Philip I "the Arab"
as Augustus AD 244 - 249
Marcus Julius Verus Philippus (ca 200 - 249):
Husband of Otacilia Severa;
Father of Philip II.
AD 244 - 247 - sole reign
AD 247 - 249 - co-wmpweror with Philip II
Marcus Julius Verus Philippus, known as Philip the Arab was the son of an Arab chieftain who held the rank of a Roman knight and was deputy Praetorian Prefect under Gordian III. During the latter’s eastern campaign in 243 he managed to get rid of his superior, took his post, and then incited the soldiers against Gordian himself. Upon the emperor’s death, in which he must have had a hand, Philip found ways to reconcile himself to the Senate, which quickly acquiesced with his claim. He then arranged for a decent treaty with the Persians and set off for Rome.
Once in the capital, he showed his dynastic designs by appointing his son Philip the Younger Ceasar, then Augustus, and his brothers and other members of the family took key administrative positions and governorships. Incursions of the Carpi in Dacia and other Germanic invaders kept him busy on the frontiers till 247, but he returned victoriously to Rome just in time to celebrate lavishly the end of the first millennium of Roman history and the beginning of the Eternal City’s eleventh century. The festivities were marred by the news that at least three pretenders have claimed the purple—in Lorraine, on the Danube, and in Mesopotamia. The Danube appeared the chief headache and Philip dispatched an army there under the command of Decius. In six months time Decius put down the disturbances and restored order and discipline in the camps, but his troops became too attached to him and offered him the purple. Immediately informed, Philip marched to meet him taking his son along, despite Decius’ protestations that he does not want the throne. The two armies met in a pitched battle at Verona. Philip was killed in the melee and his son was taken to the camp by the praetorians and dispatched in his turn.
Mints: Antioch, Rome.
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