Gordian II

From Academic Kids

Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus (around 192 - April 12 238), known in English as Gordian II, was Roman emperor during the year of 238.

Gordian was the son of his namesake Marcus Antonius Gordianus, emperor Gordian I by an unknown mother. He had a sister, Antonia Gordiana, who was the mother of Gordian III. The official history of the Roman emperors provides the only account of Gordian's early career. Since his memory was cherished after his death, the information is questionable and remains unproven. According to this source, Gordian served as quaestor in Heliogabalus' reign and as praetor and consul suffect with Alexander Severus as emperor. In 237, Gordian went to the Africa Roman provinces under his father's command as a governor.

Missing image
Sestertius_Gordian_II-RIC_0008.jpg
Gordian II.

Early in 235, emperor Alexander Severus and his mother Julia Mamaea were assassinated by mutinous troops in Germania Inferior. The leader of the rebellion, Maximinus Thrax, became emperor, despite his popular background and the disapproval of the Roman senate. Pushed by the local politicians, Gordian's father began a revolt against Maximinus in 238, and became Gordian I on March 22. Due to Gordian I's advanced age of 80 years, the younger Gordian was attached to the imperial throne and acclaimed Gordian II. Father and son saw their pretensions ratified both by the senate and most of the other provinces, due to Maximinus' unpopularity.

The only focus of opposition, unfortunately for the Gordians, came from the neighbouring province of Numidia. Cappellianus, governor of Numidia and a loyal supporter of Maximinus Thrax, renewed his alliance with the former emperor and invaded the African province with several veteran legions. Gordian II gathered his troops and faced the enemies, but the battle was lost and he was killed during the fight. The news of his death induced Gordian I into suicide.

This first rebellion against Maximinus Thrax was unsuccessful but, by the end of 238, Gordian II's nephew would be recognised emperor by the whole Roman world as Gordian III.

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Preceded by:
Maximinus Thrax
Roman Emperor

238
with Gordian I
Succeeded by:
Pupienus and Balbinus

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