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Home>Catalog>RomanCoins>CrisisandDecline>PhilipI
Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

Marcus Julius Verus Philippus, known as Philip I "The Arab," was the Praetorian Prefect, and successor to Gordian III whom he possibly had murdered. After signing a treaty with the Persians, he returned home. During his reign the 1000th anniversary of the foundation of Rome (248 A.D.) was celebrated, and magnificent games were held on a scale rarely seen. In 249 A.D. a series of rebellions occurred, both Philip and his son were killed after their army was defeated near Verona by the forces of Trajan Decius.


Philip I, the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Soli-Pompeiopolis, Cilicia

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Aratos was a native of Soli. His chief pursuits were medicine, grammar, and philosophy. He studied with Menecrates in Ephesus, Philitas in Cos and Praxiphanes in Athens. About 276 he was invited to the court of the Antigonus II Gonatas, whose victory over the Gauls in 277 BC Aratus set to verse. There he wrote his most famous poem, Phaenomena ("Appearances"). He then spent some time at the court of Antiochus I Soter but returned to Pella where he died sometime before 240 B.C.

Comes with an old round coin ticket probably from Seaby 1960's or 1970's that references Milne, Numismatic Chronicle 1940, page 247, 40 (Notes on the Oxford Collection. 6, Phrygia to Galatia - Numismatic Chronicle, 5th ser. Vol. 20 (1940), p. 213-254, pls. XII-XIV). We do not hold NC 1940 and cannot verify the reference.
SH58900. Bronze hexassarion, Lindgren I 1605 (same dies); BMC Lycaonia -, SNG BnF -, SNG Levante -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, SNG Pfδlzer -, gF, weight 12.323 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 180o, Soli-Pompeiopolis mint, 245 - 246 A.D.; obverse AYT K IOY ΦIΛIΠΠOC EY CEB, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, Π − Π across field; reverse ΠOMΠHIOΠOΛ IAT (year 131) ς (6 assaria), bare-headed, draped bust of Aratos right; ex Ancient Numismatic Enterprise; extremely rare; $450.00 (€391.50)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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MON VRB stands for MONETA VRBIS. According to H. R. Baldus this initial issue of coins was minted in Rome. Indeed the portrait style is unmistakably that of the mint of Rome, and even if the coins were actually minted in Antioch, the dies were surely engraved by the Rome mint.
SH60149. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 899, Prieur 304, BMC Galatia 507, EF, weight 13.825 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome or Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 244 or 246 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛ ΦIΛIΠΠOY CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPC EΞOYCIAC, eagle standing facing on ground line, wings open, head and tail left, wreath in beak, S - C below wings, MON VRB in exergue; double strike evident in obverse legend, minor flan crack, small encrustations, very sharp, handsome portrait and eagle; $285.00 (€247.95)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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In 248, overwhelmed by the number of invasions and usurpers, Philip offered to resign. The Senate decided to support the Emperor, with Gaius Messius Quintus Decius most vocal of all the senators. Philip was so impressed that he dispatched Decius with a special command of the Pannonian and Moesian provinces. His loyal supporter, Decius, was, however, proclaimed Emperor by the Danubian armies in the spring of 249 and defeated and killed Philip in September.
SH60141. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 907a, Prieur 357, SNG Righetti 2027, SNG Cop -, EF, weight 10.949 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, radiate and cuirassed bust left, Gorgon's head on cuirass; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠA TO Γ, eagle standing right, head right, wings open, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA / S C in exergue; $280.00 (€243.60)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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In 248, overwhelmed by the number of invasions and usurpers, Philip offered to resign. The Senate decided to support the Emperor, with Gaius Messius Quintus Decius most vocal of all the senators. Philip was so impressed that he dispatched Decius with a special command of the Pannonian and Moesian provinces. His loyal supporter, Decius, was, however, proclaimed Emperor by the Danubian armies in the spring of 249 and defeated and killed Philip in September.
RP59985. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 925, Prieur 355, EF, mint luster, weight 10.961 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, radiate and cuirassed bust left, Gorgon's head on cuirass; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠA TO Γ, eagle standing right, head right, wings open, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA / S C in exergue; $240.00 (€208.80) ON RESERVE


