Coins of Philip I

Roman Emperor (AD 244-249)

Marcus Julius Verus Philippus was born c. AD 204 in the Roman province of Syria. His father had gained Roman citizenship and was a prestigious figure in the city of Shahba.

Philip rose through the ranks to become Prefect of the Praetorian Guard. While holding this office, however, he conspired in the assassination of the young emperor Gordian III. He took the throne himself in AD 244. Despite this beginning, Philip managed to develop good relations with the Senate. He obtained peace with Persia and defeated the Carpi in 247. The 1000th anniversary of the founding of Rome was celebrated in 248; Philip held an enormous festival with games, plays, gladiatorial fights, and religious ceremonies.

However, the Goths soon invaded Moesia and Decius and the Danubian commander, Decius, was declared emperor in 249 as a result of his popularity with his troops. Philip was thereafter killed in battle at Verona.

AE Sestertius, Rome
AD 244-249

Obverse:
Laureate head of Philip I facing r., shoulders draped, encircled by IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG

Reverse:
Aequitas standing draped, holding scales in r. hand, cornucopia in l.; encircled by AEQUITAS AVGG; S C to l. and r. in field.