Europe 238: Year of the Six Emperors: Gordians I & II

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 02 Apr 238 (The Crisis of the Third Century: Year of the Six Emperors: Gordians I & II), showing the following events: Maximinus Thrax’s Dacian War; Gordian I; Gordians I & II.

To pay for his military campaigns, Maximinus Thrax extorted money from the Roman populace. In 238 the province of Africa Proconsularis revolted, proclaiming its 80-year-old governor Gordian as Emperor. Believing rumors that Maximinus was dead, the Roman Senate recognized Gordian and his son Gordian II as co-emperors in early April.

Main Events

236–237 Maximinus Thrax’s Dacian War

In winter 235/236 Maximinus Thrax led his army from the Rhine to Sirmium, Lower Pannonia, where he prepared for a campaign against the Iazyges. Little else is known about this conflict, apart from inscriptions in 237 and 238 proclaiming victories over the Sarmatians (Iazyges and Roxolani) and other tribes around Dacia. It is possible that the Carpi were involved somehow, as they emerged as a regional power in wikipedia

22 Mar 238 Gordian I

Allegedly to pay for his military campaigns, Maximinus Thrax encouraged arrests, confiscations, and the seizure of treasures throughout the Roman Empire. In 238 revolt broke out in Africa Proconsularis, where outraged youths killed the tyrannical procurator appointed by Maximinus and proclaimed the 80-year-old governor, Gordian, as wikipedia

2 Apr 238 Gordians I & II

Upon arriving in Carthage in late March 238 with his 46-year-old son Gordian II as co-emperor, Gordian I sent letters to all the prominent men in Rome, announcing his accession. At the same time, he arranged for his envoys to assassinate the Praetorian prefect Vitalianus, a devoted friend of Maximinus Thrax. News of Vitalianus’ death fed rumors that Maximinus must also be dead, encouraging the Senate to recognize the two Gordians in early wikipedia