GORDIAN III 238AD Ancient Roman Coin Hadrianopolis SERAPIS Cult TEMPLE i22245
Item: i22245 Authentic Ancient Roman Coin of. Gordian III – Roman Emperor: 238-244 A. Bronze 26mm (12.00 grams) of Hadrianopolis in Thrace AVT K M ANT OPIANOC AV , laureate, draped & cuirassed bust right. APIANOO E ITN, Tetrastyle temple with Serapis within. Serapis (Latin spelling, or Sarapis in Greek) was a syncretic Hellenistic – Egyptian god in Antiquity. His most renowned temple was the Serapeum of Alexandria. Under Ptolemy Soter , efforts were made to integrate Egyptian religion with that of their Hellenic rulers. Ptolemy’s policy was to find a deity that should win the reverence alike of both groups, despite the curses of the Egyptian priests against the gods of the previous foreign rulers i. E Set who was lauded by the Hyksos. Alexander the Great had attempted to use Amun for this purpose, but he was more prominent in Upper Egypt , and not as popular with those in Lower Egypt , where the Greeks had stronger influence. The Greeks had little respect for animal-headed figures, and so a Greek-style anthromorphic statue was chosen as the idol , and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi i. Osiris-Apis , which became Serapis , and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). Edirne (ancient Hadrianopolis) is a city in Thrace , the westernmost part of Turkey , close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1457, when Constantinople (Istanbul) became the empire’s new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne Province in Turkish Thrace. The city’s estimated population in 2002 was 128,400, up from 119,298 in 2000. It has consulates of Bulgaria, Germany (Honorary), Greece, Romania (Honorary) and Slovakia (Honorary). Its sister cities are Haskovo and Yambol in Bulgaria and Alexandroupoli in Greece. The city was founded as Hadrianopolis , named for the Roman Emperor Hadrian. This name is still used in the Modern Greek. The English name Adrianople , by which the city was known until the Turkish Postal Service Law of 1930, has fallen into disuse. The Turkish Edirne , the Bulgarian (Odrin), and the Serbian (Jedrene) are adapted forms of the name Hadrianopolis. Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius. , known in English as Gordian III , was Roman Emperor from 238 to 244. Gordian was the son of Antonia Gordiana and his father was an unnamed Roman Senator who died before 238. Antonia Gordiana was the daughter of Emperor Gordian I and younger sister of Emperor Gordian II. Very little is known on his early life before becoming Roman Emperor. Gordian had assumed the name of his maternal grandfather in 238. Following the murder of emperor Alexander Severus in Moguntiacum (modern Mainz), the capital of the Roman province Germania Inferior , Maximinus Thrax was acclaimed emperor, despite strong opposition of the Roman senate and the majority of the population. In response to what was considered in Rome as a rebellion, Gordian’s grandfather and uncle, Gordian I and II, were proclaimed joint emperors in the Africa Province. Their revolt was suppressed within a month by Cappellianus, governor of Numidia and a loyal supporter of Maximinus Thrax. The elder Gordians died, but public opinion cherished their memory as peace loving and literate men, victims of Maximinus’ oppression. Meanwhile, Maximinus was on the verge of marching on Rome and the Senate elected Pupienus and Balbinus as joint emperors. These senators were not popular men and the population of Rome was still shocked by the elder Gordian’s fate, so that the Senate decided to take the teenager Gordian, rename him Marcus Antonius Gordianus as his grandfather, and raise him to the rank of Caesar and imperial heir. Pupienus and Balbinus defeated Maximinus, mainly due to the defection of several legions , namely the Parthica II who assassinated Maximinus. But their joint reign was doomed from the start with popular riots, military discontent and even an enormous fire that consumed Rome in June 238. Pupienus and Balbinus were killed by the Praetorian guard and Gordian proclaimed sole emperor. Due to Gordian’s age, the imperial government was surrendered to the aristocratic families, who controlled the affairs of Rome through the senate. In 240, Sabinianus revolted in the African province, but the situation was dealt quickly. In 241, Gordian was married to Furia Sabinia Tranquillina , daughter of the newly appointed praetorian prefect, Timesitheus. As chief of the Praetorian guard and father in law of the emperor, Timesitheus quickly became the de facto ruler of the Roman empire. In the 3rd century, the Roman frontiers weakened against the Germanic tribes across the Rhine and Danube , and the Sassanid kingdom across the Euphrates increased its own attacks. When the Persians under Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia , the young emperor opened the doors of the Temple of Janus for the last time in Roman history, and sent a huge army to the East. The Sassanids were driven back over the Euphrates and defeated in the Battle of Resaena (243). The campaign was a success and Gordian, who had joined the army, was planning an invasion of the enemy’s territory, when his father-in-law died in unclear circumstances. Without Timesitheus, the campaign, and the emperor’s security, were at risk. Marcus Julius Philippus, also known as Philip the Arab , stepped in at this moment as the new Praetorian Prefect and the campaign proceeded. In the beginning of 244, the Persians counter-attacked. Persian sources claim that a battle was fought (Battle of Misiche) near modern Fallujah (Iraq) and resulted in a major Roman defeat and the death of Gordian III. Roman sources do not mention this battle and suggest that Gordian died far away, upstream of the Euphrates. Although ancient sources often described Philip, who succeeded Gordian as emperor, as having murdered Gordian at Zaitha (Qalat es Salihiyah), the cause of Gordian’s death is unknown. Gordian’s youth and good nature, along with the deaths of his grandfather and uncle and his own tragic fate at the hands of another usurper, granted him the everlasting esteem of the Romans. Despite the opposition of the new emperor, Gordian was deified by the Senate after his death, in order to appease the population and avoid riots. 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