Decius was a plebeian; one of the free though not noble citizens who had votes, but only within a few years had been capable of being chosen to the higher offices of state, and who looked upon every election to the consulship as a victory.
At the same time when Decius was struggling with the violence of the tempest, his mind, calm and deliberate amidst the tumult of war, investigated the more general causes, that, since the age of the Antonines, had so impetuously urged the decline of the Roman greatness.
'Sir, the editor of the ahem! newspaper, I take exception to this statement in your pages. 'Sir, I refer you to Junius Brutus. Answer, Roman! Never a sound from Limbo! 'Sir, Decius has grossly misrepresented. Where shall I send my challenge? 'To Hades, no less! Not the least use in knocking up John Randolph of Roanoke. 'Sir, I am at odds with Aurelius.
Later in the campaign the Emperor Decius was defeated and killed by the Goths in a battle waged on marshy ground near the mouth of the Danube. This was the second of the three great disasters which marked the doom of the Roman Empire: the first was the defeat of Varus in Germany; the third was to be the defeat and death of the Emperor Valens before Adrianople.
As for Decius Magius, she had barely seen him, yet she had felt him to be one of all others upon whom she could rely an Italian uncorrupted by Capuan luxury, a worthy descendant of the rugged Samnite stock, a Roman in all but name; and now he was snatched away, a prisoner in the hands of enemies who knew nothing of mercy.
Deeply impressed by the favour and confidence of the dictator, Sergius hurried away to his quarters, and, sending for Marcus Decius, the decurion who had told the news of Trasimenus to the crowd of the Forum, he directed him to see that the horses were fed and the men in readiness for a night march.
Decius sent back word, in reply, that Pyrrhus had no occasion to give himself any uneasiness in respect to the course which the Roman general would pursue in the approaching battle.
For some minutes silence continued; then Decius, a roll in his hand, stepped to his kinsman's side and indicated with his finger a passage of the manuscript. What Basil read might be rendered thus: 'I am hateful to myself. For though born to do something worthy of a man, I am now not only incapable of action, but even of thought.
His javelins had all been expended in breaking through the Roman line, and a short, heavy dagger was his only weapon. Nothing daunted, he came on, evaded like a flash the thrust of Decius' spear, and hurled himself upon him.
It would be equivalent, in fact, to an acknowledgment that he had been entirely defeated. Accordingly, both sides began again to prepare vigorously for war. The Romans marched southward from the city with a large army, under the command of their two consuls. The names of the consuls at this time were Sulpicius Saverrio and Decius Mus.