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Hostilian (Hostilianus)






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HOSTILIANUS (Carus Valens Messius Quintus), second son of Trajanus Decius, was created Caesar at the same time with his brother Herennius Etruscus, A.D. 249, and on the death of his father, being proclaimed Emperor by the Senate, reigned in association with Trebonianus Gallus, whom the soldiers elected A.D. 251. In order to the proper understanding of this prince's history and coins, the following requisite particulars are premised by Eckhel: -

"That, during the reign of Decius, there was one third person of the male sex distinguished with the title of Caesar, we have already seen from coins of Decius, inscribed CONCORDIA AVGG. or PIETAS AVGVSTORVM, on which, in addition to the heads of Decius, Etruscilla, and Herennius, there appears another joined with that of Herennius. That this belongs to the individual, whom several coins describe as C. Valens Hostilianus Messius Quintus, is a point upon which all antiquaries are agreed. For, not only is Herennius joined with Hostilian in express words on a coin, which Spanheim has given from the Barberini collection (ii. p. 256), inscribed Q. HER. ETR. DECIVS C. VAL. HOSTILIANVS, but also on a marble, which Muratori cites from Gori. But, there is an old dispute among the learned, some stoutly affirming Hostilian to be the son, others the son-in-law of Decius. Those who consider him the son, and their opinion Eckhel himself embraces, rest on the authority of Zosimus, who expressly mentions a second son of Decius, though without giving his name, who, after the miserable end of his father and his brother Herennius, was associated by Trebonianus as his colleague in the empire. And, moreover, the custom which was retained even up to this period, of considering as sons of an emperor, those individuals who are represented on coins in juxtaposition with him, accompanied with the appellation and dress of Caesars, unless where some special reason demands a different account of the matter, and such has not as yet been adduced by the partisans of the opposite theory, - this very custom will go far to prove, that Hostilian was the son of Decius, from his being in the same manner associated on coins with Decius, Etruscilla, and Herennius. To this may be added the fact of the name Messius Quintus being assigned to Hostilian, which he certainly could have derived only from his father Messius Quintus Decius. Those who consider Hostilian to have been the son-in-law of Decius among whom (after Panvini, Tristan, Spanheim, and others), is Liebe (Goth. Num. p. 429), endeavor to support their case by the authority of historians, and by the very names of Hostilian.

"I pay no regard (continues the Author of Doctrina) to the historians who have recorded the events of this period, as it is well known that they have contradicted themselves in so barefaced a manner, that you find yourself in the end utterly at a loss for a true conclusion. As regards the names Valens Hostilian, these, they say belong neither to Decius nor to Etruscilla, and thence argue, that he was transferred from some other family into that of Decius. - They, therefore, think it probable that Decius gave some daughter to this stranger in marriage, and thus made him his son-in-law, with the rank of Caesar. To strengthen the credibility of their views, it occurred to them, that Zonatras and Cedrenus mention a certain Severus Hostilian, who, they say, was amongst the successors of Gordian III. and whose son was the Hostilian of the present memoir; and thus he received the names Messius Quintus from his adoptive father Decius, and those of Valens Hostilian from his natural parent.

- But after all, this argument founded on the names, is a weak one. For sons have derived their appellations, not only from their fathers and mothers, but even from their grandfathers and grandmothers. Many years earlier, M. Aurelius was called Annius Verus from his grand-father; Catilius Severus, from his great grand-father on his mother's side; Geta, the son of Severus, took his name from his paternal grand-father, or from his uncle. (Spartian in Get‚, c. 2). Caracalla was named Bassianus from his maternal grandfather. Elagabalus, before his accession, was called Varius Avitus, from his father and grandfather. Consequently, as Herennius, the son of Decius, derived his names from both his father and mother, it is most probable, that the second son Hostilian, took his from his father and his grandfather, either paternal or maternal. Neither am I much disturbed by the testimonies of Zonaras and Cedrenus respecting one Severus Hostilianus Aug. as their credibility has already been called in question by Tillemont (Nota ii. in Philipp.); nor do I suppose that such insignificant writers would have had much weight with the eminent numismatists above mentioned, who are in favor of the son in law theory, had not their judgments been warped by the authority of Goltzius, from whose dictum it is thought a crime to differ, and who has put forward a coin inscribed IMP. CAES. L. AVR. SEV. HOSTILIANVS AVG. P. M. TR. P. (Thes. p. 105), which we had better look upon as coined by Goltzius himself out of the words of Zonaras.

"Hostilian, then, the second son of Decius, as he most probably was, remained at Rome, when his father and brother set out on their campaign. Both of them being killed in battle, Trebonianus Gallus, the successor of Decius, adopted him, in order to pay a public compliment to the late emperor's reign; but shortly afterwards, through apprehension of revolutionary designs, he plotted against him, with a total disregard both of honour and of the relationship existing between them by adoption. Eutropius also records his elevation to the sovereignty, διαδεχεται την Βασιλειαν Γαλλος, Οστιλιανος και ω τουτου παις Βουλουσιανος; which passage Paeanius renders, more agreeably to fact, thus - 'The emperors then appointed were Gallus, Hostilian, and Volusian, the son of Gallus.' - The former Victor says - 'When these things came to the knowledge of the Senate, they decreed the rank of Augusti to Gallus and Hostilian, and that of Caesar to Volusian, the son of Gallus.' And Victor II. - 'In their time (viz. that of Gallus and Volusianus), Hostilianus Perpenna was created Imperator by the Senate.'" - See Doctr. Num. Vel. vii. 350, 351, 352.

From the foregoing observations it is plain, that the coins of Hostilian will be found to belong to two reigns, viz. those on which he is styled Caesar, to the reign of his father, and those which bear the title of Augustus, to that of Trebonianus.

Hostilian received the title of Augustus from the Senate and Trebonianus A.D. 251, and not long after either fell a victim to a pestilence which was then committing great ravages, or he had met his end through the machinations of Gallus.

On his coins, which are rare in each metal, and of the highest rarity in gold, he is styled C. VAL. HOST. M. QVINTVS NOB. CAE. - IMP. C. VAL. HOSTIL. MES. QVINTVS AVG.

MINTAGES OF HOSTILIANUS.
The following are the rarest reverses:
- GOLD. - PIETAS AVG. Sacrificial instruments. - PIETAS AVGG, Mercury standing. - PRINC. IVVENTVTIS. Emperor with baton and lance, by the side of two ensigns. - Same legend, with slight typical variety. -- ROMAE AETERNAE. Rome seated. (These five aurei are valued by Mionnet at 600 fr. each.)
- SILVER. - AEQVITAS AVGG. Equity standing. The obverse legend of this denarius is CO. VAL. M. QVINTVS AVG. (Mt. 12 fr.) - SAECVLVM NOVVM, & VICTORIA GERMANICA. (15 fr. each).
BRASS MEDALLIONS. - PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS. (Mionnet, 200 fr.) - VICTORIA AVGG. Victory. -- Same epigraph. Apollo. (100 fr. each.)
LARGE BRASS. - SALVS AVGVS. Hygeia and a serpent. - VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM. (24 fr. each). -- VOTIS DECENNALIBVS (30 fr.)


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