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Encyclopedia > Gordian I
Gordian I
Emperor of the Roman Empire
Gordian I on a coin,
bearing the title AFR, Africanus
Reign 22 March - 12 April 238 (with Gordian II,
and in competition with
Maximinus Thrax)
Full name Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus
Born c. 159
posibly Phrygia
Died 12 April 238
Carthage
Predecessor Alexander Severus
Successor Pupienus and Balbinus
Issue Gordian II, Antonia Gordiana
Dynasty Gordiani
Father Equites
Year of the Six Emperors - 238
Maximinus Thrax
Gordian I and
Gordian II
Pupienus and Balbinus, nominally with Gordian III
Gordian III

Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus (c. 159April 12, 238), known in English as Gordian I, was Roman Emperor during the year 238. Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law This article discusses the nature of the imperial dignity, and its dynastic development throughout the history of the Empire. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links Sestertius_Gordian_I-s2385. ... is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 102nd day of the year (103rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events Carpians invade Moesia, Maximinus Thrax campaigns against them. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus (c. ... Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus (c. ... Events Births Gordian I, Roman emperor Deaths Categories: 159 ... In antiquity, Phrygia (Greek: ) was a kingdom in the west central part of the Anatolian Highland, part of modern Turkey. ... is the 102nd day of the year (103rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events Carpians invade Moesia, Maximinus Thrax campaigns against them. ... Roman Carthage with former military harbor Carthage (Greek: , Latin: , from the Phoenician meaning new town; Arabic: ) refers both to an ancient city in Tunisia and to the civilization that developed within the citys sphere of influence. ... Alexander Severus Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexandrus (October 1, 208- March 18?, 235), commonly called Alexander Severus, Roman emperor from 222 to 235, was born at Arca Caesarea in Palestine. ... Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus, born about 178, was an example of ascension in the Roman hierarchical system due to military success. ... Pupienus Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus and Decius Caelius Calvinus Balbinus (both died on July 29, 238) were elected co_emperors by the Roman senate on April 22, 238 after the failure of Gordian I and Gordian II to defeat the usurper Maximinus Thrax. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus (c. ... Antonia Gordiana Sempronia (201 - ?) was a prominent, wealthy and noble Roman woman that lived in the troubled and unstable 3rd century. ... The Year of the Six Emperors refers to AD192-193, in which there were six claimants for the title of Roman Emperor. ... Events Carpians invade Moesia, Maximinus Thrax campaigns against them. ... Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus (c. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus (c. ... Pupienus Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus and Decius Caelius Calvinus Balbinus (both died on July 29, 238) were elected co-emperors by the Roman senate on April 22, 238 after the failure of Gordian I and Gordian II to defeat the usurper Maximinus Thrax. ... Pupienus Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus and Decius Caelius Calvinus Balbinus (both died on July 29, 238) were elected co-emperors by the Roman senate on April 22, 238 after the failure of Gordian I and Gordian II to defeat the usurper Maximinus Thrax. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius (January 20, 225 - February 11, 244), known in English as Gordian III, was Roman Emperor from 238 to 244. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius (January 20, 225 - February 11, 244), known in English as Gordian III, was Roman Emperor from 238 to 244. ... Events Births Gordian I, Roman emperor Deaths Categories: 159 ... is the 102nd day of the year (103rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events Carpians invade Moesia, Maximinus Thrax campaigns against them. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law This article discusses the nature of the imperial dignity, and its dynastic development throughout the history of the Empire. ...

Contents

Early life

Little is known on the early life and family background of Gordian. There is no reliable evidence on his family origins. His family were of Equestrian (Roman) rank, who were modest and very wealthy. Gordian was said to be related to prominent senators. His praenomen and nomen Marcus Antonius suggests that his paternal ancestors received Roman citizenship under the Triumvir Mark Antony, during the late Roman Republic. Gordian’s cognomen ‘Gordianus’ suggests that his family origins were from Anatolia, especially Galatia and Cappadocia. An equestrian (Latin eques, plural equites - also known as a vir egregius, lit. ... Bust of Mark Antony Marcus Antonius (Latin: M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N[1]) ( January 14 83 BC – August 1, 30 BC), known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, c. ... Anatolia and Europe Anatolia (Turkish: from Greek: Ανατολία - Anatolia) is a peninsula of Western Asia which forms the greater part of the Asian portion of Turkey, as opposed to the European portion (Thrace, or traditionally Rumelia). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In ancient geography, Cappadocia or Capadocia, Turkish Kapadokya (from Persian: Katpatuka meaning the land of beautiful horses, Greek: Καππαδοκία; see also List of traditional Greek place names) was the name of the extensive inland district of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). ...


