Battle of Resaena

The Battle of Resaena or Resaina, near present-day Ceylanpınar, Turkey, was fought in 243 AD between the forces of the Roman Empire, led by the Emperor Gordian III and the Praetorian Prefect Timesitheus against a Sassanid Empire army, led by King Shapur I.[1] The Romans were victorious.[1]

Battle of Resaena
Part of Roman-Persian Wars
Result Roman victory[1]
Roman Empire Sassanid Empire
Commanders and leaders
Gordian III
Shapur I


The battle was fought during a campaign ordered by Emperor Gordian III to reoccupy the cities of Hatra, Nisibis[1] and Carrhae. These territories had been conquered by Shapur and his father, Ardashir I, when the Roman Empire plunged into the Crisis of the Third Century, a conflict among several pretenders to the imperial throne.[1]


Following this victory the Roman legions recovered Nisibis and Singara, and advanced by way of the Khabur to the Euphrates. Intending to take Ctesiphon, Gordian's army was defeated at the battle of Misiche in 244.[2] Gordian was either killed during the battle[3] or assassinated afterwards.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East, ed. Spencer C. Tucker, (ABC-CLIO, 2010), 147.
  2. ^ Maria Brosius, The Persians, (Routledge, 2006), 144.
  3. ^ The Sasanians, Richard N. Frye, The Cambridge Ancient History: Volume 12, The Crisis of Empire, AD 193-337, ed. Alan Bowman, Peter Garnsey, Averil Cameron, (Cambridge University Press, 2005), 468.
  4. ^ Trevor Bryce, Ancient Syria: A Three Thousand Year History, (Oxford University Press, 2014), 265.

Coordinates: 36°51′1.08″N 40°4′14.16″E / 36.8503000°N 40.0706000°E


The 240s decade ran from January 1, 240, to December 31, 249.

== Events ==

=== 240 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

The Roman Empire is threatened on several fronts at the same time. Africa revolts and tribes in northwest Germania, under the name of the Franks, are raiding the Rhine frontier.

====== Asia ======

April 12 – Shapur I becomes co-emperor of the Sasanian Empire with his father Ardashir I.

Maharaja Sri-Gupta becomes Emperor of Gupta.

Ardashir I, Sassanid king of Persia, destroys Hatra.

The Kushan Empire falls.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

At the court of Ardashir I, Mani, a young mystic of Ctesiphon, proclaims himself a prophet and preaches his doctrine, Manichaeism, throughout the Persian Empire.

=== 241 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Winter – Emperor Gordian III reaches Antioch and prepares with his army an offensive against the Persians.

Timesitheus becomes Praetorian Prefect.

Approximate date – The Dura-Europos church is converted from a house in Syria, the earliest surviving Christian church building.

====== Persia ======

Shapur I succeeds his father Ardashir I as king of Persia.

The ancient city of Bagram (Afghanistan) is abandoned.

Shapur I annexes parts of the Kushan Empire.

====== Europe ======

November 1 – The Battle of Samhain is fought in Ireland.

=== 242 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Gordian III begins a campaign against king Shapur I; the Greek philosopher Plotinus joins him and hopes to obtain first-hand knowledge of Persian and Indian philosophies.

Gordian III evacuates the Cimmerian cities in the Bosphorus (Crimea), as the territory is now controlled by the Goths.

====== Persia ======

Shapur I makes a pre-emptive attack on Antioch to drive out the Romans. Gordian's father-in-law, Timesitheus, leads a Roman army to defeat the Persians at Carrhae and Nisibis.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Patriarch Titus succeeds Patriarch Eugenius I as Patriarch of Constantinople.

=== 243 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Battle of Resaena: A Roman army under Timesitheus defeats the Persians at Resaena (Syria); King Shapur I is forced to flee to the Euphrates.

Timesitheus becomes ill and dies under suspicious circumstances. Shapur I retreats to Persia, giving up all the territories he conquered.

Emperor Gordian III appoints Philip the Arab as his new praetorian prefect and proceeds with his campaign in Mesopotamia.

Cohors I Ubiorum, the garrison at castra Capidava in Scythia Minor, is replaced by Cohors I Germanorum civium romanorum until the end of the 3rd century AD.

=== 244 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Between January 13 & March 14 – Battle of Misiche: King Shapur I of the Sasanian Empire delivers a counter-attack near Fallujah (Iraq) and defeats the Roman army upstream of the Euphrates.

