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.


AR Antoninianus 244--249 A.D.

23 mm.

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

Rev. ADVENTVS AVGG: Philip on horseback left

Van Meter 2

AR Antoninianus 244--248 A,D.


21 mm.

Obv. IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG: Radiate bust right

Rev. ROMAE AETERNAE: Roma seated left, holding Victory bearing a globe

C. 165v., Van Meter 34v.

AE Sestertius 244--249 A.D.

27 mm.

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

Rev. Fortuna seated left and holding cornucopiae and olive twig (?)

No data

Roman Imperial Philip I

AR Antoninianus 244-249 A.D.

22 mm. 3,8 g,



Radiate and draped bust right


Aequitas standing left holding scales and cornucopiae

RIC-4, part 3, page 71; C. 9, VM 3