Please help in translating the reverse of Herennius Etruscus piece

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by johnmilton, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Herennius Etruceus Anton O.jpg Herennius Etruceus Anton R.jpg

    The obverse reads,
    Q HER ETR MES DECIVS NOB C “Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius noble caesar”

    The reverse reads,
    PIETAS AVGVSTORVM - something about piety and augustus, but I can't crack what "AVGVSTORVM" is from any of my books or on-line seach.

    The items are a whip, ladle, jug, patera and lituus (emblems of the priestly colleges) Sear 9521, Ric 143

    Does anyone know what "AVGVSTORVM" means?

    Thank you!
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  3. Bradley Trotter

    Bradley Trotter Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  4. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    That’s the genitive plural of Augustus. It typically means “of the Augusti“ and signals possession. So the “PIETAS of the augusti.” So I guess there’s more than one Augustus being referenced here.

    Pietas is untranslatable in present-day English. It’s a single Latin word for the combination of duty to family, country, and gods. That’s why I typically leave it untranslated.
  5. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    So "piety" or "duty" and "security of the emperor" go together?

    Most of the word phrases I have seen were better related, not I'm not grateful for the help.

    Of course, neither Herennius nor his father, Trajan Decius, knew what was in store for them. They both died in battle at the hands of the Goths.
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  6. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    So would "piety of the emperors" be the meaning of what they are saying here?
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Relatively few emperors were selected due to their Pietas. Most wanted everyone to think that the empire and everyone in it was better off because they were in power. Just as today, there might have been differing opinions on who had a good basis on Pietas and who was just trying to make us think they did. Today most of us think highly of Nerva, Antoninus Pius and Pertinax as the kind of people that we might believe in and be glad we served. Today we hear very different politicians claiming the components of Roman Pietas. They just use different words.
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  8. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Yes, usually when a politician wears his or her religion on his or her sleeve, he or she is up to something. If they go out of their way to tell you they are honest and trustworthy, they usually aren't.

    Nixon's "I am not a crook" statement comes to mind.
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  9. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    If I were to "translate" the reverse image+legend of the coin, it would be that the coin celebrates the Roman virtue of pietas (duty to family, country, and gods) that accounts for Roman greatness. Accompanied by the priestly implements, the reverse seems to stress the religious elements of Roman pietas--"piety" in its contemporary English sense. The plural augustorum implies that this is a virtue that uniquely distinguishes the Emperors, as it did for Rome's legendary founder "pius Aeneas."
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  10. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    very nice coin jm :)...
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  11. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Means and intentions are often more useful and literal translations. Thanks @Gavin Richardson
  12. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I think the dealer called it "Mint State." If it's not, it's darn close to it. The fact that it has a silver wash eliminates the need to get hung up on mint luster.
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  13. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone!
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  14. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice coin. Here's an Etruscus of mine:

    Herennius Etruscus (250-251 A.D.)

    AR Antoninianus, 23mm 3.0 grams

    Obverse: Q HER ETR MES DECIVS NOB C, Bare-headed and draped bust right

    Reverse: PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS, Herennius standing left, holding rod and spear.

    Translation: "Prince of the Youth"

    Reference: RIC 147c, RSC 26. Sear 9523


    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  15. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Pietas means dutifulness or devotion. Augustorum means "of the emperors."
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  16. Broucheion

    Broucheion Supporter! Supporter

    Hi @Gavin Richardson,

    I usually think of “fealty”.

    - Broucheion
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