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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., 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; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


Kingdom of Edessa, Mesopotamia, Abgar X with Gordian III, 242 - 243 A.D.

|Kingdom| |of| |Edessa|, |Kingdom| |of| |Edessa,| |Mesopotamia,| |Abgar| |X| |with| |Gordian| |III,| |242| |-| |243| |A.D.||AE| |20|
Abgar X Frahad bar Manu was raised to the throne when Gordian III recovered Mesopotamia from the Persians. His rule and the Kingdom of Edessa both ended with Gordian's assassination and a Sassanid takeover in 244 A.D.
RY92577. Bronze AE 20, RPC Online VII.2 U2973 (33 spec.); SNG Cop 227 corr. (says radiate); SNG Hunterian II 2582; BMC Arabia p. 116, 159; Babelon Edessa 102, aVF, near black patina, slightly off center on a tight flan, pitting, weight 6.336 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate bust of Gordian III right, slight drapery on left shoulder, no star; reverse ABΓAPOC BACIΛEYC, draped bust of Abgar right, bearded, wearing a diademed Parthian-style tiara, no star; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 (€55.20)
 


Kingdom of Edessa, Mesopotamia, Abgar X with Gordian III, 239 - 242 A.D.

|Kingdom| |of| |Edessa|, |Kingdom| |of| |Edessa,| |Mesopotamia,| |Abgar| |X| |with| |Gordian| |III,| |239| |-| |242| |A.D.||AE| |23|
Abgar X Frahad bar Manu was raised to the throne when Gordian III recovered Mesopotamia from the Persians. His rule and the Kingdom of Edessa both ended with Gordian's assassination and a Sassanid takeover in 244 A.D.
RP97599. Bronze AE 23, RPC VII.2 U2952, SNG Hunterian 2579, SNG Cop 225; BMC Arabia p. 114, 144 - 147; Babelon Edessa 96, F, black patina with orange earthen fill, well centered obverse, pitted, weight 8.953 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 135o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, 239 - 242 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian III right, from behind, star lower right; reverse ABΓAPOC - BACIΛEYC, mantled bust of Abgar right, bearded, wearing a diademed Parthian-style tiara ornamented with a rosette, star behind; $50.00 (€46.00)
 


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.||as|
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.
RB92626. Copper as, RIC VI 299b (S), Cohen 117, Hunter III 139, SRCV III 8781, VF/F, well centered, a bit rough and porous, edge cracks, weight 8.447 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 4th emission, 241 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse IOVIS STATOR (to Jove who upholds), Jupiter standing facing, naked, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, thunderbolt in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) in fields; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $45.00 (€41.40)
 







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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 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).
Michaux, B. Le monnayage impérial de Gordien III (238-244 après 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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