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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Recovery of the Empire| ▸ |Probus||View 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 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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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; $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; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


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Serdica struck many similar types with the reverse legends RESITVT ORBIS and RESTITVTOR ORBIS, combined with various busts, obverse legends, officina, and control marks. This coin differs from all the varieties listed in RIC.

KA in the exergue, is the Greek numeral 21, a mark of value, indicating 21 parts bronze to one part silver (approximately 4.5% silver). Γ, is the Greek numeral 3, indicating the coin was struck by the third officina (mint workshop).
RA92325. Silvered antoninianus, Pink VI-1, p. 44-45/1; RIC V-2 856 var. (RESTITVTOR ORBIS); Cohen VI 508 var. (also draped); Hunter IV -; SRCV III -, aEF, much silvering, well centered, scratches, corrosion, some pitting, edge split, weight 3.251 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3nd officina, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, c. 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVT ORBIS (to the restorer of the world), female (on left) standing right, presenting wreath to emperor, emperor (on right) standing left, extending right hand, spear in left hand, star low center, KA•Γ in exergue; not in RIC; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


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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.
RA92326. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 234, Cohen VI 857, SRCV III 12063, Hunter IV 14 var. (R*E), Choice EF, well centered on a broad flan, much silvering, excellent portrait, weight 4.185 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Rome mint, emission 2, 277 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate bust left in imperial mantle, scepter surmounted by eagle in right hand; reverse VIRTVS AVGVSTI (to the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing half left, helmeted head left, resting right hand on grounded shield, spear vertical in left hand, RE in exergue; $130.00 (€114.40)
 


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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)
 


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 281 A.D., Probus returned to Rome, where he celebrates his triumph over the Vandals and the usurpers Bonosus, Julius Saturninus and Proculus.
RX91485. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4618; Dattari 5525; BMC Alexandria p. 313, 2410; SNG Cop 936; Geissen 3152; Emmett 3878; Curtis -, VF, nice brown tone, reverse a little off center, weight 7.970 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 280 - 28 Aug 281 A.D.; obverse A K M AVP ΠPOBOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse Athena seated left, cuirass besides throne, Nike in right, LS (year 6) left; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


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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.
RA91617. 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 gVF, excellent centering, traces of silvering, center high points a little weak, weight 4.076 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, emission 4, 279 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse ROMAE AETER (eternal Rome), statue of Roma seated facing inside a hexastyle temple, head left, Victory in right hand, long scepter in left hand, R pellet in crescent with horns up Γ in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex Munzen und Medaillen (Basil, Switzerland); $100.00 (€88.00)
 


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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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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 Thursday, November 21, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Probus