A cool upgrade of an already cool coin

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Cucumbor, Jan 10, 2021.

  1. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Hi CT friends,

    As some of you already know, among (too many) others, I have a soft spot for syro-phoenician tetradrachms (you can see them here).

    When the following popped up at @Severus Alexander's last year AMCC2 auction, and because I didn't have any tetradrachm of Herennius Etruscus, I put a bid and eventually won it. Only later was I informed it was from our own @tenbobbit's collection, and it made me loving the coin even more, despite some obvious flaws (shame on me, by this time, I didn't put the energy to post something about it :( )

    SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Antioch. Herennius Etruscus, as Caesar, 249-251. Tetradrachm.
    ЄPЄNN ЄTPOY MЄ KY ΔЄKIOC KЄCAP Bare-headed and draped bust of Herennius Etruscus to right, seen from behind; below bust, Z.
    ΔHMAPX ЄΞOYCIAC / S C Eagle with spread wings standing left on palm frond, holding wreath in beak.
    28 mm, 10.52 g,
    Ref : McAlee 1153g. Prieur 640

    Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius was born about 227 AD, to Decius, a Roman general who later became emperor, and Herennia Etruscilla, his wife. Decius became emperor after being sent to lead troops in the provinces of Pannonia and Moesia, where he was declared emperor by his troops in September 249, in opposition to Philip the Arab. He led his troops against Philip, their forces meeting in September 249, near Verona, Italy. In this battle, Philip was slain, after which the Roman Senate declared Decius emperor, and honored him with the name Traianus, a reference to Emperor Trajan.

    Herennius Etruscus was given the title of Caesar in 250, making him the designated heir of Decius, before being elevated to the rank of Augustus in May 251, making him co-emperor under Decius. After Herennius Etruscus was made augustus, his younger brother Hostilian was made caesar. Herennius Etruscus was also made consul for 251.

    In 249 the Goths, led by King Cniva, invaded the Danubian provinces of the Roman Empire with a huge force. They split into two columns; one column launched an assault on Dacia, and the other force, made up of 70,000 men, and personally led by Cniva, invaded Moesia. Cniva's forces further split into two groups; one marched to assault Philippopolis, and the other marched to Novae. Cniva was prevented from laying siege to Novae by Trebonianus Gallus, the governor of Moesia and future emperor, and thus moved south, on to Nicopolis. By this time news of the invasion reached Rome, and both Decius and Herennius Etruscus traveled to repulse the Gothic invasion, while Hostilian remained in Rome. Herennius Etruscus was sent forward with a vanguard, followed by the main body of Roman forces, led by Decius. Decius and Herennius Etruscus took the Gothic forces by surprise in the Battle of Nicopolis, and beat them decisively. Following the crushing defeat, Cniva retreated over the Haemus Mons (Balkan Mountains), and met up with his other forces at Philippopolis. Cniva then ambushed the forces of Decius and Herennius Etruscus at the Battle of Beroe, near the small town of Beroca at the base of the Haemus Mons. The Roman forces were beaten decisively in this engagement and fled in disarray to Moesia where Decius and Herennius Etruscus worked to reorganize them. Cniva then returned to Philippopolis, and with the help of Titus Julius Priscus, the Roman governor of Thrace, managed to capture the city.

    Decius and Herennius Etruscus launched a counterattack in spring 251 and were initially successful in pushing back the Goths. However, Cniva set an ambush for them, in June 251, near Abritus (modern-day Razgrad, Bulgaria). In this battle, both Decius and Herennius Etruscus were killed. The exact circumstances of the death of Herennius Etruscus are vague. The main source for the event, Aurelius Victor, says only that Herennius Etruscus was killed when he "pressed the attack too boldly". Aurelius Victor specifies that he was acting as an imperator, commanding troops from a distance but not physically engaging in the combat, rather than a commilito, who physically fought in the battle. After the news of his death reached Decius, he refused to be consoled, stating that the loss of one life was minor to a battle, and thus continued the combat, in which he was also slain. The death of Decius is similarly obscure, although it is agreed upon that he must have died either during the battle, as a commilito, during the retreat from the battle, or else was slain while serving as imperator. The reserve forces of Trebonianus Gallus failed to reinforce the main army in time to save Decius and Herennius Etruscus, although whether this was due to treachery or misfortune is unknown.

