Roman Province Tyre Philip I (the Arab)244 - 249 AD

Obv: Laureated, drapped and cuirassed bust right
Rev: Kadmos advancing right on deck of galley sailing left; murex shell in left field "COL T-YE MET"
. Metal: Bronze 18.75 grams, 30 mm diameter. Condition: Fine, patina stripped long ago, now retoned brown, light porosity

Philip I (the Arab)

244 - 260 AD is the most confused and sketchy part of the Roman Empire with no fewer than 16 men claiming to be Emperor and none of them died a natural death. The first of these was Philip the Arab who was born in SW Syria. He had risen through the racks to become praetorian commander under Gordian III. It is said that he used his position to undermine Gordian III and eventually the army chose him as emperor during the Persian campaign and his succession was secured by the murder of the the young Gordian. His first concern was to secure power in Rome, so he made an unfavorable peace threaty with Shapur of Persia including a payment of 500,000 denarii and promise of additional annual payments.

Little is known of Philip's reign he spent much of his time fighting against the Carpi on the Danube frontier. In 247 AD, he elevated his young son to Augustus and shortly thereafter he celebrated a triumph at Rome for his victories over the Carpi. Philip is most famous for the celebration of Rome's 1000th anniversary with magnificent games held from 21 - 23 April 248 AD. In 248/249 AD there were several military up-risings against Philip and in a move to ensure the loyalty of the Danube legions against the Goths, Philip made Quintus Decius Valerinus, a respected Senator, governor of the provinces of Moesia and Pannonia. This was a bad move as it put several legions that had already proven disloyal to Philip under Decius. Decius was successful against the Goths and with coaxed by the legions to march on Rome. In September/October 249 the two sides met at Beroea in Macedonia and Philip was defeated and killed in battle and his son was murdered by the praetorian guard.