Philip The Arabian

Also known as Marcus Julius Philippus; died 249. Roman emperor from 244. He succeeded after the army had murdered the boy emperor Gordian. He made peace with the Persian Shapur I, but had to deal with the serious invasions of Germanic peoples across the Danube. His troop commander in Illyrium, Decius, was proclaimed emperor by his men, and in the ensuing battle at Verona, Philip was slain. The Christian church later recalled Philip as the first Christian emperor, but there is some doubt about the accuracy of the description. Certainly he gave some benefits to the church, which was free of persecution during his reign. The tradition may have originated in the sharp contrast with the reign of Decius, when persecution was severe.