Probus...a pretty good emperor

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by AndrewC, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. AndrewC

    AndrewC Member

    Probus coin.jpg
    Probus (276-282 AD), Antoninianus, Antioch, (3.98 g, 20.20 mm). Obv: IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG. Rev: RESTITVT ORBIS. RIC 925.

    I really like this coin since it’s the only antoninianus I have with any silvering left (I have a really low budget for coins)

    I wonder if there are any coins with longer obverse inscriptions. I figured out imperator caesar Marcus Aurelius Probus P F Augustus. I would really appreciate if someone could tell me what P and F stood for!

    Like Claudius II and Aurelian before him, Probus was one of the Illyrian generals that rose to the purple during the last years of the Crisis of the Third Century. After Aurelian’s assassination and following the short reign of Tacitus, Florianus, Tacitus’s brother, usurped the throne without the approval of the senate. As the supreme commander of all the eastern provinces, Probus had a formidable force behind him should he ever decide to claim the throne, so, styling himself as the avenger of the senate, he alone dared to rise up in revolt against Florianus. The military acumen of Probus, combined with the hot and humid environment of Asia Minor, was enough for the troops under Florianus to kill their emperor, ending the civil war.

    During his reign, Probus campaigned against the barbarians along the northern frontiers of the empire, who had grown emboldened upon the death of Aurelian. Were it not for Probus, the extraordinary gains made by Aurelian in reuniting and stabilizing the fractured empire would likely have been lost. Not content with waging only a defensive war, he supplemented the gains made by Aurelian by venturing across the Rhine and waging war in the Germans’ own territories, securing a favorable peace. Among the conditions of this peace was the supply of much-needed German recruits for the Roman army, which had been dangerously weakened by decades of internal and external strife, as well as plague.

    After suppressing barbarian incursions and internal rebellions, Probes turned to rebuilding the infrastructure of the empire, which had fallen into considerable disrepair over the past decades. The soldiers, equally skilled with a sword as they were with a pick, were thus kept busy in this time of peace, building temples, repairing roads, and even planting vineyards in the hills of Gaul and Pannonia, which contain significant wine-producing regions to this day. But in his good intentions, Probus failed to realize the anger that was bound to arise in his soldiers when relegated to menial labor. According to Gibbons, compounding this was an offhand remark he made about his hope for a world, with peace firmly established, without the need for a standing army.

    On a hot summer’s day, a group of soldiers under his command, fatigued and disgruntled about the work of draining a swamp, suddenly rose up in mutiny and in a fit of rage, stabbed him to death. Then, as with Aurelian, with their passions subdued, they immediately regretted the murder such a wise and just emperor.

    Probus is definitely on my list of the better emperors of Rome, but like Aurelian, his reign was too short to have the kind of impact that Trajan or Augustus had. Who knows what could have happened if they had reigned for longer. I guess it kind of worked out in the end though with Diocletian.

    Now, after this tragic story, please show your coins of Probus! I’d love to see them.
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  3. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    Great coin! I like coins of Probus too and have quite a few of them. Here’s one of my favorites;
    Probus - ADVENTVS AVG - Rome - RIC 58
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  4. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Very nice write up on Probus! Here is one of my coins...

    Roman Imperial: Probus (276-282 CE) AR Antoninianus, Serdica (RIC V 862)

    Obv: IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG; Radiate bust left, in imperial mantle, holding eagle-tipped scepter
    Rev: SOLI INVICTO; Sol driving facing quadriga, raising hand and holding whip; KAA in exergue

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  5. ominus1

    ominus1 When in Rome, do as the Romans do Supporter

    ...Probus was so kool..i got two...:) Probus coins groundhog 002.JPG Probus coins groundhog 003.JPG
  6. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    A very nice Probus, congrats!
    IMPerator Caesar Marcus AVRelius PIUS FELIX AVGustus
    Probus Tempo Felicit.jpg
    Probus (276-282 AD), silvered AE Antoninianus, Lugdunum, 282
    Obv: IMP C PROBVS P F AVG, Radiate and cuirassed bust to right.
    Rev: TEMPOR FELICIT, Felicitas standing front, head to right, holding caduceus in her right hand and cornucopiae in her left, B in field left.
    Ref: Bastien 387; RIC II 129
    PeteB, Edessa, Orielensis and 16 others like this.
  7. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  8. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    I only have a single, lone Probus imperial coin:

    And the rest Alexandrian:
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  9. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    RI Probus Æ Ant 22mm 3.75g 280CE CLEMENTIA TEMP XXI Emperor receiving Victory from Jupiter UNKNOWN EASTERN MINT

    Bit of silver
    Marcus Aurelius Probus, AD 276-282
    Billon Antoninianus, 21mm, 2.3g, 6h; Rome mint, 6th emission, AD 281.
    Obv.: PROBVS AVG; Radiate, cuirassed bust right.
    Rev.: ADVENTVS AVG; Probus riding horse left, raising hand and holding scepter; to left, bound captive seated left under foreleg, head right // R thunderbolt Z (7th officina).
    Reference: RIC Vb Probus 158, p. 35

    RI Probus 276-282 CE BI Ant 2.80g captives l and r Cohen 768
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  10. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin and write-up...a great emperor to collect on a budget.

