Gordian I

Tempio dei Diosuri. July 15, 484 BC.

The Temple of Castor and Pollux (Tempio dei Dioscuri) is an ancient temple in the Roman Forum in Rome. It was originally built in gratitude for victory at the Battle of Lake Regillus (495 BC). Castor and Pollux (Greek Polydeuces) were the Dioscuri, the “twins” of Gemini, the twin sons of Zeus and Leda. The last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and his allies, the Latins, waged war on the infant Roman Republic. Before the battle, the Roman dictator Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis vowed to build a temple to the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux) if the Republic were victorious. According to legend, Castor and Pollux appeared on the battlefield as two able horsemen in aid of the Republic; and after the battle had been won they again appeared on the Forum in Rome watering thei...

Maximinus Thrax and the Year of the Six Emperors. March 19, 325 AD.

  “The Romans could bear his barbarities no longer — the way in which he called up informers and incited accusers, invented false offences, killed innocent men, condemned all whoever came to trial, reduced the richest men to utter poverty and never sought money anywhere save in some other’s ruin, put many generals and many men of consular rank to death for no offence, carried others about in waggons without food and drink, and kept others in confinement, in short neglected nothing which he thought might prove effectual for cruelty — and, unable to suffer these things longer, they rose against him in revolt.” —    Historia Augusta. The emperor at the beginning of the year was Maximinus Thrax, who had ruled since March 20, 235. Later sources claim he was a cruel tyrant...

Marcus Antonius Gordianus – January 20, 225 AD

Marcus Antonius Gordianus, commonly called Gordian III, was born on January 20, 225 AD to Maecia Faustina (or possibly named Antonia Gordiana) and an unknown Roman senator. Gordian I was his maternal grandfather and Gordian II was his uncle. When elevated to the sole ruler of the Roman Empire in 238, he was 13 years old and the youngest legitimate ruler of the entire duration of the empire. You will find more examples of Gordian coins at the end of this post. The year 238 was chaotic, opening with the rebellion in North Africa by some of the nobles, who were being taxed at an extreme rate by the current emperor, Maximinus I Thrax, as the method to pay for the emperor’s long, but successful campaigns. The taxes were supposedly so burdensome, they would have immediately bankrupted some of th...

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