Certain coins, belonging to the reign of Decins, bear upon the obverse a representation of the emperor and his wife Etruscilla, with the legend CONCORDIA AUGUSTORUM, while the reverse exhibits the portraits of two youths, with the words PIETAS AUGUSTORUM. One of these individuals is unquestionably Herennius Etruscus [ETRUSCUS], and other medals taken in connection with inscriptions prove that the second must be C. Valens Hostilianus Messius Quintus,
to which Victor adds Perpenna,
who after the defeat and death of Decius and Etruscus (A. D. 251) [DECIUS] was associated in the purple with Trebonianus Gallus, and died soon afterwards, either of the plague at that time ravaging the empire, or by the treachery of his colleague. So obscure and contradictory, however, are the records of this period, that historians have been unable to determine whether this Hostilianus was the son, the son-in-law, or the nephew of Decius.
A view of the different arguments will be found in the works of Tillemont and Eckhel, but the question seems to be in a great measure decided by the testimony of Zosimus, who distinctly states that Decius had a son, whom he does not name, in addition to Etruscus, and that this son was assumed by Trebonianus as his partner in the imperial dignity. We must not omit to notice, at the same time, that a reign of two years is assigned to a Hostilianus, placed by Cedrenus (p. 451, ed. Bonn) immediately before Philip.
(Victor, de Cues.
30, Epit. 30; Eutrop. 9.5
; Zosim. 1.25; Zonar. vol. i. p. 625, ed. Par. 1687 ; Tillemont, Histoire des Empereurs,
vol. iii.; Eckhel, vol. vii. p. 350.)