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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Recovery of the Empire ▸ ProbusView Options:  |  |  |   

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

Marcus Aurelius Probus was the son of a soldier and was himself a simple soldier at the beginning of his career. By the reign of Aurelian, he was one of the Empire's foremost generals. After the death of Tacitus, he was declared emperor and after the murder of Florian, he was left undisputed master of the Roman world. He embarked on a series of economic revival programs bringing great peace and prosperity to the empire. Tragically mutinous soldiers, enraged at being employed on public building projects, murdered him.


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Ticinum mint EQVITI series II - click "EQVITI" to read the NumisWiki article, "Coins of Probus with Coded Markings of EQVITI Embedded in the mint mark." The letter "E" in the reverse field is the first letter of the codeword EQVITI. The letter "P" in the exergue indicates this coin was struck by the first officina (mint workshop). The letters of the word EQVITI are coded in the mint marks of coins from all the officinae of the mint, with the specific letters of the codeword assigned to each officina in order corresponding with their officina numbers. This codeword probably refers to cavalry. It may be AEQVITI truncated because there were only six officinae in operation.
RA87620. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 480; Pink VI-1 p. 67, em. 9; Cohen VI 121; SRCV III 11965 var. (obv. leg.), Hunter IV 142 var. (same), Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, near full silvering, mint luster, areas of dark tone, weight 4.308 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, emission 9, 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C PROBVS AVG, radiate and mantled bust left, holding an eagle-tipped scepter; reverse CONCORD MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia standing slightly, head left, flanked by two standards, one in each hand, E left, PXXI in exergue; $260.00 (€228.80)
 


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Ticinum mint EQVITI series III - click "EQVITI" to read the NumisWiki article, "Coins of Probus with Coded Markings of EQVITI Embedded in the mint mark." The letter "I" in the reverse field is the sixth letter of the codeword EQVITI. The letter "VI" in the exergue indicates this coin was struck by the sixth officina (mint workshop). The letters of the word EQVITI are coded in the mint marks of coins from all the officinae of the mint, with the specific letters of the codeword assigned to each officina in order corresponding with their officina numbers. This codeword probably refers to cavalry. It may be AEQVITI truncated because there were only six officinae in operation.
RA87600. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 170; RIC V-2 525; Cohen VI 612, Pink p. 67, em. 10; SRCV III 12033, Choice aMS, nearly as struck, lustrous full silvering, excellent centering, bold strike, areas of light toning, weight 3.639 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 282 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right; reverse SECVRIT PERP (everlasting security), Securitas standing left raising right hand to head, resting left elbow on column, star left, I right, VIXXI in exergue; $230.00 (€202.40)
 


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Adventus reverse types commemorate the emperor's arrival at Rome, either at the commencement of his reign or on his return from a distance. They may also refer to his arrival in some other city or province of the empire. At their accession, emperors were not conveyed in a chariot nor in any other vehicle, but went on horseback or on foot when they made their first public entry into the capital of the Roman world.
RA76334. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 904 (S); Cohen VI 69; Pink VI-1, p. 43; Hunter IV 311 var. (1st officina); cf. SRCV III 11195 (Rome mint, etc.), gVF, green patina with some silvering remaining, weight 4.393 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, 2nd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 2nd emission, end 276 - beginning 277 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), radiate, helmeted, and cuirassed bust left, spear in right hand over right shoulder, oval shield decorated with charging horseman on left arm; reverse ADVENTVS PROBI AVG (the arrival of Emperor Probus), Probus on horseback left, raising right hand in salute, long scepter in left hand, horses' right foreleg raised over bound captive seated left, B in exergue; scarce; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


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Ticinum mint EQVITI series III - click "EQVITI" to read the NumisWiki article, "Coins of Probus with Coded Markings of EQVITI Embedded in the mint mark." The letter "V" in the reverse field is the third letter of the codeword EQVITI. The letter "T" in the exergue indicates this coin was struck by the third officina (mint workshop). The star indicates this is from the third Ticinum series. The letters of the word EQVITI are coded in the mint marks of coins from all the officinae of the mint, with the specific letters of the codeword assigned to each officina in order corresponding with their officina numbers. This codeword probably refers to cavalry. It may be AEQVITI truncated because there were only six officinae in operation.
RA87598. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 162 (also third officina), RIC V-2 499; Pink VI/1, p. 67; Cohen VI 577; SRCV III -, Choice EF, well centered, much silvering, areas of porosity, bumps and marks, edge crack, weight 3.788 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 282 A.D.; obverse IMP C PROBVS AVG, radiate and mantled bust left holding eagle-tipped scepter; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing right feeding snake held in arms, V left, * right, TXXI in exergue; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


