Probus' Hidden Codes

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sulla80, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    CT members are likely well aware of a series of coins for Probus with a hidden message. I first learned of this series from Doug Smith's page, EQVITI Coins of Probus. It was a while ago, I might have still been using a dial-up modem to connect to the internet.

    The series was published in 1873 by Missong, A. (1873) "Gleichartig systemisirte Münzreihen unter Kaiser Probus", Numismatische Zeitschrift (1873), Wien, p.102-115.
    With the arrival last weekend of a SALVS AVG coin -to fill the 3rd position - I have completed a set with all the letters.
    EQVITI Probus.gif
    I am still on the hunt for coins with "Q" and "*" and "E" and "*" to have a set from one consistent type.

    I've posted a longer writeup to my Notes - with a "VIRTVS EQVIT" coin of Postumus struck by Areolus in Milan.

    For an thorough discussion of the various thoughts on why these letters are there - see this page on forumancientcoins from Gert Boersema.

    Post your individual coins or sets from the AEQVIT or EQVITI series or anything else you find interesting or entertaining. I know there is at least one set that has appeared on CT.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Wow, @Sulla80, this is Brilliant. Just took a look at Boersma's page. It's fantastic to see this level of punning, in Classical Latin! I'm seriously enjoying the gestalt.
    ominus1, DonnaML and Sulla80 like this.
  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    At that time I was getting complaints from dial up users that my photos were too large and made my pages slow and expensive for people who were paying by the byte. As a result, I posted many small photos with excessive compression until the average viewer could be counted on to have broadband.

    I never filled out my set of these. The Ticinum group is relatively easy but I failed to find all those from Rome.

    1. P-E rs2990bb1956.jpg
    2. S-Q

    3. T-V

    4. Q-I

    5. V-T

    and several from officina six:
    VI-I military

    VI-I consular
    VI-I with CONSIII obverse

    VI-I with INVICTI obverse
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    From Rome I only have three:

    2. B-E (REB) second in the AEQVITI set

    4. Δ-V (RVΔ) fourth in the AEQVITI set

    7. Z-I (RIZ) seventh in the AEQVITI set

    I attended a show over twenty years ago and asked dealers if they had any of these. One guy had many Probus but said he had no codes and that they were rare enough I would never find any. I bought the two he had but did not recognize and thanked him for the advice. These are not all rare but some of them seem to be easier than others. If you add up all the variations, obverses, stars etc., the complete Probus code set is a lot of coins. Singles show up with some frequency but not all sellers identify them. I do not know if a full set exists.
  6. Alegandron

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

    Uh-oh... read Doug's page again. I think it is another conspiracy... :D


    I don't have this series... But I do have a Z at the bottom of one of mine...

    Must be secret code for "Man rides SPLIT HORSE" :D

    RI Probus 276-282 CE Ant 21mm Rome mint captive on ground Riding Horse in ex R-Thunderbolt-Z RIC 155
  7. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    This is the only one I have from Rome - I think the same type as yours.
    Probus REB IOVI.jpg
    It could just be coincidence, but if I take the 2nd, 4th, 7th, and 8th letters from your reverse it spells DEVS....
  8. Alegandron

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

    No, it is not a coincidence. The Truth Is Out There... I want to BELIEVE!

  9. Claudius_Gothicus

    Claudius_Gothicus Well-Known Member

    I must admit that seeing the complete EQVITI series is quite impressive; when I bought this coin, my only Probus, I was planning to do the same, but in the end I sidelined the project, at least for now:
    Probus (276-282), Antoninianus, Ticinum mint.
    Obverse: IM-P C PROBVS AVG, radiate bust left, wearing imperial mantle and holding eagle-tipped sceptre;
    Reverse: CONC-ORD MILIT, Concordia standing left, holding two standards, E in left field. Mintmark PXXI;
    RIC 480
  10. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

  11. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  12. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    I was told that all the Q coins in this series were modern forgeries. Some sort of conspiracy?
    +VGO.DVCKS and Orange Julius like this.
  13. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    The coded Ticinum coins are thought to come from two emissions with the coins without the star coming form Emission 9, dated to A.D. 281 and those with the star coming from Emission 10 dated to A.D. 282.

    I have bought and sold many of these over the years as my interest in getting a matched set from each emission (same obverse legend and bust type) came and went. I still have a few in my collection and a few from the Rome series.

    Here is one I have left from Ticinum


    Here is the Rome series (some need more up to date images)

    There are also alternative types for T and the second I
  14. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

    Great coins all. I need more Probus like I need more cowbell!
    Alegandron and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  15. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    To interpret that we should probably ask - how many cows do you have without cowbells?;)
    Daniel Schwen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  16. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Supporter! Supporter

    Nice reference & homage to Chris Walken & BOC! :happy::singing::D:D:D;)
  17. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @PlanoSteve, you wouldn't be talking about Blue Oyster Cult ...? Even if you are, the reference went sailing over my head. ('If you can remember the '70's....')
    Cliff Reuter and PlanoSteve like this.
  18. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

    There is a famed segment from Saturday Night Live with BOC and Christopher Walken as the producer at the recording studio for Don't Fear the Reaper. You can find it easily on youtube. It is hilarious for all who remember the 70's or early 80's and their albums...
  19. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    (...That was pretty good.... Started out thinking it was early, mid-'70's snl, when I was watching more of it. Even better with the revisionism...SNORT.)
    Cliff Reuter likes this.
  20. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

    The skit aired initially on April 8, 2000....
  21. barnaba6

    barnaba6 Active Member

    Here are some of my EQVITI coded sets from Ticinum. The first two series to follow are rather easy to complete, the third one with the very much desirable and sought-after INVICTI obverse legend is much more challenging!

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg
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