The House and Baths of Gordianus in Via Praenestina. Marcus Antonius Gordianus Africanus Sempronianus Romanus, 159 - 238, better known as Gordian I, was Roman emperor, ruling with his son, Gordian II and grandson, Gordian III, for a few weeks in March and April of the 238. Previously, he had devoted his career to military pursuits and was Proconsul of Africa. As a young man he had been a poet. The family was quite wealthy. The Via Praenestina was the name of one of the roads that began at the Porta Esquilina at Rome, and led to Praeneste, now called Palestrina, 22 miles from Rome. About 3 miles from Rome was the imperial villa of the Gordians. There are still ruins at the site called Torre dei Schiavi.