Goths and restoring stability to the region, Decius’s legions, already tiring of Philip’s rule, declared him emperor.
Decius had a fascination with many of those who had preceded him, and in an attempt to reaffirm their divinity, he issued coins to honor each of them.
Quintus Decius Valerinus was born around 190 CE to a large landowning family in the small village of Budalia located in the Balkan province of Pannonia.
The young aspiring Decius married into a respectable Etruscan family - Herennia Cupressenia Etruscilla - they would have two sons, Herennius and Hestilianus.
Although Christians were not specifically named in any of the imperial edicts, it was evident for whom they were intended.
Some historians speculate that his dislike of the Christians stemmed from Philip’s less aggressive policies - the persistent rumor that Philip was a Christian.Although some historians believe Decius was reluctant to battle Philip, the armies of the two emperors met at Beroea in Macedonia where Decius defeated and killed Philip.Shortly afterwards, Philip’s young son and heir was killed at the Praetorian camp in Rome. He would be the first in a long line of emperors from the Balkans.His major concern was the leader of the Goths, Kniva.