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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., Akkilaion, Phrygia

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Akkilaion,| |Phrygia||AE| |24|
Accilaeum flourished in the Roman period. It is believed it was located east of Dorylaeum and Midaeum on the Tembris River in northern Phrygia.
RP111939. Bronze AE 24, RPC Online VII.1 675; SNGvA 3364; SNG Righetti 1116; SNG Mun 51; SNG Leypold II 1374; BMC Phrygia p.3, 3; vA Phrygien I 5; Weber 6969, Choice F, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 5.660 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Accilaeum (Cobankaya, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANTΩ ΓOPΔIANO C (Imperator Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from front; reverse AKKIΛAEΩN, Nike (Victory) standing left on globe, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; this is the first coin of Accilaeum handled by FORVM; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; very rare; $225.00 SALE PRICE $203.00


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.||denarius|
In Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume III, David Sear notes this type was issued for the wedding of Gordian and Tranquillina.
RS112530. Silver denarius, RIC IV 129A (R), RSC IV 325, Hunter III 62, SRCV III 8681, Choice EF, full borders on a broad flan, flow lines, dark black toning, weight 3.462 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 241 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse SALVS AVGVSTI (to the health of the Emperor), Salus standing right, draped, from patera held in left hand, feeding snake held in right hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 129 (4 Jun 2023), lot 607; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


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

|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.
RS112594. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 148, RSC IV 296, Hunter III 60, Cohen V 296, SRCV III 8654, Choice gVF, full border centering on a broad round flan, nice portrait, toned, flow lines, die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 4.645 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 241 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen 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; from the Collection of Dr. Jregen Buschek; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.||antoninianus|
This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance. Perhaps it worked, or perhaps not. We don't know. Sasanian sources claim that Gordian III died in the Roman defeat at Battle of Misiche near modern Fallujah (Iraq). Roman sources report Gordian was murdered by his frustrated army after the defeat (with the role of Philip unknown).
RS111592. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 1, RSC IV 86, Hunter III 6, SRCV III 8609, Choice VF, well centered, toned, flow lines, weight 3.334 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 1st issue, 29 Jul 238 - end July 239 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right; reverse FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing slightly left, head left, standard in right hand, transverse scepter in left; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 986 (part of); first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; scarce; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Gadara, Syria Palestina

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Gadara,| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |24|
To end their strong ties and increase dependence on Rome, when Roma annexed Arabia, the ten cities of the Decapolis were distributed among the adjacent Roman provinces. Adraa, Gerasa and Philadelphia went to the province of Arabia; Gadara, Pella and Capitolias seem to have been assigned to Judaea and the northerly cities went to the province of Syria. Still the prestige and honor of being a Decapolis city continued long after it had lost any real meaning.
RP111782. Bronze AE 24, RPC Online VII.2 3624 (9 spec.), Sofaer 102 var. (obv. leg.), Spijkerman 94 var. (same), SNG ANS 1337 var. (same), Rosenberger IV 90 var. (same), gF, dark green patina with lighter highlights, weight 14.205 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Gadara (Um Qais, Jordan) mint, 239 - 240 A.D.; obverse AVTOK K MAP ANTW ΓOPΔIANOC CB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse war galley rowing right with navigator in stern, row of oarsmen, captain in prow, ΠOMΠ / ΓAΔAPΕ/ΩN in three lines above, ΓT (year 303) below; ex CNG e-auction 510 (23 Feb 2022), lot 484, ex Dr. Jay M. Galst Collection; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00 ON RESERVE


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Carrhae,| |Mesopotamia||AE| |31|
Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
RP112711. Bronze AE 31, RPC Online VII.2 3445 (3 spec.); BMC Arabia p. 89, 55; SNG Cop 187 var. (crescent above Tyche), aVF, off center, dark tone, porosity, weight 14.920 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 0o, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 243 - 244 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOPΔIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse MHTP KOΛ KAPPHNWN, draped, veiled and turreted bust of Tyche left, before her satyr Marsyas standing right on short column, carrying wineskin over shoulder; first specimen of this type handled by Forum; scarce; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