February 11 – Emperor Gordian III is murdered by mutinous soldiers in Zaitha (Mesopotamia). A mound is raised at Carchemish in his memory.

Philip the Arab (Marcus Julius Philippus) declares himself co-emperor and makes a disgraceful peace with the Sasanian Empire, withdrawing from their territory and giving Shapur 500,000 gold pieces. The Sasanians occupy Armenia.

Philip the Arab is recognized by the Roman Senate as new Roman Emperor with the honorific Augustus. He nominates his son Philippus, age 6, with the title of Caesar and heir to the throne; gives his brother Priscus supreme power (rector Orientis) in the Eastern provinces; and begins construction of the city of Shahba (Syria) in the province of his birth.

The vassal Upper Mesopotamian kingdom of Osroene is absorbed into the Roman Empire, its last ruler being Abgar (XI) Farhat Bar Ma’nu.

====== Asia ======

The Goguryeo–Wei War is fought between the Korean kingdom Goguryeo and the Chinese state Cao Wei.

The Battle of Xingshi is fought between the Chinese states of Cao Wei and Shu Han.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and sciences ======

Plotinus, Greek philosopher, escapes the bloodshed that accompanies the murder of Gordianus III and makes his way to Antioch. Back in Rome he founds his Neoplatonist school and attracts disciples like Porphyry, Castricius Firmus and Eustochius of Alexandria.

244–249 – Bust of Philip the Arab (in Braccio Nuovo, Vatican Museums, Rome).

====== Commerce ======

The silver content of the Roman denarius falls to 0.5 percent under emperor Philippus I, down from 28 percent under Gordian III.

====== Religion ======

244–245 – Last phase of construction of the house-style Dura-Europos synagogue in Syria, one of the oldest to survive (wall-paintings in the National Museum of Damascus, Syria).

=== 245 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Philip the Arab entrusts Trajan Decius with an important command on the Danube.

In Britain many thousands of acres of modern-day Lincolnshire are inundated by a great flood.

The philosopher Plotinus goes to live in Rome.

====== Asia ======

Lady Triệu, a Vietnamese warrior, begins her three year resistance against the invading Chinese.

=== 246 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Philip the Arab fights the Germans along the Danube.

First of the two Councils of Arabia in the Roman Christian Church is held in Bostra, Arabia Petraea.

====== Asia ======

The Korean Baekje kingdom, under King Goi, attacks the Chinese commandery of Daifang.

=== 247 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Rome becomes 1,000 years old.

Marcus Julius Philippus Augustus and his 10-year-old son Marcus Julius Philippus Caesar become Roman Consuls.

The Goths appear on the lower Danube frontier; they invade the Ukraine and Romania.

Emperor Philip the Arab marks the millennium of Rome by holding the Ludi Saeculares.

The last of the two Councils of Arabia in the Roman Christian Church is held in Bostra, Arabia Petraea.

====== Asia ======

Himiko of Yamataikoku, in Japan, begins a war against Himikoko, the King of Kunukoku.

=== 248 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

The revolts of Pacatianus in Moesia and Iotapianus in Syria are put down by senator Decius, by order of emperor Philip the Arab.

The Roman Empire continues the celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of the city of Rome, with the ludi saeculares, organized by Philip the Arab.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Cyprian becomes bishop of Carthage.

Origen writes an eight-volume work criticizing the pagan writer Celsus.

=== 249 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Trajan Decius puts down a revolt in Moesia and Pannonia. Loyal legionaries proclaim him emperor and he leads them into Italy. At a battle at Verona, he defeats and kills Philip the Arab.

Decius begins persecuting the Christians and others refusing to participate in Emperor worship.

====== Asia ======

February 5 – Incident at Gaoping Tombs: In the Chinese state of Cao Wei, the regent Sima Yi seizes power from his co-regent Cao Shuang in a coup d'état.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

In Alexandria, the populace pillages the homes of Christians.


