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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Crisis & Decline| ▸ |Gordian III||View Options:  |  |  | 

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

Gordian III was the grandson of Gordian I and nephew of Gordian II. He was proclaimed Caesar shortly before the murder of Balbinus and Pupienus, and he succeeded them. Little is known about his reign. In 242 A.D. he embarked on a campaign against the Persian Kingdom which was so successful the Persians had to evacuate Mesopotamia. However, Gordian III died shortly after, through illness or the machinations of his Praetorian prefect and successor, Philip I.

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |32|
Gordian III was the grandson of Gordian I and nephew of Gordian II. Made Caesar before the murders of Balbinus and Pupienus, he succeeded them. Little is known of his reign. He attacked Persia, gaining Mesopotamia. He died shortly after, through illness or plot of his Praetorian prefect and successor, Philip I.
RP92552. Bronze AE 32, Krzyzanowska I/2; SNG Cop 72; SNGvA 8577; SNG Righetti 1346; BMC Lycia p. 189, 78; McClean 8959; Lindgren III 683; SNG BnF - (all same dies), F, toned copper surfaces, high points flatly struck, die damage on obverse at 2:00, central depressions, weight 25.090 g, maximum diameter 32.1 mm, die axis 210o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ANTIOCHIA COLONIA CAESARIA, Aphrodite(?) seated right on throne, left hand on prow of galley, palm frond in right hand, Eros running left at foot, S R (Senatus Romanus) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection, large 25 gram, 32 mm bronze; rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.||sestertius|
To the ancient Romans, Rome was "Roma Aeterna" (The Eternal City) and "Caput Mundi" (Capital of the World). The empire is history but Rome is still today, the eternal city. Rome's influence on Western Civilization can hardly be overestimated; perhaps a greater influence than any other city on earth, making important contributions to politics, literature, culture, the arts, architecture, music, religion, education, fashion, cinema and cuisine.
RB92624. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV-1 RIC 272a, Cohen V 316, Hunter III 91, SRCV III 8736, gVF, excellent portrait, green patina, tight slightly irregularly shaped flan, slight double strike, spots of light corrosion, light marks, weight 18.352 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 240 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE (to eternal Rome), Roma seated left on shield (throne back also visible in background) holding Victory on globe and scepter, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $170.00 SALE |PRICE| $153.00
 


Koinon of Macedonia, Reign of Gordian III or Philip I, 244 A.D.

|Koinon| |of| |Macedonia|, |Koinon| |of| |Macedonia,| |Reign| |of| |Gordian| |III| |or| |Philip| |I,| |244| |A.D.||AE| |27|NEW
The Macedonian Koinon (community) was the political organization governing the autonomous Roman province of Macedonia and was responsible for issuing coinage. The individual cities, as members of the Koinon, sent representatives to participate in popular assembly several times each year. The high point of the year was celebrations and games in honor of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor held in Beroea (modern Verria), located about 75 km. west of Thessaloniki. This was the provincial center of the emperor cult, with the appropriate temple and privileges, first granted to the Koinon by Nerva. The title Neokoros, or "temple guardians" was highly prized and thus advertised on coins. Under Elagabalus, the Koinon received a second neokorie, indicated by B (the Greek number two) or rarely ∆IC (double in Greek). The title was rescinded but later restored by Severus Alexander, probably in 231 A.D.
RP96947. Bronze AE 27, AMNG III-1 864, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunter -, SNG Saroglos -, SNG Bar -, BMC Macedonia -, Lindgren -, F, nice green patina, a bit rough, slightly off center, weight 11.362 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 90o, Beroea (Verria, Greece) mint, games issue, 244 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, head of Alexander the Great right, wearing crested Attic helmet ornamented with a griffin running right; reverse KOIN MAKE B NEΩ BEP-AIΩE, Emperor standing left, extending right hand to prize table before him, short scepter in left hand, two prize crowns on the table each containing a palm frond, urn on a tall column in the background on the far side of the table, EOC (year 275 of the Actian Era) across field; very rare; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


Kingdom of Edessa, Mesopotamia, Abgar X with Gordian III, 242 - 243 A.D.