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In 278, Probus defeated the Alamanni, expelled the Franks from Gaul, reorganized the defenses on the Rhine, resettled the Germanic tribes in the devastated provinces of the Roman Empire, and adopted the titles of Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus.
RA76279. Silvered antoninianus, Pink VI-1, p. 63; RIC V-2 376 (S) var. (cuirass); Cohen VI 283 var. (same); Hunter IV 131 var. (same, and obv legend); SRCV III 11984 (same), Choice aEF, fantastic heroic bust, some mint luster, most silvering remains, light corrosion, weight 3.341 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 4 emission, 278 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), radiate bust left from behind, spear left in right hand, back bare but for balteus over right shoulder and rectangular Aegis shield with square corner in on left shoulder; reverse HERCVLI PACIF (to Hercules the pacifier), Hercules standing left, raising branch in extended right, club and Nemean Lion skin in left, VXXT in exergue; very rare; $145.00 (€127.60)
 


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The reverse depicts the double temple of Venus and Roma, designed by Hadrian, the largest and most splendid temple in Rome, finished by Antoninus Pius. Damaged by fire in 307, the temple was restored "in magnificent manner" by Maxentius. When Constantius visited Rome fifty years later, the "Temple of the City" was one of the sights he most admired. In 625, Pope Honorius received a special dispensation from Heraclius to strip the gilded bronze roof tiles for the repair of St. Peter's. During a twelve-day visit to Rome in 663, Constans II stripped it of its remaining bronze ornaments. It was damaged by an earthquake in 847. Later a church was built in the ruins.
RA76944. Silvered antoninianus, Hunter IV 32 (also 3rd officina); RIC V-2 185; Cohen VI 530; Pink VI-1, p. 56-57/4; SRCV III -, Choice EF, near full silvering, superb portrait, light marks, weight 4.097 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, emission 4, 279 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ROMAE AETER (eternal Rome), statue of Roma seated facing inside a hexastyle temple, head left, Victory in right, long scepter in left hand, R pellet in crescent with horns up Γ in exergue; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


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In 278, Probus defeated the Alamanni, expelled the Franks from Gaul, reorganized the Roman defenses on the Rhine and resettled the Germanic tribes in the devastated provinces. He adopted the titles Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus.
RA85002. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 435 corr. (also cuirassed), Hunter IV 112 corr. (same), Cohen VI 819, Pink VI-1 p. 61, Choice VF, nice portrait, much silvering on reverse, some light corrosion, weight 3.724 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing facing, helmeted head left, Victory in right hand, resting left hand on grounded spear and shield, QXXT in exergue; $95.00 (€83.60)
 


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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA84026. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V-2 816; SRCV III 12071 var. (...P F AVG); Cohen VI 894; Hunter IV -, Choice EF, full silvering, full circles centering, some flatly struck areas, weight 3.888 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, emission 5, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear upward right in right hand, trophy of captured arms over left shoulder in left hand, XXIV in exergue; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Ticinum was a municipality and an important military site (a castrum) under the Roman Empire. In 476, Odoacer defeated Flavius Orestes at Ticinum after a long siege. To punish the city for helping his rival, Odoacer destroyed it completely. After the Lombard's conquest, Pavia became the capital of their kingdom, 568 - 774.
RA87247. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V-2 547, Pink VI-1 p. 65, Cohen VI 399, SRCV III -, Hunter III -, Choice EF, well centered and struck, much silvering, green and brown encrustations, weight 3.975 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, 5th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 6th emission, 2nd phase, 279 A.D.; obverse IMP C PROBVS AVG, radiate cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis, fold of paludamentum on left shoulder; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing left, raising olive branch in extended right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, EXXI in exergue; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Securitas sits perfectly at her ease, clearly relaxed, having nothing to fear. Probus did much to increase security. He marched against the enemies of Rome in Gaul and Germany and left 400,000 barbarians dead in the field. The remaining barbarian tribes of the north were terrified to peace. Probus then attacked the Blemmyes near Egypt defeating them with tremendous slaughter. Knowing he was next, the king of Persia sued for peace and attempted to buy Probus' favor with splendid presents. Probus was feasting upon the most common food when the ambassadors were introduced. Without even casting his eyes upon them, he said that if their master did not give proper satisfaction to Rome, he would lay Persia as desolate and as naked as the crown of his head. As he spoke the Emperor took off his cap and showed the baldness of his head to the ambassadors. His conditions were gladly accepted by the Persian monarch.
RA87253. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 179 (also 6th officina), RIC V-2 573, Pink VI/1 p. 65, Cohen VI 611, cf. SRCV III 12033 (bust and VIXXI), Choice VF, full circle centering, some silvering remains, small areas of light corrosion, weight 4.983 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 6th emission, 279 A.D.; obverse IMP C PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRIT PERP (everlasting security), Securitas standing slightly left, head left, legs crossed, right hand on head, resting left arm on short column, ϖXXI in exergue; $90.00 (€79.20)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

