Phillip I The Arabian            244 - 249 A.D.


Gordian III was a fairly popular ruler when Philip, a Romanized Arabian, was selected as Praetorian Prefect. This was a highly influential post and one of Philip's duties under Gordian was the control of military supply logistics. Because he was ambitious and longed to be emperor himself he manipulated and purposefully mismanaged the soldiers' food supply in hopes of pinning the blame on the emperor. This worked quite well and the hungry soldiers mutinied and killed Gordian. Before the treasonous conspiracy could be investigated, Philip finished the game plan by proclaiming himself emperor and the Senate went along.

Philip turned out to be a successful leader on the battlefield. He negotiated a peace treaty with the Persians and headed back to Rome. When new revolts sprouted along the Danube, he sent off Trajan Decius to take care of them. This was poor judgment on his part because Decius would wind up doing such a good job that his soldiers arbitrarily promoted him to Augustus. Philip mustered an army to take on Decius but was beaten and killed in the battle.


Billon Tetradrachm 244--249 A.D.


12 g., 28 mm.

Obv. Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right

Rev. Eagle standing facing on a palm branch, head left and bearing a wreath in its beak, S C

beneath palm branch

Sear 3956v.

AE 27 244--249 A.D.

Moesia Superior, Viminacium ca. 246--247 A.D.

Obv. IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG: Laureate and draped bust right

Rev. P M S COL VIM: Moesia standing, facing left, with a bull on her left and a lion on

her right, ANVIII in exergue

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