According to the Augustan History, his mother was a Roman woman called Ulpia Gordiana and his father Roman Senator Maecius Marullus. Modern historians have dismissed his father's name as false. Maybe there is some truth behind the identity of his mother. We can guess Gordian's family history only through inscriptions. The name Sempronianus in his name may indicate a connection to his mother or grandmother. In Ankara Turkey, a funeral inscription has been found that names a Sempronia Romana, daughter of a named Sempronius Aquila (an imperial secretary). Romana erected this undated funeral inscription to her husband (whose name is lost) who died as a praetor-designate. Gordian may be related to gens Sempronius. The Augustan History (Lat. ... Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the countrys second largest city after Ä°stanbul. ... Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law Praetor was a title granted by the government of Ancient Rome to men acting in one of two official capacities: the commander of an army, either before it was mustered or more typically in the field, or an elected... Sempronius may mean: nomen of gens Sempronia, a plebeian clan of ancient Rome Sempronius, New York, a town in Cayuga County, New York in the USA Sempronius, Texas This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Also according to the Augustan History, his wife was a Roman woman called Fabia Orestilla, whom the Augustan History claims was a descendant of Roman Emperors Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. Modern historians have dismissed this name and her information as false, as they believe his wife was the granddaughter of Greek Sophist, consul and tutor Herodes Atticus. With his wife, Gordian had least two children: a son of the same name (Gordian II) and a daughter, Antonia Gordiana (who was the mother of the future Emperor Gordian III). His wife died before 238. Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus Pius (September 19, 86–March 7, 161) was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (Rome, April 26, 121[2] – Vindobona or Sirmium, March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180 . ... Lucius Vibullius Hipparchus Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes, commonly known as Herodes Atticus (c. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus (c. ... Antonia Gordiana Sempronia (201 - ?) was a prominent, wealthy and noble Roman woman that lived in the troubled and unstable 3rd century. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius (January 20, 225 - February 11, 244), known in English as Gordian III, was Roman Emperor from 238 to 244. ...


Gordian climbed the hierarchy until he entered the Roman Senate. His political career started relatively late in his life and probably his early years were spent in rhetoric and literary studies. As a military man, Gordian commanded the Legio IIII Scythica when the legion was stationed in Syria. He served as governor of Roman Britain in 216 and was a suffect consul in the reign of Elagabalus. Inscriptions in Roman Britain bearing his name were partially erased suggesting some form of imperial displeasure during this role. The Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus) was the main governing council of both the Roman Republic, which started in 509 BC, and the Roman Empire. ... Coin issued by Philip the Arab for his wife Otacilia Severa. ... Roman Britain refers to those parts of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire between 43 and 410. ... Events The Baths of Caracalla in Britain is divided into Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior. ... Consul (abbrev. ... A bust depicting Elagabalus. ...


While he gained unbounded popularity by the magnificent games and shows he produced as aedile, his prudent and retired life did not excite the suspicion of Caracalla, in whose honour he wrote a long epic poem called Antoninias. Gordian certainly retained his wealth and political clout during the chaotic times of the Severan dynasty, which suggest his personal dislike for intrigue. Aedile (Latin Aedilis, from aedes, aedis temple, building) was an office of the Roman Republic. ... Caracalla (April 4, 186 – April 8, 217) was Roman Emperor from 211 – 217. ...


Rise to Power

During the reign of Alexander Severus, Gordian (who was by then in his late seventies) threw the lots to the dangerous honours of government in Africa. In the middle of his promagistrate, Maximinus Thrax killed emperor Alexander Severus in Germania Inferior and assumed the throne. Alexander Severus Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexandrus (October 1, 208- March 18?, 235), commonly called Alexander Severus, Roman emperor from 222 to 235, was born at Arca Caesarea in Palestine. ... See Roman Governor for the duties of a promagistrate as a governor of a province A promagistrate is a person who acts in and with the authority and capacity of a magistrate, but without holding a magisterial office. ... Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus (c. ... The Roman province of Germania Inferior, 120 AD Germania Inferior was a Roman province located on the left bank of the Rhine, in todays southern and western Netherlands, the whole of Belgium and Luxembourg, parts of north-eastern France, and western Germany. ...


