Mcalee 990

Title

Mcalee 990

Date

244 CE-249 CE

Description

An AE 8 of the emperor Philip

Subject

Coins, Philip the Arab, Tyche

Publisher

Bethel University

Contributor

Dustin Clark

Coverage

POINT(4024199.59161667 4328176.07469579)

Relation

Render Unto Caesar Roman Project

Type

Coin

Format

image/jpeg

Language

Greek

Identifier

RomancoinClark0101; RomancoinClark0102

Mint

Antiochia (Antakya)

Denomination

AE8

Authority

Philip the Arab (244-249 A.D.)

Deity

Tyche

Portrait

Philip the Arab

Material

Bronze

Obverse Type

Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Philip

Reverse Type

Turreted, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right; above, ram leaping right, head left; ram below

Obverse Analysis

Marcus Julius Philippus (Life: 204-249 CE, Reign: 244-249 CE)

A member of a distinguished equestrian family of Arab descent, Philip was praetorian perfect when the emperor Gordian III was killed in a mutiny (244 CE). Philip's rise to prominence began through the intervention of his brother Priscus, who was an important official under the emperor Gordian III. At the suggestion of his brother Priscus, Philip became the new Praetorian prefect (243 CE), the two brothers intended to control the Emperor and rule the Roman world as partners and joint emperors. Many historians believe that Philip organized the mutiny against Gordian in order to take power and others state that Gordian simply died in battle. But regardless of the circumstances after Gordians death Phillip was able to take the throne and ascend to the title of Emperor (244 CE). A quote from English historian Edward Gibbon helps illustrate Phillips rise to power, “His rise from so obscure a station to the first dignities of the empire seems to prove that he was a bold and able leader. But his boldness prompted him to aspire to the throne, and his abilities were employed to supplant, not to serve, his indulgent master.”
At the beginning of his reign, to Phillip worked hard to please the Senate and solidify his authority within Rome. He reestablished the old Roman virtues and traditions. He quickly ordered an enormous building program in his hometown, renaming it Philippopolis, and raising it to civic status, while he populated it with statues of himself and his family (245 CE). Although because of this massive building project along with a massive tribute that was owed to the Persians, as well as the donations to the army in order to secure his status as emperor, left Phillip with a very small amount of money. In order to compensate for this Philip began to drastically increase taxes and taxation levels. Philip would also cease paying the Germanic tribes to the north which was a key aspect of the current peace that was being held. During his reign, Philip would see little peace throughout Rome. Shortly after his arrival in Rome, the Dacian Carpi crossed the Danube river onto Roman soil to begin an uprising (245 CE). Philip was forced to intervene after his brother-in-law Severus failed to suppress the uprising. This victory would win him the title of Carpicus Maximus. These financial and combative issues that constantly plagued Philips reign would eventually end up in his downfall.
Philip was faced with multiple invasions from foreign enemies and potential usurpers that sought the throne. Philip felt so overwhelmed that he offered to resign as emperor (248 CE), but the Senate voiced its support for Philip with Messius Quintus Decius being the most vocal. Philip gave Decius command of a region that encompassed all of the Pannonian and Moessian provinces, which is where some of the rebelling legions were located. Decius managed to suppress the revolt but discontent was still growing within Rome. Decius soldiers declared him emperor and immediately began to march on Rome in 249 CE. Decius attempted to come to terms with Philip, but Philip instead met him on the battlefield and died during the Battle of Verona. Historians assume his heirs died along with him.

Reverse Analysis

Minted: Antioch, (Antakya)
Dates: 244-249 CE
Emperor: Philip the Arab (Reigned 244-249 CE)


Obverse Reverse
Obverse
Legend: AVGOK K MA IOVLI ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟC CEB
Translation
AVTOK
Imperator
CEB
The Greek version of Augustus
K
Hailed as imperator 10 times
MA
Marcus
IOVLI
Julius
ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟC
Equivalent to Philip (May also mean fond of horses)
Depictions
Bust of Philip the Arab
Draped and cuirassed
Facing Right
Reverse
Legend: ANTIOΧEΩN MHTPO KOΛΩ
Translation
ANTIO
Of Antioch
MHTPO
Mother
KOΛΩ
Colony
Typically means you don’t have to pay a certain amount of tax
Depictions
Turreted, veiled and draped bust of Tyche
Facing right
ram leaping right, ram below.

Analysis and Interpretation
On the obverse of the coin, there is a bust of Philip the Arabian who was emperor of Rome from 244-249 CE. He is depicted wearing a radiate crown, in the middle of the first century AD the Romans began to use a crown of spikes on the portrait on the dupondius to help distinguish it from other denominations. He is also shown wearing a cuirass underneath which is a sign of his role as a military commander. The coin legend states that he is hailed as imperator ten times, this shows that Philip wanted to be depicted as a victorious Roman general during his reign. Although, during his reign, Philip faced a constant flow of invasions and uprisings, these became so overwhelming that he even approached the Senate and offered to resign and rescind his role as emperor he was convinced otherwise. The rest of the inscription hails from Philip as Augustus and gives us his full name.
On the reverse side, we see a depiction of the Goddess Tyche. Tyche was the equivalent of the Roman goddess Fortuna. Tyche was the presiding deity who governed the fortune and prosperity of a city. In Classical Greek mythology, she is the daughter of Aphrodite and Zeus or Hermes. She also has special significance to the city of Antioch, Antioch at this time held the status of a colony, which meant that they didn’t have to pay a certain amount of tax to the Roman empire. The coin hails Tyche as the “Mother of Antioch” which signifies that Tyche was one of the presiding deities in the city. The coin also depicts two rams leaping above and below the coin. These rams are meant to depict the Golden Fleece of the ram Aries. In Greek mythology, the golden fleece is depicted as a symbol of authority, kingship, and prosperity which is most likely why Philip had it depicted on his coin. This was used as a reflection of the empire under his reign and a statement of his authority.

Mintmark

Ant* workshop: S

Weight

14.16 g

Files

RomancoinClark0101.jpg
RomancoinClark0102.jpg

Citation

“Mcalee 990 ,” Render Unto Caesar, accessed October 19, 2019, http://renderuntocaesar.betheldigitalscholarship.org/items/show/41.

Output Formats