Roman Emperor
In Power Nov 251 – Aug 253
Born 230 AD
Died Aug 253 (aged 22)
Father Trebonianus Gallus
Mother Afinia Gemina Baebiana

Gaius Vibius Volusianus was born in 253 to the Roman general and future emperor, Tribunianus Gallus, and his wife, Afinia Gemina Baebiana. Volusianus had a sister named Vibia Galla.

Volusianus’ father, Gallus, was a trusted general of Emperor Decius. Together with Decius and his son, Herennius, Gallus battled against the Goths on the Danube in 251. Decius and Herennius died in the battle, resulting in the defeat of the Roman army. Gallus was hailed as the new emperor by the Danubian legions, but in Rome, it was Hostilian, the younger son of Decius, who was proclaimed emperor. To avoid another conflict, Gallus adopted Hostilian as his son and co-emperor.

Rise to the Throne

Later that year, Hostilian died because of the Plague of Cyprian, which was then spreading in Rome and claiming thousands of lives. Following this, Gallus granted the title Augustus to his son, Volusianus, making him his co-emperor.

The joint rule of father and son would not only be hounded by the plague but also by more invasions by the Goths. After Decius’ and Herennius’ defeat in 251, Rome had agreed to pay the Goths a yearly sum to keep them from invading again. However, Rome had stopped the payment and the Goths again started to invade the regions of Moesia and Thrace. Soon, an army commander in the Balkans, Aemilius Aemilianus, rose to the occasion. He wiped out the Goths and drove them out of the empire’s borders. Because of the decisiveness he had shown, Aemilianus was hailed by his soldiers as their new emperor.


Aemilianus marched rapidly towards Rome, terrifying Gallus and Volusianus. Backed by only a small army, Gallus asked Valerian, a governor in the regions of the Rhine, to come to Rome and help in the impending battle. Valerian failed to arrive in time, though, as Aemilianus soon stormed the city. Gallus’ and Volusianus’ troops, knowing they would be slaughtered by a much larger army, killed both emperors before a clash happened.

With Volusianus and his father’s deaths in 253, Hostilianus’ rule lasted only two years. They were succeeded to the throne by Aemilius Aemilianus.