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    Gordian III, Boy Emperor

    Gordian III (AD 238-244). AV aureus (20mm, 5.14 gm, 6h). Rome, AD 241. IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Gordian III right / DIANA LVCIFERA, Diana advancing left, holding long torch. RIC 121. Calic├│ 3191. Rare. Light red toning with underlying luster. Struck on a large flan with an unusually fresh reverse die. NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5.

    Gordian III was one of a series of "boy emperors" who nominally reigned during the chaotic mid-third century AD. The grandson of Gordian I, he was proclaimed Caesar after the collapse of his grandfather's abortive 21-day reign during the "Year of the Six Emperors" in AD 238, and sole emperor after the Praetorians murdered the Senate-appointed duo of Balbinus and Pupienus in July of that year. Due to his youth and inexperience, Gordian was at first dominated by an advisory board of senators, who had to walk a tightrope to avoid the fate of the previous short-lived regimes. In AD 241, Gordian appointed as Praetorian Prefect the capable Timesitheus, whose daughter Tranquillina became his bride. Timesitheus became a beneficent mentor who kept Gordian's weak government on an even keel. This aureus pairs the youthful Gordian with Diana Lucifera, "bringer of light," alluding to the hope that his reign might enlighten a steadily darkening world.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    4th-5th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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