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

|Deultum|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Deultum,| |Thrace||AE| |23|
The Roman Colony of Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria today) was founded during the reign of Vespasian on the west shore of Lake Mandren between Anchialus and Apollonia, and settled with veterans of Legio VIII Augusta. The town followed the usual Roman plan, with a very good water supply, sewers, and impressive baths with floor heating. It became one of the richest towns in the province. During the reign Mark Aurelius, Deultum was protected by large fortified walls and for centuries it served as an important communication point and a bulwark against barbarian raids. In 812 Khan Krum conquered Develt (its medieval name), banished the local residents to the north of Danube River, and resettled the town with Bulgarians.
RP111806. Bronze AE 23, Draganov Deultum 1382; Varbanov 2848 (R6); RPC Online VII.2 976; Jurukova Deultum 262, VF, flan crack, central depressions, weight 6.881 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 45o, Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria) mint, 3rd issue, 241 - 242 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL FL PAC, DEVLT ending in exergue, temple with four columns, seen in three-quarter view, enclosing Sarapis raising standing left, raising right arm, scepter in left hand; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 153 (22 Jan 2023), lot 158; ex Mnzzentrum Rheinland auction 196 (21 Sep 2022), lot 177; Gerhard Hirsch Nachfolger auction 37 (19 Feb 2022), lot 1384; SOLD


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

|Anchialus|, |Gordian| |III| |and| |Tranquillina,| |May| |241| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Anchialos,| |Thrace,| |Brockage||AE| |28|
A brockage occurs when a blank is struck with a previously struck coin which adhered to the opposite die. Click here to read a detailed explanation.
RP60019. Bronze AE 28, VF, weight 12.110 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, Anchialos (Pomorie, Bulgaria) mint, May 241 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOPΔIANTNOC ANTYΓ CANTB TPANTNKYΛΛINANT, confronted busts of Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, and Tranquillina on right, draped and wearing stephane; reverse incuse of obverse; SOLD


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| |28|
This type is apparently unpublished and we do not know of another example. Varbanov II 738, noted as otherwise unpublished, was struck with this same reverse die, but has a different obverse legend. Varbanov describes the figure as a youth (Gordian?); however, the figure appears to be female.
RP65148. Bronze AE 28, cf. Varbanov II 738 (diff obv leg, same rev die, described as youth (Gordian?), unpublished), VF, weight 15.661 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 0o, Anchialos (Pomorie, Bulgaria) mint, May 241 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOPΔIANTNOC ANTYΓ CΕB, TPANTNKYΛΛINANT, confronted busts of Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, and Tranquillina on right, draped and wearing stephane; reverse OYΛΠIANΩN AΓXIAΛΕΩN, goddess (or Gordian?) standing left, patera in right hand, scepter in left hand; apparently unpublished, possibly unique; SOLD


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Viminacium, Moesia Superior

|Viminacium|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Viminacium,| |Moesia| |Superior||AE| |29|
Viminacium was a Roman Colony founded by Gordian III in 239 A.D. The usual legend is P.M.S. COL. VIM., abbreviating Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium. The usual type is a female personification of Moesia standing between a lion and a bull. The bull and the lion were symbols of the Legions VII and IV, which were quartered in the province.
SH63944. Bronze AE 29, H-J Viminacium 12 (R2); AMNG I/I 83; BMC Thrace p. 16, 12; SNG Cop 144; Varbanov I -, Nice VF, beautiful fern green patina, weight 17.726 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 0o, Viminacium (Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse P M S COL VIM, Moesia standing facing, head left, extending hands over bull on left standing right and lion on right standing left, AN IIII (year 4 of the Viminacium colonial era) in exergue; 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 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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