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known.

III. Probus was a native of Pannonia, of the city of
Sirmium, 1 his mother was of nobler birth than his
father, his private fortune was modest, and his
kindred unimportant. Both as commoner and as
emperor he stood forth illustrious, famed for his
virtues. His father, so some have said in their writ-
ings, was a man named Maximus, who, after com-
manding in the ranks 2 with honour and winning
a tribuneship, died in Egypt, leaving a wife, a son,
and a daughter. Many aver that Probus was a rela-
tive of Claudius, 3 that most excellent and venerated
prince, but this, because it has been stated by only
one of the Greek writers, we shall leave undiscussed.
This one thing I will say, however, which I remember
reading in the journal, namely, that Probus was
buried by a sister named Claudia. 4 As a youth
Probus became so famed for his bodily strength that
by approval of Valerian he received a tribuneship
almost before his beard was grown. There is still in
existence a letter written by Valerian to Galliemis, in
which he praises Probus, then still a youth, and holds
him up for all to imitate. From this it is clear that
no man has ever in his maturity attained to the sum
of the virtues except one who, trained in the nobler
nursery of the virtues, had as a boy given some sign
of distinction.

IV. Valerian's letter :

" From Valerian the father to Gallienus the son, an
Augustus to an Augustus. Following out the opinion
which I have always held concerning Probus from his
early youth, as well as that held by all good men,

341



PROBUS

eundem sui nominis virum dicunt, tribunatum in eum
contuli datis sex cohortibus Saracenis, creditis etiam
auxiliaribus Gallis cum ea Persarum manu quam nobis

2 Artabassis Syrus mancipavit. te quaeso, fill carissime,
ut eum iuvenem, quern imitari pueris omnibus volo,
in tanto habeas honore quantum virtutes eius et merita
pro debito mentis splendore desiderant."

3 Alia epistula de eodem ad praefectum praetorio

cum salario :

"Valeriauus Augustus Mulvio Gallicano praefecto
praetorio. mireris fortassis, quod ego imberbem tri-
bunum fecerim contra sententiam l divi Hadriani, sed

4non multum miraberis, si Probum cogitas ; est adules-
cens vere probus ; numquam enim aliud mihi, cum
eum cogito, nisi eius nomen occurrit, quod nisi nomen

Bhaberet, potuit habere cognomen, huic igitur dari
iubebis, quoniam mediocris fortunae est, ut eius digni-
tas incrementis iuvetur, tunicas russulas duas, pallia
Gallica duo fibulata, interulas paragaudias duas, pati-
nam argenteam librarum decem specellatam, aureos
Antoninianos centum, argenteos Aurelianos mille,

6 aereos Philippeos decem milia ; item in salario diurno,
bubulae pondo . . ., porcinae pondo sex, caprinae
pondo decem, gallinaceum per biduum, olei per
biduum sextarium unum, vini veteris diurnos sextarios

1 contra sententiam Gruter, Peter ; constentiam P J .



1 Unknown ; the form is probably an error for the Armenian
name Artavasdes ; cf. VaL, iii. 1.

2 Otherwise unknown. 8 See Hadr., x. 6.

4 Cf . Tac. t xvi. 6. 5 See note to Claud., xvii. 6.

6 See Aur., ix. 7 and note.

34-2



PROBUS IV. 2-6

who say that he is a man worthy of his name, I have
appointed him to a tribuneship, assigning him six
cohorts of Saracens and entrusting to him, besides,
the Gallic irregulars along with that company of
Persians which Artabassis 1 the Syrian delivered over
to us. Now I beg of you, my dearest son, to hold
this young man, whom I wish all the lads to imitate,
in the high honour that his virtues and his services
call for in view of what is owed him by reason of the
brilliance of his mind."