    After the death of both Decius and Herennius Etruscus, and much of the Roman army with them, the remaining forces immediately elected Trebonianus Gallus, the governor of Moesia, as emperor. Trebonianus Gallus made peace with Cniva on humiliating terms, allowing them to keep their prisoners and spoils in order to secure peace. In order to gain popular support, Trebonianus Gallus retained Herennia Etruscilla as augusta (empress), and elevated Hostilian to the rank of Augustus, making him co-emperor alongside Trebonianus Gallus himself. Hostilian died in November 251, either from a plague or murder, after which Volusianus, Trebonianus Gallus' son, was raised to the rank of Augustus. After Trebonianus Gallus was overthrown by Aemilianus in 253, Herennia Etruscilla faded into obscurity.
    (source : Wikipedia.en)

    At the las Leu web auction #14, there was a run of nice tetradrachms from which I won four. One of them is the following gem

    SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Antioch. Herennius Etruscus, as Caesar, 249-251. Tetradrachm.
    ЄPЄNN ЄTPOY MЄ KY ΔЄKIOC KЄCAP Bare-headed and draped bust of Herennius Etruscus to right, seen from behind; below bust, Z.
    ΔHMAPX ЄΞOYCIAC / S C Eagle with spread wings standing left on palm frond, holding wreath in beak.
    28 mm, 10.24 g, 7 h
    Ref : McAlee 1153g. Prieur 640

    It being the same exact reference pushes me to part with the first one, even though I think I will regret it

    Please post any upgrade, coin from AMCC2, Leu webauction #14, Herennius Etruscus, syro-phoenician tetradrachm, or anything relevant or at your liking

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  3. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    Sweet upgrade! Very sharp. Definitely nicer looking. Not that the first was terrible.
    Cucumbor likes this.
  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

  5. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    I sometimes get envious of those that specialize in these nice big Antioch provincials. It’s an area that I have considered myself, but decided not to go into. Beautiful coins, congratulations!

    I wrote a post about my Leu 14 purchases earlier. One of them was an upgrade; from fouree to genuine:

    Pamphylia, Aspendos.jpg
    Pamphylia. Aspendos. Fourrée Stater, circa 380-325 BC.

    24 mm., 9,41 g. Conservation: broken plating on reverse, otherwise VF

    Aspendos stater.jpg
    Pamphylia, Aspendos. AR Stater, Circa 380-330 BC.
    Obverse: Two nude wrestlers, standing and grappling with each other; between them, AΦ.
    Reverse: ΕΣΤFΕΔΙΙΥΣ Slinger standing right; to right, triskeles running left; all within dotted square border.
    Reference: SNG Paris 83. Tekin Series 4.
    Size: 23 mm, 11.00 g, 12 h. Conservation: Beautifully toned. Very fine.
    Orielensis, Limes, tenbobbit and 12 others like this.
  6. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Great upgrade.

    Herennius Etruscus ( 251 A.D.)
    AR Antoninianus
    O: Q HER ETR MES DECIVS NOB C, radiate and draped bust right, seen from behind.
    R: PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS, Herennius standing left, holding baton and spear.
    RIC IV 147c; RSC 26

    Herennius Etruscus (251 A.D.)
    Seleucis and Pieria, Antioch
    Billon Tetradrachm
    O: EPENNE TPOY ME KY DEKIOC KECAP, Bare headed draped bust right, five dots beneath.
    R: DEMAPX EXOYCIAC, Eagle standing left, head left, tail to right, wreath in beak, with wings spread, standing on palm, SC in exe.
    Antioch Mint, 251 A.D.
    McAlee 1153e; Prieur 636
    Limes, tenbobbit, Theodosius and 11 others like this.
  7. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice coin and write-up, Cucumbor. I was gifted this one by CT member tenbobbit:

    Herennius Etruscus - Antioch Tet tenb Jan 2020 (0).jpg

    Herennius Etruscus Bil. Tet.
    (250-251 A.D.)
    Antioch, Syria

    EΡENN ETΡOY [MEK]Y ΔEKIOC KECAΡ, draped bare-headed bust r., 3 dots below /
    ΔHMAΡXEΞOVCIAC, Eagle standing left on palm, wreath in beak, SC in exergue.
    Prieur 632; McAlee 1153c.
    (11.65 grams / 25 mm)
    Limes, tenbobbit, Theodosius and 10 others like this.
  8. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Two great coins! It's hard to beat a CT friend as your provenance... but that Leu coin :artist: hubba hubba:woot:
    Here's my HE:

