Roman Empire

Gordian III, Emperor AD 238-244

RIC 97; Calicó 3186, Mint State

Rome, AD 241-243. IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian III right. Reverse: AETERNITATI AVG, Sol standing facing, head left, raising hand and holding globe.

Ex Roma XIII (23 March 2017), 878

At the age of thirteen, M. Antonius Gordianus (Gordian III), the grandson of Gordian I and nephew of Gordian II was proclaimed Emperor after the murders of Pupienus and Balbinus. Due to his youth and marriage connection, Gordian III was heavily influenced by his father-in-law, Timesitheus, whom he had appointed as the new Praetorian Prefect. Under Timesitheus’ guidance, Gordian III embarked upon a grand war against the Sasanian Persians. Initially the campaign was a brilliant success, rolling the Persians back east of the Euphrates River, but it fell apart after Timesitheus suddenly died under uncertain circumstances. Without his skilled leadership, the campaign fell apart and Gordian III was killed either in battle or by a plot among his own soldiers.