Another letter about him, written to the prefect of
the guard with an order for rations :

" From Valerian Augustus to Mulvius Gallicanus, 2
prefect of the guard. You may perhaps wonder why
it is that contrary to the ruling of the Deified Hadrian 3
I have appointed as tribune a beardless youth. You
will not, however, wonder much if you consider
Probus ; he is a young man of probity indeed. 4 For
never, when I consider him myself, does aught suggest
itself to me but his name, which, were it not his name
already, he might well receive as a surname. There-
fore, since his fortune is but a modest one, that his
rank may be enhanced by an additional remuneration,
you will order him to be supplied with two red tunics,
two Gallic cloaks provided with clasps, two under-
tunics with bands of embroidery, 5 a silver platter,
polished to reflect the light, to weigh ten pounds, one
hundred aurei of Antoninus, 6 one thousand silver pieces
of Aurelian, and ten thousand copper coins of Philip ;
likewise for his daily rations, . . . pounds of beef,
six pounds of pork, ten pounds of goat's meat, one
fowl every second day, one pint of oil every second
day, ten pints of old wine every day, and a sufficient
quantity of bacon, biscuit, cheap wine, salt, greens,

343



PROBUS

decem cum larido, bucellati, 1 aceti, salis, holerum, lig-
7norum quantum sat est. hospitia praeterea eidem ut
tribunis legionum praeberi iubebis."

V. Et haec quidem epistulis declaraiitur. nunc
quantum ex ephemeride colligi potuit : cum bello
Sarmatico iam tribunus transmisso Danuvio multa
fortiter fecisset, publice in contione donatus est hastis
puris quattuor, coronis vallaribus duabus, corona civica
una, vexillis puris quattuor, armillis aureis duabus,
torque aureo uno, patera sacrificali quinquelibri una.

2 quo quidem tempore Valerium Flaccinum, adulescen-
tem nobilem, parentem Valeriani, e Quadorum libe-
ravit manu. unde illi Valerianus coronam civicam

3 detulit. verba Valeriani pro contione habita : " Sus-
cipe, Probe, praemia pro re publica, suscipe coronam

4 civicam pro parente." quo quidem tempore legionem
tertiam eidem addidit, sub testimonio huiusmodi.

5 Epistula de legione tertia :

" Res gestae tuae, Probe carissime, faciunt ut et
serins tradere maiores tibi exercitus videar et cito

6 tamen tradam. recipe in fidem tuam legionem tertiam
Felicem, quam ego adhuc nulli nisi provecto iam
credidi ; mihi autem eo tempore credita est, quo et me

7 canosum qui credebat cum gratulatione vidit. sed
ego in te lion exspecto aetatem, cum et virtutibus

1 bucellati aceti Purser (cf. Av. Cass. v. 3); bolulaci P;
pabnli aceti Peter, Hohl.



1 See notes to Aur., xiii. 3. 2 See note to Marc., xii. 8.

3 See note to Claud., xiii. 8. 4 Otherwise unknown.



PROBUS IV. 7 V. 7

and firewood. You will order, furthermore, that
quarters be assigned to him as they are to the tribunes
of the legions."

V. The foregoing details are attested by the letters.

Now as to what I have been able to gather from the

journal : Whereas during the Sarmatian war, while

holding the rank of tribune, he had crossed the

Danube and performed many brave exploits, he was

formally presented in an assembly with four spears

without points, 1 two rampart-crowns, one civic crown, 2

four white banners, two golden arm-bands, 3 one golden

collar, one sacrificial saucer weighing five pounds. At

this same time, indeed, he delivered out of the hands

of the Quadi Valerius Flaccinus, 4 a young man of

noble birth and a kinsman of Valerian's, and it was for

this reason that Valerian presented him with the civic

crown. The words of Valerian spoken before the

assembly were : " Receive these rewards, Probus, from

the commonwealth, receive this civic crown from

a kinsman." At this time, too, he added the Third

Legion to his command, with a testimonial as follows.

The letter concerning the Third Legion :

" Your exploits, my dear Probus, are causing me to

appear too tardy in assigning you larger forces, and

yet I will assign them with haste. So take under

your faithful care the Third Legion, the Fortunate, 5

which as yet I have not entrusted to any save one

well advanced in years ; it was entrusted to me,

moreover, at an age when he who entrusted it, along

with congratulations, beheld my grey hairs. In your

case, however, I shall not wait for age, for your virtues

are now illustrious and your character is strong.

I have given command to supply you with three sets

See note to Aur., xi. 4.

345



PROBUS

Sfulgeas, 1 et moribus polleas. vestes tibi tripliees dari
iussi, salarium duplex feci, vexillarium deputavi."

VI. Longum est, si per res gestas tanti percurram
viri, quae ille sub Valeriano, quae sub Gallieno, quae
sub Aureliano et Claudio privatus fecerit, quoties
murum conscenderit, vallum diripuerit, hostem corn-
minus interemerit, 2 dona principum emeruerit, rem
publicam in antiquum statum sua virtute reddiderit.

2docet Gallieni epistula ad tribunes data qui fuerit
Probus :

" Gallienus Augustus tribunis exercituum Illyrici-
anorum. etiamsi patrem meum fatalis belli Persici
necessitas tenuit, habeo tamen parentem Aurelium
Probum, quo laboraiite possim esse securus. qui si
adfuisset, numquam ille ne nominandus quidem

Styrannus sibi usurpasset imperium. quare omnes vos
consiliis eius cupio parere 3 qui et patris iudicio pro-
batus est et senatus."

4 Non magnum fortassis iudicium Gallieni esse videatur,
principis mollioris, sed, quod negari non potest, lie
dissolutus quidem quispiam se nisi in eius fidem tradit,

5 cuius sibi virtutes aestimat profuturas. sed esto,
Gallieni epistula sequestretur, quid Aureliani iudicium ?
qui Probo decimanos, fbrtissimos exercitus sui et cum
quibus ipse ingentia gesserat, tradidit sub huius modi
testimonio :

6 " Aurelianus Augustus Probo salutem dicit. ut scias

l fulgeas 27 ; fulges P. 2 interemerit 2 ; interemit P.

9 parere 27 ; parare P.



1 See note to FaZ., i. 1.
346



PROBUS V. 8 VI. 6

of garments, I have ordered you double rations, and
I have assigned you a standard-bearer."

VI. It would be a lengthy task, were I to enume-
rate all the exploits of so great a man, which he per-
formed as a commoner under Valerian, under Gallienus,
under Aurelian, and under Claudius, how many times
he scaled a wall, tore down a rampart, slew the enemy
in a hand-to-hand fight, won the gifts of emperors,
and by his valour restored the commonwealth to its
ancient condition. Gallienus' letter, addressed to the
tribunes, shows what manner of man was Probus :

" From Gallienus Augustus to the tribunes of the
armies in Illyricum. Even if the destined fate of the
Persian war has taken away my father, 1 I have still
my kinsman Aurelius Probus, through whose efforts
I may be free from care. Had he been present,
never would that pretender, whose name even should
not be mentioned, have dared to usurp the imperial
power. Wherefore, it is my wish that all of you
should obey the counsels of one who has been ap-
proved by the judgement both of my father and of the
senate."

It may seem perhaps that the judgement of Gal-
lienus, so weak an emperor, is not worth much, but
at least it cannot be denied that no one, not even
a weakling, entrusts himself to the protection of
a man unless he believes that his virtues will profit
him. But be it so ! Let Gallienus' letter be set
aside. What will you say to the judgement of
Aurelian? For he handed over to Probus the soldiers
of the Tenth Legion, the bravest of his army, with
whom he himself had done mighty deeds, giving him
the following testimonial :

" From Aurelian Augustus to Probus, greetings. In

347



PROBUS

quanti te faciam, decimanos meos sume, quos Claudius
mihi credidit. isti enim sunt qui quadam felicitatis
praerogativa praesules nisi futures principes habere non
norunt."

7 Ex quo intellectum est Aurelianum in animo hoc
habuisse, ut, si quid sibi scienti prudentique eveniret,
Probura principem faceret.

VII. lam Claudii, iam Taciti iudicia de Probo longum
est innectere, quamvis feratur in senatu Tacitus dixisse,
cum eidem ofFerretur imperium, debere Probum prin-
cipem fieri, sed ego senatus consultum ipsum non
inveni.

