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Probus Deo Et Domino 1 of 2 known from SISCIA and not Serdica


Humilau

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Probus is very well known for his variety of coinage during his reign from 276 to 282 CE and especially with his varied use of Obverse legends. Many of these obverse legends ranged from the simple PROBVS AVG to BONO IMP C M AVR PROBO INVICT AVG and VIRTVS PROBI INVICTI AVG. However, one stand out legend from the mint of Serdica is the Deo Et Domino series of obverse legends. Meaning "God and Lord", some rarities at the mint of Serdica contain this phrase in the obverse legend such as IMP DEO ET DOMINO PROBO AVG. These Deo Et Domino command a hefty premium in terms of the coinage of Probus whenever they seldom appear at auction. In literature, the obverse legend and its variants are cited only for the mint of Serdica. This includes RIC V.2 and even most Probus specific literature.

 

But did you know that they also struck these at Siscia?

Probus-DeoetDomino.jpeg.d4e7d3b07f308a34d438f71782a8a6cb.jpeg

Obverse: DEO ET DOMINO PROBO AVG

Reverse: VIRTVS PROBI AVG / XXIVII

Officina: 7

Bust: H

3.4 grams

23 mm

The second Deo et Domino example known for the mint of Siscia and the only one with the VIRTVS PROBI AVG reverse. 

 

Generally, Siscia is presented with having these obverse legends:

  1. PROBVS AVG
  2. IMP PROBVS AVG
  3. IMP PROBVS P AVG
  4. IMP PROBVS P F AVG
  5. IMP C PROBVS AVG 
  6. IMP C PROBVS P AVG
  7. IMP C PROBVS P F AVG
  8. IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG
  9. IMP C M AVR PROBVS P AVG
  10. IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG
  11. IMP PROBVS INV AVG  
  12. IMP C M PROBVS INVICT AVG
  13. IMP C M PROBVS INVICT P AVG
  14. VIRTVS PROBI AVG 
  15. IMP PRBVS P F AVG (sic)

However, what is interesting is that when Probus usurped the imperial title in 276 CE he moved west towards Rome with his army while closing down many of the mints along his route. These closed mints had their engravers taken along with Probus where they would be redistributed among other mints that would still be open. When Probus closed down the Serdica mint, these engravers who had already been outputting coins of Probus for a decent amount of time were transferred to the mint of Siscia where a new 7th Officina was opened to support the new engravers as well as increase output. 

Lots of stylistic similarities appear between the first series of Serdica's coinage and Siscia's coinage after the transfer of the engravers, but almost none more obvious than this Deo et Domino obverse legend. This legend appears very rarely at Siscia in this 7th Officina and only on one singular die. It is evidently a hold over from the mint of Serdica and engraved by one of those transferred engravers at Siscia. This obverse legend for Siscia has not been sold at auction before to my knowledge and also to others after conferring with them. The Feinstein collection example below I and others are unaware of its purchase origins.

The only mention of one in literature would be in Sylviane Estiot's "L’Empereur et l’usurpateur: un 4e atelier oriental sous Probus" where an example with the same obverse die is shown however with a Soli Invicto reverse also from the 7th Officina and is currently located in a "Private Collection FE" in the paper. Photo below:image.png.b5dcf73cabc3ac0d48e13b8191ec944b.png

Obverse: DEO ET DOMINO PROBO AVG

Reverse: SOLI INIVCTO / XXIVII

Officina: 7

Bust: H

Collection: Feinstein (Private)

 

The example first shown and shown again below is now mine. Purchased from the N&N London auction run the other day and hammering for 600 gbp where it had been misidentified as being from Serdica which would make sense as the Siscia type is not currently in references. Well, not until Sylvaine Estiot publishes the rework on RIC V.2.Probus-DeoetDomino.jpeg.d4e7d3b07f308a34d438f71782a8a6cb.jpeg

Edited by Humilau
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  • 2 weeks later...

Very interesting thread. Thank you my Friend for sharing.

I am very happy that this exceptional and - to my knowledge - unique coin with the desirable Deo et Domino obverse legend and from the Siscia mint (not Serdica) is in your collection. I am sure this coin will be one of the highlights of your growing Probus collection. Congrats again.    

Edited by Barnaba6
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