Roman Denarius – Gordian I, 238 A.D. NGC Choice About Uncirculated, Strike: 5/5 Surface: 5/5. Fine Style. Struck at the Rome Mint. IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian I right. Rev. SECVRITAS AVGG, Securitas seated left, holding scepter. Toned over residual luster. This is a Very Rare coin and we believe completely undervalued for what it is based upon the limited time Gordian remained in power.
Discontent with the rule of Maximinus I, who was viewed as a barbarian by Rome’s elite and was generally hated otherwise due to heavy taxation to finance his military operations against the Germans and Sarmatians, led to three serious revolts. The first two were ruthlessly suppressed. The third started in Africa, where wealthy landowners revolted against the heavy financial burdens imposed by a corrupt local treasury official who was using false judgments for extortion. The landowners equipped their clients and farmhands with whatever weapons were at hand, slew the offending treasury official and his bodyguard, then proclaimed the aging governor, Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus (Gordian I), and his son (Gordian II) as co-emperors. The Senate in Rome quickly backed the cause of the African landowners, affirming the elevation of Gordian I and Gordian II as co-emperors. Upon hearing the news of the revolt, Emperor Maximinus Thrax, who was wintering in Sirmium, prepared his armies and marched on Rome.
The reign of the Gordiani family was short-lived, lasting at most a mere 36 days. Capellianus, the governor of neighboring Numidia, controlled the only legion in the area and nursed a long-standing grudge against the Gordiani family. Maximinus Thrax assembled his troops, the veteran legio III Augusta, and marched on Carthage where he easily overwhelmed the ragtag forces of the Gordiani. Gordian II was killed in the fighting, and on hearing the news of his son’s death and the annihilation of the local levies, the elder Gordian hanged himself.