ROMAN EMPIRE, Philip I, 244-249 AD, silver, antoninianius


ROMAN EMPIRE, Philip I, 244-249 AD, antoninianius, 245-247 AD, Rome mint, Obverse: radiate bust R, IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, Reverse: Annona standing L, ANNONA AVGG, silver, 23mm, 4.46g, SR8922, XF-AU

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Philip the Arab became Praetorian Prefect when his predecessor died, possibly under suspicious circumstances. He proceeded to undermine the political position of the Emperor, Gordian III, and succeeded in deposing and executing him. Philip ruled for five years, mostly at war. An uprising in Dacia (Romania) raised Trajan Decius to the throne, and Philip and his son, Philip II, were killed in battle.

The Roman Empire was a system of theoretically constrained autocracy. The Emperor was supposed to be accepted by the Senate, which was supposed to be representing the people. It became difficult to restrain the autocrats. The succession problem was never solved. Many Emperors were murdered. In the 4th century AD the Empire was split for administrative purposes into eastern and western branches, the west devolving into local kingdoms in the 5th century AD, while the eastern branch continued as what we call the Byzantine Empire until 1453.

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.