Battle of Carthage (238)
|Battle of Carthage|
|Numidian forces loyal to Roman Emperor Maximinus Thrax||Forces of Gordian I and Gordian II|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Cappelianus||Gordian II †|
other veteran units
|larger army of untrained militia|
Gordian I and II were father and son, both 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 and his son Gordian II to be their emperors.
Capelianus was the governor of Numidia who had a previous grudge against Gordian I according to Herodian. Herodian says this grudge was developed after a lawsuit involving the two. Soon after being elected emperor, Gordian I sent a replacement to Numidia to replace his old enemy Capelianus. This action would eventually lead to his untimely demise.
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. The father and son's reign lasted a total of 28 days.
With the death of the two Gordians the Roman senate elected two new emperors that were not popular with the public. The senate then decided to turn to the 13-year-old Gordian III to become the new Caesar.
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