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Herennia Etruscilla

Annia Cupressenia Herennia Etruscilla was the wife of Traian Decius, emperor from 249-251. She had two sons with him, Herennius Etruscus and Hostilian. She probably came from an influential senatorial family. After the death of her husband and eldest son Herennius in the battle against the barbarians along the Danube frontier she assisted her youngest son Hostilian during his co-emperorship with Trebonian Gallus, the successor of her husband. Soon Hostilian died as a result of the plague wich overshadowed Gallus reign after wich she disapeared from history.




The coins of Herennia Etruscilla from Viminacium


Denominations struck: sestertius

The sestertii of Herennia Etruscilla have a portrait of her wearing a diadem in her hair.

Used notations of the local year:

AN XI, used from august/september 249 until july 250.
AN XII, used from july 250 until may/june 251.

Obverse text variations used:

A: HER ETRVSCILLA AVG
B: HER ETR - VSCILLA AV

Reverse text variations used:

a: PMSC - OLVIM
b: PM - S - CO - LVII
c: PM - S - COLVIM

AN XI
Sestertius ANNO XI - 249/250 - Pick 136 - Varbanov 178
Private collection

Weight: 13,32 grams
Diameter: 28 mm

Obverse:
Bust of Herennia Etruscilla to the right placed on a crescent moon. She has a diadem in her hair and a part of her dress is visible over her shoulders. The hair of the empress is folded backwards over the back of her head and pinned down.

Text: (A:) HER ETRVSCILLA AVG (HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVGVSTA) - Herennia Etruscilla Augusta.

Reverse: Woman (Moesia) standing with head to the left holding her right hand over a bull and her left hand over a lion.

Text: (a:) PMSC - OLVIM (PROVINCIA MOESIA SVPERIOR COLONIA VIMINACIVM) - Province Moesia superior colony Viminacium.

Exergue: AN XI (ANNO XI) - year 11 (249/250).

Remark: First year sestertius in the name of Etruscilla. The year XI is somewhat scarcer than those from the year XII. On this coin the bust of Herennia Etruscilla is placed on a crescent moon.

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AN XII

Sestertius ANNO XII - 250/251 - Pick 137 var. - Varbanov 179
Private collection

Weight: 14,20 grams
Diameter: 27,52 mm

Obverse: Bust of Herennia Etruscilla to the right with diadem in her hair. The dress visible over her shoulders is draped different this time. The hair of the empress is folded backwards over the back of her head and pinned down.

Text: (A:) HER ETRVSCILLA AVG (HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVGVSTA) - Herennia Etruscilla Augusta.

Reverse: Woman (Moesia) standing with head to the left holding her right hand over a bull and her left hand over a lion.

Text: (a:) PMSC - OLVIM (PROVINCIA MOESIA SVPERIOR COLONIA VIMINACIVM) - Province Moesia superior colony Viminacium.

Exergue: AN XII (ANNO XII) - year 12 (250/251).

Remark: The bust on this coin is not seen from behind but from the front. The hairdress of the empress is the same as on the year XI coin so this is probably an early issue from the year XII. The dress visible over her shoulders is draped different this time. The reverse has a tall Moesia with her head breaking the reverse legend.

Sestertius ANNO XII - 250/251 - Pick 140 - Varbanov 180
Collection Scottatlaw on
Tantalus coin registry

Weight: 13,38 grams
Diameter: 28 mm

Obverse: Bust of Herennia Etruscilla to the right with diadem in her hair and necklace around the neck, a part of her dress is visible over her shoulders. The hair of the empress is folded backwards over the back of her head and pinned down.

Text: (A:) HER ETRVSCILLA AVG (HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVGVSTA) - Herennia Etruscilla Augusta.

Reverse: Woman (Moesia) standing with head to the left holding in her right hand a cornucopia and a globe in the left. To the left of her a bull and to the right a lion.

Text: (a:) PMSC - OLVIM (PROVINCIA MOESIA SVPERIOR COLONIA VIMINACIVM) - Province Moesia superior colony Viminacium.

Exergue:AN XII (ANNO XII) - year 12 (250/251).

Remark: The bust on this coin is not seen from behind but from the front. The hairdress of the empress is the same as on the year XI coin so this coin also probably is an early issue from the year XII. On the following coins the hairdress is of a different style. The cornucopia and the globe wich Moesia are holding are symbolizing that with the house of Decius the good times and prosperity have returned to the Roman world.

