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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.


Click for a larger photo 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 (€97.50)

Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria
Click for a larger photo 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 404, VF, weight 12.492 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 225o, Antioch 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 (€82.50)

Click for a larger photo Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain.
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; $110.00 (€82.50)

Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria
Click for a larger photo 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 400, SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, weight 11.912 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch 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 ex; $100.00 (€75.00)

Philip I, the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Viminacium, Moesia Superior
Click for a larger photo 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.
RP65168. Bronze AE 30, H-J Viminacium 32 (R2); Varbanov I 138 (R3); AMNG I/I 105; BMC Thrace p. 17, 25, VF, weight 16.417 g, maximum diameter 29.7 mm, die axis 180o, 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 in exergue; $95.00 (€71.25)

Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Provincia Dacia
Click for a larger photo The local era dates from Philip's Danubian campaign victory over the invading Carpi tribe in the summer of 246. The vexilla, and the eagle and the lion, symbolized the legions V Macedonica and XIII Gemina, which took part in the campaign. The Provincia Dacia issues are mostly rare and were minted for only 8 years.
RP68950. Bronze provincial sestertius, Aleksandar Dacia I.17, Varbanov I 11, SGICV 3873, F, weight 14.675 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 180o, Ulpia Traiana(?) mint, Jul/Aug 248 - Jul/Aug 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVINCI-A DACIA, Dacia standing half-left, curved sword and standard inscribed "V" in right hand, standard inscribed "XIII" in left, flanked at feet by eagle with wreath in beak on left, and lion on right, AN III (year 3) in exergue; scarce; $80.00 (€60.00)

Click for a larger photo In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also a personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). She is depicted with a cornucopia and a balance suggesting Aequitas Augusti is a source of prosperity.
RS41864. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8918, RIC IV 27b, RSC IV 9, Choice gVF, full circles strike, weight 3.769 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 245 - 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse AEQVITAS AVGG, Aequitas standing half left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $60.00 (€45.00)

Click for a larger photo "Peace founded with Persis" - after murdering young Gordian III, Philip needed a quick return Rome to secure his spot, so he made peace with Shapur and ended the campaign. The "P M" on the obverse possibly means "Persicus Maximus" boasting total victory, rather than the traditional "Pontifex Maximus".
RS41792. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8941, RIC IV 69, RSC IV 113, EF, flat strike, weight 4.027 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP C M IVL PHILIPPVS P F AVG P M, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS, Pax advancing left, branch in right hand, scepter in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; scarce; $50.00 (€37.50)

Click for a larger photo 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 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; $50.00 (€37.50)

Click for a larger photo In 244 A.D. Philip negotiated peace with the Persian invaders in order to deal with the troubles on the Rhine and Danube border.
RS57656. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8974, RIC IV 52, RSC IV 239, VF, toned, weight 4.128 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 75o, Rome mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVG, Virtus standing left, helmeted, in military garb, branch in right hand, inverted spear behind in left, right foot on helmet; full circles strike; $50.00 (€37.50)

Click for a larger photo The empire is history but Rome is still today, the Eternal City.

During the Early Middle Ages, the population fell to a mere 20,000, reducing the sprawling city to groups of inhabited buildings interspersed among large areas of ruins and vegetation.
RS57668. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8952, RIC IV 44b, RSC IV 169, VF, weight 4.401 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 245 - 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE, Roma seated left, shield at side against seat, Victory in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; $50.00 (€37.50)

Click for a larger photo In 248, Trajan Decius put down the revolts of Pacatianus in Moesia and Iotapianus in Syria. In 249, after his legionaries proclaimed him emperor, Trajan Decius marched to Verona, where his forces defeated and killed Philip the Arab.
RS41769. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8949, RIC IV 7, RSC IV 145, VF, weight 4.381 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P V COS III P P, Marti Pacifero standing left, wearing helmet and military garb, branch in right, supporting grounded spear and shield with left, officina mark A left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $45.00 (€33.75)

Click for a larger photo Laetitia was a minor Roman goddess of gaiety, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy.
RS41832. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8935, RIC IV 36b, RSC IV 80, nice VF, weight 4.250 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse LAETIT FVNDAT, Laetitia standing left, wreath in right, rudder in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $45.00 (€33.75)

Click for a larger photo "Peace founded with Persis" - after murdering young Gordian III, Philip needed a quick return Rome to secure his spot, so he made peace with Shapur and ended the campaign. The "P M" on the obverse likely means "Persicus Maximus" boasting total victory, rather than the traditional "Pontifex Maximus".
RS41836. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8941, RIC IV 69, RSC IV 113, VF/F, weight 3.978 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP C M IVL PHILIPPVS P F AVG P M, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS, Pax advancing left, branch in right hand, scepter in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; scarce; $45.00 (€33.75)

Click for a larger photo AVGG indicates there were two Augusti, Philip I, the Arab, and his son and joint ruler, Philip II.
RS45594. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8923, RIC IV 29, RSC IV 32, Choice gVF, weight 3.438 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse ANNONA AVGG, Annona standing left, stalks of grain in right hand over prow, cornucopia in left; full circles centering; $45.00 (€33.75)

Philip I, the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Deultum, Thrace
Click for a larger photo Nemesis holds a lorum, a scarf similar to an ecclesiastical stole, worn as a badge by Roman magistrates to indicate authority to judge. The cubit rule she holds indicates she measures each man to determine their just fortune. The wheel of fate, which Nemesis controls, rests against her side.
RP63218. Bronze AE 23, Draganov Deultum 1695 (O151/R558); Varbanov II 3018 (R4); BMC Thrace p. 114, 25, F, weight 6.668 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria) mint, obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL FL P-AC DEVLT, Nemesis standing facing, head left, cubit rule downward in right, lorum in left, wheel at her feet behind left; rare; $38.00 (€28.50)

Philip I, the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Deultum, Thrace
Click for a larger photo 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 (€26.25)

Philip I, the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Deultum, Thrace
Click for a larger photo 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 (€22.50)

Philip I, the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Perga, Pamphylia
Click for a larger photo A simulacrum is sculpture of a person or a god without detail forming only a vague semblance.
BB69820. Bronze AE 25, SNG BnF 529 - 530; SNG Cop 343, SNGvA 4701; SNG Pfδlzer 385; BMC Lycia p. 130, 54, F, grainy and porous, weight 10.458 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Perga mint, obverse AY K M IOYΛ ΦIΛIΠΠOC C-EB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ΠEPΓAIAC - APTEMI∆OC, simulacrum cult idol of Pergaean Artemis between star (upper left) and crescent (upper right), all within distyle sanctuary, eagle wings open in pediment, ACYΛOY in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $25.00 (€18.75)



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Obverse legends:

IMPCMIVLPHILLIPVSPFAVGPM
IMPCMIVLPHILIPPVSPFAVGPM
IMPIVLPHILIPPVSPIVSFELAVGPM
IMPMIVLPHILIPPVSAVG
IMPPHILIPPVSAVG
MIVLPHILIPPVSAVG



Catalog current as of Monday, September 15, 2014.
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Roman Coins of Philip I