Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Probus, Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor (276 - 282), was a native of Sirmium in Pannonia.

At an early age he entered the army, where he distinguished himself under the emperors Valerian, Tacitus and Aurelian. He was appointed governor of the East by the emperor Tacitus, at whose death he was immediately proclaimed his successor by the soldiers.

Florianus, who had claimed to succeed his brother, was put to death by his own troops, and the Senate eagerly ratified the choice of the army. The reign of Probus was mainly spent in successful wars by which he re-established the security of all the frontiers, the most important of these operations being directed to clearing Gaul of German invaders.

Probus had also put down three usurpers, Saturninus, Proculus and Bonosus. One of his principles was never to allow the soldiers to be idle, and to employ them in time of peace on useful works, such as the planting of vineyards in Gaul, Pannonia and other districts. This increase of duties was naturally unpopular, and while the emperor was urging on the draining of the marshes of his native place he was attacked and slain by his own soldiers.

Scarcely any emperor has left behind him so good a reputation; his death was mourned alike by senate and people, and even the soldiers repented and raised a monument in his honour.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

See also: Roman Empire

Preceded by:
Florianus (276)
Roman emperors
Followed by:
Carus (282-283)

See also Henry IV Probus Duke of Poland.