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Edessa,| |Mesopotamia,| |Abgar| |X| |with| |Gordian| |III,| |242| |-| |243| |A.D.||AE| |24|
Abgar X Frahad bar Manu was raised to the throne when Gordian III recovered Mesopotamia from the Persians. His rule and the Kingdom of Edessa both ended with Gordian's assassination and a Sassanid takeover in 244 A.D.
GB88990. Bronze AE 24, BMC Arabia p. 115, 148; Babelon Edessa 97; cf. SNG Cop 225 (draped and cuirassed), SNG Hunterian 2579 (same), aVF, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, porous, weight 9.952 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate bust of Gordian III right, slight drapery on left shoulder, star lower right; reverse ABΓAPOC BACIΛEYC, draped bust of Abgar right, bearded, wearing a diademed Parthian-style tiara, star behind; ex Dmitry Markov Coins & Medals; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

|Thessalonika|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Thessalonica,| |Macedonia||AE| |26|
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.
RP83493. Bronze AE 26, Touratsoglou p. 262, 25 (V2/R20), Varbanov III 4545 (R3), SNG Hunterian 714, SNG Cop 426, SNG Evelpidis 1348, BMC Macedonia p. 124, 116, aVF, excellent portrait, green patina, large central dimple on obverse, bumps and marks, some light corrosion, weight 9.207 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AV K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ΘECCAΛONIKEΩN, Nike advancing left, Kabeiros holding hammer in her right hand, palm frond in her left hand; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

|Hadrianopolis|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Hadrianopolis,| |Thrace||AE| |26|
The kithara (cithara) was an ancient stringed musical instrument resembling the lyre. The lyre was a simpler folk-instrument with two strings and tortoise shell body. The kithara had seven strings and a flat back. The kithara is a symbol of Apollo and he is credited with inventing it. Its true origins were likely Asiatic.. The kithara was primarily used by professional musicians, called kitharodes. In modern Greek, the word kithara has come to mean "guitar."
RP89874. Bronze AE 26, Jurukova Hadrianopolis 547, Varbanov 3715 (R4), SNG Cop 588, Moushmov 2680, F, nice portrait, glossy dark patina, obverse slightly off center, reverse a little rough, central depressions, weight 10.328 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AV, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEIT,ΩN (last two letters in exergue), Apollo seated left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, laurel branch downward in right hand, kithara (lyre) resting on seat behind in left hand; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.||as|
Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored emperors and kings, those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RB92626. Copper as, RIC VI 299b (S), Cohen 117, Hunter III 139, SRCV III 8781, VF/F, well centered, a bit rough and porous, edge cracks, weight 8.447 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 4th emission, 241 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse IOVIS STATOR (to Jove who upholds), Jupiter standing facing, naked, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, thunderbolt in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) in fields; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00
 


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Pella, Macedonia

|Pella|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Pella,| |Macedonia||AE| |25|NEW
Pan is depicted in the pose of the life-size marble statue known as the Barberini Faun (Drunken Satyr) in the Glyptothek in Munich. A Faun is the Roman equivalent of a Greek Satyr. The position of the right arm over the head was a classical artistic convention indicating sleep. The statue is believed to have once adorned Hadrian's Mausoleum. The historian Procopius recorded that during the siege of Rome in 537 the defenders had hurled down upon the Goths the statues adorning Hadrian's Mausoleum. When discovered, the statue was heavily damaged; the right leg, parts of both hands, and parts of the head were missing. Johann Winckelmann speculated that the place of discovery and the statue's condition suggested that it had been such a projectile.Barberini Faun
RP96948. Bronze AE 25, BMC Macedonia p. 95, 46 (normal obv., this reverse); Varbanov III 3758 (R4) var. (normal legends); AMNG III-2, p. 100, 36 var. (same), gF, green patina, coppery encrustations, porosity, off center, flan crack, weight 8.498 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pella mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse IMP COROIANVS P F ΛC (sic), radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse COL IVL AVG PILLΛ (sic), Pan seated left on rocks, nude, right hand on top of head, syrinx in left field; one similar specimen on Coin Archives; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00
 







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

IMPCMANTGORDIANVSAVG
IMPCAESGORDIANVSPIVSAVG
IMPCAESMANTGORDIANVSAVG
IMPCAESMANTGORDIANVSPIVSAVG
IMPGORDIANVSPIVSFELAVG
IMPGORDIANVSPIVSFELIXAVG
MANTGORDIANVSCAES


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & C. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol IV: From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Michaux, B. Le monnayage impérial de Gordien III (238-244 après J.C.). (Bruxelles, 2020).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III: Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume IV, Gordian III to Postumus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values III, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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