    And a recent upgrade with many thanks to @Curtisimo
  9. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice upgrade, that's a beauty. Great selection of these tetradrachms at the last Leu auction...I probably was bidding against you for a lot of them. :) I ended up winning this rare Macrinus tet from the auction:

    SYRIA, Coele-Syria. Heliopolis. Macrinus, 217-218. Tetradrachm (Billon, 25 mm, 12.45 g, 6 h). ΑΥΤ Κ Μ [Ο]Π C••Є ΜΑΚΡΙΝΟC CЄ Laureate head of Macrinus to right. Rev. ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ЄΞ ΥΠΑΤΟC Π Π Eagle with spread wings standing facing, head to left and holding wreath in beak; between the eagle's legs, star above a lion walking right. Prieur 1200.

    I don't have a Herennius Etruscus tet yet, so I'll just share this one of his father:

    Trajan Decius, Tetradrachm (Billon, 25 mm, 11.84 g), 249-250. AYT K Γ MЄ KY TPAIANOC ΔЄKIOC CЄB Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Trajan Decius to right/ Rev.ΔHMAPX ЄΞOYCIAC / S C Eagle with spread wings standing right on palm, holding wreath in beak. RPC IX 1625. Prieur 523
  10. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Excellent coins @Cucumbor (both of them!). I also won a coin from the @tenbobbit Collection in AMCC 2. It is a very neat coin that is really nice in hand. I also value coins with provenances to fellow CTers.

    A Trebonianus Gallus Tetradrachm from Antioch
    Syria, Seleucis and Pieria, Antioch
    Trebonianus Gallus
    AR tetradrachm, struck ca. 251-253, 1st officina
    Obv.: Laureate draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev.: Eagle standing facing, head and tail right, with wings spread, holding wreath in beak; A between legs. SC in exergue
    Ref.: McAlee 1173a; Prieur 657
    Ex Tenbobbit Collection; Purchased privately from the collection of an English gentleman in 2005; Ex AMCC 2, Lot 434 (Nov. 9, 2019)

    I also recently received a pretty epic Philip II Antioch tetradrachm from none other than the venerable Q himself ;)

    Philippus II
    AR Tetradrachm, Antioch mint, AD 248
    Dia.: 27 mm
    Wt.: 12.5 g
    Obv.: ΑΥΤΟΚ Κ Μ ΙΟΥΛΙ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟC CΕΒ, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Philippus II right
    Rev.: ΔHΜΑΡX ΕΞΟΥCΙΑC ΥΠΑΤΟΔ, Eagle standing right, holding a wreath in beak. ANTIOXIA / SC in exergue
    Ref.: BMC 551, Prieur 474
    Ex Cucumbor Collection

    Right now these are my only Antioch tets but I will be making a small side collecting of the Antioch tets of the Family of Philip I just so his son doesn’t get too lonely in my collection. :D
  11. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Q, Nice score & excellent write-up to go with it :D! After seeing your collection of Syro-Phoenician Tets, the Herennius Etruscus upgrade was really necessary ;). Your 1st example didn't fit with all your other high grade Tets. I managed to score a nice example of a H.E. Tet last year too, pictured below. Examples of his brother's Tets, Hostilian, are very rare & expensive. Heritage auctioned a nice Hostilian Tet a couple of days ago for over $1,000.00 :rolleyes:. I did manage to score an acceptable Hostilian Tet last year, pictured below.

    McAlee 1153e, Prieur 636.jpg
    Antioch-Syria, Officina 5, Herennius Etruscus as Caesar, AD 249-251. Billon Tetradrachm: 24 mm, 10.88 gm, 5 h. McAlee 1153e, Prieur 636.

    Hostilian, McAlee 1160 (e).jpg
    Antioch-Syria, Officina 7, Hostilian as Caesar, AD 250-251 (struck AD 251). Billon Tetradrachm: 27 mm, 11.74 gm, 8 h. McAlee 1160e, Prieur 652 (only 2 examples cited).
  12. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Acceptable ? Hmmmm !
    You should say very enviable. An Hostilian tet is quite high on my list. One like yours would make my day

  13. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Nice upgrade! And might I say you're online gallery contains beautiful coins! I have not seem them before.

    Nothing to share unfortunately:-(
    Cucumbor likes this.
  14. tenbobbit

    tenbobbit Supporter! Supporter

    Nice to see some old friends again, thanks Q & Curt :)

    That is one heck of an upgrade @Cucumbor, very nice indeed :cool:
    Cucumbor likes this.
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