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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Crisis and Decline ▸ Philip IView Options:  |  |  |   

Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

Marcus Julius Verus Philippus, known as Philip I "The Arab" was the Praetorian Prefect and the successor to Gordian III, whom he possibly had murdered. After signing a treaty with the Persians, he returned home. During his reign, the 1000th anniversary of the foundation of Rome (248 A.D.) was celebrated and magnificent games were held on a scale rarely seen. In 249 A.D., a series of rebellions occurred, both Philip and his son were killed after their army was defeated near Verona by the forces of Trajan Decius.


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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS75697. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 75A (R); RSC IV 130, SRCV III 8945, Hunter III -, EF, superb strike with sharp dies, nice metal, weight 4.966 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 - 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS P P (high priest, tribune of the people for four years, consul, father of the country), Felicitas standing left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $350.00 (€311.50)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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On 11 February 244, Emperor Gordian III was murdered by mutinous soldiers in Zaitha (Mesopotamia). Philip the Arab (Marcus Julius Philippus) declared himself emperor and made a disgraceful peace with the Sasanian Empire, withdrawing from their territory and giving Shapur 500,000 gold pieces. The Sasanians occupied Armenia. Philip was recognized by the Roman Senate as Emperor and he nominated his son Philippus, age 6, as Caesar and heir to the throne. He gave his brother Priscus supreme power (rector Orientis) in the Eastern provinces; and began construction of the city of Shahba, Syria in the province of his birth.
RY85323. Billon tetradrachm, Prieur 321 (1 spec.); McAlee 889 (v. rare); BMC Galatia p. 212, 505, EF, sharp attractive portrait, attractive iridescent toning, parts of legends weak, areas of some porosity, weight 13.256 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 1st issue, 244 A.D.; obverse AVTOK K M IOV Λ ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust left, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (tribune of the people), eagle standing slightly left on palm frond, wings open, head left, wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; very rare; $350.00 (€311.50)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Soli-Pompeiopolis, Cilicia

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Aratos was a native of Soli. His chief pursuits were medicine, grammar, and philosophy. He studied with Menecrates in Ephesus, Philitas in Cos and Praxiphanes in Athens. About 276 he was invited to the court of the Antigonus II Gonatas, whose victory over the Gauls in 277 BC Aratus set to verse. There he wrote his most famous poem, Phaenomena ("Appearances"). He then spent some time at the court of Antiochus I Soter but returned to Pella where he died sometime before 240 B.C.
SH58900. Bronze hexassarion, Lindgren I 1605 (same dies); Milne NC 1940, p. 247, 20; BMC Lycaonia -; SNG BnF -; SNG Levante -; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -; SNG PfPS -, gF, weight 12.323 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 180o, Soli-Pompeiopolis mint, 245 - 246 A.D.; obverse AYT K IOY ΦIΛIΠΠOC EY CEB, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, Π − Π across field; reverse ΠOMΠHIOΠOΛ IAT (year 311) ς (6 assaria), bare-headed, draped bust of Aratos right; ex Ancient Numismatic Enterprise, comes with an old round coin ticket probably from Seaby 1960's or 1970's,
BIG 32mm bronze; extremely rare; $320.00 (€284.80)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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In 248, overwhelmed by the number of invasions and usurpers, Philip offered to resign. The Senate decided to support the Emperor, with Gaius Messius Quintus Decius most vocal of all the senators. Philip was so impressed that he dispatched Decius with a special command of the Pannonian and Moesian provinces. His loyal supporter, Decius, was, however, proclaimed Emperor by the Danubian armies in the spring of 249 and defeated and killed Philip in September.
SH60141. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 907a, Prieur 357, SNG Righetti 2027, SNG Cop -, EF, weight 10.949 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, radiate and cuirassed bust left, Gorgon's head on cuirass; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠATO Γ (tribune of the people, consul for the 3rd time), eagle standing right, head right, wings open, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA over S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $250.00 (€222.50)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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MON VRB stands for MONETA VRBIS. According to H. R. Baldus this initial issue of coins was minted in Rome. Indeed the portrait style is unmistakably that of the mint of Rome, and even if the coins were actually minted in Antioch, the dies were surely engraved by the Rome mint.
SH60149. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 899, Prieur 304, BMC Galatia 507, EF, weight 13.825 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome or Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 244 or 246 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛ ΦIΛIΠΠOY CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (tribune of the people), eagle standing facing on ground line, wings open, head and tail left, wreath in beak, S - C (senatus consulto) below wings, MON VRB in exergue; double strike evident in obverse legend, minor flan crack, small encrustations, very sharp, handsome portrait and eagle; $250.00 (€222.50)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Deultum, Thrace