    Probus, Antoninianus (24 mm, 3.39 g), Rome, 282. Radiate and cuirassed bust r./ Rev. Jupiter standing front, head to l., holding thunderbolt in his r. hand and scepter in his l. RIC 175
    Probus, Antoninianus (24 mm, 3.56 g), Lugdunum, 282. Radiate and cuirassed bust r./ Rev. Pax standing front, head to l., holding branch in her r. hand and transverse scepter in her l. hand. RIC 119.
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  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    My favorite coins of Probus are those showing him in military attire. There are many variations and they are not rare or expensive. A few even have variant obverse legends like VIRTVS PROBI AVG.
    rs2800b01414lg.JPG rs2810bb1500.jpg rs2890bb1529.jpg

    rs2560bb2278.jpg rs2570bb1721.jpg rs2700bb1474.jpg

    All of mine are relatively common but there are some really special (expensive!) types including shields inscribed with VOTIS X ET XX and bust accompanied by a horse head. Others have shown examples of the consular busts so I'll just add one:

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  12. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    It stands for Pius Felix, which means "dutiful, fortunate (or happy)."

    Here's the dutiful and happy emperor:

    Probus, AD 276-282.
    Roman billon antoninianus, 4.96 g, 23.2 mm, 7 h.
    Lugdunum, fourth emission, mid-to late AD 277.
    Obv: IMP C PROBVS·P·F·AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: ABVNDANTIA AVG, Abundantia standing right, emptying cornucopiae held in both hands; IIII (officina 4) in exergue.
    Refs: RIC 17; Bastien 195.
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  13. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Those are all awesome Probus antoniniani:).

    One of my favorites:
    22.9 mm, 3.371 g
    EQVITI Series II, Gallia Transpadana, Ticinum 281 AD, mintmark Q/-//SXXI, emission 9, 2nd officina; the officina number indicated by the “Q” from “EQVITI” mirrors the 2nd officina.

    RIC V Part II 492(R); Cohen VI, 488 (also with helmet); Pink VI-1, p.67/9;

    Ob.: VIRTVS PROBI INVICTI AVG Radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, spear in right hand over right shoulder, shield with dot pattern on left arm
    Rev.: PROVIDENT AVG (the foresight of the augustus), Providentia, draped, standing left holding globe in right hand, long traverse scepter in left hand, Q in left field, in exergue SXXI

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  14. robp

    robp Well-Known Member

    And another antoninianus. Serdica mint, Sol reverse.
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  15. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    My latest Probus with INVICT in obverse legend:
    and two VIRTVS reverses:
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  16. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    I have far too many Probus coins to share. I will limit it to a couple that I don't think that I have shared here before. I will limit it to Antioch and Tripolis for now. I have killed too many threads with my keeness to share my Probus coins before.

    bv:– IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev:– RESTITVR ORBIS, Victory standing right, presenting wreath to Emperor standing left, holding spear.
    Minted in Antioch (B in centre field, XXI in exe)
    Reference:– RIC 925 Bust type C


    Obv:– IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, Radiate and cuirassed bust right
    Rev:– CLEMENTIA TEMP, Emperor standing right, receiving globe from Jupiter standing left, holding sceptre
    Minted in Tripolis (Crescent in centre field, KA in exe) First Emission from A.D. 276
    Reference: – RIC 928 Bust Type C

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  17. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    I have only a few, and they are hard to picture because of the thin layer of silver.

    2568 Probus ct.jpg

    Probus 276-282, Antoninianus, Lyons mint, 279. Obv. Radiate and cuirassed bust right. IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG. Rev. Laetitia standing slightly to the left, holding wreath and sceptre. LAETITIA AVGVSTI. In exergue: IIII. 21 mm, 4.08 gr. Apparently from a large hoard from Lyons.

    2566 Probus brockage ct.jpg

    And this nice brockage with its beautiful patina at the hollow side. Obv. Radiate, cuirassed bust to the left. IMPPRO BVSAVG. Rev. Same, incuse. 21.5/24 mm, 3.45 gr.
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  18. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    Here is a Lugdunum that I don't think I have shared here before.

    Obv:– IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear
    Rev:– FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing left, holding two ensigns
    Minted in Lugdunum (III in exe) Emission 6, Officina 3. 278 - 279 A.D.
    Reference:– Cohen 256, Bastien 278. RIC 79 Bust type C

    4.56 gms. 23.29mm

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  19. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    Here is a Rome mint that I don't think that I have shared here before.

    Obv:– IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right (seen from the front)
    Rev:– VIRTVS AVGVSTI, Mars walking right, holding spear and trophy
    Mint – Rome (RS) Emission 2, Officina 6. A.D. 277
    Reference:– Unlisted in RIC near 240. Bust type C.

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  20. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    Siscia. Anothr Mars type.

    Obv:– IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust right. (cuirass decorated with gorgeinon)
    Rev:– VIRTVS PROBI AVG, Mars walking right, holding spear and trophy.
    Mint – Siscia (XXIV) Emission 4 Officina 5. A.D. 278
    Reference:– RIC 811 Bust type F. Alföldi type 96, n° 94

  21. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    I've got a couple I've shown many times, so I will defer here. However, Probus ranks up there with the most successful Roman emperors along with Aurelian. Within the course of ten years the empire was saved thanks to their ceaseless campaigning.
    AndrewC likes this.
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