(1) Posteā trēs simul Augustī fuērunt, Pupiēnus, Balbīnus, Gordiānus, duo superiōrēs obscūrissimō genere, Gordiānus nōbilis, quippe cuius pater, senior Gordiānus, cōnsensū mīlitum, cum prōcōnsulātum Āfricae gereret, Maximīnō imperante prīnceps fuisset ēlēctus.

(2) Itaque cum Rōmam vēnissent Balbīnus et Pupiēnus, in Palātiō interfectī sunt, sōlī Gordiānō imperium reservātum. Gordiānus admodum puer cum Tranquillīnam Rōmae dūxisset uxōrem, Iānum Geminum aperuit et ad Orientem profectus Parthīs bellum intulit, quī iam mōliēbantur ērumpere. Quod quidem fēlīciter gessit proeliīsque ingentibus Persās adflīxit.

(3) Rediēns haud longē ā Rōmānīs fīnibus interfectus est fraude Philippī, quī post eum imperāvit. Mīles eī tumulum vīcēsimō mīliāriō ā Circēsiō, quod castrum nunc Rōmānōrum est Euphrātae imminēns, aedificāvit, exequiās Rōmam revexit, ipsum dīvum appellāvit.

    Antonius Gordianus I and II Emperors, 237238 CE. Pupienus and Balbinus Emperors, 238 CE. Gordianus III Emperor, 238244 CE

    (1) trēs Augustī: Pupienus, Balbinus, and Gordian III

    cūius pater, senior Gordiānus: referring to Gordian I; Eutropius conflates the three Gordians into two, causing some confusion in the text (H.A. Gord. 2.1) (Bird). The three Gordians made up the Gordian dynasty, which spanned 237244 CE, and ended with the death of Gordian III. See Gordian dynasty for more.

    Gordiānus: Marcus Antonius Gordianus (Gordian III) was the grandson of the elder Gordianus. He was a mere boy, probably not more than twelve years old, when he was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers (Hazzard).

    cum prōcōnsulātum Āfricae gereret: cum here is circumstantial (AG 546)

    Maximīnō imperante: ablative absolute using a present active participle (AG 419). Gordian I was elected emperor in 238 CE while proconsul of the Roman province Africa during the reign of Maximinus Thrax.

    Rōmam: "to Rome" (AG 427)

    sōlī Gordiānō imperium reservātum: supply est

    Gordiānus admodum puer: Eutropius conflates Gordian II and Gordian III, but at this point in the text, is solely referring to Gordian III.

    Tranquillīnam...dūxisset uxōrem: he married Furia Sabinia Tranquillina in 241 CE.

    Rōmae: "at Rome," locative case (AG 427.3)

    Iānum Geminum aperuit: "A temple to Janus...appears to have been left open in war to indicate symbolically that the god had gone out to assist the Roman warriors, and to have been shut in time of peace that the god, the safeguard of the city, might not escape" (Harpers’ Dictionary of Classical Antiquity, s.v. Ianus).

    Parthīs bellum intulit: infero takes a dative and accusative construction (AG 370). According to the Historia Augusta,

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    "Gordian opened the twin gates of the Temple of Janus, which is the symbolic declaration of war. He then set out against the Persians with a huge army and so much gold that he would easily be able to overwhelm the Persians with either his own troops or auxiliaries. He made his way into Moesia and in his preparation for the coming war he destroyed, routed, scattered and drove off all hostile forces he encountered in Thrace. From there he came to the Antioch in Syria, which was at that time controlled by the Persians. He fought them with numerous battles and conquered them, and he drove off the Persian King Shapur from Artaxerxes. He also recovered the cities of Antioch, Carrhae, and Nisibis, which were at that time part of Persian territory." (HA Gord. Tres. 26.3–6, Translated by K. Masters)

    mōliēbantur ērumpere: "were attempting to invade" (Bird)

    Quod: connecting relative, referring to bellum (AG 308.f)

    (3) fraude Philippī: See Philip

    Mīles eī tumulum vīcēsimō mīliāriō ā Circēsiō...aedificāvit: mīles is a collective noun (AG 20.a). The Roman milestones were set up at intervals of 1000 paces, 5000 Roman feet, on the military roads. They gave the distance from the place from which the measurement was made, its name, the name of the person who erected the stone, and the name of the reigning emperor (Hazzard). For more information on Circesium, see Circesium

    exequiās: "mortal remains" (Late Latin, LS exsequiae)

    ipsum dīvum appellāvit: For more information on the deification of Roman emperors, see Apotheosis.

