5th emission of Siscia, 278 CE.

Not listed in RIC; Calicò 5146; Pink p. 52 nº 8 (Leg 3, AZ l.); Siscia. Bust type H but laureate. Denomination: Aureus.
Triton sale III, 1999, lot 1168 (this obverse die).

OBV.: IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG

Radiate bust left in imperial mantle, holding sceptre surmounted by eagle.

REV.: HERCVLI ERYMANTHIO

Hercules standing right, carrying wild boar.

Mintmark: /

Weight: 5.98 g.

Image provided courtesy of Messieurs Russo,  NUMISMATICA ARS CLASSICA

Auction 27, 12 May 2004.


Among the rarest and most impressive of Probus' types in gold, this reverse celebrates the fourth of the "twelve labors" that Hercules was directed to perform in the service of the cowardly Argolid king Eurystheus. This labor, the capture of the Erymanthian Boar, was depicted on provincial and Imperial coinage in a variety of ways, indicating that several sculptural prototypes existed to represent this scene. Most feature Hercules standing or advancing with the boar on his shoulders, yet on others he has the boar across his knee. Some include in the scene king Eurystheus cowering in a jar at Heracles' feet because the hero had returned with the fearsome animal while it was still alive. Considering Probus struck two other "labour" types - the captures of Cerberus and the Cerynean hind - it is possible that the other nine within the series were struck, but did not survive or have yet to surface. Postumus, the rebel in Gaul a generation before, struck a more complete series of aurei depicting the labours and adventures of Hercules, among which is this type, though Hercules is shown advancing with Eurystheus' jar at his feet.

NAC 27