Saturday, June 14, 2014

Quick! The Emperor Probus Is Coming. Look Busy.

The Emperor Probus was quite a mobile emperor.

Obverse: IMP PROBVS AVG. (Imperator Probus Augustus). Emperor facing right in armor with double diadem.

Reverse: ADVENTVS AVG (The arrival of the Augustus). Emperor on horseback facing left, right hand raised in greeting, left hand holding a scepter, captive at the horse's front feet and RXZ in exerge.

The Mint Mark R(star)Z is for (R) Rome, Z is zeta or seventh officinae, the mint sub-office where the coin was minted, and the star is a control mark. The green flecks you see on the reverse is verdigris, the result of the underlying bronze being exposed to air for a long time, in this case about 1737 years.

The Adventus series of coins commemorate the visit of the emperor to the city designated in the mint mark of the coin. In this case, the coin was minted for his arrival to Rome in 277 AD.

Other cities featured in the Adventus series include Ticinum (Italy), Siscia (Croatia), Lugdunum (in Gaul), Serdica (now Sofia, Bulgaria), and Cyzicus (western Turkey), which indicates a fair bit of traveling for the Emperor.

Coins of Probus are very fun (and affordable) to collect. There's lots to choose from given the variety of types, legends and symbols that appear on his coins. There are 12 different obverse legends alone, and the emperor can be depicted in various types of armor, helmet and weapons, and that's just on the obverse of the coin. On the reverse are multiple types and lots of different mint marks and legends.


Old NFO said...

Nooooo... I don't need anything ELSE to collect... :-)

Aaron said...

Heh. They're affordable pieces of ancient history, not to mention a decent hedge against inflation....