Roman Imperial coin, silver, AR antoninianus. Struck during the reign of Marcus Iulius Philippus Augustus, 244-249 C.E. The radiate head of Philip I faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "IMP PHILIPPVS AVG" surrounding image. On reverse, and elephant with a rider faces left, the rider guides the elephant with a staff in his right hand with the inscriptions "AETERNITAS AVGG" surrounding image. A circular gouge on the bottom right of obverse nearly pierces through the coin and marks the top right of reverse.
Date range: 248 C.E.
Remarks: Born c. 204 C.E., he was a native of Arabia, hence the nickname Philip the Arab, and was appointed to the post of praetorian prefect by Gordian III after the death of Timisitheus. He soon brought about the deposition and murder of the young emperor and, after concluding a satisfactory peace with the Persians, he returned to Rome. The chief event of his reign was the celebration, in 248, of the thousandth anniversary of the foundation of Rome. There were magnificent games with many wild beasts, most of which had been collected by Gordian for his Persian triumph. A series of coins, including this coin, was also struck to commemorate the event. The latter part of Philip's reign was troubled by a number of pretenders, and in 249 he had to take the field in person to deal with the rebellious legions of Decius. The two armies met near Verona and in the ensuing battle Philip was defeated and killed together with his son. Philip I's coins were minted in Rome and Antioch.
Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values", (Vol III, 2005), #8921, pg 149.
|Credit line||Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas|