Mark Avreliy Prob

Mark Avreliy Prob

Roman Emperor in 276-282.
Date of Birth: 29.08.0232
Country: Italy

  1. Biography of Marcus Aurelius Probus
  2. Early Life and Military Career
  3. Contribution to Public Works
  4. Ascension to Emperor
  5. Reign and Military Victories
  6. Death and Legacy

Biography of Marcus Aurelius Probus

Marcus Aurelius Probus was a Roman emperor who reigned from 276 to 282 AD. He was born in Sirmium, a city in Pannonia. His father was a peasant gardener, while his mother came from a more noble background. Despite his modest inheritance and lack of high-ranking relatives, Probus gained fame and distinction both as a private individual and as an emperor.

Early Life and Military Career

In his youth, Probus gained renown for his physical strength and bravery in war against the Goths. His valor led Emperor Valerian to appoint him as a tribune and give him command over a legion, even though he was still a young boy. Probus continued to serve valiantly under successive emperors, participating in campaigns against the Palmyrene Empire under Aurelian and liberating Carthage from the Marcomanni in Africa.

Contribution to Public Works

Probus was known for his strict and just leadership. He never allowed senseless cruelty but also did not tolerate idleness. During peacetime, he would assign legionnaires to perform public works, resulting in numerous constructions throughout Egypt, including bridges, temples, porticos, basilicas, and the expansion of river mouths and the conversion of swamps into farmland. His efforts greatly contributed to the proper collection of grain taxes in the Nile region.

Ascension to Emperor

Following the death of Emperor Tacitus, the Eastern legions unanimously proclaimed Probus as the new emperor. It is said that he initially declined the honor, stating that he would not pander to the soldiers. However, he ultimately accepted and informed the Senate of his election.

Reign and Military Victories

Probus faced numerous wars against barbarians and usurpers during his reign. He first turned his attention to the west, entering Gaul in 277 AD, where he engaged in several battles against the Alamanni. He captured several cities and seized the enemy's loot, defeating and driving many foes beyond the boundaries of the Roman provinces.

In 278 AD, Probus embarked on an eastern campaign, defeating the Sarmatians in Illyricum and subduing certain tribes of the Getae while passing through Thrace. In 279 AD, he cleared Isauria and parts of Pamphylia from bandits, capturing the captured cities of Coptos and Ptolemais from the Blemmyes. Simultaneously, his commanders waged war against Saturninus, who had been declared emperor by the troops stationed in Palestine.

Returning to Thrace, Probus settled 100,000 Bastarnae, who had been driven out of Dacia by the Goths, on the right bank of the Danube within Roman territory, entrusting them with the defense of the border. This experiment proved successful. However, when Probus attempted to do the same with the Hyppa, the Franks, and the Vandals, they rebelled and caused great harm to the Romans, leading the emperor to wage a difficult war against them.

In 281 AD, Probus defeated Proculus, who had been proclaimed emperor in Gaul. It was only after this victory that Probus entered Rome for the first time and organized grand spectacles for the people.

Death and Legacy

In 282 AD, Probus set out against the Persians but was assassinated by his own soldiers in Illyricum. The reasons for his murder were rooted in his efforts to make his native land more fertile by draining a swamp. He had deployed thousands of soldiers for this project, planning to create a vast moat that would divert its waters into the Sava River, benefiting the people of Sirmium. However, the soldiers, angered by this endeavor, turned against him and killed him.

Marcus Aurelius Probus left a legacy of military successes and public works. He was known for his fairness and dedication to both his soldiers and the welfare of the Roman Empire. Despite his untimely demise, his contributions and achievements are remembered in Roman history.