Roman Emperor
Born ???
Died July 251

Gaius Valens Hostilianus Messius Quintus was born around 230 in Pannonia. His father, Decius, was a Roman general who had been sent by Philip the Arab to crush the invading Goths on the Danube. When Decius crushed the invaders, the legions on the Danube proclaimed him their emperor. Fearing he would be overthrown, Philip prepared for battle. The two forces inevitably met in Macedonia where Decius defeated Philip and became emperor of Rome. In 251, when Rome’s borders were constantly being raided by barbarians, Decius declared Hostilian’s brother, Herennius, as his co-emperor. While Herennius went with Decius on military campaigns, Hostilian stayed in Rome.


When King Cniva and the Goths raided the Danubian borders, Decius and his army set forth to face them. Decius brought along Herennius and a distinguished general named Trebonianus Gallus. Decius and Herennius, however, were killed in the battle, and Gallus had to cease fighting with the Goths. Gallus was declared emperor by the Danubian legions, but it was Hostilian who was proclaimed emperor in Rome. To avoid another clash, Gallus adopted the young Hostilian as his co-emperor.


In the same year, the Plague of Cyprian spread across the empire, killing thousands. Hostilian had just ruled for about four months when the plague claimed his life. Consequently, Gallus proclaimed his son, Volusianus, as co-emperor.