«Speaking Coins»

Roman Empire, Traianus Decius for his Wife Herennia Etruscilla, Antoninian

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Roman Empire, Traianus Decius for his Wife Herennia Etruscilla, Antoninian (obverse) Roman Empire, Traianus Decius for his Wife Herennia Etruscilla, Antoninian (reverse)

Herennia Cupressenia Etruscilla was already married to Traianus Decius, when he became emperor in 249 (until 251) and she was made augusta. Herennia is said to have descended from an ancient Etruscan family. Otherwise, nothing is known about her – not even the year of her death. Herennia Etruscilla was empress at a time, when civil wars, barbarian attacks and a severe economic crisis threatened the Roman Empire. Her husband was a follower of the old Roman religion and convinced that the upheavels of the time were caused by the gods. He thus postulated that every citizen of the empire had to sacrifice and pray to the gods for the well being of the empire. The imperial couple set a good example. On the obverse of this coin, the empress is shown together with Pudicitia, the personification of virtue and goodness.

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