MOESIA SUPERIOR, VIMINACIUM, Hostilian, 251 AD, minor, local year 12 (251 AD), Obverse: bust R, C VAL HOST M QVINTVS CAE, Reverse: Moesia standing between bull and lion, PMS COL VIM, AN XII, bronze, 26mm, 12.5g, SGI4291, scratches, VG

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Hostilian was one of the sons of Trajan Decius. When Decius and the other son, Herennius Etruscus, were killed in battle against the Goths, Hostilian was taken as co-Emperor by Trebonianus Gallus, who had been acclaimed by his troops. Hostilian died of plague a few months later.

Viminacium in ancient Moesia is now a site in eastern Serbia. In Roman times it was a large city with a large military camp nearby.

Moesia was a region spread over southern Romania, Kosovo, and Serbia, and northern North Macedonia and Bulgaria. The Romans conquered the region during the late Republic, to protect their holdings in Macedonia to the south. That was their operating principle: extend their territories to protect what they already had. Like all other attempts at world conquest, it failed due to lack of resources. In Moesia, during the 3rd century AD, a number of cities issued large, well made bronze coins. Marcianopolis is now the Bulgarian town of Devnya. Elagabalus was a notably wierd Emperor whose personal characteristics interfered with governance. Julia Maesa was his grandmother, and a political person whose activities eventually brought her boy to the throne.

The Romans, as they were building their empire, preferred to let the local coinage arrangements remain in place. As they developed their political system into the Cult of Personality that was the Empire, they started putting imperial portraits on the local coins. Later, as the Empire began to shrink, they preferred to centralize their coinage operations, eliminating local control. There were also allied and client states, some of which, at times, issued coins celebrating the alliance or subservience. The main catalog reference for these coins on this web site is Greek Imperial Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.