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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., Gadara, Syria Palestina

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Gadara,| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |24|
To end their strong ties and increase dependence on Rome, when Roma annexed Arabia, the ten cities of the Decapolis were distributed among the adjacent Roman provinces. Adraa, Gerasa and Philadelphia went to the province of Arabia; Gadara, Pella and Capitolias seem to have been assigned to Judaea and the northerly cities went to the province of Syria. Still the prestige and honor of being a Decapolis city continued long after it had lost any real meaning.
RP111782. Bronze AE 24, RPC Online VII.2 3624 (9 spec.), Sofaer 102 var. (obv. leg.), Spijkerman 94 var. (same), SNG ANS 1337 var. (same), Rosenberger IV 90 var. (same), gF, dark green patina with lighter highlights, weight 14.205 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Gadara (Um Qais, Jordan) mint, 239 - 240 A.D.; obverse AVTOK K MAP ANTW ΓOPΔIANOC CB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse war galley rowing right with navigator in stern, row of oarsmen, captain in prow, ΠΟΜΠ / ΓΑΔΑΡΕ/ΩΝ in three lines above, ΓT (year 303) below; ex CNG e-auction 510 (23 Feb 2022), lot 484, ex Dr. Jay M. Galst Collection; $110.00 (101.20)


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.||antoninianus|
This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance. Perhaps it worked, or perhaps not. We don't know. Sasanian sources claim that Gordian III died in the Roman defeat at Battle of Misiche near modern Fallujah (Iraq). Roman sources report Gordian was murdered by his frustrated army after the defeat (with the role of Philip unknown).
RS111592. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 1, RSC IV 86, Hunter III 6, SRCV III 8609, Choice VF, well centered, toned, flow lines, weight 3.334 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 1st issue, 29 Jul 238 - end July 239 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right; reverse FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing slightly left, head left, standard in right hand, transverse scepter in left; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 986 (part of); first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; scarce; $150.00 (138.00)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

|Nikopolis|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Nikopolis| |ad| |Istrum,| |Moesia| |Inferior||AE| |29|
Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101-106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town peaked during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty. In 447, the Nicopolis was destroyed by Attila's Huns. In the 6th century, it was rebuilt as a powerful fortress enclosing little more than military buildings and churches, following a very common trend for the cities of that century in the Danube area. It was finally destroyed by the Avar invasions at the end of the 6th century.
RP110620. Bronze AE 29, HHJ Nikopolis 8.36.5.1, AMNG I/I 2048, RPC VII.2 1265.1, SNG Budapest 482, Varbanov I 4186 var. (rev. legend arrangement), Choice VF, broad flan with full borders and legends, green patina, central depressions, weight 13.556 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Sabinius Modestus, 241 - 244 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANTW ΓOPΔIANOC AVΓ (AVΓ ligate), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse VΠ CAB MOΔECTOY NIKOΠΟΛEITΩN ΠP,O/C/I/C (ΩN & ΠP ligate, last 4 letters in column in left field), Demeter standing facing, head left, grain-ears in right hand, long torch in left hand; $135.00 (124.20)


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

|Bithynia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |18|
The first ecumenical council of the Christian church was held in Nicaea by Constantine in 325.
RP97864. Bronze AE 18, BMC Pontus p. 172, 123; Rec Gen II.3 p. 489, 713; RPC VII.2 U19873; Mionnet Sup V 865; SNGvA 653; cf. SNG Cop 526 (no eagle, three with wreath), Choice VF, green patina, slight porosity, light earthen deposits, weight 3.175 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse M ANT ΓOPΔIANOC AV, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse legionary aquila (eagle) between two legionary standards each topped with a wreath, N-IK-AI-E/ΩN in two lines the first above the exergue line divided by the shafts, the last two letters in exergue; $60.00 (55.20)










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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