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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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A very rare, fine style bust type, unlisted in RIC, and only known from two other coins: a die match listed by Bastien, and a different die with different obverse legend in the Philippe Gysen collection.
SH30384. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 435 var. (bust type not listed in RIC); obverse die match illustrated in Bastien's Buste Monetaire... pl. 126 number 11, aEF, weight 3.754 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate bust left, wearing cuirass, aegis on chest, Victory in right hand; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing left, Victory presenting wreath extended in right, leaning on spear and grounded shield with left, QXXT in exergue; extremely rare; SOLD


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On the Forum Ancient Coins Discussion Board, Sylviane Estiot wrote that she knew of 13 examples of this type, nine from the 5th officina. Yes, the consignor is asking a lot for this coin! Rare Probus antoniniani in exceptional condition often do achieve this price level at auction. Better in hand than we can capture in a photograph.
RA76274. Billon antoninianus, Pink VI-1, p. 63; Cohen VI 51; RIC V-2 -; Venèra -; Hunter IV -; SRCV III -, Choice EF, sharp, full circles centering, high points coppery, small spots of encrustation and light corrosion, weight 3.842 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 4th emission, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right; reverse ADVENTVS AVG (arrival of the Emperor), Probus on horseback left, raising right hand, long scepter in left hand; captive before horse on left, seated left with hands bound behind back; VXXT in exergue; extremely rare; SOLD


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The empire is history but Rome is still today, the Eternal City.

Rome's influence on Western Civilization can hardly be overestimated. In sum, Rome has perhaps had greater influence than any other city on earth, making important contributions to politics, literature, culture, the arts, architecture, music, religion, education, fashion, cinema and cuisine.
RA76282. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 411; Pink VI-1, p. 63; Cohen VI 561 var. (bust); Maravielle -; Hunter III -; SRCV III -, EF, fantastic and very rare bust, sharp, most silvering remains, porosity, die crack in exergue, weight 3.586 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 4th 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 ROMAE AETER (eternal Rome), six column temple, statue of Roma seated facing within holding Victory in right hand and scepter in left, VXXT in exergue; very rare ; SOLD


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Probus marched against the enemies of Rome in Gaul and Germany. Several battles were fought and Probus left 400,000 barbarians dead in the field. After similar success against the Sarmatians, Probus had successfully quelled and terrified to peace the numerous barbarian tribes of the north. He then marched through Syria against the Blemmyes in the neighborhood of Egypt and defeated them with great slaughter. The military character of the emperor was so well established, that the king of Persia sued for peace and attempted to buy Probus' favor with the most 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.
SH35032. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 884 var. (officina and bust), Choice VF, well centered, unusual bust, weight 3.223 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 277 A.D.; obverse PERPETVO IMP C PROBO AVG, radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, spear in right, shield in left; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Probus galloping right, spearing fallen horseman; rare; SOLD


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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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.
SH65426. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 904 (S); Cohen VI 69; Pink VI-1, p. 43; Hunter IV 311 var. (A in ex); cf. SRCV III 11195 (Rome mint, etc.), Choice EF, nice patina, weight 4.002 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, 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, nothing in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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The name and the image of the sun god were frequently displayed on the coins of Rome. Apollo, in particular, was the object of homage in those dreadful times when the spread of plague depopulated the empire. But in the period when paganism was falling to the spread of Christianity, the emperors invoked the sun god Sol more than ever. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Saint Augustine found it necessary to preach against them.
RB42430. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 865 (S), Cohen VI 684, SRCV III -, Hunter IV -, aEF, well centered and struck, much silvering, edge crack, weight 3.223 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 280 - 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS PIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse SOLI INVICTO (to the invincible sun god), Sol standing in a facing quadriga, radiate, raising right hand commanding sunrise, whip and globe in left hand, cloak billowing out behind, KA•B• in exergue; rare obverse legend; SOLD


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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"). It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA76278. Billon antoninianus, Pink VI-1, p. 63; RIC V-2 445 (R) var. (cuirass); Cohen VI 810 var. (same); Hunter IV 135 var. (same, obv legend); SRCV III 12059 (same), Choice EF, fantastic heroic bust, unusual obverse legend, excellent centering, most silvering remains, some light corrosion, weight 3.359 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 4th emission, 278 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI INVICTI AVG, 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 on left shoulder; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing left, wearing helmet and military garb, Victory offering wreath in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, spear leaning against left forearm, QXXT in exergue; SOLD


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RA68708. Billon antoninianus, SRCV III 11995, RIC V-2 89, Cohen VI 367, Choice EF, weight 3.428 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C PROBVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse MARTI VICTORI AVG, Mars standing left in military garb, branch in right hand, inverted spear behind in left, grounded shield at far side on left, II in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Probus Coinage Part I & II (Two Volumes)

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BK10072. Probus Coinage Part I & Part II, by Stefan Milchev, Sofia 2005, 352 pages in part I, 189 pages in part II, illustrations throughout, Fine, hard to find, privately published; SOLD Out of Stock!


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In 280, Proculus, a Roman usurper, started a rebellion at Lugdunum (Lyon, France) and proclaimed himself emperor. Probus suppressed the revolt and Proculus was executed.
SH19073. Billon antoninianus, Bastien IX 341, RIC V-2 90 var. (obverse bust), VF, weight 3.251 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate bust left wearing imperial mantle, holding Victory on globe in right; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing left, olive branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand,IIII in exergue; nice green patina with traces of silvering, full circle strike on obverse; very rare; SOLD




  




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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, April 23, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Probus