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

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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.

Also See - ERIC| Philip| I


Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Bland, R. "Dr. Bland's List for Philip I and Family" -
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).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & C. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol IV, From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Muona, J. "The Imperial mints of Philip the Arab" -
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) -
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Obverse Legends



PHILIPPVS (Marcus Julius), commonly called the Arab, or Senior, or the Father, was, according to Zonarus, born in the Arabian colony of Bostra, his father being, it is said, a captain of robbers. Rising through the various grades of office in the Roman army, on the death of Misitheus (in which he is supposed to have had a secret hand), he became Praetorian Prefect under Gordian III. And when that young prince was (at his instigation) slain in Mesopotamia, Philip was proclaimed Emperor by the soldiers, A.D. 244. He is said, by historians, to have been a man of wonderful craftiness, and of the greatest military skill. He won the mercenary hearts of the troops with ample largesses, whilst he sent the discharged veterans into colonies which he had himself established, viz., Damascus in Coelesyria, Neapolis in Samaria, Philippolis in Arabia, which latter city he himself founded. Immediately on his accession to the throne, he made an inglorious peace with Sapor, King of the Persians, and returned to Rome. He marched afterwards against the Carpi, a Scythian or Gothic people, who had given trouble (during the reign of Balbinus and Pupienus and the younger Gordian), to the Roman provinces bordering on the Danube, and compelled them to be peaceable. And that Dacia should owe its preservation to him, he declared it to be a free province. He was the first ipse primus alien foreigner presented with the rights of a Roman citizen. He celebrated the saecularia or secular games on the thousandth anniversary of the foundation of Rome. He took to wife Marcia Otacilia Severa, who is believed to have been a Christian. By this marriage he had a son and a daughter, the former bore his own name of Philip, and was declared Caesar and Augustus. Marching against Trajanus Decius, who had been saluted Emperor by the army in Pannonia, Philip was killed at Verona by his own troops, about the sixth year of his reign, A.D. 249.
The monies of this Emperor are very numerous; the gold very rare; the silver and brass, with certain exceptions, common. Some pieces represent him with Otacilia and with Philip jun. His numismatic titles are IMP. M. IVL. FILIPPVS (sic.) - IMP. PHILIPPVS AVG. or P. F. AVG.

PHILIPPVS (Marcus Julius), junior, the son of Philip and Ostacilia, appears to have been seven years old when his father usurped the empire, and immediately proclaimed him Caesar, A.D. 244. The Roman Senate granted to him the title of Nobilissimus, as if to conceal the ignoblenessof his Arab sire; although Philip is said to have boasted of his origin from Anchiscs, and consequent connection with the Julia family. In 247 the son was associated, as imperii consors, with Philip, who bestowed on this mere child the title of Augustus. The unhappy youth shared the fate of his clever but unprincipled father; and when the latter was, under a just retribution, slain at Verona by his own soldiers, his innocent son was murdered by the same praetorian banditti, in the very arms of his mother, A.D. 249, in the 12th year of his age. From the period when the younger Philip was declared Augustus, and admitted to all the honours of the sovereign power, the reverses of most of the coins both of father and son exhibit similiar types. The coins of Philip junior are numerous, and for the most part common in brass, and also in silver, but are very rare in gold. On them he is styled M. IVL. PHILIP. CAES. - PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS. - M. IVL. PHILIPPVS. NOBIL. CAES. - IMP. PHILIPPVS. P. F. AVG. - Some pieces represent him with Philip senior and Otacilia.

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sequent connection with the Julia family. In 247 the son was associated, as imperii censores,

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