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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Crisis and Decline ▸ Philip IView Options:  |  |  |   

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 the 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.


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Tranquillitas was the goddess of tranquility, security, calmness, and peace. The capricorn had a goat-like forequarter and a hindquarter terminating in a fish tail. The capricorn alludes to the maritime transportation of Egypt’s grain harvest across the Mediterranean to Rome, which was critical to maintaining tranquility within the empire.
RB87545. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 156 (S), Cohen V 224, Banti 58, Hunter III 103, SRCV III 9019, VF, centered on a crowded squared flan, light bumps and marks, porosity, edge cracks, weight 15.120 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse TRANQVILLITAS AVGG (to tranquility of [caused by] the two emperors), Tranquillitas standing facing, head left, capricorn in extended right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


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

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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.
RS86809. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 7, RSC IV 145, Hunter III 40, SRCV III 8949, EF, excellent portrait, well centered and struck, toned, reverse die wear and minor damage, edge slightly ragged, weight 4.279 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 30o, 1st officina, 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 (Mars the Pacifier) standing left, wearing helmet and military garb, raising olive branch in right hand, supporting grounded shield with left hand, grounded inverted spear leaning on left arm, A (1st officina) left; ex Beast Coins; $115.00 (€97.75)
 


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During Philip's reign the 1000th anniversary of Rome (248 A.D.) was celebrated, and magnificent games were held. This coin was issued as part of that celebration and the reverse depicts a cippus probably erected to commemorate the games or thank Philip. The cippus is present on the coins of Otacilia as well, but without a legend.
RS87782. Silver antoninianus, RSC IV 193, RIC IV 24c, Hunter III 50, SRCV III 8961, VF, excellent centering, grainy porous surfaces, edge cracks, weight 3.156 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SAECVLARES AVGG, cippus inscribed COS III; $115.00 (€97.75)
 


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

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Nice gift for a lawyer or a judge. In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RS84993. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 27b, RSC IV 9, Hunter III 25, SRCV III 8918, Choice EF, mint luster in recesses, light toning, well centered on a broad flan, some reverse die wear, weight 3.638 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse AEQVITAS AVGG (equity of the two emperors), Aequitas standing facing, head left, scales in right, cornucopia in left; $105.00 (€89.25)
 


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In 246, Philip the Arab fought the Germans along the Danube.
RB87544. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 191a, Cohen V 224, Hunter III 79, SRCV III 9020, VF, nice early portrait, green patina, earthen deposits, centered on a crowded flan, weight 14.759 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across fields; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing. This coin, dedicated to the health of the emperor, probably indicates the emperor was at the time suffering from some disease, and sacred rites had been performed for his recovery.
RB87451. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 186a, Cohen V 211, Hunter III 75, SRCV III 9017, VF, excellent portrait, irregularly shaped flan (typical of the period), light corrosion, cracks, weight 15.469 g, maximum diameter 31.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing slightly right, head right, feeding snake held with her right arm from patera in her left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; $95.00 (€80.75)
 


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Elephants are represented on coins as an emblem of Eternity, because the ancients believed elephants lived two or even three hundred years. In April 248, Philip combined the 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. At the same time, Philip elevated his son to the rank of co-Augustus. Undoubtedly the festivities included elephants, as advertised by this coin.
RS87526. Silver antoninianus, RSC IV 17, RIC IV 58, Hunter III 31, SRCV III 8921, VF, full-circle centering on a broad flan, attractive golden toning, some die wear, weight 3.950 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AETERNITAS AVGG, elephant walking left, ridden by mahout guiding it with rod and goad; $95.00 (€80.75)
 


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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.
RS87885. Silver antoninianus, RSC IV 98, Hunter III 41, SRCV III 8938, RIC IV 8 corr. (officina mark), EF, excellent portrait, well centered on a broad flan, iridescent toning, a few tiny encrustations, uneven reverse strike, weight 4.341 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Rome mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse NOBILITAS AVGG, Nobilitas standing facing, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, globe in left hand, ς (6th officina) left; ex Beast Coins, ex Harlan Berk CICF show April 2018; rare; $95.00 (€80.75)
 


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, nice green patina, 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; $85.00 (€72.25)
 


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In 244 A.D., Philip negotiated peace with the Persia in order to deal with the troubles on the Rhine and Danube border. In 245 A.D., he campaigned against and made peace with several Germanic tribes.
RS86650. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 49b, RSC IV 227, Hunter III 16, SRCV III 8969, VF, nice portrait, dark toning, some bumps and scratches, slight porosity, obverse slightly off center, weight 3.756 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right, wreath in right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $85.00 (€72.25)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

IMPCMIVLPHILLIPVSPFAVGPM
IMPCMIVLPHILIPPVSPFAVGPM
IMPIVLPHILIPPVSPIVSFELAVGPM
IMPMIVLPHILIPPVSAVG
IMPPHILIPPVSAVG
MIVLPHILIPPVSAVG


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Bland, R. "Dr. Bland's List for Philip I and Family" - http://ettuantiquities.com/Philip_1/Philip1-Bland-list.htm
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, vol. 2: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Göbl, R. "Römischer Münzhort Tulln 1966 (Septimius Severus - Gallienus)" in NZ 83 (1969). pp. 7-57, pl. 1-48.
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & C. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol IV, From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Muona, J. "The Antoniniani of Philip the Arab" in The Celator, Feb. 2002, p. 10.
Muona, J. "The Imperial mints of Philip the Arab" - https://www.forumancientcoins.com/Articles/Philip_Arab/index.html
Óvári, F. "Philippus antiochiai veretu antoninianusairól" in Numizmatikai Közlöny 88/89 (1989/90), pp. 41 - 48.
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).
Thibaut, M. Antoniniani from the Mint of Antioch Under the Reign of Philip the Arab (244-249 AD) - http://marchal.thibaut.free.fr/e_index.htm
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Saturday, December 15, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Philip I