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Portrait of Philip I on Silver Antoninianus
Portrait of Philip I on Silver Antoninianus

Winged Victory with Laurel Wreath on Silver Antoninianus of Philip I
Winged Victory with Laurel Wreath on Silver Antoninianus of Philip I

Philip I
244 - 249 AD
Marcus Iulius Philippus
Philip I was born in called Shahba in Jordan, then part of the Roman province of Syria. He is also known as Philip the Arab.

In 244 A.D. Phillip's predecessor Gordian III was killed (either in battle of by assassination), and Philip's brother Priscius (then head of the Praetorian Guard) ensured that Phillip was promoted to the purple. Gordian III was a popular emperor, and the news of his death and the suspicion that Philip and Priscius had conspired to murder him did not endear Philip to the people of Rome or the Senate, who insisted that Gordian should be deified in spite of Philip's reluctance.
Philip presided over the celebrations commemorating the 1,000 anniversary of Rome in 248 A.D. during which many exotic animals and gladiators were slaughtered by the thousand. In spite of this, Philip faced revolt against his rule. He sent Trajan Decius to put down the revolt. Following this however, he declared himself Emperor and defeated Philip at the Battle of Verona in 249.

Our featured coin is an antoninianus with the reverse type of winged Victory walking to the right holding a laurel wreath, with the legend VICTORIA AUG.
The obverse naturally shows a portrait of Philip, facing right wearing the radiate crown or helmet typical of the antoninianus denomination, with the legend IMP M IUL PHILIPPUS AUG.

Roman Emperors Portrait Gallery
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