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    Rare Mint State Gordian II

    Gordian II Africanus (AD 238). AR denarius (20mm, 3.26 gm, 11h). Rome, March-April AD 238. IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust of Gordian II right / VICTO-RIA AVGG, Victory striding left, holding wreath in right hand and palm branch in left. RIC 2 (R2). BMCRE 28. RSC 12. Struck on a broad flan from dies of remarkable style, with full mint luster in fields and frosty devices providing a pleasing cameo effect. NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5 Fine Style.

    Gordian II shares with his father the dubious distinction of having the shortest reign of any "legitimate" (i.e. approved by the Senate) Roman Emperor. Born around AD 192, Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus the Younger  attained the consulship in the reign of Severus Alexander (AD 222-235) and served as legate of Legio IV Scythica near Antioch. In AD 237, he was appointed as a legate (or general) to Africa, a province then governed by his father; however Africa at this time had no legionary force of its own, meaning Gordian II had command only over a small band of palace guards and auxiliary troops. In March of AD 238, a cadre of North African nobles in the town of Thysdrus forced the elder Gordian to accept the purple. Aged nearly 80, Gordian I proclaimed his son Gordian II as co-emperor. However, the governor of neighboring Numidia remained loyal to Maximinus and marched on Carthage with the veteran Legio III Cyrenaica. Gordian II gathered a ragtag force and marched out to meet him, but the defenders fell in droves before the swords of the loyalists. Gordian II died in battle and his body was never recovered. Upon hearing of the outcome, the elder Gordian hung himself. The splendid portrait on this rare silver denarius depicts the younger Gordian as a rather well-fed, balding man in his late 40s with a slight "designer stubble."


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
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