Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 105   |   9 May 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 73

Estimate: 10'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 8'000 CHF Price realized: 11'000 CHF
Herennia Etruscilla, wife of Trajan Decius. Aureus circa 249-251, AV 5.24 g. HER ETRVSCILLA AVG Diademed and draped bust r. Rev. PVDICITIA AVG Pudicitia, veiled, seated l., holding sceptre in l. hand and drawing veil with r. C 18 var. (omits drapery). RIC T. Decius 59a. Calicó 3308.
An almost invisible mark on obverse field, otherwise extremely fine / good extremely fine


Sold by Numismatica Genevensis SA, Geneva, auction 4, 11 December 2006, lot 222.

Yet another of the ‘blank pages’ of Roman history, Herennia Etruscilla may have enjoyed the privileged upbringing of an Etruscan noblewoman, but the end of her days were anything but pleasant. Even though she held the title Augusta and resided in Rome, she was largely powerless because before he left the capital her husband installed Publius Licinius Valerianus (the future emperor Valerian) in a newly created position that gave him almost unlimited authority in the city of Rome. When the news arrived that her husband and eldest son had been killed in a Gothic ambush, Etruscilla and her youngest son, Hostilian might have expected the worst. However, they not only survived, but were honoured by the new emperor Trebonianus Gallus, who did not hail his own wife Augusta, but rather allowed Etruscilla to retain the title. Numismatic evidence shows that Etruscilla probably retained the title into Gallus’ reign, for the output for her and Hostilian is higher at Antioch than that of her slain husband and son.

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