Trebonianus Gallus

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Trebonianus Gallus:Lardius Guttarsus.

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For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Trebonianus Gallus.
“He was a wobbler.”
~ Edward Gibbon on Trebonianus Gallus
“Any relation to William Gallas?”
~ Gary Lineker on Trebonianus Gallus

It does make you wonder why anyone wanted to become Roman Emperor when you examine the brief career of Trebonianus Gallus. Seriously, did he get any Caligula sized fun and madness in his two years as a the Living God, a divine like powers that always deserted you the moment someone came at you with a sword?? Whether Trebonianus Gallus was particulary bad or not seems immaterial, he died and so did all his sons and friends when Lady Fortuna left his side.

What is known is that Gallus was blamed for the death of his predecessor Decius by arranging an 'against the odds' battle with a horde of bad Goths. He also didn't stick around after the defeat in the Balkans but was back in Rome to give the bad news personally to the Caesar Hostillian. On the lines 'your dad and brother are dead. You are the emperor but I am willing to be your deputy/colleague'. Once Hostillian agreed, he was reunited posthumously with his family[1] a few days later. Gallus now had the Roman Empire all to his big fat self.

edit Origins

Trebonianus Gallus was a rarity during this time period, a Roman emperor born in Italy. His skills appeared to be more political rather than military. If it was him that betrayed Decius, then those silky skills as a smarmy smooth talker would explain how he climbed to the top. Gallus also appears to have been vain, though oddly lacking self awareness. He posed for a bronze statue in the posture of a naked man trying to gain attention from the bar staff. The size of that metal belly at least shows Gallus wasn't bothered about exposing copious amounts of his flabby body.

Gallus therefore promoted his own son Volusian[2] as Deputy Emperor. Whether Volusian merited the promotion or not, his father was obliged to return to the Goth Problem. They were still bouncing up and down about killing an emperor and hadn't washed for three months. When Trebonianus Gallus tried to usher back across the River Danube with offers of free soap and hair gel, the Goths claimed they would be victimised by the Scythians. So they stayed put until the Scythians[3] came to the North bank of the river and conducted an obscene pantomime to insult the Goths. They crossed back over.

edit Persia (again)

The Persian 'King of Kings' Shapur still expressed 'unhappiness' that his old friend emperor Philip the Arab had been done to death. He also came up with an excuse that Philip had promised to hand over the eastern provinces in lieu of a gambling debt. Trebonianus Gallus said this was 'Persian baloney' but had sit by whilst Shapur sent an army into Syria. When the emperor finally got his lardy carcass across the Mediterranean Sea, the Persians had gone and there was yet another rebellion along the Danube frontier.

edit Guess What...Death

Gallus sent letters to his legions to meet him. One of his generals Valerian set out to join up from Gaul but took the touring route to the rendezvous point. By the time he arrived at the meeting place, 'T.G' and his son Volusian were dead and their army had disappeared to join a rebel called Aemilianus. It didn't need the services of an Ancient Roman Sherlock Holmes to figure out that both men had been murdered. Valerian had them buried and left the scene. He scented an opportunity!

edit Anything Else We Should Know About Trebonianus Gallus?

Should we? Nah. Move on...

edit References

  1. No doubt, overcome by grief and a knife in his back.
  2. It's not true he had a brother called Volvic.
  3. A nomadic people with terrible Ancient World P.R.
Preceded by:
Decius
Roman Emperor
251-253
Succeeded by:
Valerian



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