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Special or honorific titles on Roman coins


Tejas
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I just added the coin below to my collection and I'm very happy with it. Probus, together with Aurelianus was one of the Emperors who showed some unusual titles on their coins.  I think that these titles may indicated the transformation of the old principate (where the emperor was first among equals) to the dominate, (where the emperor was equal to none).

Obv.: IMP DEO ET DOMINO PROBO AVG
Rev: CLEMENTIA TEMP = Emeperor standing right, holding sceptre surmounted by eagle, receiving globe from Jupiter standing left, holding sceptre
Bust type: A2 = radiate, cuirassed and draped bust right, seen from back
Field / Exergue: -/*/-//KA•Γ•
Weight 4.53g / Axis: 6h
RIC: 841

image.png.3097a638821854d68fae2b40cf002c30.png

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It's really quite an amazing change from the Roman republic when they were leery of too much power invested in one man, so instead ruled by committee. Caesar's "DICT PERP" was I suppose the beginning, but even Augustus knew to pretend he was only governing via a basket of temporary powers. So fast forward a couple of hundred years, and here we have Probus not only asserting the by now accepted powers of augustus, but also declaring himself "god and lord" !

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1 hour ago, Heliodromus said:

It's really quite an amazing change from the Roman republic when they were leery of too much power invested in one man, so instead ruled by committee. Caesar's "DICT PERP" was I suppose the beginning, but even Augustus knew to pretend he was only governing via a basket of temporary powers. So fast forward a couple of hundred years, and here we have Probus not only asserting the by now accepted powers of augustus, but also declaring himself "god and lord" !

Out of all the Crisis of the Third Century, Probus was actually one of the few to at least "fake" following the Senate after his predecesor Tacitus' appointment and strengthening of the Roman entity. This is why we have so many consular busts of his, something really uncommon otherwise. Diocletian would eventually just throw everything out the window. 

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True, Probus was no doubt an accomplished emperor. Here is a particularly rare consular bust (without the szepter) and a special honorific title:

 

Obv.: BONO IMP C M AVR PROBO INVICT AVG (to the good Emperor C M AVR Probus, the invincible Augustus)
Rev.: SOLI INVICTO
Bust type: H = radiate bust left in consular robe
FIELD / EXERGUE MARKS: -/-//KAB
WEIGHT 3.85g / AXIS: 12h / WIDTH 21,5-22 mm
 

 

image.png.7d7efd4a9423f999d9c8a917e5cc6ad4.png

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Posted (edited)

Wow, what a fantastic coin @Tejas!  I just have PROBVS INV AVG:

image.thumb.jpeg.e636e699d37e23a1e9444fbc72b2bc0c.jpeg

I don't think there's any doubt that the transition to the Dominate wasn't sudden... court protocol and access to the emperor were already pretty burdensome before Diocletian came along.

Edited by Severus Alexander
grammar!
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Here is a another special title for Probus: Perpetuo Imp Probo (to the permanent Imperator Probus)

 

Obv.: PERPETVO IMP PROBO AVG
Rev: VIRTVS PROBI AVG; emperor on horse riding left, right hand raised, holding sceptre, catpive at foot (adventvs scene)
BUST TYPE: E1 =  Radiate, cuirassed and helmeted bust left, holding shield and spear
FIELD / EXERGUE MARKS: -/-//KAB
WEIGHT 4.34 g / AXIS: 6h / WIDTH 21,5 - 24 mm

 

image.png.735174493d4bf544de194f018db28bbc.png

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Some really interesting legends you got here. My most "special" legend for Probus is the following:

38897511_VirtusProbus.thumb.png.798ea01fd62bc277fca5b13a3194262a.png

Emperor Probus - Antoninian

Obv. : VIRTVS PROBI AVG (Probus the brave Augustus)

Rev. : PROVIDENT AVG

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Posted (edited)

I also have the INVICTVS title from Serdica

Obv.: IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F INVICTVS AVG
Rev.: CLEMENTIA TEMP

 

I think one theory states the the proliferation of honorific titles especially at the mint of Serdica is owing to the possibility that Probus was born in that town. I love in the portrait style from Serdica. The titles INVICTVS and VIRTVS were used by several mints, but BONO, PERPETVO, DEO ET DOMINO are only attested for Serdica, as far as I know.

 

image.png.ab3b07c33be653091852b59db98b8175.png

Edited by Tejas
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