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Coin of Emperor Gordian III and wife Tranquillina 243 AD, Anazarbus, outside Antioch


This coin was minted in honor of the Roman military campaign against the invasion of Sasanian King Shapur I and his father Ardashir I. He was defeated at Rhesaina, Northern Mesopotamia in the winter of 243 AD. The Romans recaptured Carrhae earlier that year. The eclipse symbol of multiple stars around a solar crescent has been incorporated into a bust of Selene the moon goddess. Selene is now covering the sun. Tranquillina's father was Gordian III's general and helped defeat the Sasanians. The eclipse of 240 AD was likely viewed favorably for King Ardashir I to invade Roman Syria. When King Ardashir I was being defeated, the Romans viewed the eclipse as in their favor and honored Gordian with the eclipse sign and divinity. Photo Munzhandlung Ritter

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