Pro'bus, (Marcus Aurei.ius,) an excellent Roman
emperor, born at Sirmium about 235 A.D. He served
with distinction in the armies of Valerian and succeeding
emperors, in Egypt, Arabia, Persia, and Germany. He
received the command of all the legions in the East from
Tacitus, at whose death, in 276 A.D., Probus was proclaimed
emperor by his army. The senate confirmed
their choice. He defeated the Germans in Gaul, and
his rivals Saturninus, Proculus, and Bonosus. He was
killed by mutinous soldiers in 282 A.D., and left a very
high reputation for virtue and ability. It is said that
he had offended his troops by the expression of a hope
that the time was near when armies would be no longer
See Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ;" Aurelius
" De Czesaribus" and "
Marcus Aurelius Probus (c. 19 August 232 – September/October 282), commonly known as Probus, was Roman Emperor from 276
to 282. During his reign, the Rhine and Danube frontier was strengthened after successful wars against several Germanic
tribes such as the Goths, Alamanni, Longiones, Franks, Burgundians, and Vandals.
Born in 232 in Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica), Pannonia, Probus entered the army around 250 upon reaching adulthood. He
distinguished himself under the emperors Valerian, Aurelian and Tacitus. He was appointed governor of the East by
Tacitus, whose death in 276 prompted Probus' soldiers to proclaim him emperor.
Florianus, the half-brother of Tacitus, was also proclaimed successor by his soldiers, but was killed after an indecisive
campaign. Probus travelled west, defeating the Goths along the lower Danube in 277 - acquiring the title of Gothicus. His
position as emperor was ratified by the Senate around this time.
In 278, Probus campaigned successfully in Gaul against the Alamanni and Longiones; both tribes had advanced through the
Neckar valley and across the Rhine into Roman territory. Meanwhile, his generals defeated the Franks and these operations
were directed to clearing Gaul of Germanic invaders (Franks, and Burgundians), allowing Probus to adopt the titles of
Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus. 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, in order
to restart the economy in these devastated lands.
In 279–280, Probus was, according to Zosimus, in Raetia, Illyricum and Lycia, where he fought the Vandals. In the same
years, Probus' generals defeated the Blemmyes in Egypt; Probus then ordered the reconstruction of bridges and canals
along the Nile, where the production of grain for the Empire was centered.
In 280–281, Probus had also put down three usurpers, Julius Saturninus, Proculus and Bonosus. The extent of these revolts
is not clear, but there are clues that they were not just local problems. In 281, the emperor was in Rome, where he
celebrated his triumph.
Probus was eager to start his eastern campaign, delayed by the revolts in the west. He left Rome in 282, travelling first
towards Sirmium, his birth city, when the news that Marcus Aurelius Carus, commander of the Praetorian Guard, had been
proclaimed emperor reached him. Probus sent some troops against the new usurper, but when those troops changed sides and
supported Carus, Probus's remaining soldiers then assassinated him (September/October 282).
A Roman emperor (A.D. 276-282). He was a native of Sirmium in Pannonia, and rose to distinction by his
military abilities. He was appointed, by the emperor Tacitus, governor of the whole East, and, upon the death
of that sovereign, the purple was forced upon his acceptance by the armies of Syria. The downfall of Florianus
(q.v.) speedily removed his only rival, and he was enthusiastically hailed by the united voice of the Senate,
the people, and the legions. The reign of Probus presents a series of the most brilliant achievements. He
defeated the barbarians on the frontiers of Gaul and Illyricum and in other parts of the Roman Empire, and put
down the rebellions of Saturninus at Alexandria, and of Proculus and Bonosus in Gaul. But, after crushing all
external and internal foes, he was killed at Sirmium by his own soldiers, who had risen in mutiny against him,
because he had employed them in laborious public works. Probus was as just and virtuous as he was warlike, and
is deservedly regarded as one of the greatest and best of the Roman emperors. His life is given in the
Historia Augusta; see also Zosim. i. 64.