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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|
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.
RB97216. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 337a, Cohen V 351, SRCV III 8741, Hunter III 155, Choice F, well centered, dark green patina, light earthen deposits, light scratches, edge cracks, weight 21.274 g, maximum diameter 30.9 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 half left, head left, shield in right hand resting on captive seated left at feet on left, palm frond in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
 


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Providence is most often depicted clothed in a matron's gown, holding a cornucopia in her left hand and in her right a short wand, which she points to a globe. She holds this globe in her right hand or it lies at her feet. The type is intended to mark the power and wisdom of the emperor, who ruled the Roman world.
RS94955. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 148, RSC IV 296, Hunter III 60, Cohen V 296, SRCV III 8654, VF, full border centering, flow lines, uneven toning, weight 3.692 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 241 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PROVID AVG (the foresight of the Emperor), Providentia standing slightly left, head left, wand pointed downward in right hand over globe at feet on left, long scepter vertical in left hand; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00
 


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Antioch|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
The ruins of Antioch on the Orontes lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch's geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and as the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity," for the pivotal early role it played in the emergence of the faith. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents are known as Antiochenes. Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes following the Mongol conquests, which then no longer passed through Antioch from the far east.6th Century Antioch
RY94939. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 877 (S), Prieur 291A, SNG Cop 258, RPC VII Online U68042, aF, debased metal with coppery high points and green corrosion, scratches, porosity, weight 11.411 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 241 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder in front and back; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠA TO B (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the second time), eagle standing facing, head left, tail left, wings open, wreath in beak, beneath crescent horns up over ram leaping left with head turned right; scarce; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00
 


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

|Anchialus|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Anchialos,| |Thrace||AE| |26|
Anchialos (Pomorie, Bulgaria today) was possibly founded in the 5th or 4th century B.C. as a colony of Apollonia. It is mentioned in Strabo's Geographica as a small town. It was briefly captured by Messembria in the 2nd century B.C., but retaken by Apollonia and its fortified walls destroyed. The western Black Sea coast was conquered by the Romans under Marcus Licinius Crassus in 29 - 28 B.C. after continuous campaigns in the area since 72 - 71. The city became part of the Roman province of Thrace and was formally proclaimed a city under Trajan. Anchialos prospered as the most important import and export location in Thrace during the 2nd and 3rd centuries and acquired the appearance of a Roman city during the Severan Dynasty.
SH57019. Bronze AE 26, Varbanov 728, AMNG II 680, cf. Moushmov 2965, Price-Trell -, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, weight 12.117 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, Anchialos (Pomorie, Bulgaria) mint, May 241 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AYΓ TPANKYΛ/ΛINA, confronted busts of Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, and Tranquillina on right, draped and wearing stephane; reverse OYΛΠIANΩN AΓXI/AΛEΩN, tetrastyle temple containing statue of Apollo standing facing, right arm raised over head, holding lyre in left and resting elbow on tripod, pellet in pediment; ex Stack's Coin Galleries auction April 2010, lot 218, ex Cornelius C. Vermeule collection; very rare; SOLD


Gordian III and Tranquillina, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Istros, Moesia Inferior

|Istros|, |Gordian| |III| |and| |Tranquillina,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Istros,| |Moesia| |Inferior||pentassarion|
RP54121. Bronze pentassarion, Varbanov I 688, AMNG I/I 525 var. (obv. legend), aVF, weight 12.676 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANTΩ ΓOP∆IANOC CAB TRANKVΛINA, confronted busts of Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, and Tranquillina on right, draped and wearing stephane; reverse IC-TP-IH,NΩN, bearded god (Mithras?) riding right on horseback, kalathos on head, eagle perched on long torch behind, altar below horse's raised right hoof, E (mark of value) right; scarce (Varbanov R6); SOLD







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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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