Little is known of the early life of Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus, as he was called by all his nicknames. The family probably came from Asia Minor , from Phrygia , Galatia or Cappadocia in what is now Anatolia . His parents were supposedly Maecius Marullus and Ulpia Gordiana. In addition to Gordian II, Gordian had at least one other child, the daughter Maecia Faustina , mother of the future emperor Gordian III .
Gordian was already 80 years old when he was proclaimed emperor by the Senate - allegedly against his will - after a revolt by the large landowners in North Africa , as the latter feared their expropriation by Emperor Maximinus Thrax . At the same time Maximinus, who ruled the Roman Empire as a soldier emperor from Sirmium near today's Belgrade and had denied the Senate any say, was declared an enemy of the state.
However, Capelianus , the governor of Numidia , was loyal to Maximinus Thrax and easily defeated Gordian II, who had no military experience. As Gordian I learned of the death of his son, he committed the same day suicide . Thereupon Pupienus and Balbinus were installed by the Senate as emperors of equal rank and Gordian's only 13-year-old grandson Gordian III. appointed co-regent and declared successor.
- Herodian , Die Kaiser nach Marc Aurel 7, 4–9.
- Historia Augusta , The Life of the Three Gordians 1–16.
- Philostratus , Sophist Life (Foreword)
- Chronograph from 354
- Michael L. Meckler: Short biography (English) at De Imperatoribus Romanis (with references).
- Biography from the Historia Augusta (English) at LacusCurtius
- Thomas Franke : Gordianus 1. In: The New Pauly (DNP). Volume 4, Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-476-01474-6 , column 1144 f.
- Dietmar Kienast , Werner Eck , Matthäus Heil : Roman imperial table. Basic features of a Roman imperial chronology. 6th, revised edition. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2017, ISBN 978-3-534-26724-8 , pp. 180-181.
Roman Emperor 238 (with Gordian II. )
||Pupienus and Balbinus|
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||roman emperor|
|DATE OF BIRTH||at 159|
|DATE OF DEATH||uncertain: January 20, 238|