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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Crisis and Decline| ▸ |Herennia Etruscilla||View Options:  |  |  |   

Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253? A.D.

Herennia Etruscilla was the wife of Trajan Decius. As with most third century Roman empresses, very little about her is known. She lived to sink into obscurity after her husband and sons perished. She probably retained the title of Augusta under Trebonianus Gallus and coins may have been struck for her as late as 253 A.D.


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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was the finest quality that a Roman woman could possess. Romans gave their highest praise to women, such as Julia Domna, who had only one husband in their lifetimes. Few women obtained this distinction in Roman society, where girls married young, husbands often died while their wives were still young, and divorce was easy to obtain and common.
SH53699. Bronze dupondius, RIC IV 136d, Cohen V 24, Hunter III 19, SRCV III 9506, gF, weight 8.423 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 250 A.D.; obverse HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in plait looped up the back of head; reverse PVDICITIA AVG (virtue of the Empress), Pudicitia (modesty) seated, adjusting veil with right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; rare; SOLD


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253(?) A.D., Provincia Dacia

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The local era dates from Philip's Danubian campaign victory over the invading Carpi tribe in the summer of 246. The eagle and the lion, symbolized the legions V Macedonica and XIII Gemina, which took part in the campaign. The Provincia Dacia issues are mostly rare and were minted for only 8 years.
RP29254. Bronze AE 29, Varbanov I 52 (R6); Aleksandar Dacia V.4; AMNG I/I 45; BMC Thrace -, aVF, weight 12.277 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 180o, Ulpia Traiana(?) mint, Jul/Aug 250 - Jul/Aug 251 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in plait looped at the back of neck; reverse PROVINCIA DACIA, Dacia standing half-left, extending branch right, scepter in left, eagle with wreath in beak at feet on left, lion walking left on right, AN V (year 5) in exergue; very rare; SOLD


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In 250 the Plague of Cyprian, a pandemic probably smallpox, began. It was still raging in 270 when it claimed the life of emperor Claudius II Gothicus. At the height of the outbreak, 5,000 people a day were said to be dying in Rome. The plague caused widespread manpower shortages in agriculture and the Roman army.
RB68394. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 136b, Cohen V 22, Hunter III 16, SRCV III 9505, VF, light scratches, weight 16.030 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse PVDICITIA AVG (virtue of the Empress), Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil with right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; SOLD


Click for a larger photo
Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
RS74470. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 59b, RSC IV 19, Hunter III 10, SRCV III 9495, Choice EF, weight 4.389 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 250 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse PVDICITIA AVG (virtue of the Empress), Pudicitia (modesty) seated left on throne, drawing veil from face with right hand, transverse scepter in left hand; SOLD


Click for a larger photo
Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was the finest quality that a Roman woman could possess. Romans gave their highest praise to women, such as Julia Domna, who had only one husband in their lifetimes. Few women obtained this distinction in Roman society, where girls married young, husbands often died while their wives were still young, and divorce was easy to obtain and common.
RS11058. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 58b, RSC IV 17, Hunter III 4, SRCV III 9494, aEF, weight 3.706 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse PVDICITIA AVG (virtue of the Empress), Pudicitia standing left, drawing veil from face with right hand, transverse scepter in left hand; SOLD


Click for a larger photo
In 250 the Plague of Cyprian, a pandemic probably smallpox, began. It was still raging in 270 when it claimed the life of emperor Claudius II Gothicus. At the height of the outbreak, 5,000 people a day were said to be dying in Rome. The plague caused widespread manpower shortages in agriculture and the Roman army.
RB59595. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 136b, Cohen V 22, Hunter III 16, SRCV III 9505, aVF, weight 13.336 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse PVDICITIA AVG (virtue of the Empress), Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil with right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; rare; SOLD


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253(?) A.D., Rhesaena, Mesopotamia

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Rhesaena, in the Roman province Mesopotamia Secunda, became a colony during the reign of Septimius Severus, when the Legio III Parthica was settled there. Rhesaena was an important town in the far north of Mesopotamia, on the way from Carrhae to Nicephorium, about eighty miles from Nisibis and forty from Dara, near the sources of the Chaboras (Khabur) River. Today, it is Ra's al-'Ayn, Syria. Gordian III fought the Persians nearby in 243, at the battle of Resaena. The Notitia dignitatum (ed. Boecking, I, 400) lists it under the jurisdiction of the Dux of Osrhoene. Hierocles (Synecdemus, 714, 3) also locates it in Osrhoene but it was renamed Theodosiopolis. It was fortified by Justinian. In 1393, it was nearly destroyed by Tamerlane's troops.
RP22016. Bronze AE 26, Lindgren I 2623, aVF, weight 12.078 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rhesaena (Ra's al-'Ayn, Syria) mint, obverse EPENNIANW [...], draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse CEΠ PHCAINHCIWN L III P, Tyche seated left, river god swimming below, eagle with wreath in beak above; pit flaws; rare; SOLD


Click for a larger photo
Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
RS28413. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 58b, RSC IV 17, Hunter III 4, SRCV III 9494, Choice VF, toned, weight 3.958 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse PVDICITIA AVG (virtue of the Empress), Pudicitia standing left, drawing veil from face with right hand, transverse scepter in left hand; SOLD


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253(?) A.D., Tarsos, Cilicia

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Tarsus boasts A M K on the reverse of this coin, meaning First, Greatest, and Most Beautiful (ΠPΩTH MEΓIΣTH KAΛΛIΣTH).
RP58423. Bronze AE 31, SNG BnF -, SNG Levante, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Righetti -, BMC Lycaonia -, Lindgren -, F, rough, weight 14.296 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, obverse ANNIAN AITPOYCKIΛΛAN CE, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse TAPCOY MHTPOΠOΛEΩC A M K Γ B, Nike on globe left, wreath in extended right, palm in left; not in sources consulted, perhaps unpublished but other examples are known to Forum; SOLD


Click for a larger photo
Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
RS72575. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 59b, RSC IV 19, Hunter III 10, SRCV III 9495, VF/F, well centered, light toning, porosity, reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.874 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 250 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in plait looped at the back of head; reverse PVDICITIA AVG (virtue of the Empress), Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

HERENNIAETRVSCILLAAVG
HERETRVSCILLAAVG


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. and L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Caliců, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappťes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Mattingly, H.B., E.A. Sydenham & C.H.V. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol IV, From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H.A. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume IV, Gordian III to Postumus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values III, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Saturday, August 24, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Herennia Etruscilla