Numismatic and History Discussions > Roman Coins

Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus

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I would like to share an interesting coin - antoninianus of Philip Arab with portrait of Gordian III. There is also PM below bust, probably standing for Pontifex Maximus.

Probably earlier stocked dies with portrait of Gordian were complemented with the legends of Philip in due time. There are several coins on internet were the portrait of Philip was recut and has some  features  of Gordian III. But this coin seems to show 100% intact portrait of Gordian, hope you agree.

Antioch/RIC 73

Ob. IMP IVL PHILIPPVS PIVS FEL AVG/ PM . Draped and cuirassed bust right
Rv.  SPES FELICITATIS ORBIS Spes walking left

4,39g, 21mm, 7h

Thank you for your time.


It is true, initially the celators may have not the actual portrait of the new ruling monarch and did best they could to portray the image on the description or picture they initially were given.
In your case, my own opinion is it is similar, but not 100%. This portrait is more mature looking and shows some facial hair and if not worn, probably a bread. It is Antioch, so close to Philip at the time when he was elected.
So, close but no cigar...p.s. nice coin though

Vincent, thank you for your comment!  Very much appreciated. Still, this portrait looks very much like Gordian for me. Though may be my eyes are not so sharp for this period yet.

To me this looks like a slightly unusual Antioch first issue Philip. The later ones - presumed by some to be of a different mint - are quite different.
Jyrki Muona


Most of the portraits of Philip for the first serie (those with PM) at Antioch look more or less like the last ones for Gordian. This seems particularly the case for coins with the SPES reverse (that seems less obvious in the case of PAX or VIRTVS reverses). Even if several features are different, on the whole, the global shape of the head (large and square) and some features remain that of Gordian. This is strengthened by the presence of  PIVS FEL in the obverse legend and the ‘seen from back’ bust (draped in the case of Philip) and points to a continuity in coinage.


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