Year 243 (CCXLIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Arrianus and Papus (or, less frequently, year 996 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 243 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Campaign history of the Roman military

From its origin as a city-state on the peninsula of Italy in the 8th century BC, to its rise as an empire covering much of Southern Europe, Western Europe, Near East and North Africa to its fall in the 5th century AD, the political history of Ancient Rome was closely entwined with its military history. The core of the campaign history of the Roman military is an aggregate of different accounts of the Roman military's land battles, from its initial defense against and subsequent conquest of the city's hilltop neighbors on the Italian peninsula, to the ultimate struggle of the Western Roman Empire for its existence against invading Huns, Vandals and Germanic tribes. These accounts were written by various authors throughout and after the history of the Empire. Following the First Punic War, naval battles were less significant than land battles to the military history of Rome due to its encompassment of lands of the periphery and its unchallenged dominance of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Roman army battled first against its tribal neighbours and Etruscan towns within Italy, and later came to dominate the Mediterranean and at its height the provinces of Britannia and Asia Minor. As with most ancient civilizations, Rome's military served the triple purpose of securing its borders, exploiting peripheral areas through measures such as imposing tribute on conquered peoples, and maintaining internal order. From the outset, Rome's military typified this pattern, and the majority of Rome's campaigns were characterised by one of two types. The first is the territorial expansionist campaign, normally begun as a counter-offensive, in which each victory brought subjugation of large areas of territory and allowed Rome to grow from a small town to a population of 55 million in the early empire when expansion was halted. The second is the civil war, which plagued Rome from its foundation to its eventual demise.

Roman armies were not invincible, despite their formidable reputation and host of victories, Romans "produced their share of incompetents" who led Roman armies into catastrophic defeats. Nevertheless, it was generally the fate of even the greatest of Rome's enemies, such as Pyrrhus and Hannibal, to win the battle but lose the war. The history of Rome's campaigning is, if nothing else, a history of obstinate persistence overcoming appalling losses.

Gaius Furius Sabinius Aquila Timesitheus

Gaius Furius Sabinius Aquila Timesitheus (AD 190-243) was an officer of the Roman Imperial government in the first half of Third Century. Most likely of Oriental-Greek origins, he was a Roman citizen, probably of equestrian rank.

He began his career in the Imperial Service as the commander of a cohort of auxiliary infantry and rose to become Praetorian Prefect, the highest office in the Imperial hierarchy, with both civilian and military functions. His brilliant career reflected his mastery of contemporary cultural norms and his reputation for administrative competence, but also his ability to access patronage at the highest level. His official life was spent mainly in fiscal postings and he typified the powerful procuratorial functionaries who came to dominate the Imperial government in the second quarter of the Third Century. Nevertheless, as Praetorian Prefect, he also seems to have proved himself more than competent in his military role. Although he was on several occasions appointed to positions that contemporary Administrative Law reserved for officials of senatorial rank, he remained an equestrian until the end: it is possible that he deliberately avoided adlection to the Roman Senate preferring to exercise real power in offices from which senators were excluded. Unlike his successor in the Praetorian Prefecture, Philip the Arab, he did not take advantage of the youth and inexperience of his Imperial master (and son-in-law), Gordian III, to seize the Empire for himself.

He died in obscure circumstances, possibly murdered, in the course of a successful campaign to drive the forces of the Persian "King of Kings", Shapur I, from Rome's oriental territories. On his death the war against the Persians that he had directed so masterfully fell almost immediately into disarray to the long-term detriment of the Empire.

Gordian III

Gordian III (Latin: Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius Augustus; 20 January 225 AD – 11 February 244 AD) was Roman Emperor from 238 AD to 244 AD. At the age of 13, he became the youngest sole legal Roman emperor throughout the existence of the united Roman Empire. Gordian was the son of Antonia Gordiana and an unnamed Roman Senator who died before 238. Antonia Gordiana was the daughter of Emperor Gordian I and younger sister of Emperor Gordian II. Very little is known of his early life before his acclamation. Gordian had assumed the name of his maternal grandfather in 238 AD.

Gordian dynasty

The Gordian dynasty, sometimes known as the Gordianic dynasty, was short-lived, ruling the Roman Empire from 238–244 AD. The dynasty achieved the throne in 238 AD, after Gordian I and his son Gordian II rose up against Emperor Maximinus Thrax and were proclaimed co-emperors by the Roman Senate. Gordian II was killed by the governor of Numidia, Capillianus and Gordian I killed himself shortly after, either 21 or 36 days after he was declared emperor. On 22 April 238, Pupienus and Balbinus, who were not of the Gordian dynasty, were declared co-emperors but the Senate was forced to make Gordian III a third co-emperor on 27 May 238, due to the demands of the Roman people. Maximinus attempted to invade Italy but he was killed by his own soldiers when his army became frustrated. After this, the Praetorian Guard killed Pupienus and Balbinus, leaving Gordian III as the sole emperor. Gordian III ruled until 244 AD when he was either killed after his betrayal by Philip the Arab, killed by Philip the Arab or killed at the Battle of Misiche; with his death, the dynasty was ended and Philip the Arab became emperor.

