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Philippus the Arab

Statue of Philip the Arab. Musei Capitolini, Roma (Italy).
Philippus Arabs (Musei Capitolini, Rome)
Philippus Arabs: emperor of the Roman world (244-249).


  • ±204(?): Marcus Julius Philippus 
  • February 244: Imperator Caesar Marcus Julius Philippus Augustus
  • September 249: killed in action
Successor of: Gordian III


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Coin commemorating Rome's 1000th birthday, showing the Temple of Venus and Roma.
Coin commemorating Rome's 1000th birthday, showing the Temple of Venus and Roma (Römisch-Germanisches
, Mainz)

Main deeds:

  • ±204(?) Born in Arabia, maybe in the town that was later called Philippopolis
  • Before 238: marriage to Otacilia
  • Prefect of Mesopotamia?
  • Praetorian prefect
  • 244 Succeeds Gordian III, who had been defeated by the Sasanian king Shapur I and was killed by his soldiers. After peace had been concluded, Philip briefly used the titles Parthicus Adiabenicus, Persicus maximus, and Parthicus maximus; he arrives in Rome; his son Marcus Julius Philippus Junior made caesar
  • 245 Consul (with Gaius Maesius Titianus); leaves Rome for a war against the Carpi
  • 246 War against the Carpi; later also a war against the Germanic tribes
  • 247 Consul II (with Philippus Junior); triumph; he accepts the titles Carpicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus
  • 248 Consul III (with Philippus Junior II); celebration of Rome's millennium; death of Otacilia; revolt of Pacatianus in Moesia or Pannonia; Decius restores order along the Danube
  • 248(?) Death of Otacilia
  • 249 Revolt of Iotapatianus in the east; he is killed by his soldiers; in the north, Decius is proclaimed emperor; he defeats Philip near Verona

Philippus Arabs begs the Persian king Shapur for mercy. Bishapur (Iran). Photo Marco Prins.
Philippus Arabs begs the Persian king Shapur for mercy (Bishapur)

New legion: VI Hispana (?)

Contemporary events:

  • 248 Origen publishes Against Celsus


Succeeded by: Decius


This brief article has been written to offer background information
to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be
improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.

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