A very rare aureus of Hostilian with a splendid portrait
Lot 1963
Hostilian, 251. Aureus (Gold, 19 mm, 4.00 g, 1 h), Rome. C VALENS HOSTIL MES QVINTVS N C Bare-headed and draped bust of Hostilian to right, seen from behind. Rev. PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS Herennius Etruscus, as prince of the youth, standing front in military attire, head to left, holding signum in his right hand and spear in his left. Calicó 3316. Cohen 33. RIC 181b. Very rare. A superb example with a splendid portrait. A few light marks before the portrait and with a very minor nick on the edge, otherwise, nearly extremely fine.


Hostilian was the younger son of the Roman general C. Messius Quintus Decius Valerinus, who in 249 became the emperor Trajan Decius after rebelling against Philip I. When Decius and his older son Herennius Etruscus were defeated and killed by Gothic invaders in the disastrous Battle of Abrittus in mid 251, Hostilian was adopted by the new emperor Trebonianus Gallus, who accepted the young prince as his co-ruler to avoid an outbreak of a civil war. This surprising decision did not hold very long, as Hostilian conveniently passed away some months later, making way for the appointment of Gallus' own son, Volusian, to the rank of Augustus. Aurelius Victor and the Epitome de Caesaribus report that Hostilian died of the Plague of Cyprian, but the suspicious circumstances of his death have led many to believe that he was, as the Byzantine historian Zosimos claims, executed at the behest of Gallus.
Starting price:
3500 CHF
Hammer price:
12000 CHF
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Closing time: 28-Feb-21, 12:47:00 CET
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