M. Julius Philippus, a native of Arabia, was appointed to the post of praetorian prefect by Gordian III. Most sources say Philip murdered Gordian, but there is a brief reference to a Persian inscription recording he died in a battle. The chief event of his reign was the celebration, in A.D. 248, of the thousandth anniversary of the foundation of Rome. There were magnificent games with many wild beasts, most of which had been collected by Gordian for his Persian triumph. A series of coins was also struck to commemorate the event. The latter part of his reign was troubled by a number of pretenders, and in A.D. 249 he had to take the field in person to deal with the rebellious legions of Decius. The two armies met near Verona and in the ensuing battle he and his son died.
The books date his PERSIS coins to A.D. 247, apparently referring to the peace with Persia after the death of Gordian III.
The figure of Pax on the FVNDATA CVM PERSIS antoninianus commemorates the peace Philip re-established with Persia after Gordian III died during a campaign against the Parthians. P M on the obverse probably stands for not Pontifex, but Parthicus or Persicus Maximus, a victory title which is also found on some early inscriptions of the reign but later apparently dropped.
See the biography of Philip I at De Imperatoribus Romanis, an online encyclopedia of Roman emperors.
Click on coin catalog links to view images:
Philip I A.D. 244-249
|IMP C M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG PM / PAX FUNDATA CVM PERSIS||Pax stand. L holding branch and transverse sceptre
|anton||IMP C M IVL PHILLIPVS PF AVG PM / PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS||"|
|anton||IMP IVL PHILIPPVS PIVS FEL AVG PM / PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS||"|
|RSC 114a||anton||IMP IVL PHILIPPVS FELIX AVG PM / PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS||"|
The images are used by permission of their copyright owners. See the Coins of Rome about Parthia index page for a listing of these generous individuals, dealers and institutions.
This page last updated 22 Apr 2008