Balbinus belonged to a very noble and rich family. Before becoming emperor, he was twice consul and ruled many provinces, including Asia, Africa, Bithynia, Galatia, Pontus, Thrace and gallium. Several times he had to command troops, but in matters of war, he was different, however, than civil; but his kindness, full perfection and honesty, he gained a great love. He Growth was high and had a prominent appearance. He is also famous for his eloquence, and was a good poet. For all the merits of different Balbinus excessive penchant for pleasure: he was greedy for wine, food and the pleasures of Venus, I loved elegant clothing. However, he had no shortage of quality, makes it desirable in the eyes of the people. He was kind and the Senate. In 238, when the Senate killed proteges emperors Gordian I and II of Gordian, the senate elected emperor Balbinus together with another senator - Maxim. At the request of the people they were given in the co-rulers still young Gordian III.
Maxim was charged with war deposed Maximinus, and Balbinus had to remain in the capital and to conduct internal affairs. It was assumed that the task set is appropriate to the nature of each, because Maxim was strict, inflexible and in no way to be generous, while Balbinus, by contrast, was gracious, kind and possessed in abundance all kinds of means. However, everything turned out the opposite: a foreign war, which feared the most, ended suddenly, without bloodshed, while Balbino had a great danger to life tame violent turmoil in Rome. The fact is that after the departure of Maxim for the war, Rome remained a part of the praetorian cohorts. Soon between Praetorians and the people there were such contentions that it came to the internal war. Most of Rome was burned, churches desecrated, all the streets covered with blood, since Balbinus, a very soft and could not stop strife. He went out to the people, reaching out to each individually, and it was nearly hit by stones, and some even say that he was hit with a stick. He failed to stop the riots, had he not brought to the people dressed in purple infant Gordian, set him on the neck of a very tall man.
Soon, Max returned to Rome, and emperors ruled for some time together. According Capitolina, they were very wise things, published just laws, patiently listened to litigation and the order made in the military unit. But they could not get rid of the hatred that fueled them soldiers. During the Capitoline competitions Warriors suddenly attacked the Palatine palace, killed the two emperors, and all power transferred Gordian (the Capitol: "Maxim and Balbinus"; 7,9,14).