Choice Antoninianus of Probus
Probus became emperor in AD 276 after overthrowing the emperor Florianus. A native of the city of
Sirmium in what is now Serbia, he rose to prominence and proved himself a capable administrator
and commander and is recognised as an emperor who contributed to the revival of the Roman Empire at
a time of severe turmoil and crisis. In AD 277/8 his armies defeated the Goths, Alamanni, Longiones,
Franks and Burgundians. He realised that the best way to keep his soldiers out of trouble was to keep
them busy so, with the frontiers of the empire stabilised, he set his men to the task of rebuilding the shattered
infrastructure of key provinces that had crumbled under previous emperors by building roads,
bridges and fortifications, draining marshes, digging canals and, interestingly, planting extensive vineyards.
New plantations sprang up across Europe and there is mention in some records of Probus authorising
the planting of vineyards in Britain too so we may still be enjoying the fruits of his labours today!
These Antoninianus, or ‘Ants’ as we call them, are as good as they come, virtually as struck and with
original lustre. There are a variety of reverse types most with standing figures but a limited number available
in this grade.