2 Ipse autem Tacitus imperator primam talem ad
Probum epistulam dedit :

8 " Tacitus Augustus Probo. me quidem senatus prin-
cipem fecit de prudentis exercitus voluntate. attamen
sciendum tibi est tuis nunc umeris magis incubuisse
rem publicam. qui et quantus sis omnes novimus,
scit senatus. adesto igitur nostris necessitatibus, tuae

ifamiliae adsere, ut soles, rem publicam. nos tibi
decreto totius orientis ducatu salarium quinquiplex
fecimus, ornamenta militaria geminavimus, con-
sulatum in annum proximum nobiscum decrevimus ; te
enim manet pro virtutibus tuis Capitoliiia palmata."

6 Ferunt quidam Probo id pro imperil omine luisse,
quod Tacitus scripsit, " Te manet Capitolina palmata."



1 There is no evidence for this, and it is evidently only an
attempt to legitimatize the imperiuin of the author's hero.
L As a matter ui fact, Probus was not consul until 277.
3 See Gord., iv. 4 and notes.

348



PROBUS VI. 7 VII. 5

order that you may know how much I think of you,
take the command of my Tenth Legion, which Claudius
entrusted to me. For these are soldiers who know as
commanders none but those destined to be emperors
an assurance, as it were, of favourable fortune."

From this it was seen that Aurelian had in mind,
in case anything serious befell him, which he we! 1
knew to be such, was to make Probus emperor.

VII. Now the judgement of Claudius concerning
Probus and that of Tacitus also it would be too long
to include ; but it is reported that Tacitus said in the
senate, when offered the imperial power, that Probus
should be chosen as emperor, 1 But the senate's decree
itself I have not been able to find.

Tacitus himself, moreover, sent to Probus his first
letter as emperor in the following vein :

" From Tacitus Augustus to Probus. I, it is true,
have been made emperor by the senate in conformity
with the wishes of our sagacious army. You, how-
ever, must know that it is on your shoulders that the
burden of the commonwealth has now been laid more
heavily. What sort of man and how great you are
we all have learned, and the senate also knows. And
so aid us in our need and, as is your custom, look upon
the commonwealth as a part of your own household.
We have voted to you the command of the entire East,
we have granted you five-fold rations, we have doubled
your military insignia, we have appointed you consul ' J
for the coming year as colleague to ourselves ; for by
reason of your virtues, the palm- embroidered tunic
from the Capitolium 3 awaits you."

Some relate that Probus regarded it as an omen of
imperial power that Tacitus should have written, " The
palm-embroidered tunic from the CapitoLurn awaits

349



PROBUS

sed in hanc sententiam omnibus semper consulibug
scribebatur.

VIII. Amor militum erga Probum ingens semper
fuit. neque enim umquam ille passus est peccare
militem. ille quin etiam Aurelianum saepe a gravi

2 crudelitate deduxit. ille singulos manipulos adiit,
vestes et calciamenta perspexit, si quid praedae fuit,
ita divisit ut sibi nihil praeter tela et arma servaret.

3 quin etiam cum de praedato, sive l ex Alanis sive ex
aliqua alia gente incertum est repertus esset equus
non decorus neque ingens, qui, quantum captivi
loquebantur, centum ad diem milia currere diceretur,
ita ut per dies octo vel decem continuaret, et omnes
crederent Probum tale animal sibimet servaturum,
iam primum dixit : " Fugitive militi potius quam forti

4 hie equus convenit." deinde in urnam nomina 2
milites iussit mittere, ut aliqui eum sorte ductus

5 acciperet. et cum essent in exercitu quidam nomine
Probi alii quattuor milites, casu evenit ut qui primum
emergeret ei 3 Probo nomen exsisteret, cum ipsius

6 Probi ducis nomen missum non esset. sed cum
quattuor illi milites inter se contenderent ac sortem
sibi quisque defenderet, iussit iterum agitari urnam.
sed et iterum Probi nomen emersit ; cumque tertio et

7 quarto fecisset, quarto Probi nomen effusum est. tune
omnis exercitus equum ilium Probo duci dicavit, ipsis
etiam militibus, quorum nomina exierant, id volenti-
bus.

1 hie P. 2 So Walter ; nomina om. in P ; nomen suum ins.
after iussit by Peter and Hohl. 3 So Peter and Hohl ;

emergeret ei om. in P.



1 See note to Pius, v. 6.
350



PROBUS VIII. 1-7

you," but as a matter of fact this expression was
always used in writing to every consul.

