Philip (2)


(M. JULIUS PHILIPPUS), emperor of Rome, a native of Bostra, in Trachonitis, according to some authorities, after serving with distinction in the Roman armies, was promoted by the later Gordian to the command of the imperial guards after the death of Misitheus, A.D. 243. In the following year he accompanied Gordian in his expedition into Persia, where he contrived to excite a mutiny among the soldiers by complaining that the emperor was too young to lead an army in such a difficult undertaking. The mutineers obliged Gordian to acknowledge Philip as his colleague; and in a short time Philip, wishing to reign alone, caused Gordian to be murdered. In a letter to the senate he ascribed the death of Gordian to illness, and the senate acknowledged him as emperor. Having made peace with the Persians, he led the army back into Syria, and arrived at Antioch for the Easter solemnities. Eusebius, who with other Christian writers maintains that Philip was a Christian, states as a report that he went with his wife to attend the Christian worship at Antioch, but that Babila, bishop of that city, refused to permit him to enter the church, as being guilty of murder, upon which Philip acknowledged his guilt, and placed himself in the ranks of the penitents. This circumstance is also stated by John Chrysostom. From Antioch Philip came to Rome, and the following year, 245, assumed the consulship with T.F. Titianus, and marched against the Carpi, who had invaded Moesia, and defeated them. In 247 Philip was again con. sul, with his son of the same name as himself, and their consulship was continued to the following year, when Philip celebrated with great splendor the thousandth anniversary of the building of Rome. An immense number of wild beasts were brought forth and slaughtered in the amphitheatre and circus. In the next year, under the consulship of Emilianus and Aquilinus, a revolt broke out among the legions on the Danube, who proclaimed emperor a centurion named Carvilius Marinus, whom, however, the soldiers killed shortly after. Philip, alarmed at the state of these provinces, sent thither Decius as commander, but Decius had no sooner arrived at his post than the soldiers proclaimed him emperor. Philip marched against Decius, leaving his son at Rome. The two armies met near Verona, where Philip was defeated and killed, as some say by his own troops. On the news reaching Rome, the praetorians killed his son also, and Decius was acknowledged emperor in 249. Eutropius states that both Philips, father and son, were numbered among the gods. It is doubtful whether Philip was really a Christian, but it seems certain, as stated by Eusebius and Dionysius of Alexandria, that under his reign the Christians enjoyed full toleration, and were allowed to preach publicly. Gregory of'Nyssa states that during that period all the inhabitants of Neo-Caesarea,in Pontus, embraced Christianity, overthrew the idols, and raised temples to the God of the Christians. It appears that Philip during his five years' reign governed with mildness and justice, and was generally popular.

Bible concordance for PHILIP.

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