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Herennius Etruscus

Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius (227? - may/june 251), was the eldest son of the emperor Traian Decius. He became Caesar around may/june 250 and was elevated to co-emperor in the following year around may/june 251. Shortly after his elevation father and son went into battle against the Goths. During the first skirmishes with the enemy Hostilian died after being hit by an arrow. Later that day his father also died in the battle of Abrittus. The army chose Trebonian Gallus as his successor who made Decius younger son, Hostilian co-emperor and his own son Volusian Caesar.



The coins of Herennius Etruscus from Viminacium


Denominations struck: dupondius and sestertius

The dupondii have a portrait with Herennius wearing a radiate crown. The sestertii are bigger and heavier and have a portrait with laurel wreath.

Used notations of the local year:

AN XII, used from july 250 until may/june 251.

Obverse text variations used:

A: Q H ETR MES DEC CAES
B: Q HER ETR MES DECIVS NOB

Reverse text variations used:

a: PMSC - OLVIM
b: PMS - C - O - LVIM


AN XII

Dupondius ANNO XII - 250/251 - Pick 143 - Varbanov 185
Collection Scottatlaw on
Tantalus coin registry

Weight: 4,48 grams
Diameter: 21 mm

Obverse: Bust of Herennius to the right with radiate crown, part of paludamentum (cloak, cape) visible over the shoulder.

Text: (A:) Q H ETR MES DEC CAES (QVINTVS HERENNIVS ETRVSCVS MESSIVS DECIVS CAESAR) - Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius Caesar.

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).

Sestertius ANNO XII - 250/251 - Pick 142 - Varbanov 184
Private collection

Weight: 14,82 grams
Diameter: 26 mm

Obverse: Bust of Herennius to the right with radiate crown, part of paludamentum (cloak, cape) visible over the shoulder.

Text: (A:) Q H ETR MES DEC CAES (QVINTVS HERENNIVS ETRVSCVS MESSIVS DECIVS CAESAR) - Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius Caesar.

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).

Sestertius ANNO XII - 250/251 - Pick 144 - Varbanov 187
Helios Numismatik

Weight: 15,53 grams
Diameter: 28 mm

Obverse: Bust of Herennius to the right with radiate crown, part of paludamentum (cloak, cape) visible over the shoulder.

Text: (A:) Q H ETR MES DEC CAES (QVINTVS HERENNIVS ETRVSCVS MESSIVS DECIVS CAESAR) - Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius Caesar.

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:) PMS - C - O - LVIM (PROVINCIA MOESIA SVPERIOR COLONIA VIMINACIVM) - Province Moesia superior colony Viminacium.

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

Remark: Moesia is holding a branch in her raised right hand, symbolising peace, wich breaks the legend of the reverse text. In her left hand she is holding a globe, symbolising the known Roman world. The house of Traianus Decius is possibly honored here as pacatores orbis, the bringers of peace to the Roman world.

Sestertius ANNO XII - 250/251 - Pick 141 - Varbanov - (Verg. 186)
Copyright Classical Numismatic Group

Weight: 13,11 grams
Diameter: 28 mm

Obverse: Bust of Herennius to the right with radiate crown, part of paludamentum (cloak, cape) visible over the shoulder.

Text: (B:) Q HER ETR MES DECIVS NOB (QVINTVS HERENNIVS ETRVSCVS MESSIVS DECIVS NOBILITAS) - Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius Nobilitas (Caesar).

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: This coins has an older portrait. Herennius Etruscus also wears a different type of cloak over his shoulders.

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