Roman Empire, Gordian III, 238-244, AR Sestertius, Rome
Laur. bust r.
Rv.Felicitas standing l., holding caduceus and cornucopia
Marcus Antonius Gordianus (*225; † 244), also known as Gordian III.
He was Roman emperor from 238 to 244.
Marcus Antonius Gordianus was born in Rome on 20 January 225. The names of his parents in the late antique Historia Augusta are fictitious. It is very likely that his mother Antonia Gordiana was a daughter of Gordian I and thus a sister of Gordian II.
Probably in May 241 he married Furia Sabinia Tranquillina, daughter of his later praetorian prefect Gaius Furius Sabinus Aquila Timesitheus. Denarii with Diana Lucifera on the reverse were minted on the occasion of this marriage. The marriage remained childless.
After the death of the two Gordians in January 238, the senate of necessity took over the opposition to the incumbent emperor Maximinus Thrax, whom they had previously declared an enemy of the state, and appointed two Augusti of equal rank from their own ranks, Balbinus and Pupienus.
With the help of the praetorians, who felt ignored by the senate's action in the election of the emperor, the city Roman population pushed through the appointment of the 13-year-old Gordian (III) as Caesar and princeps iuventutis.