The Roman Emperor Philip was the young Gordian III's praetorian prefect. He gained the throne by having Gordian murdered, possibly after having made the army unhappy with Gordian by causing a shortage of supplies and blaming Gordian for it. One of the first things Philip did after becoming emperor was to conclude a reasonable peace with Shapur I, king of the Sassanian Persians.
It was during Philip's reign that Rome celebrated the one thousandth anniversary of her founding by Romulus and Remus. From her earliest memories of a distant past shrouded in legend and mystery, Rome had become the capital city of a vast empire that ruled all of civilized Europe and most of the Near East and North Africa. With their emperor to lead the festivities, Romans celebrated the Ludes Saeculares, or Secular Games throughout the year 248. Thousands of exotic beasts were brought from remote parts of the empire and displayed in the arena, mostly to be hunted down and killed to satisfy the Romans' taste for bloody sport.
In 249, rebellion broke out amongst the Danube legions. Philip sent his City Prefect, Trajan Decius, to put down the rebellion. Decius was so successful that the legions declared him emperor. When Philip learned of this treason, he went out to meet Decius in battle. Both Philip and his son Philip II were killed in the battle which took place near Verona. Philip II had been Caesar for a short time before being killed with his father.
Go to next article on Emperor Philip II
Go back to previous article on Gordianus III