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Hostilian, Summer - November 251 A.D.
Hostilian was always in the shadow of his brother Herennius, who enjoyed the privileges of being older and heir. In the beginning of 251, Trajan Decius elevated his son Herennius to co-emperor and Hostilian succeeded him in the titles of caesar and princeps iuventutis (prince of youth). Decius and Herennius then set out on campaign against king Cniva of the Goths, to punish him for raids on the Danubian frontier. Hostilian remained in Rome due to his inexperience, and empress Herennia was named regent. The campaign proved to be a disaster. Both Herennius and Decius died in the Battle of Abrittus and became the first two emperors to be killed by a foreign army in battle. The armies in the Danube acclaimed Trebonianus Gallus emperor, but the Senate acknowledged Hostilian's right to the throne. Trebonianus respected the will of Rome and adopted Hostilian. Later in 251, the Plague of Cyprian broke out in the Empire. Hostilian died from the epidemic at Viminacium in Moesia. He was only 21 years old, the first emperor in 40 years to die of natural causes, and one of only 13 in the entire history of the Roman empire.