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.

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We have recorded 122 examples.

Record: SF-510F42
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A Roman copper-alloy silver plated ra…
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Record: WMID-070FE1
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: An incomplete silver Roman radiate of Phil…
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Record: PUBLIC-F5836D
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: An incomplete copper-alloy Roman as, proba…
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Record: SF-C6F167
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A Roman base silver radiate of Philip…
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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Philip the Arab
  • Full names:
    • Title: Consul of the Roman Empire
    • Predecessor: Gordian III
    • Successor: Decius
    • Definition: Philip the Arab (Latin: Marcus Julius Philippus 'Arabs'; c. 204 – September 249) was Roman emperor from 244 to 249. He was born in Aurantis, Arabia, in a city situated in modern-day Syria. After the death of Gordian III in February 244, Philip, who had been Praetorian prefect, achieved power. He quickly negotiated peace with the Persian Sassanid Empire and returned to Rome to be confirmed by the senate. During his reign, the city of Rome celebrated its millennium. He also introduced the Actia-Dusaria Festivities in Bostra, capital of Arabia. Dusaria is Dushara, the main Nabataean deity. Philip was betrayed and killed at the Battle of Verona in September 249 following a rebellion led by his successor, Gaius Messius Quintus Decius. Philip's reign of five years was uncommonly stable in a turbulent third century. During the late 3rd century and into the 4th, it was held by some churchmen that Philip had been the first Christian emperor; he was described as such in Jerome's Chronicon (Chronicle), which was well known during the Middle Ages, in Orosius' highly popular Historia Adversus Paganos (History Against the Pagans), and was presented as a Christian in Eusebius of Caesarea's Historia Ecclesiastica (Ecclesiastical History). Modern scholars are divided on the issue.
    • Parents:
      • Father:
      • Mother:
    • Birth place: Shahba, Arabia Petraea
    • Death place: Verona, Roman 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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