Philip the Arab

Marcus Iulius Philippus

AD204 ~ AD249

Born in 204, he was referred to as Philip the Arab because of the origin of his family.


In 243 during the reign of Gordian III, his praetorian prefect at the time died in uncertain circumstances. At the suggestion of his brother, Philip took over the position whit the hope that the two of them could eventually control the young emperor Gordian and rule in an unofficial status.

In 244 Gordian died, historians blame Philip though the circumstances are unknown, and following his death Philip took the throne. He returned to Rome to secure his position with the Senate and allowed his brother Priscus to be ruler of the Eastern provinces. Once Philip arrived in Rome he nominated his son as Caesar and Heir to his throne.

In 248 following a battle with the Germans in which they were defeated but the legions weren’t happy with such a low share of plunder and rebelled by nominating a new ruler. The troops nominated Tiberius Claudius Pacatianus but this uprising was crushed and Gaius Messius Quintus Decius was nominated governor of that province.
In 249 however Decius was proclaimed emperor by his armies and marched to Rome to battle with Philip and secure his position. Philip was killed during this fight for power and his son was murdered soon after.

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