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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; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


|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 and Tranquillina, May 241 - 25 February 244 A.D., Singara, Mesopotamia

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Gordian| |III| |and| |Tranquillina,| |May| |241| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Singara,| |Mesopotamia||AE| |33|NEW
In 242 A.D., Gordian III, along with his praetorian prefect and father-in-law Timesitheus, began a campaign against the Sasanian king, Shahpur I. After freeing Syria, a decisive battle secured all of Mesopotamia, including Singara and Nisibis. But after Timesitheus died in 243 the Roman advance stalled and they suffered a major defeat. In February 244, Gordian died and Philip was proclaimed emperor. Philip negotiated a truce in order to return to Rome for his Senate confirmation.
RY93161. Bronze AE 33, SNG Cop 257; SNG Righetti 2646; BMC Arabia p. 135, 8 - 13; Lindgren-Kovacs 2627, VF, well centered, porous, deposits on reverse, weight 24.340 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 0o, Singara (Sinjar, Iraq) mint, 243 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AVTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANON CAB TPANKVΛΛINA CEB, confronted busts of Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, and Tranquillina on right, draped and wearing stephane; reverse AVP CEΠ KOΛ CINΓAPA (Aurelia Septimia Colonia Singara), Tyche seated left on rock, wearing turreted crown, veil, mantle, and chiton, branch in right hand, left hand on rocks behind, half-length figure of river-god Mygdonius swimming left at her feet, Centaur Sagittarius shooting arrow left above; from the Errett Bishop Collection, big 33mm bronze!; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
 


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

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Singara,| |Mesopotamia||AE| |26|
In 242 A.D., Gordian III, along with his praetorian prefect and father-in-law Timesitheus, began a campaign against the Sasanian king, Shahpur I. After freeing Syria, a decisive battle secured all of Mesopotamia, including Singara and Nisibis. But after Timesitheus died in 243 the Roman advance stalled and they suffered a major defeat. In February 244, Gordian died and Philip was proclaimed emperor. Philip negotiated a truce in order to return to Rome for his Senate confirmation.
RY93160. Bronze AE 26, RPC Online VII-2 U2186; SNG Cop 254; BMC Arabia p. 134, 1 - 2; Falghera 2235, aVF, earthen deposits, weight 11.921 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, Singara (Sinjar, Iraq) mint, 243 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, radiate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse AYP CEΠ KOΛCINΓAPA, draped, veiled, and turreted bust of Tyche right, Centaur Sagittarius above; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


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; $45.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.50
 







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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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