Philip II Pentassarion
CC BY-SA 4.0
Author: Otto Nickl.

Roman Empire, Philip II as Caesar, 244-247, AE Pentassarion of Marcianopolis in Moesia Inferior.
When Gordian III was killed in battle with the Sasanians, Marcus Julius Philippus, the Praetorian Prefect, known as Philip the Arab, was elevated to the purple as Philip I. At that time he elevated his son to the rank of Caesar. In 247 Philip II was raised to the rank of Consul and Augustus. The years 248-249 were ones of revolt and invasion and Philip sent Decius to quell the revolts. On defeating all enemies Decius was proclaimed emperor by his troops and defeated and killed Philip at a battle near Verona. Philip II was either killed at the battle or by the Praetorian Guard when the news reached Rome. He was aged 12 at the time.
The obverse shows Philip facing the god Serapis, and the reverse shows the snake-god Glykon.


Termcard and events

To keep up to date with our events, which may change at short notice, you can join our mailing list by e-mail or "like" our Facebook page.

Our meetings generally take place in the Ioannou (Classics) Centre, 66 St. Giles'. The entrance is just next to the rear entrance to the Ashmolean and Taylorian. To sign up to our mailing list, please contact our Secretary via email - details can be found on the "About us" page. Meetings are usually at 5pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays of even weeks through term, though this can vary as may be indicated below.

Details of past meetings may be found here.


Trinity Term 2021

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, it will be necessary to postpone all physical OUNS events until such a time as normal activities can safely be resumed. Details of digital events will be posted here and distributed by email as and when they become available. We apologise for any disappointment caused and look forward to continuing our physical meetings when this emergency has come to an end. Until then, the Committee expresses its thanks for your understanding and wishes good health to our members and their families.

The following talks will take place over Microsoft Teams and will be followed by a discussion. If you are interested in attending any of our talks, join our mailing list by emailing
daniel.etches [at]
to receive meeting invitations and further details.


6th week ~ Tuesday 1 June

''How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mezezios?' – Understanding and Unpicking the Imagery of the Emperors Mezezios (668-669) and Constantine IV (668-685)'
Dr. Maria Vrij (The Barber Institute of Fine Arts / University of Birmingham)

Microsoft Teams. 5pm.

Coins bearing the name 'Mizizios' have only been known since the 1970s, and in that time have been considered forgeries, genuine coins of the usurper Mezezios/Mzhezh (668-669), and finally reconsidered again as coins of Mezezios's son, John. In this paper, I will argue both that the coins are genuine products of Mezezios's rule, and that Mezezios should not be considered as a rebel against the emperor Constantine IV, but as an emperor in his own right. I will also contextualise the apparent 'imitation' between the coins of Mezezios and Constantine IV in the now maligned argument of Constantine's imitatio Iustiniani.


8th week ~ Tuesday 15 June

'Provenances and Hoards in the Ptolemaic Coin Collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. A Paper Archaeology'
Dr. Julien Olivier (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

Microsoft Teams. 5pm.


Watch this space for further details of meetings this term.


Affiliated to:
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Heberden Coin Room logo

Sponsored by:
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Dix Noonan Webb Ltd., Mayfair.

Next sales:
Coins, Tokens, Historical Medals, and Antiquities, Wednesday 2 & Thursday 3 June 2021 starting at 10:00 each day.
Orders, Decorations, Medals, and Militaria, Tuesday 15 June 2021 starting at 13:00

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