Gordian III had a rather good claim to the Imperial Throne, being closely related to no less than two previous senatorial emperors! He was the grandson of Gordian I, and the nephew of Gordian II, who declared themselves emperors in A.D. 238 from Carthage. They were in opposition to Maximinus Thrax but both were defeated by his loyal governor and
died after a joint reign of just 21 days.
The Roman Senate then appointed Balbinus and Pupienus as joint emperors; they immediately gave Gordian III the rank of Caesar to try to legitimise their own reign. Luckily for them while this was happening Maximinus was killed by his own men. But, after just a few months, both Balbinus and Pupienus were themselves murdered by the Praetorian Guard.
Gordian III was then proclaimed sole emperor and thus emerged from the turbulent events of A.D. 238 as sole ruler of the mighty Roman Empire, all at the age of thirteen!
Very little is recorded of the events of Gordian’s six-year reign, which in ancient writings is usually a sign of peace and prosperity. In A.D. 242, he led an initially successful campaign against the Persians. But in A.D. 244, he was murdered following a plot led by the Praetorian Prefect who seized the throne and reigned as Philip I.
The coins we offer here are billon silver Antoninianus showing Gordian III’s portrait on
the obverse and various reverses. The grade of the coins is About Extremely Fine and as
always with the Crisis of the Third Century, a minority will have weaker sections. As always,
the first to order will get the best