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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Crisis & Decline| ▸ |Philip I||View 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.

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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|NEW
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.
RX93392. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 3740, Geissen 2733 var. (obv. legend), BMC 1995 var. (same), Dattari 4936 var. (same) Kampmann 74.74 var. (same), VF, centered, porous, corrosion, edge flaw, edge crack, weight 10.336 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 247 - 28 Aug 248 A.D.; obverse A K M IOV ΦIΛIΠΠOC E, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse eagle standing left, wings closed, head right, wreath in beak, L - E (year 5) divided across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $70.00 (€64.40)
 


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|NEW
Ptolemy Soter integrated Egyptian religion with that of the Hellenic rulers by creating Serapis, a deity that would win the reverence of both groups. This was despite the curses of the Egyptian priests against the gods of previous foreign rulers (i.e Set who was lauded by the Hyksos). Alexander the Great had attempted to use Amun for this purpose, but Amum was more prominent in Upper Egypt, and not as popular in Lower Egypt, where the Greeks had stronger influence. The Greeks had little respect for animal-headed figures, and so an anthropomorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). Ptolemy's efforts were successful - in time Serapis was held by the Egyptians in the highest reverence above all other deities, and he was adored in Athens and other Greek cities.
RX92528. Billon tetradrachm, RPC Online VIII U2541 (10 spec.); Dattari 4875; Milne 3526; Geissen 2709; BMC Alexandria p. 252, 1947; Kampmann 74.23; Emmett 3484.2 (R3), Choice VF, centered on a broad flan, flow lines, areas of light corrosion, weight 12.857 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 244 - 28 Aug 245 A.D.; obverse A K M IOV ΦIΛIΠΠOC EVCEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse radiate and draped bust of Helios right, seen from behind, L - B (year 2) across the field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $250.00 (€230.00)
 


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|NEW
In 249 A.D., in Alexandria, the populace pillaged the homes of Christians.
RX92527. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari-Savio 10898; Milne 3772; RPC Online VIII U2642; Geissen 2746 var. (obv. leg.); BMC Alexandria p. 258, 1997 var. (same); Emmett 3442/6 (R1), VF, well centered, porous/rough, light corrosion, small edge splits, weight 11.404 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Sep 248 - 28 Sep 249 A.D.; obverse A K M IOV ΦIΛIΠΠOC EV CE, laureate and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse eagle standing left, head right, wings open, wreath in beak, L - S (year 6) flanking across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $65.00 (€59.80)
 


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

|Philip| |I|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria||8| |assaria|
When Philip visited Antioch, Saint Babylas refused to let him enter the gathering of Christians at the Easter vigil (Eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica, VI, 34). Later legend elaborates, stating that Babylas demanded that he do penance for his part in the murder of the young Gordian III before he would allow Philip to celebrate Easter. Saint Babylas died in prison in 253 during the Decian persecution. He asked to be buried in his chains.
RP94244. Bronze 8 assaria, McAlee 970; BMC Galatia p. 215, 524; SNG Cop 270; Butcher CRS 494a; McClean 9405; RPC Online VIII - (unassigned, ID 7514, 17 spec.), aF, broad flan, porous, scratches, weight 18.211 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 244 - 247 A.D.; obverse AVTOK K MA IOVAI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPO KΛ, veiled turreted bust of Tyche right, ∆ - E over S - C across field in two divided lines, ram leaping right with head turned back above; from an American collector; $70.00 (€64.40)
 


|Philip| |I|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.||sestertius|
In 246, Philip the Arab fought the Germans along the Danube.
RB93304. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 191a, Cohen V 228, Hunter III 79, SRCV III 9020, Choice VF, superb portrait, well centered, nice green patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, light marks, weight 20.340 g, maximum diameter 29.7 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; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $140.00 (€128.80)
 


|Philip| |I|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.||sestertius|
Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them of money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the prosperity of the state and the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RB93305. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 180a, Cohen V 88, Hunter III 88, SRCV III 8999, VF, well centered, nice portrait, flaw on nose, bumps and marks, reverse double struck and legend weak, ragged edge with cracks and flaw, weight 13.462 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LIBERALITAS AVGG II, Liberalitas standing half-left, coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $135.00 (€124.20)
 


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

|Cilicia|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Tarsus,| |Cilicia||AE| |36|
The abbreviated Greek inscription A M K Γ B is a boast of this city, Πρωτη Mεγιστη Kαλλιστη, meaning First (A is the Greek number one), Greatest, and Most Beautiful city of the three (Γ is the Greek number three) adjoining provinces (Cilicia, Isauria, Lycaonia). The final B (B is the Greek number two) indicates the city held two neokorie, temples dedicated to the imperial cult.
RP88856. Bronze AE 36, SNG BnF 1737 (same dies), SNG Levante -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Lycaonia -, ANS Mantis -, F, dark green patina, full boarders centering, earthen deposits, scattered porosity, weight 17.154 g, maximum diameter 36.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 245 - 246 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI IOV ΦIΛIΠΠON EVT EVC CE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, Π − Π across field; reverse TAPCOV MHTPOΠOΛEΩC, Athena standing half left, wearing crested helmet, inverted spear in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield behind, A / M / K on left, Γ / B on right; very rare; $125.00 (€115.00)
 


|Philip| |I|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.||sestertius|
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 undoubted depicts one of the animal types displayed and hunted in the Colosseum during the games.
RB87835. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 160a; Cohen V 183, Hunter III 107, SRCV III 9012, VF, nice portrait, well centered, some bumps and scratches, a little rough and porous, edge cracks, traces of shellac(?), weight 16.917 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped (and cuirassed?) bust right, from behind; reverse SAECVLARES AVGG (Secular games [provided by] the Emperors), stag standing right, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $140.00 (€128.80)
 










OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

IMPCAESMIVLPHILIPPVSAVG
IMPCMIVLPHILLIPVSPFAVGPM
IMPIVLPHILIPPVSPIVSFELAVGPM
IMPIVLPHILIPPVSPIVSFELIXAVGPM
IMPMIVLPHILIPPVSAVG
IMPPHILIPPVSAVG
MIVLPHILIPPVSAVG
MIVLPHILIPPVSAVGMIVLPHILIPPVSNC


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).

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