VIII. The soldiers' love for Probus was always un-
bounded. Never, indeed, did he permit any of them
to commit a wrong. Moreover, he often prevented
Aurelian from some act of great cruelty. He visited
each maniple and inspected its clothing and boots,
and whenever there was plunder he divided it so as to
keep naught for himself but weapons and armour.
Once, indeed, when a horse was found among the
booty taken from the Alani l or some other nation
for this is uncertain which, though not handsome or
especially large, was reputed, according to the talk of
the captives, to be able to run one hundred miles in a
day and to continue for eight or ten days, all sup-
posed that Probus would keep such a beast for
himself. But first he remarked, "This horse is
better suited to a soldier who flees than to one who
fights," and then he ordered the men to put their
names into an urn, that the one drawn by lot should
receive the horse. Then, since there were in the army
four other soldiers named Probus, it so chanced that
the name of Probus appeared on the lot that first came
forth, though the general's name had not been put into
the urn. And when the four soldiers strove with one
another, each maintaining that the lot was his, he
ordered the urn to be shaken a second time. But a
second time, too, the name of Probus came forth ; and
when it was done for the third and the fourth time,
on the fourth time also there leaped forth the name
of Probus. Then the entire army set apart that horse
for Probus their general, and even those very soldiers
whose names had come forth from the urn desired it
thus.

351



PROBUS

IX. Pugnavit et contra Marmaridas in Africa
fortissime eosdemque vicit atque ex Libya Cartha-
ginem transiit eandemque a rebellionibus vindicavit.

2pugnavit et singular! certamiiie contra quendam
Aradionem in Africa eundemque prostravit et, quia for-
tissimum ac pertinacissimum virum viderat, sepulchro
ingenti honoravit, quod adhuc exstat tumulo usque
ad ducentos pedes terra elato 1 per milites, quos

Sotiosos esse numquara est passus. exstant apud
Aegyptum eius opera, quae per milites struxit, in
plurimis civitatibus. in Nilo autem tarn multa fecit

4 ut vectigal frumentarium solus adiuverit. pontes,
templa, porticus, basilicas labore militum struxit, ora
fluminum multa patefecit, paludes plerasque siccavit

5 atque in his segetes agrosque constituit. pugnavit
etiam contra Palmyrenos Odaenathi et Cleopatrae
partibus Aegyptum defendentes, primo feliciter,
postea temere, ut paene caperetur ; sed postea re-
fectis viribus Aegyptum et orientis maximum partem
in Aureliani potestatem redegit.

X. Cum his igitur tot ac 2 tantis virtutibus eniteret,

1 terra elato P com, Salm. ; terra elatum P 1 , Peter, Hohl.
2 oo om. in P.



i



The inhabitants of Marmarica, the district between Egypt
and Cyrenaica ; they had been conquered by P. Sulpiciua
Quiriuius about 20 B.C.

2 Unknown.

8 This may have been in connection with Aurelian's policy
of using the revenues from Egypt for the benefit of the city of
Borne (cf. Aur., xlv. 1 ; xlvii. 1-3), but perhaps this statement
is out of the proper order, for a papyrus dated 1 April, 278
(Probus' third year as emperor) contains an official command
for building dykes and cleaning canals. As this would scarcely

352



PROBUS IX. 1 X. I

IX. He also fought with great bravery against the
Marmaridae l in Africa and defeated them too, and
from Libya he passed over to Carthage and saved it
from rebels. And he fought a single combat in Africa
against a certain Aradio 2 and overcame him, and be-
cause he had seen that he was a valiant and resolute
man, he honoured him with a mighty tomb, still
standing on a mound of earth two hundred feet high
piled up by the soldiers, whom he never allowed to
be idle. There are still to be seen in many cities in
Egypt public works of his, which he caused to be
built by the soldiers. On the Nile, moreover, he did
so much that his sole efforts added greatly to the
tithes of grain. He constructed bridges and temples,
porticos and basilicas, all by the labour of the soldiers,
he opened up many river-mouths, and drained many
marshes, 3 and put in their place grain-fields and
farms. He fought also against the Palmyrenes who
held Egypt for the party of Odaenathus and Cleopatra, 4
fighting at first with success, but later so recklessly
that he nearly was captured ; later, however, when
his forces were strengthened, he brought Egypt 5 and
the greater part of the Orient under the sway of
Aurelian.

