n the middle of the third century Anno Domini, Decius, a former senator, consul, governor, and now general, from the province of Illyricum in the Roman Empire, an area today within the borders of Serbia, fought and defeated an army of Balkan rebels led by one Pacatianus. The army of Decius then proclaimed Decius Emperor of Rome in response to his successes on the field of battle. When the true emperor led an army against him, Decius defeated and killed him, popularly known as Phillip the Arab, at the Battle of Verona in September of AD 249. Probably to solidify his takeover, as well as perhaps a jealousy of the increase of Christians, Decius decreed to all provincial governors that everyone in the Empire make sacrifices and burn incense to the gods of Rome, as an act of obedience, piety and worship. Christians were split on the issue of going along with the civil decree.