ROMAN EMPIRE, Gordian III, 238-244 AD, antoninianius,


ROMAN EMPIRE, Gordian III, 238-244 AD, antoninianius, no date (240 AD), Rome mint, Obverse: radiate bust R, IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, Reverse: Mars standing L, VIRTVS AVG, silver, 21mm, 3.29g, SR8669, hole, F/VG

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Balbinus and Pupienus adopted the grandson of Gordian I as heir. That didn’t prevent their murder by their guards, and the grandson was acclaimed as Gordian III. The menu for the reign was war with Persia, which went well, but then his right hand man died, likely poisoned, and was replaced by Philip the Arab, who schemed to undermine the Emperor’s popularity. He succeeded, and Gordian was executed.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.