Marcus Aurelius Probus, a Roman emperor, born in Sirmium, Pannonia, about A. D. 230, assassinated there in 282. While he was very young the emperor Valerian raised him to the rank of tribune. He commanded successively the 3d and 10th legions, and served in Africa and Pontus, on the Rhine, the Danube, the Euphrates, and the Nile. Under Aurelian he reconquered Egypt, which had fallen into the hands of Zenobia; and the emperor Tacitus made him commander-in-chief in the eastern provinces. On the death of the emperor in 276 the armies of the East forced him to assume the imperial purple, and the death of his rival Florianus soon left him at the head of the Roman world. He recovered 70 towns from the Germans, destroyed 400,000 of the invaders, and drove the remainder across the Rhine. Penetrating into Germany, he exacted a heavy tribute of grain, cattle, and horses, and a restitution of the property carried away from the Roman provinces, and made a levy of 16,000 recruits for the Roman army. He built a stone wall from the neighborhood of Neustadt and Ratisbon on the Danube to Wimpfen on the Neckar, and thence to the Rhine, nearly 200 m.

He secured the frontier of Rhaetia, crushed the power of the Sarmatians, admitted the Goths to an alliance, and took several castles from the Isaurians. He suppressed the rebellion of Saturninus, the commander of the eastern army, and the revolt of Bonosus and Pro-culus in the West, and returning to Rome celebrated a triumph. To maintain the discipline of his troops, he constantly employed them in active labor, and the hills of Gaul and Pannonia by their toil were enriched with vineyards. This system irritated the soldiers, and finally an unguarded remark, that the establishment of universal peace would render a standing army unnecessary, excited an insurrection in his camp near Sirmium, and Probus fled to a tower; but the troops forced his retreat, and put him to death. He was succeeded by Carus.