Battle of Carthage (238)

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Battle of Carthage
Date 238 AD
Location Near Carthage
Result Maximinus victory
Numidian forces loyal to Roman Emperor Maximinus Thrax Forces of Gordian I and Gordian II
Commanders and leaders
Cappelianus Gordian II †
one legion
other veteran units
larger army of untrained militia

The Battle of Carthage was fought in 238 AD between a Roman army loyal to Emperor Maximinus Thrax and the forces of Emperors Gordian I and Gordian II.

Gordian I and II were father and son, and both Emperors, supported by the Roman Senate and based in Africa Province. The battle was part of a rebellion against Emperor Maximinus Thrax started by landowners who felt they had been overly and unfairly taxed. These landowners assassinated the procurator in Thysdrus and called on Gordian I to be their emperor. Gordian I marched from Thysdrus to Carthage, where news of the rebellion was welcomed.[1] Capelianus, governor of Numidia and enemy of the Gordians, led the only legion in Africa, Legio III Augusta, in battle against the two emperors.[2]

The two armies met near Carthage. Gordian II personally led his army, consisting of militiamen without military training: he was defeated and killed, and, upon learning of his son's death, Gordian I committed suicide.[1]


  1. ^ a b Meckler, Michael A. (26 June 2001). "Gordian I (238 A.D.)". Die Imperatoribus Romanis. Salve Regina University. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Brent, Allen (2010). Cyprian and Roman Carthage. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 118.