X. And so, resplendent by reason of these many

have been necessary if Probus had caused it to be done as here
described, it would seem that the work was begun in 278 and
was still in operation in 280, when Probus may have been in
Egypt (c. xvii. 2-3) ; see W. L. Westermann in Aegyptus, i.
p. 297 f.

4 i.e. t Zenobia. This campaign is described in Claud., xi.
1-2, where the Roman general i? called Probatus. There is no
reason to suppose that Probus was in Egypt under Claudius.

5 Between March and September, 271; see note to Aur. t
xxii. 3.

353



PROBUS

Tacito absumpto fatal iter ac Floriano imperium

arripiente omnes orientales exercitus eundem im-
2peratorem fecerunt. non inepta 1 neque inelegans

fabula est scire queraadmodum imperium Probus
Ssumpserit. cum ad exercitus nuntius venisset, turn

primum animus militibus fuit praevenire Italicos

4 exercitus, lie iterum senatus principem daret. sed
cum inter milites sermo esset quis fieri deberet, et
manipulatim in campo tribuni eos adloquerentur,
dicentes requirendum esse principem aliquem fortem,
sanctum, verecundum, clementem, probum, idque per
multos circulos, ut fieri adsolet, diceretur, quasi divino
nutu undique ab omnibus adclamatum est, " Probe

5 Auguste, di te servent ! " deinde concursus et
caespiticium tribunal, appellatusque imperator, ornatus
etiam pallio purpureo, quod de statua templi oblatum
est, atque inde ad palatium reductus, invitus et re-
tractans et saepe dicens : " Non vobis expedit, milites,
non mecum bene agetis. ego enim vobis blandiri non
possum."

6 Prima eius epistula, data ad Capitonem praefectum
praetorio, talis fuit : " Imperium numquam optavi et
invitus accepi. deponere mihi rem invidiosissimam

7 non licet, agenda est persona quam mihi miles im-
posuit. te quaeso, Capito, ita mecum salva re publica

1 inepta 2; inaegyptum P.



1 See Tac., xiii. 5 and note.

2 As there are Alexandrian coins of Probus minted before
29 Aug., 276 (J. Vogt, die Alex. Miinzen, p. 218), he was made
emperor in the summer of 276. He was probably acclaimed
in the East about the same time that Florian was acclaimed
in the West ; see note to Tac., xiv. 2. Zosimus (i. 64, 1) and
Zonaras (xii. 29) relate that he was acknowledged in Syria,
Palestine, and Egypt, while Asia Minor and Europe supported

3.54



PROBUS X. 2-7

great virtues, when Tacitus had been removed l by
the decree of Fate and Florian was seizing the rule,
he was created emperor by all the troops of the East. 2
Nor is the story of how he got the imperial power an
idle or tiresome tale. When the news came to the
armies, the soldiers' first thought was how to forestall
the armies of Italy, that the senate might not a second
time appoint a prince. But when discussion arose
among them as to who should be chosen and the
tribunes addressed them by maniples on their parade-
ground, saying that they must look for a prince who
would be brave and revered, modest and gentle and a
man of probity, 3 and this was repeated, as is wont to
be done, throughout many groups, all on all sides, as
though by divine command, shouted out, " Probus
Augustus, may the gods keep you ! ' Then they ran
together, a tribunal of turf was erected, and Probus
was saluted as emperor, being even decked with a
purple robe, which they took from a temple-statue ;
from there he was led to the palace, 4 against his will
and protesting and saying again and again, " It is not
to your own interest, soldiers, with me you will not
fare well, for I cannot court your favour."

His first letter, addressed to Capito, 5 prefect of the
guard, was as follows : " I have never desired the
imperial power and I have accepted it against my
will. I may not refuse an office which is most dis-
tasteful to me. I must play the part which the
soldiers have assigned me. I beg of you, Capito, as

Florian. Probus' proclamation as emperor by the army of the



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