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This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RB90829. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 171a, Cohen 51, gVF, Tiber patina, superb portrait, grainy, edge cracks, tight flan, edge clip at 12:00 (pre-strike to adjust flan weight?), weight 13.589 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 244 - 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FIDES EXERCITVS, four legionary standards, second from left signum militaria with hand on top, third an aquila, S C in exergue; $185.00 (€160.95)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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The god Kabeiros is similar in appearance to Dionysos and the rites of his cult were likely similar to those of the Dionysian mysteries. The attributes of Kabeiros are a rhyton and hammer.
RP59998. Bronze AE 25, Varbanov III 4709, BMC Macedonia p. 127, 133, SNG Cop -, VF, light scratches, weight 8.831 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse AYK K M IOY ΦIΛIΠΠOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΘECCAΛONIKEΩN ΠYΘIA, Apollo standing left, small Kabeiros in right, laurel branch in left, at his feet, agonistic urn containing a palm branch rests on a table; scarce; $180.00 (€156.60)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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When Philip visited Antioch, Saint Babylas refused to let him enter the gathering of Christians at the Easter vigil (Eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica, VI, 34). Later legend elaborates, stating that Babylas demanded that he do penance for his part in the murder of the young Gordian III before he would allow Philip to celebrate Easter. Saint Babylas died in prison in 253 during the Decian persecution. He asked to be buried in his chains.
RP71451. Bronze 8 assaria, McAlee 971; BMC Galatia, p 219, 524; SNG Cop 270 var (bust from side), F, centered, green patina, porous, some legend unstruck, weight 18.154 g, maximum diameter 32.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse AVTOK K MA IOVLI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPO KOΛΩ, turreted, veiled and draped bust of Tyche of Antioch right, ram above, ∆- E / S - C across field; big 32.5 mm bronze!; $145.00 (€126.15)


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Adventus reverse types commemorate the emperor's arrival at Rome, either at the commencement of his reign, or on his return from a distance. They may also refer to his arrival in some other city or province of the empire. At their accession, emperors were not conveyed in a chariot nor in any other vehicle, but went on horseback or on foot when they made their first public entry into the capital of the Roman world.
RS90691. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8916, RIC IV 26b, RSC IV 3, aEF, sharp detail, nice portrait, frosty surfaces, weight 4.125 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 244 - 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ADVENTVS AVGG, emperor on horseback left, raising right hand, scepter in left; $130.00 (€113.10)


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In April 248, Philip combined celebration of Rome's 1000th anniversary with the Ludi Saeculares. Festivities included spectacular games and theatrical presentations. In the Colosseum, more than 1,000 gladiators were killed along with hundreds of exotic animals including hippos, leopards, lions, giraffes, and one rhinoceros. Lions undoubtedly participated in the celebratory events, in battles between animals and in the slaughter of condemned criminals.
RS90708. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8956, RIC IV 12, RSC IV 173, aVF, excellent centering, porous and grainy, weight 4.628 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SAECVLARES AVGG, lion walking right, I in exergue; $130.00 (€113.10)


Philip I, the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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When Philip visited Antioch, Saint Babylas refused to let him enter the gathering of Christians at the Easter vigil (Eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica, VI, 34). Legend says Babylas demanded he do penance for the murder of Gordian III before joining the celebration. Saint Babylas died in prison in 253 during the Decian persecution. He asked to be buried in his chains.
RP59309. Bronze 8 assaria, McAlee 977; BMC Galatia p. 215, 527, F, well centered, weight 14.385 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 2nd issue; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPO KOΛΩN, towered, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right, ∆ - E / S - C across fields, ram leaping right with head turned back above, star below; big 31 mm bronze!; $120.00 (€104.40)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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In 248, Trajan Decius put down the revolts of Pacatianus in Moesia and Iotapianus in Syria, by order of Emperor Philip. In 249, after his legionaries proclaimed him emperor, Trajan Decius marched them to Verona, where he defeated and killed Philip.
RP57153. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 922, Prieur 375, Dura Coins 404, VF, weight 12.492 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 225o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 248 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠA TO Γ, eagle standing right, head right, wings spread, open wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA / S C in exergue; $110.00 (€95.70)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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Antioch was an important hub of early Christianity. The city had a large population of Jews and so attracted the earliest missionaries; including Peter, Barnabas, and also Paul during his first missionary journey. Antioch's converts were the first to be called Christians.

