Philip the Arab

Reece Period attributed: Period 12

Obverse image of a coin of Philip the Arab

Member of the Third Century Emperors dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 244 until 249.

Philip I, or Philip the Arab, was born ca. 204 in Arabia. He rose through the army to become Praetorian Commander under Gordian III; during the Persian campaign, his troops gave him their support against Gordian and made him emperor. He killed Gordian and later deified him in Rome.

Philip soon agreed to peace terms with Persia, though with terms that many Romans considered insulting: he made a huge down-payment and accompanied it with an annual indemnity. The emperor then spent much of his time on military campaigns, and made his young son Augustus in 247. He built a large reservoir at Rome to help with chronic water shortage, and celebrated the 1000th anniversary of the founding of Rome with a series of festivals and games in 248.

Two uprisings broke out in 248; the first, Pacatian was named emperor by the Danube troops, but the soldiers then killed him. In the east, Jotapian was proclaimed emperor and not suppressed for almost a year. Two other rebellions are known only from coinage.

Philip died in battle as Decius, a commander he had appointed to deal with the Goths, attacked him in Macedonia.

Latest examples recorded with images

We have recorded 114 examples.

Record: YORYM-368D13
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A silver washed copper-alloy Roman radiate…
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Record: SF-CB4C0D
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A copper-alloy Roman radiate probably of P…
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Record: BUC-B81D13
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A Roman copper alloy sestertius of Phillip…
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Record: BUC-D54F2B
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A Roman silver radiate of Philip I (AD.244…
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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Philip the Arab
  • Full names:
    • Caesar Marcus Julius Philippus Augustus (as emperor)
    • Marcus Julius Philippus (from birth to accession);
    • Philip the Arab
  • Title: Consul of the Roman Empire
  • Predecessor: Gordian III
  • Successor: Herennius Etruscus, Decius
  • Definition: Marcus Julius Philippus (Latin: Marcus Iulius Philippus Augustus; c. 204 – 249), also known commonly by his nickname Philip the Arab (Latin: Philippus Arabs), also known as Philip, was Roman Emperor from 244 to 249. He was born in the Roman province of Arabia, in what is now present-day Syria and went on to become a major figure in the Roman Empire. He achieved power after the death of Gordian III, quickly negotiating peace with the Sassanid Empire. During his reign, Rome celebrated its millennium. Among early Christian writers, Philip had the reputation of being sympathetic to the Christian faith. Probably for this reason it was even claimed by some that he had converted to Christianity, which would have made him the first Christian emperor. He supposedly tried to celebrate Easter with Christians in Antioch, but the bishop Saint Babylas made him stand with the penitents. Philip and his wife received letters from Origen. Philip was overthrown and killed following a rebellion led by his successor Decius.
  • Parents:
    • Father:
    • Mother:
  • Birth place: Shahba, Arabia Petraea
  • Death place: Italia (Roman Empire), Verona, Italy
  • Spouse:
  • Other title(s):
    • List of Roman Emperors
    • Consul of the Roman Empire
  • Came After:
    • Came before:
      • Subjects on wikipedia:

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