Decius was a Roman Emperor born in 201 A.D. and who died in 251 A.D. where he is listed on the Bible Timeline with World History. While he ruled he focused on strengthening the Roman Empire. During his reign, many European and Asian barbarian tribes were pushing themselves deeper into Roman territory. He not only fought the various Germanic tribes that were old enemies of Rome, he also had to hold back the encroaching Goths who were beginning to threaten the stability of the empire.
Highly Respected Soldier Decius was a very capable leader and soldier. He was so effective on the battlefield that his men wanted him to become emperor. Decius served under a Roman ruler named Philip the Arab. This particular Roman Emperor ruled Rome for five years between 244 A.D. and 249 A.D. While he was in power he received word from a confidant who informed him about what was taking place along the Danube. After he figured out what was happening he gathered his forces to put an end to this mutiny. Decius tried to work out some type of negotiation, but it failed. In 249 A.D. Emperor Philip the Arab and General Decius fought a great battle in Northern Italy. The emperor was slain and Decius became the new ruler.
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Persecution of the Christian Believers Shortly after Decius came to power he passed a law that demanded all people within the Roman Empire to make a sacrifice to the emperor. The Christian citizens naturally disagreed with this law and, as a result, many were imprisoned or killed. Historical evidence indicates that many prominent Christian members within Roman society were slain for not obeying this order. A plague had also broken out within the empire and it supposedly had corresponded with the outbreak of the persecutions that had taken place. Many people of the day blamed the Christians for the plague. This motivated Decius and the immediate emperors who followed his rule, to further persecute Christians if they did not worship the emperor. Decius reign was far different from many of his predecessors who made an effort to help Christians.
Decius wasn’t emperor for very long and most of his time was spent fighting wars and battles. He did his best to try and improve the moral climate within Rome and the empire. He was moderately successful with this effort. He also initiated some building projects and he regulated religious worship.
The Warrior Emperor
Emperor Decius eventually had to spend a great deal of time confronting enemies on the battlefield. In 250 he had given power to a senator named Valerianus so that he could personally drive out the invading Goths under the leadership of a king named Kniva. He also proclaimed that his son Herrinius Etrucus Caesar to be the next ruler in case he died while in battle. He fought the Goths in 250 and lost. He fought once again in 251 but won during that campaign.
While Decius was away, a usurper to his power had arisen and his name was Valens. Julius Licinius Valerianus had put down the rebellion. Emperor Decius had met his demise in 251 A.D. when he confronted the Goth King Kniva. He and his son both died while fighting him on the battlefield.
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