    Core Vocabulary | Numbers | Dates


    Augustus, ī, m.

    a title of honor given to Octavianus in 27 BC and after him to all the Roman emperors

    Pupiēnus, ī, m.

    (M. Clōdius) Pupiēnus (Māximus), Roman emperor 238 A.D.

    Balbīnus, ī, m.

    (D. Caelius) Balbīnus was elected emperor by the Senate, but was slain by the soldiers at Rome, 238 A.D.

    Gordiānus, ī, m.

    (M. Antōnius) Gordiānus, the name of three Roman emperors, father, son, and grandson, 237–244 A.D., 1. Gordiānus, senior., 2. Gordiānus Augustus, son of (1)., 3. Gordiānus Augustus, son of (2).

    obscūrus, a, um, adj.

    dark, obscure; ignoble, mean, low

    cōnsēnsus, ūs [cōnsentiō], m.

    consent, assent, united opinion; ex commūnī cōnsēnsū, by common consent

    prōcōnsulātus, a, um [prōcōnsul], adj.

    the office of a proconsul, proconsulate

    Āfrica, ae, f.

    Africa; often the northern part of the continent, especially the part near Carthage

    Māximīnus, ī, m.

    (1) (C. Iūlius Verus) Māximīnus, Roman emperor 235–238 A.D.; (2) Gālerius (Valerius) Māximīnus, Roman emperor 305–314 A.D.

    Palātium, ī, n.

    the Palatine Hill; the imperial palace, which was on the hill 2

    reservō, āre, āvī, ātus

    to keep back, reserve, preserve

    admodum [ad + modus], adv.

    up to the full limit, very, exceedingly

    Tranquillīna, ae, f.

    the wife of the emperor Gordianus (Gordian III)

    Iānus, ī, m.

    Janus, an old Latin divinity, who presided over the beginnings of all things; commonly represented with two faces

    geminus, a, um, adj.

    twin, twofold; as subst., geminī, ōrum, pl. m., the twins

    Oriēns, entis [orior], m. (sc. sōl)

    the rising sun, the East, the Orient

    Parthī, ōrum, pl. m.

    a Scythian people southeast of the Caspian Sea

    mōlior, īrī, ītus sum [mōlēs, mass]

    to struggle, toil; undertake, attempt

    ērumpō, ere, rūpī, ruptus

    to break forth or out, burst forth

    fēlīciter [fēlīx], adv., comp. fēlicius, sup. fēlicissimē

    luckily, happily

    Persae, ārum, pl. m.

    the Persians

    adflīgō, ere, flīxī, flīctus

    to dash against, scatter, ruin

    fraus, fraudis, f.

    foul play; treachery 3

    Philippus, ī, m.

    (1) (M. Iūlius) Philippus I., Roman emperor 244–249 A.D.; (2) (M. Iūlius) Philippus II., son of (1)

    tumulus, ī [tumeō, to swell], m.

    a hillock, mound, hill

    mīliārium, ī, n.

    a milestone, mile

    Circēsium, ī, n.

    a city of Mesopotamia on the Euphrates

    Euphrātēs, is, dat. Euphrātae, m.

    the Euphrates, a river in Syria

    immineō, ēre, uī, —

    to overhang, threaten

    aedificō, āre, āvī, ātus [aedis + faciō]

    to build

    exsequiae, ārum [exsequor, to follow out], f.

    funeral procession, funeral

    revehō, ere, vexī, vectus

    to carry back, bring back, return


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