Balbinus was one of the two nominees to the transfer of power
following the disappointing crushing of the revolt led by Gordian I and II. As
they were both chosen by the Senate to protect their own interests, both the
Praetorian Guard as well as the public in general found the decision
intolerable. Instead, they had wanted for a successor of pedigree. Understanding
that gaining the support of the civilians and army was essential, they then
found the teenager grandson of Gordian I and named him Caesar. Balbinus for his
part had a deep mistrust for Pupienus (who felt likewise about Balbinus) and the
two never got along despite public appearances to the contrary. The Praetorian
Guard got whipped up into an unrelated frenzy but vented on the hapless two
because they were such easy targets. Both were thus killed on the same day after
a reign of only about three months.
AR Denarius 238 A.D.
3.42 g., 20 mm.
Obv. IMP C D CAEL BALBINVS AVG: Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
Rev. PROVIDENTIA DEORVM: Providentia standing left, bearing cornucopiae in left