Cordiainus ,.I. Marcos Autonius, surnamed Africanus, a Roman emperor, born in Rome A. I). 158, died in Carthage in 238. He was descended on his father's side from the Gracchi, and on his mother's from the emperor Trajan, and possessed more extensive estates than those of any other private citizen. He was first made consul in 213, and was afterward proconsul of Africa. In his 80th year he was compelled by the leaders of the rebellion against the procurator of Maximin to assume at Carthage the imperial title. The intelligence was welcomed by the senate, which at once proclaimed Gordianus and his son Augusti, and declared Maximin a public enemy. Meantime Capellianus, procurator of Numidia, who had recently been suspended from office by Gordi-anus, marched with a well trained army against Carthage. The younger Gordianus met him with undisciplined forces, and was defeated and slain; and his father thereupon died by his own hands, after a nominal reign of less than two months. II. Marcus Antonius Pius, emperor of Rome, grandson of the preceding, born about A. D. 224, died in 244. He was proclaimed Caesar at Rome after the death of the two Gordians in Africa, was colleague of the two new emperors Balbinus and Maximus, and after their murder by the praetorians in 238 was proclaimed emperor by the senate and the troops.
During a part of his reign he was supported by the abilities of Misitheus, whose daughter he married, and carried on a war against the Persians, whom he defeated in a series of engagements in Mesopotamia in 242. Misitheus died soon after, and was succeeded in command by Philippus, an Arabian, who, by raising discontent among the troops advancing into Persia, caused Gordianus to be murdered, and himself proclaimed emperor.