In 1999, Dr. Michael Molnar, a Christian astronomer, in "The Star of Bethlehem - The Legacy of the Magi" identified the most likely heavenly alignment constituting the Star of Bethlehem and asserted the Ram and Star on coins from Antioch represent the star of Bethlehem. See Star of Bethlehem in NumisWiki for an article by T. B. Cartwright, which identifies this type as a Star of Bethlehem 250th anniversary issue.
RP69863. Bronze 8 assaria, McAlee 1000; BMC Galatia p. 216, 535; SNG Cop 273, F, rough, weight 14.604 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 315o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 - end Sep 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOI CEB (CEB counterclockwise below), confronted busts of Philip I, on left, laureate, draped and cuirassed; and Philip III, radiate, draped and cuirassed, seen from behind; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPO KOΛΩN, towered, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right, ∆ - E / S - C across fields, ram leaping right with head turned back above, star below; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $100.00 (€87.00)


Philip I, the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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When Philip visited Antioch, Saint Babylas refused to let him enter the gathering of Christians at the Easter vigil (Eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica, VI, 34). Legend says Babylas demanded he do penance for the murder of Gordian III before joining the celebration. Saint Babylas died in prison in 253 during the Decian persecution. He asked to be buried in his chains.
RP69864. Bronze 8 assaria, McAlee 977; BMC Galatia p. 215, 527, F/VF, weight 12.175 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 2nd issue; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPO KOΛΩN, towered, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right, ∆ - E / S - C across fields, ram leaping right with head turned back above, star below; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $100.00 (€87.00)


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Annona was worshipped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capitol. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.
RB65254. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 168a, Cohen 26, VF/F, grainy with some marks and encrustations, weight 15.635 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse ANNONA AVGG S C, Annona standing left, grain in right over modius at feet, cornucopia in left; $95.00 (€82.65)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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When Philip visited Antioch, Saint Babylas refused to let him enter the gathering of Christians at the Easter vigil (Eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica, VI, 34). Legend says Babylas demanded he do penance for the murder of Gordian III before joining the celebration. Saint Babylas died in prison in 253 during the Decian persecution. He asked to be buried in his chains.
SH70792. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 908, Prieur 368, Dura Coins 400, SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, weight 11.912 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOYC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPC EΞOYCIAC YΠA TO Γ, eagle standing facing on ground line, wings open, head and tail right, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA / S - C in exergue; $90.00 (€78.30)


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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire, and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS41865. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8950, RIC IV 78, RSC IV 155, VF, horn silver, tight crack, weight 3.315 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P VI COS P P, Felicitas standing left, long caduceus in right, cornucopia in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; rare; $45.00 (€39.15)


Philip I, the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Deultum, Thrace

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Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the god of commerce and thieves. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. His symbols include the caduceus and winged sandals.
RP63221. Bronze AE 23, Draganov Deultum 1652 (O162/R329); Varbanov II 3004 (R3), F, weight 6.993 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria) mint, obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL FL PA-C DEVLT, Mercury (Hermes) standing left, purse in right, caduceus in left; rare; $35.00 (€30.45)


Philip I, the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Viminacium, Moesia Superior

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Viminacium was a Roman Colony founded by Gordian III in 239 A.D. The usual legend is P.M.S. COL. VIM., abbreviating Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium. The usual type is a female personification of Moesia standing between a lion and a bull. The bull and the lion were symbols of the Legions VII and IV, which were quartered in the province.
RP71499. Bronze AE 28, H-J Viminacium 32 (R2); Varbanov I 138 (R3); AMNG I/I 105; BMC Thrace p. 17, 25, aF, well centered, rough, encrusted, weight 15.422 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 45o, Viminacium (near Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, 247 - 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M S COL VIM, Moesia standing facing, head left, extending hands over bull on left standing right and lion on right standing left, AN VIIII (year 9 of the Viminacium colonial era) in exergue; $34.00 (€29.58)


Philip I, the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Deultum, Thrace

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Colonia Flavia Pacensis (or Pacifica) Deultum was founded by Vespasian. The colony assumed his family name, Flavia, and on account of Vespaian's devotion to the goddess of Peace (to whom he built a temple at Rome); it was called Pacensis (or Pacifica).
RP63011. Bronze AE 22, Draganov Deultum 1561 (O160/R219), Varbanov II 2291, Jurukova 463, F, weight 4.451 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria) mint, obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL FL PA-C DEVLT, Apollo standing facing, head right, right hand raised above head, bow in right, resting right arm on column around which a snake is coiled, bow and quiver at feet on left; $30.00 (€26.10)



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Obverse legends:

IMPCMIVLPHILLIPVSPFAVGPM
IMPCMIVLPHILIPPVSPFAVGPM
IMPIVLPHILIPPVSPIVSFELAVGPM
IMPMIVLPHILIPPVSAVG
IMPPHILIPPVSAVG
MIVLPHILIPPVSAVG



Catalog current as of Sunday, April 26, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Philip I