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Gordian III

Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius (224-244), grandson of the elder Gordian was raised to emperor (238 - 244) as a boy of thirteen following the death of his father and grandfather against Maximinus Thrax.

Maximinus forthwith invaded Italy, but was murdered by his own troops while besieging Aquileia, and a revolt of the Praetorian Guards, to which Pupienus and Balbinus fell victims, left Gordian sole emperor.

For some time he was under the control of his mother's eunuchs, till Timesitheus[?], his father-in-law and praefect of the praetorian guard, persuaded him to assert his independence. When the Persians under Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia, the young emperor opened the temple of Janus for the last time recorded in history, and marched in person to the East.

The Persians were driven back over the Euphrates and defeated in the battle of Resaena[?] (243), and only the death of Timesitheus (under suspicious circumstances) prevented an advance into the enemy's territory. Philip the Arabian, who succeeded Timesitheus, stirred up discontent in the army, and Gordian was murdered by the mutinous soldiers in Mesopotamia.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

Preceded by:
Pupienus and Balbinus (238)
Roman emperors
Followed by:
Philip the Arab (244-249)

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