Mary Stone | July 19, 2023


Gaius Valens Valens Hostilianus Messius Quintus († November 251), better known as Hostilianus, was briefly Roman emperor from July to November 251.Born at an unknown date, the son of Decius and his wife Herennius Etruscila, he was elevated to caesar in May 251 by his father, the same month that his older brother, Herennius Etruscanus, was elevated to co-emperor. After the death of Decius and his brother in the battle of Abrito, an ambush by the Goths, Trebonianus Gallus was proclaimed emperor by the legions and, almost immediately, elevated Hostilian to co-emperor and his own son, Volusianus, to caesar. Hostilian died in November 251, either from a plague epidemic or murdered by order of Trebonianus Gallus.

Hostilianus was born at an unknown date to Decius, a Roman general who later became emperor, and his wife Herenia Etruscilla. His father acceded to the imperial purple after being sent by Philip the Arab with the mission to lead the troops of the provinces of Pannonia and Messia, which acclaimed him emperor in September 249, in opposition to Philip. He led his forces against the latter, in what ended with a clash in September 249 near Verona in Italy. Philip was killed in the battle, after which the Roman Senate declared Decius emperor and honored him with the name Trajan, in reference to the eponymous emperor.

Decius appointed Hostilian to the dignity of caesar in May 251, shortly after the elevation of his older brother, Herennius Etruscanus, to augustus in the same month, making him co-emperor, with Hostilian as heir to one or both of them.After Decius and Herennius Etruscanus were killed by the Goths at the Battle of Abrito, an ambush by the Goths in July 251, Trebonianus Gallus was declared emperor.To placate the public, the latter elevated Hostilian to augustus almost immediately, making him co-emperor. To placate the public, the latter elevated Hostilian to augustus almost immediately, making him co-emperor. Hostilian held this office until his death in November 251; the reason for his death is disputed. Aurelius Victor and the author of the Epitome de Caesaribus say he died of a plague, while Zosimus claims he was killed by Trebonianus Gallus. After his death, the latter appointed Volusianus, his son, co-emperor.

Some historians identify Hostilian as the Roman general depicted on the Ludovisi Sarcophagus, although this is unlikely since all of his coins portray him as a young man without facial hair. It is likely that both Hostilian and Etruscanus were children or adolescents at the time of their deaths.

The aureuses of Hostilian are divided into four types bearing the bust of Hostilian on the obverse, with the reverse showing a.


  1. Hostiliano
  2. Hostilian
  3. a b c d e f Adkins y Adkins, 1998, p. 28.
  4. Chrystal, 2015, p. 193.
  5. a b c Rooman keisarit s. 245–246, 493
  6. a b Cambridge Ancient History s. 39–40
  7. Southern s. 76
  8. a b c d e et f Adkins et Adkins 1998, p. 28.
  9. Chrystal 2015, p. 193.
  10. Varner 2004, p. 207.
  11. a et b Salisbury et Mattingly 1924, p. 15.
  12. Maas, Michael (2012). Readings in Late Antiquity: A Sourcebook (em inglês). Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge. p. lxxv. ISBN 9781136617034
  13. Kulikowski, Michael (2016). Imperial Triumph: The Roman World from Hadrian to Constantine (AD 138–363) (em inglês). Londres: Profile. p. 480. ISBN 9781847654373
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