Definitions

Gordian

Gordian

[gawr-dee-uhn]
Gordian, name of three Roman emperors. Gordian I (Marcus Antonius Gordianus Africanus), d. 238, was a Roman of great wealth and was colleague in the consulship with Caracalla and with Alexander Severus, who appointed him proconsul in Africa. After the usurpation of Maximin (d. 238), a rebellion broke out in Africa over the unscrupulous behavior of one of Maximin's men, and Gordian at the age of 81 was made coemperor (238) with his son. They were recognized by the Roman senate. Soon afterward, however, Vitallianus, a partisan of Maximin, attacked them in Carthage. Gordian I committed suicide, ending a reign of only 22 days, after learning that his son and colleague, Gordian II, 192-238, had been killed in battle. The senate named two new emperors, Balbinus and Pupienus. Gordian II's son, Gordian III, c.223-244, was made caesar. Balbinus and Pupienus defeated and killed Maximin but were soon murdered by the Praetorian Guard, whereupon Gordian III became emperor (238-44). In 242, Gordian attacked the Persians in Mesopotamia. His forces inflicted several defeats on them, but his best general, his father-in-law Timesitheus, died. The troops became disorderly, and Philip (Philip the Arabian) had Gordian murdered.
or hairworm or gordian worm

Any of about 250–300 species (class Nematomorpha, or Gordiacea; phylum Aschelminthes) of long, thin worms. The young are parasites in arthropods; the adults are free-living in the sea or in freshwater. The hairlike body sometimes grows to a length of about 39 in. (1 m).

Learn more about horsehair worm with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Gordian may refer to:

  • Saint Gordianus, see article Gordianus and Epimachus
  • Gordian I, Roman emperor
  • Gordian II, Roman emperor, son of Gordian I
  • Gordian III, Roman emperor, grandson of Gordian I
  • Gordian Warrior, Japanese super robot anime in 1979 also known as Tōshi Gordian
  • Gordianus the Finder, the main character in Steven Saylor's detective novels in the Roman Empire, starting with Roman Blood
  • Gordian worms, a phylum of parasitic worms whose larvae infect beetles, cockroaches, grasshoppers and crustaceans, also commonly known as horsehair worms
  • Things related to the ancient city of Gordium, particularly:

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