Gordian I

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History, Facts and Information about Gordian I

The content of this article provides interesting history, facts and information about the Emperor Gordian I who ruled the empire of Ancient Rome. Read about the life of Elagabalus who can be described or remembered as:

 "The Octogenarian..."

Short Biography about the life of Gordian I
Short Biography profile and facts about one of the most famous Romans of all, in the life of Gordian I, Emperor of Rome and provinces of the Roman Empire.

  • Name commonly known as: Gordian I
  • Latin Roman Name: Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus
  • Reigned as Roman Emperor / Caesar: 22 March - 12 April 238 (jointly with Gordian II)
  • Dynasty / Historical Period: Crisis of the Third Century - Year of the Six Emperors
  • Place and Date of Birth: Born c. 159 in Phrygia (modern day Turkey)
  • Name of previous Emperor: His predecessor or the Emperor before Gordian I was Maximinus Thrax
  • Family connections / Genealogy
    • Name of Father: Maecius Marullus
    • Name of Mother: Ulpia Gordiana
    • Married: Fabia Orestilla
    • Children: Gordian II, Antonia Gordiana (who became the mother of the future Emperor Gordian III)
  • Place and Date of Death: 12 April 238 by suicide. Gordian I hung himself in Carthage after hearing of the death of Gordian II, his son
  • Name of next Emperor:  The successors to Gordian I were Balbinus andPupienus with Gordian III

Interesting facts about the life of Gordian I
Obtain a fast overview of the times of the Roman Emperor Gordian I from the following facts and information about his life.  Why was Gordian I famous? Accomplishments, achievements and important events. The harsh doctrines and regime of the emperor,  Maximin (aka Maximinus Thrax) produced a revolt in Africa, where the legions proclaimed their proconsul, Gordian, the emperor of Rome. He became Emperor Gordian I on 22 March 238 although he was in his eightieth year. Because of his advanced age, he insisted that his son, Marcus Antonius Gordianus (Gordian II), became co-emperor with him. The Senate followed suit and also revolted against Maximinus Thrax and confirmed the appointment of the Gordians. The appointment was popular in most of the provinces and with the people of Rome. However opposition came from the Roman province of Numidia in present-day North Africa. Capelianus, the governor of Numidia was a loyal supporter of Maximinus Thrax and went into battle with Gordian II at Carthage.  Marcus Antonius Gordianus (Gordian II) the son of Gordian I lost the Battle of Carthage and was killed and Gordian took his own life by hanging himself with his belt. The Gordians had reigned only thirty-six days during the Year of the Six Emperors. The death of Gordian fulfilled an omen that Gordian would not to rule for long. The omen in question was an eclipse of the sun, so black that men thought it was night and business could not be transacted without the aid of lanterns. The Senate immediately elected Pupienus and Balbinus co-emperors, to whom, in order to gratify the people, they joined the younger Gordian, then only twelve years of age. Maximinus Thrax entered Italy and besieged Aquileia, but his soldiers, weary of the length of the siege, put him to death in A.D. 238.

Gordian I - Crisis of the Third Century (235 - 284)
The Crisis of the Third Century was the period in Roman history following the death of Alexander Severus when Rome entered into the era of Military Anarchy commonly known as the Crisis of the Third Century. During the Crisis of the Third Century, lasting over 50 years, not one single Emperor died of natural causes. Revolts sprung up in virtually all of the provinces and ambitious men struggled for power. During the crisis there were civil wars, street fights between the citizens of Rome and soldiers of the imperial guard,  fierce foreign enemies, plagues, famines, fire and earthquakes.

Gordian I - Year of the Six Emperors (238)
The Year of the Six Emperors (238) and the start of the Barracks Emperors. There were six emperors in 238 AD and each of them were officially recognized by the Roman Senate. Their names were Maximinus Thrax, Gordian I, Gordian II, Balbinus, Pupienus and Gordian III. By the end of the Year of the Six Emperors five had died a violent and bloody death leaving the 13 year old Gordian III as the sole Roman Emperor.

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