Gordian I

Reece Period attributed: Period 11

Obverse image of a coin of Gordian I

Member of the Third Century Emperors dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 238 until 238.

Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus was born ca. 158. He was serving as governor of Africa Proconsularis when the fiscal curator, a supporter of Maximinus, was murdered. The young aristocrats of the area approached Gordian to become emperor, which he did,possibly because he was old enough not to care about the prospective danger of the post.

Gordian went to Carthage and sent messages to Rome, where the Senate eagerly confirmed his position. Gordian came from a respected upper-class lineage, unlike Maximinus; the Senate also made his son Gordian II an Augustus.

Numidia, which bordered Africa Proconsularis, had a longstanding grudge for the Gordians. The Numidian governor Capellianus controlled a legion, and with it marched on Carthage. He easily overwhelmed the provincial forces and killed Gordian II. When Gordian I heard of his son's death, he hanged himself. The pair had only reigned for 20 days.

Gordian I was an old man, often described as having grey hair and a somewhat heavy brow.

Latest examples recorded with images

We have recorded 2 examples.

Record: NLM-4E454B
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: Copper alloy coin. As or sestertius of Gor…
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Record: BERK-76D165
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A worn copper alloy mostly illegible Roma…
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