Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus

This noble gentleman was a scion of the noble Petronii, leader of the Roman Anicii Probi through his marriage into the Roman Anicii, and had the misfortune to be the leader of Rome with the coming of Alaric and the Visigoths in 410.

Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus, or Probus for short, was the son of the consul Petronius Probinus (2) and had a most distinguished career. He held the position of praetorian prefect on at least four different occasions, under the Emperors Valentinian I, Gratian, and Valentinian II. He also served as urban prefect of Rome on multiple occasions, was leader of the Roman nobility and the Senate, and was universally recognized as the most honored, distinguished, and popular noble of his time in Rome.

Though I am not sure of the precise circumstances, it is known that he was leader of Rome during the approach of Alaric and his Visigoths in 410, but he was dead by the time the city was actually sacked. Many contemporaries blamed the sack of Rome on Probus and the Anicii because the barbarians entered the city through the Porta Salaria, around which the Anicii owned extensive estates, and they also cited the fact that Probus' family managed to escape to Africa and the fact that the sack did not ruin the family. However, it seems highly unlikely that Probus rendered any significant aid to the Visigoths as he stood to win no profit from such an action.

Probus married Anicia Faltonia Proba and had at least three sons by her; Unnamed gentleman #1, Anicius Hermogenianus Olybrius, and Anicius Probinus. As another honor afforded Probus by the Senate, I have found several remarks indicating that the two named sons of Probus were allowed the honor of a joint consulship while still children, most likely in the year 395. This honor was noted as being magnificent because it had never been conferred upon anyone before.

Probus was baptized as a Christian shortly before his death (c.410) and was buried close to St. Peter's in Rome.

Return to the Directory
Page last updated: 9-26-98