Probus was Roman Emperor from 276 to 282. He was an active and successful general as well as a conscientious administrator. In his reign of six years, he secured prosperity for the inner provinces while withstanding repeated inundation of hostile barbarian tribes on almost every sector of the frontier. Take a look below for 22 more fascinating and interesting facts about Probus.
1. Aside from repelling the foreign enemies of the empire, Probus was forced to handle several internal revolts, but demonstrated leniency and moderation to the vanquished wherever possible.
2. In his reign, the facade of the constitutional authority of the Roman Senate was fastidiously maintained, and the conqueror who had carried his arms to victory over the Rhine professed himself dependent on the sanction of the Senate.
3. After defeating the Germans, Probus re-erected the ancient fortifications of emperor Hadrian between the Rhine and Danube rivers, protecting the Agri Decumates and exacted from the vanquished a tribute of manpower to resettle depopulation provinces within the empire and provide for adequate defense of the frontiers.
4. Probus was killed in a mutiny of the soldiers while in the middle of preparations for the Persian war, which would be carried out under his successor Carus.
5. He was born between 230 and 235 in Sirmium, Pannonia Inferior, the son of Dalmatius.
6. Probus entered the army around 250 upon reaching adulthood.
7. He rose rapidly through the ranks, repeatedly earning high military decorations.
8. Appointed as a military tribune by the emperor Valerian, at a very young age, in recognition of his latent ability, he justified the choice by a distinguished victory over the Sarmatians on the Illyrian frontier.
9. During the chaotic years of the reign of Valerian, Illyria was the only province, controlled by such officers as Claudius, Aurelian and Probus, where the barbarians were kept at bay.
10. Probus became among the highest placed lieutenants of Aurelian descent, reconquering Egypt from Zenobia in 273 AD.
11. Emperor Tacitus, upon his accession in 275, appointed Probus supreme chief of the east, granting him extraordinary powers in order to secure a dangerous frontier.
12. Though the details aren’t specified, he’s said to have fought with success on almost every frontier of the empire, before his election as emperor by the troops upon Tacitus’ death of old age in 276, in his camp in Asia minor.
13. Florianus, the half-brother of Tacitus, proclaimed himself emperor, and took control of Tacitus’ army in Asia minor, but was killed by his own soldiers after an indecisive campaign against Probus in the mountains of Cilicia.
14. In contrast to Florianus, who ignored the wishes of the senate, Probus referred to his claim to Rome in a respectful dispatch.
15. Probus traveled west, defeating the Goths along the lower Danube in 277, and acquiring the title of Gothicus.
16. In 278, Probus campaigned successfully in Gaul against the Alamanni and Longiones; both tribes had advanced through the Necker valley and across the Rhine into Roman territory.
17. In 279, Probus was, according to Zosimus, in Raetia, Illyricum and Lycia, where he fought the Vandals.
18. In 279 to 280, Probus’ generals defeated the Blemmyes in Egypt.
19. After he took control of Egypt, Probus ordered the reconstruction of bridges and canals along the Nile, where the production of grain for the Empire was centered.
20. In 280, Probus put down three usurpers, Julius Saturninus, Proculus and Bonosus.
21. According to the favorable treatment of Gibbon, Probus was the last of the benevolent constitutional emperors of Rome.
22. Probus’ victories continued the succession of martial Illyrian emperors begun by Claudius, which restored the military supremacy of Rome after her defeats during the crisis of the third century.