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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|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |sestertius|NEW
Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
RB94237. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 337a, Cohen V 351, SRCV III 8741, Hunter III 155, F, green patina, porous, rough, edge cracks, weight 16.600 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 241 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AETER (eternal victory), Victory standing left, shield placed on captive in right, palm-branch in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $16.00 (14.72)


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |sestertius|NEW
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.
RB94238. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 298a, Cohen V 111, Hunter III 134, SRCV III 8710, aF, rough, large edge splits, weight 17.116 g, maximum diameter 30.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 241 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse IOVI STATORI (to Jove who upholds), Jupiter standing facing, head right, naked, long scepter vertical in right hand, thunderbolt in left hand at side, S - C divided across field; $18.65 (17.16)


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |sestertius|NEW
In 242, Gordian III began a campaign against King Shapur I. The Greek philosopher Plotinus joined him hoping to obtain first-hand knowledge of Persian and Indian philosophies. The Persian king Shapur I made a pre-emptive attack on Antioch to drive out the Romans. Gordian's father-in-law, Timesitheus, led a Roman army to defeat the Persians at Carrhae and Nisibis.
RB94239. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 307a, Cohen V 267, Hunter III 118, SRCV III -, aF, well centered, edge splits/cracks, weight 16.943 g, maximum diameter 29.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P V COS II P P, Gordian standing right, head bare, wearing military garb, transverse spear in right hand, globe in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $14.35 (13.20)


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |sestertius|NEW
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.
RB94240. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 267a, Cohen V 19, SRCV III 8699, Hunter III - (p. lxxxiii), F, well centered, squared flan, brassy high points, areas of corrosion/encrustation, weight 19.449 g, maximum diameter 29.2 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 AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing facing, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopiae in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $55.00 SALE |PRICE| $49.00 ON RESERVE


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |sestertius|NEW
Gordian III is depicted on the reverse in his role as Pontifex Maximus, the high priest of Rome, the president of the college of pontiffs, and responsible for overseeing the religion and sacred ceremonies of the Romans. On 17 December 384, after the Christian emperor Gratian refused the title, Pope Siricius took the title Pontifex Maximus.
RB94241. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 291, Cohen V 217, Hunter III - (p. lxxxiv), SRCV III - , aF, well centered on a tight flan, scratches, porosity, corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 18.052 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 239 - 240 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P II COS P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for two years, consul, father of the country), Gordian standing left, togate and veiled, sacrificing from patera in right over a flaming altar at feet, parazonium in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $.99 (.91)


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

|Viminacium|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Viminacium,| |Moesia| |Superior|, |provincial| |sestertius|
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.
RP95779. Bronze provincial sestertius, RPC Online VII.2 2419; H-J Viminacium 12 (R2); AMNG I/I 83; BMC Thrace p. 16, 12; SNG Cop 143; SNG Hunt 949; SNG Munchen 151; McClean 4331, Choice VF, colorful mottled patina, porosity, smoothing, weight 18.138 g, maximum diameter 293 mm, die axis 0o, Viminacium (Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL 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 IIII (year 4 of the Viminacium colonial era) in exergue; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


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| |34|
Paul the Apostle and Barnabas, as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles. Paul's sermon in the Jewish synagogue there caused a great stir among the citizens, but the ensuing conflict with the Jews led to the expulsion of the two Christian missionaries from the city. They returned later and appointed elders for the Christian community there. Paul also visited the region in both his second and his third journeys. Paul's "persecutions and sufferings" at Antioch are spoken of in 2 Timothy 3:11. One of the most important building complexes of Antioch is the Great Basilica identified as the "Church of St. Paul" by an altar which was found in Yalvac market place. The foundations at the south side of the basilica are thought to belong to the synagogue where St. Paul first preached to the Gentiles. The altar is dated to the 6th century and the inscription reads AΓIOΣ ΠAYΛOΣ. It is not clear if the basilica was used for another purpose in its earlier levels. Conservation and lifting of the mosaics will shed further light on this important building.St Pauls of Antioch
RP94284. Bronze AE 34, Kryzanowska XII/61; SNG PfPs 93; SNG BnF 1194; SNG Cop 71; SNGvA 4954; BMC Lycia p. 190, 80, Choice VF, nice dark green patina, broad flan, parts of legends weak, small central depressions, weight 24.360 g, maximum diameter 33.7 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CAE ANTIOCH COL, Gordian, as priest-founder, plowing with team of oxen to right, two sigla standards in background, S R (Senatus Romanus) in exergue; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors. Virtus was not a term commonly used to describe children. Since virtus was primarily attributed to a full grown man who had served in the military, children were not particularly suited to obtain this particular virtue.
RA93297. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 71, RSC IV 388, Hunter III 28, SRCV III 8669, aVF, toned, scratches, weight 4.342 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Mar - May(?) 240 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Mars standing half left, head left, helmeted and in military dress, olive branch in right hand, spear in left hand, oval shield behind rests against right side; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


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




  






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 frappes 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 imprial de Gordien III (238-244 aprs 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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