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  1. Octavian as Augustus, 27 BC (1)
  2. Tiberius augustus, 14 (1)
  3. In the name of Nero Claudius Drusus, brother of Tiberius and father of Claudius (1)
  4. Nero augustus, 54 (1)
  5. Vespasian, 69 (2)
  6. Titus caesar, 69 (1)
  7. Domitian augustus, 81 (1)
  8. Domitia, wife of Domitian (1)
  9. Nerva, 96 (1)
  10. Trajan, 98 (2)
  11. Matidia, daughter of Trajan (1)
  12. Hadrian, 117 (3)
  13. Antoninus Pius, 138-161 (4)
  14. Faustina I, wife of Antoninus Pius (3)
  15. Marcus Aurelius caesar, 139 (1)
  16. Faustina II, wife of Marcus Aurelius and daughter of Antoninus Pius (1)
  17. Commodus, 177 (1)
  18. Crispina, wife of Commodus (1)
  19. Pertinax, January 1st (1)
  20. Septimius Severus, 193 (4)
  21. Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus (1)
  22. Caracalla, 198 (5)
  23. Plautilla, wife of Caracalla (1)
  24. Geta caesar, 198 (2)
  25. Elagabalus 218 (2)
  26. Severus Alexander, 222 (1)
  27. Gordian III, 238 (1)
  28. Philip II caesar, 244 (1)
  29. Trajan Decius, 249 (1)
  30. Herennia Etruscilla, wife of Trajan Decius. (1)
  31. Trebonianus Gallus, 251 (2)
  32. Volusian, 251 (1)
  33. Gallienus, 253 (3)
  34. Postumus, 260 (1)
  35. Aurelian, 270 (1)
  36. Tacitus, 275 (1)
  37. Probus, 276 (3)
  38. Carus, 282 (1)
  39. Numerian augustus, 283 (1)
  40. Carinus, 283 (1)
  41. Julian I of Pannonia, October (1)
  42. Diocletian, 284-305 (3)
  43. Maximianus augustus, first reign 286 (3)
  44. Constantius I Chlorus caesar, 293 (1)
  45. Constantius I Chlorus augustus, 305 (1)
  46. Galerius Maximianus caesar, 293 (1)
  47. Severus II caesar, 305 (1)
  48. Maximinus II Daia caesar, 305 (1)
  49. Maxentius, 307 (1)
  50. Licinius I, 308 (1)
  51. Licinius II caesar, 317 (1)
  52. Constantine I, 307 (7)
  53. Crispus caesar, 316 (1)
  54. Constantine II caesar, 316 (2)
  55. Constantius III, 8th February (1)
  56. Justa Gratia Honoria, sister of Valentinian III (1)



Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 102   |   24 October 2017 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 559





Estimate: 45'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 36'000 CHF Price realized: 65'000 CHF
Aureus, Siscia 279, AV 6.39 g. IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG Helmeted, draped and cuirassed bust l., holding transverse spear and shield decorated with aegis. Rev. P – M TR I – P Emperor, laureate and togate standing in slow quadriga r., holding eagle-tipped sceptre; in exergue, COS III. C –, cf. 453 (for reverse type). RIC –, cf. 579 (for reverse type). Calicó –, cf. 4177 (for reverse type). NAC sale 25, 2009, 231 (these dies).
Of the highest rarity, only the second specimen known. A magnificent portrait
of superb style struck in high relief and a finely engraved reverse
die. Virtually as struck and almost Fdc
Ex Helios sale 3, 2009, 231.
Probus’ predecessor, Aurelian, paid close attention to coinage, and at great risk and expense succeeded in reforming his empire’s ailing coinage by increasing purities, weights, and by re-introducing old denominations. Though Probus did not attempt any such reform of the core denominations, he more or less abandoned Aurelian’s re-introduced denominations. Probus’ coinage reform did not involve purity or weight, but rather design and tenor: Probus introduced the militant bust on a scale that never before had been seen on Roman coinage. Prior to his reign it was unusual to see an armoured bust with spear and shield and especially to see the emperor wearing a helmet. Here we have the terrifying bust of an emperor ever-prepared to attack or defend on behalf of his empire. The helmet is elaborately decorated and crowned with a laurel wreath; the spear is in the prone position, and the shield is raised in defence. Furthermore, the shield bears the head of Medusa upon the Aegis – an ancient symbol of defence. The impact of this war regalia is amplified by the ‘heroic bust’ composition, which harkens back to earlier numismatic prototypes. Probus’ intention, no doubt, was to demonstrate the strength of his regime and to show the possessor of this beautiful aureus that Rome’s future was secured by the strength of his command. If the obverse was meant to communicate Probus’ unquestioned military supremacy, the elegant, noble reverse suggests the same level of confidence in the emperor’s legislative authority. Probus is shown in his chariot, holding an eagle-tipped sceptre (scipio) and guiding the reins of four horses who move forward in perfect synchronicity – the foremost with its head held high. Here Probus celebrates an unspecified tribunician power, and his third renewal of the consulship. We must presume this coin refers to the third or fourth renewal of his tribunician power, even though it is not designated, as his sequence of honours would accommodate that. Tribunician power designations on the coins of Probus, though unorthodox, is consistent: TR P is paired with COS; TRI P is paired with COS II and COS III; TR P V is paired with COS IIII; and TR P VI is paired with COS V.

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