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Colonia Flavia Pacensis (or Pacifica) Deultum was founded by Vespasian. The colony assumed his family name, Flavia, and on account of Vespasian's devotion to the goddess of Peace (to whom he built a temple at Rome); it was called Pacensis (or Pacifica).
RP77123. Bronze AE 22, SNG Deultum 1746-1749 (same dies); Jurukova Deultum 454, Varbanov II 3023(?); BMC Thrace -, gVF, nice patina, nice style, reverse die wear and crack, weight 6.695 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria) mint, Feb 244 - End Sep 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, centration dimple; reverse CO-L FL PAC DEV,LT (LT in exergue), prow of galley left on waves, ram's head on point of ram, octopus and dolphin swimming left beside hull above waves; Pecunem Gitbud & Naumann auction 31 (3 May 2015), lot 313; rare; $240.00 (€213.60)
 


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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RB76159. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 169a, Hunter III 61, Cohen V 44, SRCV III 8992, Choice gVF, superb portrait, well centered, weight 22.680 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FELICITAS TEMP (happy times), Felicitas standing facing, head left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; ex Savoca Numismatik, auction 1 (9 Apr 2015), lot 351; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


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Securitas sits at ease, clearly relaxed, having nothing to fear. This was, of course, typical Roman propaganda. Philip was so overwhelmed by the number of invasions and usurpers that he went to the Senate and offered to resign.
RB76156. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 190, Cohen V 216, Hunter III 78, SRCV III 9018, gVF, nice portrait, well centered, areas of light corrosion, edge cracks, weight 21.475 g, maximum diameter 32.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SECVRIT ORBIS (the world is safe), Securitas seated at ease left, scepter in her right hand, propping head on her left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $170.00 (€151.30)
 


Click for a larger photo
Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RB84935. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 169a, Hunter III 61, Cohen V 44, SRCV III 8992, VF, well centered, nice green patina, scratches, slightly rough, weight 18.348 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FELICITAS TEMP (happy times), Felicitas standing facing, head left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


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In April 248, Philip combined the celebration of Rome's 1000th anniversary with the Ludi Saeculares. Festivities included spectacular games and theatrical presentations. In the Colosseum, more than 1,000 gladiators were killed along with hundreds of exotic animals including hippos, leopards, lions, giraffes, and one rhinoceros. At the same time, Philip elevated his son to the rank of co-Augustus. Undoubtedly the festivities included elephants, as advertised by this coin.
RS84955. Silver antoninianus, RSC IV 17, RIC IV 58, Hunter III 31, SRCV III 8921, VF, excellent portrait, well centered and struck, grainy surfaces, edge cracks, weight 3.666 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 247 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse AETERNITAS AVGG, elephant walking left, ridden by mahout guiding it with rod and goad; $160.00 (€142.40)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

IMPCMIVLPHILLIPVSPFAVGPM
IMPCMIVLPHILIPPVSPFAVGPM
IMPIVLPHILIPPVSPIVSFELAVGPM
IMPMIVLPHILIPPVSAVG
IMPPHILIPPVSAVG
MIVLPHILIPPVSAVG


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Bland, R. "Dr. Bland's List for Philip I and Family" - http://ettuantiquities.com/Philip_1/Philip1-Bland-list.htm
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, vol. 2: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Göbl, R. "Römischer Münzhort Tulln 1966 (Septimius Severus - Gallienus)" in NZ 83 (1969). pp. 7-57, pl. 1-48.
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & C. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol IV, From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Muona, J. "The Antoniniani of Philip the Arab" in The Celator, Feb. 2002, p. 10.
Muona, J. "The Imperial mints of Philip the Arab" - http://www.forumancientcoins.com/Articles/Philip_Arab/index.html
Óvári, F. "Philippus antiochiai veretu antoninianusairól" in Numizmatikai Közlöny 88/89 (1989/90), pp. 41 - 48.
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume IV, Gordian III to Postumus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values III, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Thibaut, M. Antoniniani from the Mint of Antioch Under the Reign of Philip the Arab (244-249 AD) - http://marchal.thibaut.free.fr/e_index.htm
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Monday, July 24, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Philip I