Sestertius ANNO XII - 250/251 - Pick 138 - Varbanov - (Verg. 180)
Collection Compagnie
General de bourse

Weight: 12,97 grams
Diameter: 27 mm

Obverse: Bust of Herennia Etruscilla to the right with diadem in her hair and necklace around the neck, a part of her dress is visible over her shoulders.

Text: (B:) HER ETR - VSCILLA AV (HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVGVSTA) - Herennia Etruscilla Augusta.

Reverse: Woman (Moesia) standing with head to the left holding a branch in her raised right hand and holding a globe in the left. To the left of her a bull and to the right a lion.

Text: (b:) PM - S - CO - LVII (PROVINCIA MOESIA SVPERIOR COLONIA VIMINACIVM) - Province Moesia superior colony Viminacium.

Exergue: AN XII (ANNO XII) - year 12 (250/251).

Remark: The bust on this coin is not seen from behind but from the front. The diadem in the hair is breaking the obverse legend between ETR and VSCILLA. The branch and globe wich Moesia are holding on this coin let her look like the personification of Pax (peace). The message on this coin probably is that with the house of Decius the peace is restored in the Roman world.

Sestertius ANNO XII - 250/251 - Pick 139 - Varbanov 181
Private collection

Weight: 13,28 grams
Diameter: 26 mm

Obverse:
Bust of Herennia Etruscilla to the right with diadem in her hair, a part of her dress is visible over her shoulders.

Text: (B:) HER ETR - VSCILLA AV (HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVGVSTA) - Herennia Etruscilla Augusta.

Reverse: Woman (Moesia) standing with head to the left between a bull and a lion. She is holding a branch in her raised right hand and holds her left hand over the lion.

Text: (c:) PM - S - COLVIM (PROVINCIA MOESIA SVPERIOR COLONIA VIMINACIVM) - Province Moesia superior colony Viminacium.

Exergue: AN XII (ANNO XII) - year 12 (250/251).

Remark: The bust on this coin is not seen from behind but from the front. The diadem in the hair is breaking the obverse legend between ETR and VSCILLA. The branch wich Moesia is holding on this coin let her look like the personification of Pax (peace). The message on this coin probably is that with the house of Decius the peace is restored in the Roman world.

Sestertius ANNO XII - 250/251 - Pick 137 - Varbanov 179
Copyright Classical Numismatic Group


Weight: 13,55 grams
Diameter: 26 mm

Obverse: Bust of Herennia Etruscilla to the right with diadem in her hair, a part of her dress is visible over her shoulders.

Text: (A:) HER ETRVSCILLA AVG (HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVGVSTA) - Herennia Etruscilla Augusta.

Reverse: Woman (Moesia) standing with head to the left holding her right hand over a bull and her left hand over a lion.

Text: (a:) PMSC - OLVIM (PROVINCIA MOESIA SVPERIOR COLONIA VIMINACIVM) - Province Moesia superior colony Viminacium.

Exergue: AN XII (ANNO XII) - year 12 (250/251).

Remark: The bust on this coin is not seen from behind but from the front. The reverse has a tall Moesia with her head breaking the reverse legend.

Sestertius ANNO XII - 250/251 - Pick 137 var. - Varbanov 179
Collection Scottatlaw on
Tantalus coin registry

Weight: 16,16 grams
Diameter: 27 mm

Obverse: Bust of Herennia Etruscilla to the right with diadem in her hair and necklace around the neck, a part of her dress is visible over her shoulders.

Text: (B:) HER ETR - VSCILLA AV (HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVGVSTA) - Herennia Etruscilla Augusta.

Reverse: Woman (Moesia) standing with head to the left holding her right hand over a bull and her left hand over a lion.

Text: (a:) PMSC - OLVIM (PROVINCIA MOESIA SVPERIOR COLONIA VIMINACIVM) - Province Moesia superior colony Viminacium.

Exergue: AN XII (ANNO XII) - year 12 (250/251).

Remark: The bust on this coin is not seen from behind but from the front. The diadem in the empress hair is breaking the obverse legend. The reverse has a short Moesia with her head only partially between the reverse legend.

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