The Vanishing Texana Museum isn't just about Texas – included in its collection are some rare and unusual coins including a Roman token.
One of these tokens is an ancient bronze Roman Imperial coin of the Emperor Gordian III, who ruled the Roman Empire from 238 AD until 244 AD.
The obverse side of the coin features the emperor’s profile facing right. The obverse Latin inscription reads, “M ANT GORDIANUS,” or the Latin version of his name. The opposite side of the token depicts the goddess Pax, or Peace, presenting a palm frond as an offering. The Latin inscription on this side of the coin states “PAX AETERNA,” which translates “Eternal Peace.” Her name PAX is clearly inscribed on the coin to left of the central figure. A large “S” and “C” surround the goddess and represent the phrase “Senatus Consulto,” a term that declares that the Roman Senate supports the coin’s value.
The denomination of the coin is a “sestertius,” and it measures 26mm in size.
Gordian (born January 20, 225 AD) led an interesting but short life. He was the grandson and nephew of two previous emperors with the same name. Gordian was only 13 years old when he was chosen as the Roman leader. At age 19, he was killed on the battle field in Mesopotamia (on February 11, 244 AD), though some say he was assassinated by his own men to allow Philip (the Arab) to ascend the throne. Not much is known about his rein.
Learn more about this coin and other monetary items in our museum's collection by visiting on any Saturday between 1 and 5 p.m.
The Vanishing Texana Museum is located at 302 S. Bolton, inside the Jacksonville Senior Center, across from the former Discount City.
Free parking is available on the Larissa Street side. Admission is free.
Many thanks to John Taylor, a director of the Vanishing Texana Museum board, for the research and creation of this article.