Europe 244: Battle of Misiche

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 11 Feb 244 (The Crisis of the Third Century: Battle of Misiche), showing the following events: Battle of Resaena; Battle of Misiche; Principate of Philip the Arab; Death of Gordian III.

In 243 Gordian III expelled the Persians from Roman territory and invaded Persia. However, early the following year the Persians routed the Romans at Misiche and Gordian was killed. His successor, Philip the Arab, was forced to sue for peace, paying an indemnity to Shah Shapur I and agreeing to end Roman support of Armenia.

Main Events

243 Battle of Resaena

In late 242 the young Roman emperor Gordian III and his father-in-law and prefect, Timesitheus, arrived at Antioch, where they drove off Shah Shapur I and his Persian army. Chasing the Persians inland in 243, the Romans retook Carrhae, then scored a major victory at nearby Resaena. Routed, the Persians withdrew across the border, abandoning their conquests in the Roman wikipedia

244 Battle of Misiche

After his victory over the Persians in 243, the Roman emperor Gordian III invaded the Persian Empire, where he advanced on the capital Ctesiphon. However, in early 244 Shah Shapur I met the Romans at Misiche, just north of Ctesiphon, and decisively defeated them. Gordian died in the battle or shortly thereafter, and his successor Philip the Arab paid a ransom of 500,000 denarii and renounced Roman protection of Armenia in return for wikipedia

11 Feb 244–? Sep 249 Principate of Philip the Arab

In February 244 the Praetorian prefect Philip the Arab—so-named because he had been born in Arabia Petraea—was proclaimed Emperor by the Roman army in Persia and was soon-after recognized by the Senate. Philip negotiated peace with the Persians and returned to Rome, where he celebrated the city’s millennium in April 248. However, he faced continued troubles in the Balkans and in 249 the rebellious Danube legions invaded Italy, killing Philip at the Battle of wikipedia

11 Feb 244 Death of Gordian III

In 243 Philip the Arab assumed the role of Gordian III’s guardian, after the Emperor’s father-in-law and Praetorian prefect, Timesitheus, fell sick and died. According to Roman sources, Philip deliberately misdirected army supplies to provoke a mutiny, which he used to gain power and eventually have Gordian murdered. Philip then wrote to the Senate that Gordian had died of illness, convincing them to accept him as Emperor. According to Persian sources, he was killed in the Battle of Misiche (which Roman sources do not mention at all). Either way, his tomb or cenotaph was built near Circesium, close to the Persian wikipedia