BONOIMPCPROBOAVG
BONOIMPCPROBOINVICTAVG
BONOIMPCPROBOINVICTOAVG
BONOIMPCPROBOPAVG
BONOIMPCPROBOPFAVG
BONOIMPCMAVRPROBVSAVG
BONOIMPCMAVRPROBOINVICTAVG
BONOIMPMAVRPROBOINVICAVG
BONOIMPCPROBOPFINVICTAVG
BONOIMPPROBOAVG
BONOIMPPROBOINVICTAVG
BONOETINVICTOPROBOPAVG
BONOETINVICTOPROBOPFAVG
DEOETDOMINOPROBOINVICTOAVG
IMPCMARPROBVSAVG
IMPCMAVRELPROBVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRPROBOAVG
IMPCMAVRPROBVSAVG
IMPCMAVRPROBVSAVGCONSIII
IMPCMAVRPROBVSAVGCONSIIII
IMPCMAVRPROBVSAVGCONSV
IMPCMAVRPROBVSAVGCOSII
IMPCMAVRPROBVSAVGCOSIII
IMPCMAVRPROBVSINVAVG
IMPCMAVRPROBVSINVICTAVG
IMPCMAVRPROBVSPAVG
IMPCMAVRPROBVSPIVSAVG
IMPCMAVRPROBVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRPROBVSPIFEAVG
IMPCMAVRPROBVSPFINVICTAVG
IMPCMAVRPROBVSPFINVICTVSAVG
IMPCMAVRPROBVSPFINVICTOAVG
IMPCMPROBVSINVICTAVG
IMPCMPROBVSINVICTPAVG
IMPCPROBVSAVG
IMPCPROBVSAVGCONSII
IMPCPROBVSAVGCONSIII
IMPCPROBVSAVGCONSIIII
IMPCPROBVSAVGCONSV
IMPCPROBVSAVGCOS
IMPCPROBVSAVGCOSII
IMPCPROBVSAVGCOSIII
IMPCPROBVSCONSII
IMPCPROBVSCONSIII
IMPCPROBVSINVAVG
IMPCPROBVSINVICTVSAVG
IMPCPROBVSINVICTVSPAVG
IMPCPROBVSPAVG
IMPCPROBVSPFAVG
IMPCPROBVSPFAVGCONSIII
IMPCPROBVSPFAVGCONSIIII
IMPCPROBVSPIVSFAVG
IMPDEOETDOMINOPROBOAVG
IMPDEOETDOMINOPROBOINVICTOAVG
IMPDEOETDOMINOPROBOPFAVG
IMPMAVRPROBVSPFAVG
IMPPROBOINVICTOAVG
IMPPROBVSAVG
IMPPROBVSAVGCONSIII
IMPPROBVSINVAVG
IMPPROBVSINVICTVSAVG
IMPPROBVSPAVG
IMPPROBVSPFAVG
IMPPROBVSPIVSFAVG
PERPETVOIMPCMAVRPROBOAVG
PERPETVOIMPCPROBOAVG
PERPETVOIMPCPROBOINVICTAVG
PERPETVOIMPCPROBOPAVG
PERPETVOIMPCPROBOPFAVG
PERPETVOIMPPROBOAVG
PERPETVOIMPPROBOPAVG
PERPETVOIMPPROBOINVICTPAVG
PROBVSAVG
PROBVSPAVG
PROBVSPFAVG
SOLCOMESPROBIAVG
SOLCOMISPROBIAVG
VIRTVSPROBIAVG
VIRTVSPROBIINVICTIAVG


REFERENCES

Alföldi, A. Siscia. Heft V: Verzeichnis der Antoniniane des Kaisers Probus. (Budapest, 1939).
Bastien, P. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon. De la réouverture de l'atelier par Aurélien à la mort de Carin (fin 274 - mi-285). (Wetteren, 1976).
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. II: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 6: Macrianus to Diocletian & Maximianus. (Paris, 1886).
Gnecchi, F. I Medaglioni Romani. (Milan, 1912).
Guillemain, J. Ripostiglio della Venèra, Nuovo Catalogo Illustrato, Vol. III/1: La monetazione di Probo a Roma (276-282 d.C.). (Verona, 2009).
Gysen, P. "Nouvelles données concernant l'atelier de Serdica sous le règne de Probus" in RBN CXLVI (2000).
King, C. Roman Quinarii from the Republic to Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. (Oxford, 2007).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. V, Part II, Probus to Amandus. (London, 1933).
Pink, K. "Der Aufbau der Römischen münzprägung in der Kaiserzeit: VI/1. Probus" in Numismatische Zeitschrift 73 (1949).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. Three, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Probus