244-249 AD Roman Empire , Phillip I, Ar Double-Denarius rv Mars Stg (#01-0244-AN100)

As one of the largest and most enduring civilizations in the history of the world, the Roman Empire has fascinated historians and archaeologists for centuries. The Roman Empire is considered to be a major part of the foundation of western culture and has directly influenced our philosophy, language, politics, and art.

The coin’s obverse features Emperor Philip I who rose from obscure origins to become the ruler of the Roman Empire for more than five years. Born in the Roman province of Arabia, he is often referred to by historians as Philip the Arab. Philip proved himself to be a bold and able leader and quickly rose through the ranks of the Praetorian Guard to become the prefect under Emperor Gordian III.

By most accounts, Philip was a treacherous aide and is believed to have plotted with his brother to have Gordian murdered during his campaign against the Persians. In AD 244, Philip was acclaimed as the new emperor. Over the course of his short reign, he developed a reputation of being extremely sympathetic to the Christian faith and many historians believe that he may have been the first Christian Roman emperor. Philip was overthrown and killed in the spring of 249 after a rebellion led by one of his prefects, Gaius Messius Decius.

The coin’s reverse depicts the likeness of Mars, the Roman god of war. Mars was the most prominent deity worshipped by the Roman legions and second only to Jupiter in importance in ancient Roman culture. He represented Rome’s military might and was said to be the father of Romulus and Remus in the myths regarding the founding of Rome.

Graded AU (About Uncirculated) by NGC, one of the most respected coin grading services in the United States, this silver double denarius exhibits a well centered strike with superb detail and would make an excellent addition to any collection.

(The image is for reference purposes only. Since each ancient coin is unique, the one pictured may not be the exact coin you receive.)