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- From the Colosseum Hoard.
- Encapsulation by NGC authenticates and protects the condition of the coin.
- Approximately 22 mm, 3.63 g.
- Obverse: Right facing bust of Emperor Gordian III with the inscription "IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG".
- Reverse: Sol standing with the inscription "LIBERTAS AVG SC".
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Gordian III became Emperor at the end of the confusion of 238 AD. That he was largely a figurehead is made obvious by his young age (about 15) but, compared to other "boy kings", Gordian did a good job as ruler of Rome. The grandson of the respected Gordian I, and nephew of Gordian II, Gordian III was selected to restore peace following the deaths of all the contestants for power during that terrible year.
Actual power during the reign fell to the Praetorian Prefects, first Timisitheus and later Philip the Arab. Under Timisitheus, Gordian married his mentor's daughter Tranquillina. The death of Timisitheus resulted in his replacement by a man with a son of his own and no need to support a young puppet. Gordian III was killed and Philip I became Emperor.
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