Gordianus the name of three Roman emperors. Marcus Antonius Gordianus I, descended from a noble family, and distinguished for his literary education, was twice consul, under Caracalls and Severus. By the latter he was appointed proconsul of the province of Africa, in which position he gained the affection of :the people of the province to so high a degree, that on the assassination of the emperor Maeximinus, he was, at the age of 80 years, proclaimed emperor in 238, together with his son, who assumed the same of Marcus Antonius Gordianus II. The Roman Senate recognized them; but after a reign of only a few weeks Gordianus II fell in a battle at Carthage against Capellianus, the governor of Mauritania, and Gordianus I, on hearing the news, killed himself. At the demand of the Roman people, a minor grandson of Gordianus I was placed as Caesear by, the side of Pupienus Maximus and Balbinus, who had been elected emperors against Maximinus; and when all these three emperors were killed by their own soldiers, he was still in the same year (238) proclaimed as Augustus by thee Praetorians. He carried on a successful war against the Persians, and had an excellent adviser in his father-in-law Misitheus. He reigned until 244, when Philippus the Arabian who for some time had been his colleague, caused him to be assassinated. The Christian Church during the reign of Gordianus was undisturbed. (A.J.S.)

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