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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., Neocaesarea, Pontus

|Pontos|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Neocaesarea,| |Pontus||AE| |28|
Neocaesarea (modern Niksar, Turkey) was a favorite residences of Mithridates the Great and later of King Polemon and his successors. Pompey made it a city and gave it the name of Diopolis, while Pythodoris widow of Polemon, made it her capital and called it Sebaste. Judging from its coins the city was probably renamed Neocaesarea during the reign of Tiberius. In 344 and again in 499 the city was destroyed by an earthquake.
RP110054. Bronze AE 28, RPC Online VII-2 2830 (10 spec.); Rec Gn I p. 93, 51; SNG Cop 218; SNGvA 6765; Waddington 77; Cizmeli 352, gF, green patina, well centered, porosity, weight 14.615 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Neocaesarea (modern Niksar, Turkey) mint, 241 - 242 A.D.; obverse AY K M ANT ΓOP∆IANO CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the rear; reverse KOI ΠONT MH NEOKAICAPIAC, prize table with curved legs holding agonistic crown with palm, ET / PO / H (year 178) in three lines between legs; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Elaiussa-Sebaste, Islands off Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Elaiussa-Sebaste,| |Islands| |off| |Cilicia||AE| |35|
Elaiussa, meaning olive, was founded in the 2nd century B.C. on a tiny island attached to the southern coast of Turkey by a narrow isthmus in Mediterranean Sea. During the reign of Augustus, the Cappadocian king Archelaus founded a new city on the isthmus. Archelaus called it Sebaste, which is the Greek equivalent word of the Latin "Augusta." The city entered its golden age when Vespasian purged Cilicia of pirates in 74 A.D. Towards the end of the 3rd century A.D. its importance began to wane, due in large part to incursions by the Sassanian King Shapur I in 260 and later by the Isaurians. When its neighbor Corycus began to flourish in the 6th century A.D., Elaiussa Sebaste slowly disappeared from history. The theater, dating to the 2nd century A.D., is small with only 23 rows of seats, whose steps and decorations unfortunately succumbed to centuries of plunder.Elaiussa Theater
GP110208. Bronze AE 35, RPC Online VII-2 2946 (9 spec.), SNG BnF 1175, SNG Pfalz 462, BMC Cilicia - (1975,0411.346), SNG Levante -, SNG Cop -, F, edge chips, flat strike, corrosion, weight 21.223 g, maximum diameter 35.1 mm, die axis 225o, Elaiussa-Sebaste (Ayash, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANTΩ ΓOP∆IANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CEBACTH IEP AC AVT NAVAPXIC, Zeus Nikephoros standing facing, head left, nude, Nike bearing wreath and palm frond in right hand, long grounded scepter vertical in left hand; BIG 35mm bronze; very rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Tranquillina, Augusta, May 241 - 25 February 244 A.D., Caesaraea, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Tranquillina,| |Augusta,| |May| |241| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Caesaraea,| |Cappadocia||AE| |24|NEW
Tranquillina was the beautiful daughter of the faithful Praetorian Prefect Timisitheus and was married to Gordian III in May 241 A.D. Greatly loved by her husband, she survived his assassination, possibly due to her immense popularity with both the general population and the soldiery. The imperial coinage of Tranquillina is very rare. Provincial coinage of Tranquillina is more available.
RP110431. Bronze AE 24, Ganschow 921c/1435; BMC Galatia p. 93, 350; SNGvA 6534; SNG Tub 4707; SNG Schweiz II 1808; Lindgren 1731; RPC VII.2 3401, Choice VF, well centered, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, light marks/scratches, weight 7.322 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 180o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 243 - 244 A.D.; obverse CAB TPANKVΛΛINA AV (Sabinia Tranquillina Augusta), draped bust to right, wearing stephane; reverse MHTP KAI B NE (Metropolis Caesarea, 2 neokoroi), six grain ears bound together, ET-Z (year 7 [of Gordian III]) across fields; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


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 ΓOP∆IANOC 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; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Gordian III and Tranquillina, May 241 - 25 February 244 A.D., Anchialos, Thrace

|Anchialus|, |Gordian| |III| |and| |Tranquillina,| |May| |241| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Anchialos,| |Thrace||AE| |27|
Anchialus (Pomorie, Bulgaria today) was 15 km north of Apollonia on the opposite coast of the Gulf of Burgas. Ovid wrote of the fortified walls of Anchialus in 9 A.D., en route to Tomis. Anchialos thrived in the 2nd and 3rd centuries serving as the most important import and export station of Thrace and acquired the appearance of a Roman city under the Severan Dynasty.
RP110450. Bronze AE 27, Tachev Anchialos pl. 156, 220; RPC Online VII-2 1136; AMNG II 662; BMC Thrace -; SNG Cop -, aVF, obverse off center, some porosity, central dimples, weight 12.403 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 195o, Anchialos (Pomorie, Bulgaria) mint, May 241 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOR∆IANOC AYΓ CAB, confronted busts of Gordian III, on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, and Tranquillina, on right, draped and wearing stephane, TPANKVΛΛ/INA (in two lines below); reverse OYΛΠIANWN AΓXIAΛ,EWN (NWN ligate, EWN in exergue and WN ligate), Athena seated left, helmeted, patera in right hand, inverted spear in left hand, round shield at side; $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).
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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