Probus               276 - 282 A.D.


Coming from a military background under Valerian, Probus ascended the throne as usurper against Florian, under pretext that he appropriated the imperial title without the Senate's consent. Florian advanced against Probus and on first appearance it looked like his own army would be no match against Florian's so he gambled that by artificially prolonging a direct confrontation between the two he could frustrate the enemy. The tactic paid off and within days Florian was killed by his own troops and the two armies joined as one to march into Rome.

Probus then spent the next two years quelling numerous border wars and domestic rebellions. He was highly successful in these regards and, having few wars left to fight retired to Rome. His glory days came to an end partly due to his own military successes. Without battles to fight, the army felt increasingly alienated by Probus who was now spearheading several civic projects meant to strengthen the empire. Malcontents in the army noted cynically that they were soldiers, not peasants. His life thus came to a violent end during a minor moment of strife initiated by some soldiers who had been ordered to clear a swamp. These drew their swords and gave fatal chase to the emperor. Carus, the Praetorian Prefect, may or may not have incited the mutiny but either way Probus's assassins named him emperor only to hear their death sentence as their reward.


Obv-IMPPROBVSPFAVG Radiate, helmeted, cuirassed bust left. Holding sword and shield.

Rev-CONCORDIAAVG Concordia standing left holding patera and cornucopiae. T in right field and XXI in exergue

RIC Vol V, ii, #661, Cohen 552

Obv-IMPCMAVRPROBVSPAVG Radiate draped cuirassed bust right.

Rev-ADVENTVSAVG Emperor riding horse left carrying spear and raising arm.

Obv-IMP C M AVR PROBUS PF AVG Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust left, holding eagle tipped scepter.

Rev-ROMAE AE-TERNAE Roma in temple seated left on shield, holding Victory and spear. XXIII in Ex

Obv-IMP C P PROBUS PF AVG Radiate, cuirassed bust right.

Rev-VIRTVSAVG Virtus standing left holding spear and raising right arm. III in Ex.

Obv-IMP C PROBVS AVG Radiate cuirassed draped bust left, holding scepter.

Rev-PA-X-AVG Pax standing left holding branch and transverse scepter. T in left field. XXI in ex.

Obv-IMP PROBVS PF AVG Radiate & cuirassed bust right.

Rev-RESTITVT ORBIS Victory presenting wreath to Probus who stands left holding sceptre. XXI in ex. ED between figures

RIC 0851v

Obv-PROBVS PF AVG Radiate cuirassed bust right.

Rev-IOVI CONS PROB AVG Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and scepter. *EB in ex.

Obv-IMP C MAVR PROBVS AVG Radiate cuirassed bust right.

Rev-PROVIDEN DEOR Fides standing right holding standards facing Sol holding globe. * between figures. KH delta in ex.