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Trebonianus Gallus

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Trebonianus Gallus on a coin celebrating Aeternitas.

Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus (206 - August, 253), was Roman emperor from 251 to 253, in a joint rule with his son Volusianus.

Gallus was born in Italy, in a family with respected ancestry and a senatorial background. He had two children in his marriage with Afinia Gemina Baebiana: the future emperor Gaius Vibius Volusianus and a daughter, Vibia Galla. His early career was typical with several appointments, both political and military. He was suffect consul and in 250 was nominated governor of the Roman province of Moesia Superior, an appointment that showed the confidence of emperor Trajan Decius in him. In Moesia, Gallus was a key figure in repelling the frequent invasion attacks by the Gothic tribes of the Danube and became popular with the army.

On July 1 251, Decius and his co-emperor and son Herennius Etruscus died in the battle of Abrittus, at the hands of the Goths they were supposed to punish for raids into the empire. When the army heard the news, the soldiers proclaimed Gallus emperor, despite Hostilian, Decius' surviving son, ascending the imperial throne in Rome. Gallus did not back down from his intention to became emperor, but accepted Hostilian as co-emperor, perhaps to avoid the damage of another civil war. While Gallus marched on Rome, an outbreak of plague struck the city and killed the young Hostilian. With absolute power now on his hands, Gallus nominated his son Volusianus co-emperor.

Eager to show himself competent and gain popularity with the citizens, Gallus swiftly dealt with the epidemic, providing burial for the victims. Gallus is often accused of persecuting the Christians, but the only solid evidence of this allegation is the imprisoning of Pope Cornelius in 252.

Like his predecessors, Gallus did not have an easy reign. In the East, king Shapur I of Persia invaded and conquered the province of Syria, without any response from Rome. On the Danube, the Gothic tribes were once again on the loose, despite the peace treaty signed in 251. The army was not pleased with the emperor and when Aemilianus, governor of Moesia Superior and Pannonia, took the initiative of battle and defeated the Goths, the soldiers proclaimed him emperor. With a usurper threatening the throne, Gallus prepared for a fight. He recalled several legions and ordered reinforcements to return to Rome from the Rhine frontier. Despite these dispositions, Aemilianus marched onto Italy ready to fight for his claim. Gallus did not have the chance to face him in battle: he was murdered by his own troops in August 253. His son Volusianus shared his fate.



Preceded by:
Decius
Roman Emperor

251–253
with Hostilian (251) and Volusianus (251–253)
Succeeded by:
Aemilianus

Template:End boxcs:Trebonianus Gallus de:Trebonianus Gallus et:Trebonianus Gallus fr:Trébonien Galle it:Treboniano Gallo he:טרבוניאנוס גלוס nl:Trebonianus Gallus ja:トレボニアヌス pl:Trebonian Gallus fi:Trebonianus Gallus sv:Trebonianus Gallus

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