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Roman Empire

Ruler: Philip I
Reigned: 244 - 249 AD
Denomination: AR Antoninianus
Mint: Rome
Date of Issue: 249 AD
Obverse: Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right. "IMP. PHILIPPVS AVG."
Reverse: Four military standards, one of which is a legionary eagle. "FIDES EXERCITVS"
Reference: RCVM 8930, RSC 50, RIC 62
Weight: 4.1 gms
Diameter: 23.6 mm
Comment: "FIDES EXERCITVS" = Disciplined loyalty.

PHILIP I (Marcus Julius Philippus, called The Arab)

  • Philip was a native of a small town in Trachonitis, in south-western Syria, c. 204. He rose through the ranks of the army under Gordian III.
  • In 243 Gordian III defeated the Persians at Rhesaina in northern Mesopotamia, but during the campaign, Timesitheus, Gordian's praetorian commander, fell ill and died and was replaced by Marcus Julius Philippus, known as Philip the Arab.
  • Philip stirred up trouble against the emperor and at a camp near Circesium he called upon the soldiers to choose between himself and Philip.They voted for Philip and Gordian was killed.
  • Philip I was now emperor, early in 244.
  • To conolidate his position, he quickly agreed peace terms with the Persian king Shapur, placing his brother Gaius Julius Priscus in charge of the eastern provinces and returning to Rome.
  • Philip spent much of the next three years fighting against the Carpi on the Danube frontier.
  • He had made his young son Caesar (also M. Julius Philippus) on his accession in 244, when the boy was only five or six years old, and in July or August of 247 he raised him to the rank of Augustus (Philip II).
  • From 21th to 23rd April 248 he staged the Secular Games, to celebrate the 1000th aniversary of the founding of Rome. This event is celebrated on his coins.
  • There were several rebellions during Philip's reign, including those of Tiberius Claudius Marinus Pacatianus in Moesia and Pannonia, Iotapianus in the east, Silbannacus on the Rhine, and Sponsianus on the Danube.
  • In 249 Philip sent a respected senator, Messius Quintus Valerinus, to be governor of the provinces of Moesia and Pannonia.
  • After achieving military successes, Decius persuaded his troops to accept him as emperor.
  • Decius marched on Rome with his legions and met Philip in battle in September or October 249 near Verona. Philip was defeated and killed in the battle and as soon as the news reached Rome, his son Philip, II was murdered in the camp of the praetorian guard.
  • Decius was now emperor (Trajan Decius).

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