While on campaign against Sassanid Persia, Timesitheus, young emperor Gordian III’s praetorian prefect and de facto emperor, died mysteriously. Philip I (called “Philip the Arab,” due to his birthplace in the Roman province of Arabia) took the coveted position of prefect. Gordian III soon died under similarly suspicious circumstances, and most scholars claim Philip as the orchestrator of events. To succeed Gordian III legitimately, Philip knew he must return to Rome quickly and secure the confirmation of the senate. He made a hasty peace with Shapur I of Persia, which some found humiliating due to the concessions of land and costly indemnity. Upon his return, he spent lavishly on building a new town, as well as Rome's 1,000 year birthday celebration, and eventually debased the antoninianus. More than financial difficulties pressed on Rome, as rampant usurpers vied for power, and Goths and Vandals invaded Moesia. Seeing the decay of his reign, Philip offered his resignation to the senate, but they responded with support. Among them was Decius, and won over by his encouragement, Philip sent him to subdue the revolts along the frontier. While successful, he eventually turned on Philip, being declared emperor by troops there. Unfortunately for Philip, riots erupted in Egypt, the grain supply suffered. His rule became even more strained, and with fewer resources and troops, Decius defeated him in northern Italy in 249. KHK.