Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Collection Roman Collection
Catalog Number 2015.7.72
Object Name Coin
Description Roman Imperial coin, silver, AR antoninianus. Struck during the reign of Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius Augustus, 238-244 C.E. The radiate head of Gordian III faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG" surrounding image. On reverse, the standing figure of Pax, the goddess and personification of peace, faces left and holds an olive branch in her right hand and a scepter in her left with the inscriptions "P M TR P II COS P P" surrounding image. Obverse and reverse inscriptions based on Sear reference; inscriptions are faded and difficult to decipher. A small round hole is located at the top of coin, perhaps so it could be worn as a charm for a necklace.
Date range: 238-244 C.E.

Remarks: The sixth emperor to rule in 238 C.E., the Year of the Six Emperors. Born about 225 C.E., Gordian III was the grandson of Gordian I and the nephew of Gordian II. He was given the title Caesar by the joint emperors Balbinus and Pupienus, and after their murders he was proclaimed Augustus by the Praetorian guards. Little is known about his reign, one of the few recorded events of which was a rebellion in Africa, promptly suppressed in 240 C.E. In 242 Gordian set off for the East to direct the Persian campaign in person, and his first actions were so successful that the enemy were compelled to evacuate Mesopotamia; but due to treachery on the part of Marcus Julius Philippus, the praetorian prefect, the loyalty of the troops was undermined, and Gordian was deposed and murdered near Circesium in Mesopotamia in 244 C.E. Gordian III's coins were minted in Rome and Antioch, and possibly Viminacium.

Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values", (Vol III, 2005), #8653, pg 120
Title Gordian III
Date 238-244 CE
Material Silver
Dimensions Dia-0.875 inches
Credit line Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas
Subjects Roman Empire
Ancient Rome