Maximinus was not a popular emperor and universal discontent roused by his oppressive rule culminated in a revolt in Africa in 238. Gordian yielded to the popular clamour and assumed both the purple and the cognomen Africanus on March 22. In respect to his advanced age, he insisted that his son, Marcus Antonius Gordianus (Gordian II), be associated with him. A few days later, Gordian entered the city of Carthage with the overwhelming support of the population and local political leaders. Meanwhile in Rome, Maximinus' praetorian prefect was assassinated and the rebellion seemed to be successful. The senate confirmed the new emperor and most of the provinces gladly sided with Gordian. Events Carpians invade Moesia, Maximinus Thrax campaigns against them. ... In the naming convention used in ancient Rome, derived from that of the Etruscan civilization, the names of male patricians normally consist of three parts (tria nomina): the praenomen (given name), nomen gentile or gentilicium (name of the gens or clan) and cognomen (belonging to a family within the gens). ... is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus (c. ... Roman Carthage with former military harbor Carthage (Greek: , Latin: , from the Phoenician meaning new town; Arabic: ) refers both to an ancient city in Tunisia and to the civilization that developed within the citys sphere of influence. ... The Praetorian Guard of Augustus - 1st century. ...


Opposition would come from the neighbouring province of Numidia. Capelianus, governor of Numidia and a loyal supporter of Maximinus Thrax, renewed his alliance to the former emperor and invaded Africa province with the only legion stationed in the region III Augusta, and other veteran units. Gordian II, at the head of a militia army of untrained soldiers, lost the Battle of Carthage and was killed, and Gordian took his own life by hanging himself with his belt. The Gordians had reigned only thirty-six days. Numidia was an ancient Berber kingdom in North Africa that later alternated between a Roman province and a Roman client state, and is no longer in existence today. ... Legio III Augusta was a Roman legion levied by Augustus in 43 BC. Activity of this legion in the African Roman provinces, its principal theatre of operations, is still mentioned in late 4th century, early 5th century. ... The Battle of Carthage was the major act of the Third Punic War between Carthage and Rome, and ended in 146 BC with the complete destruction of Carthage. ...


Gordian Legacy

Gordian had deserved his high reputation by his amiable character. Both himself and his son are men reported to be fond of literature and achieved great accomplishments, publishing voluminous works. But they were rather intellectual voluptuaries than able statesmen or powerful rulers. Having embraced the cause of Gordian, the senate was obliged to continue the revolt against Maximinus, and appointed Pupienus and Balbinus, as joint emperors. Nevertheless, by the end of 238, the recognised emperor would be Gordian III, his grandson. Gordian and his son were deified by the senate. Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus, born about 178, was an example of ascension in the Roman hierarchical system due to military success. ... Pupienus Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus and Decius Caelius Calvinus Balbinus (both died on July 29, 238) were elected co_emperors by the Roman senate on April 22, 238 after the failure of Gordian I and Gordian II to defeat the usurper Maximinus Thrax. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius (January 20, 225 - February 11, 244), known in English as Gordian III, was Roman Emperor from 238 to 244. ... Look up Apotheosis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


References:

Encyclopædia Britannica, the eleventh edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Gordianus I
  • Lives of the Gordians (Historia Augusta at LacusCurtius: Latin text and English translation)
Preceded by
Maximinus Thrax
Roman Emperor
238
with Gordian II
Succeeded by
Pupienus and Balbinus

  Results from FactBites:
 
Gordian I - definition of Gordian I in Encyclopedia (560 words)
Gordian yielded to the popular clamour and assumed both the purple and the cognomen Africanus on March 22.
Gordian lost the battle and his son, Gordian II was killed in the confrontation.
Having embraced the cause of Gordian, the senate was obliged to continue the revolt against Maximinus, and appointed Pupienus and Balbinus, as joint emperors.
Gordian I (283 words)
The universal discontent roused by the oppressive rule of Maximinus culminated in a revolt in Africa in 238, and Gordian yielded to the popular clamour and assumed the purple.
The senate confirmed their choice, and most of the provinces gladly sided with the new emperors; but, even while their cause was so successful abroad, Gordian II fell before the sudden inroad of Cappellianus[?], legatus of Numidia and a supporter of Maximinus Thrax.
Both the Gordians had deserved by their amiable character their high reputation; they were men of great accomplishments, fond of literature, and voluminous authors; but they were rather intellectual voluptuaries than able statesmen or powerful rulers.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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