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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.|, |aureus|
Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the imperial cult. Cicero said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.
SH94301. Gold aureus, RIC IV 23 (R), Calic 3213, Cohen IV 195, SRCV III 8579, Hunter - (p. lxxxiii), gVF, well centered and struck, flow lines, bumps, light scrape on obverse, weight 4.732 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Rome mint, special emission, early 239 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS 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), Providentia standing left, globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left; scarce; $4700.00 SALE |PRICE| $4230.00


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, 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


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
In 241 Timesitheus was appointed the head of the Praetorian Guard, Gordian married his daughter Tranquillina, and she received the honorific title of Augusta. The marriage indicates Gordian correctly understood that Timesitheus was indispensable. Timesitheus died under suspicious circumstances in 243. Not long after losing his protector, Gordian was murdered by mutinous soldiers in February 244.
RB92623. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 306a, Cohen V 254, Hunter III 114, SRCV III 8731, VF, well centered, attractive style, part of reverse legend weak, slight double strike, some porosity, edge flaw, edge cracks, weight 22.690 g, maximum diameter 32.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 241 - 242 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS II P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 4 years, consul 2 times, father of the country), Gordian standing right, wearing military garb, transverse spear in right hand, globe in extended left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand.
RB92990. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 300a, Cohen V 122, Banti 38, Hunter III 140, SRCV III 8712, aVF, green patina, squared patina, scratch on reverse, weight 21.349 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, late 240 - early 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LAETITIA AVG N (the joy of our Emperor), Laetitia standing facing, head left, wreath in right hand, anchor in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low in field; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


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

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Edessa,| |Mesopotamia,| |Abgar| |X| |with| |Gordian| |III,| |242| |-| |243| |A.D.|, |AE| |24|
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.
GB88990. Bronze AE 24, BMC Arabia p. 115, 148; Babelon Edessa 97; cf. SNG Cop 225 (draped and cuirassed), SNG Hunterian 2579 (same), aVF, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, porous, weight 9.952 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, 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, star lower right; reverse ABΓAPOC BACIΛEYC, draped bust of Abgar right, bearded, wearing a diademed Parthian-style tiara, star behind; ex Dmitry Markov Coins & Medals; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

|Thessalonika|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Thessalonica,| |Macedonia|, |AE| |26|
The god Kabeiros is similar in appearance to Dionysos and the rites of his cult were likely similar to those of the Dionysian mysteries. The attributes of Kabeiros are a rhyton and hammer.
RP83493. Bronze AE 26, Touratsoglou p. 262, 25 (V2/R20), Varbanov III 4545 (R3), SNG Hunterian 714, SNG Cop 426, SNG Evelpidis 1348, BMC Macedonia p. 124, 116, aVF, excellent portrait, green patina, large central dimple on obverse, bumps and marks, some light corrosion, weight 9.207 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AV K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ΘECCAΛONIKEΩN, Nike advancing left, Kabeiros holding hammer in her right hand, palm frond in her left hand; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
The propaganda on Roman coins was often far from reality. There was little security for Rome when this coin was struck. In 238, Goths from Ukraine crossed the Danube and devastated the Roman Empire up to the border with Anatolia. In 240, Africa revolted. Also in 240, Franks from northwest Germania raided the Rhine frontier. In 242, the cities of the Cimmerian Bosporus were evacuated because Goths controlled the territory.
RB92625. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 312, Cohen V 332, SRCV III 8739, Hunter III 154, VF, well centered and struck, squared flan, a little rough from light corrosion, tiny edge cracks, weight 17.898 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 241 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SECVRITAS AVG (security of the Emperor), Securitas seated left, scepter in right hand, propping head with left hand, altar at feet on left, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

|Hadrianopolis|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Hadrianopolis,| |Thrace|, |AE| |26|
The kithara (cithara) was an ancient stringed musical instrument resembling the lyre. The lyre was a simpler folk-instrument with two strings and tortoise shell body. The kithara had seven strings and a flat back. The kithara is a symbol of Apollo and he is credited with inventing it. Its true origins were likely Asiatic.. The kithara was primarily used by professional musicians, called kitharodes. In modern Greek, the word kithara has come to mean "guitar."
RP89874. Bronze AE 26, Jurukova Hadrianopolis 547, Varbanov 3715 (R4), SNG Cop 588, Moushmov 2680, F, nice portrait, glossy dark patina, obverse slightly off center, reverse a little rough, central depressions, weight 10.328 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AV, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEIT,ΩN (last two letters in exergue), Apollo seated left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, laurel branch downward in right hand, kithara (lyre) resting on seat behind in left hand; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00




  



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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 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).
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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