Legio III Parthica

Legio tertia Parthica ("Parthian-conquering Third Legion") was a legion of the Imperial Roman army founded in AD 197 by the emperor Septimius Severus (r. 193-211) for his campaign against the Parthian Empire, hence the cognomen Parthica. The legion was still active in the Eastern provinces in the early 5th century. The legion's symbol was probably a bull.

List of Roman wars and battles

The following is a List of Roman wars and battles fought by the ancient Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire, organized by date.

List of conflicts in Asia

This is a list of wars and conflicts in Asia, particularly East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Russia. For a list of conflicts in Southwest Asia, see List of conflicts in the Near East for historical conflicts and List of conflicts in the Middle East for contemporary conflicts.

List of conflicts in the Near East

The area known as the "Near East" is usually referred to as Middle East in modern contexts.

For periods predating Classical Antiquity, the common term is Ancient Near East.

The Near East is generally associated with Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Caucasus.


Rhesaina (Rhesaena) was a city in the late Roman province of Mesopotamia Secunda and a bishopric that was a suffragan of Dara.Rhesaina (Rhesaena, Resaena – numerous variations of the name appear in ancient authors) was an important town at the northern extremity of Mesopotamia, near the sources of the Chaboras (now the Khabur River. It was on the way from Carrhae to Nicephorium, about eighty miles from Nisibis and forty from Dara. Nearby, Gordian III fought the Persians in 243, at the battle of Resaena. It is now Ra's al-'Ayn, Syria.

Its coins show that it was a Roman colony from the time of Septimius Severus. The Notitia dignitatum (ed. Boecking, I, 400) represents it as under the jurisdiction of the governor or Dux of Osrhoene. Hierocles (Synecdemus, 714, 3) also locates it in this province but under the name of Theodosiopolis; it had in fact obtained the favour of Theodosius the Great and taken his name. It was fortified by Justinian. In 1393 it was nearly destroyed by Tamerlane's troops.

Roman–Persian Wars

The Roman–Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between states of the Greco-Roman world and two successive Iranian empires: the Parthian and the Sasanian. Battles between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic began in 66 BC; wars began under the late Republic, and continued through the Roman (later Byzantine) and Sasanian empires. Various vassal kingdoms and allied nomadic nations in the form of buffer states and proxies also played a role. The wars were ended by the Arab Muslim Conquests, which led to the fall of the Sasanian Empire and huge territorial losses for the Byzantine Empire, shortly after the end of the last war between them.

Although warfare between the Romans and Persians continued over seven centuries, the frontier, aside from shifts in the north, remained largely stable. A game of tug of war ensued: towns, fortifications, and provinces were continually sacked, captured, destroyed, and traded. Neither side had the logistical strength or manpower to maintain such lengthy campaigns far from their borders, and thus neither could advance too far without risking stretching its frontiers too thin. Both sides did make conquests beyond the border, but in time the balance was almost always restored. Although initially different in military tactics, the armies of both sides gradually adopted from each other and by the second half of the 6th century they were similar and evenly matched.The expense of resources during the Roman–Persian Wars ultimately proved catastrophic for both empires. The prolonged and escalating warfare of the 6th and 7th centuries left them exhausted and vulnerable in the face of the sudden emergence and expansion of the Caliphate, whose forces invaded both empires only a few years after the end of the last Roman–Persian war. Benefiting from their weakened condition, the Arab Muslim armies swiftly conquered the entire Sasanian Empire, and deprived the Eastern Roman Empire of its territories in the Levant, the Caucasus, Egypt, and the rest of North Africa. Over the following centuries, more of the Eastern Roman Empire came under Muslim rule.

Timeline of Italian history

This is a timeline of Italian history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Italy and its predecessor states, including Ancient Rome and Prehistoric Italy. Date of the prehistoric era are approximate. To read about the back ground check these events, see History of Italy. See also the list of Prime Ministers of Italy.

Timeline of Roman history

This is a timeline of Roman history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in the Roman Kingdom and Republic and the Roman and Byzantine Empires. To read about the background of these events, see Ancient Rome and History of the Byzantine Empire.

Following tradition, this timeline marks the deposition of Romulus Augustulus and the Fall of Constantinople as the end of Rome in the west and east, respectively. See Third Rome for a discussion of claimants to the succession of Rome.

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