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Procopius Roman Emperor Usurper 363-366 A.D. Biography of Roman Emperor & Certified Authentic Ancient Roman Coins

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Procopius - Roman Usurper: 365-366 A.D.
Bronze AE3  Heraclea mint: 365-366 A.D.
Reference: Unlisted
DNPROCOPIVSPFAVG - Diademed, cuirassed bust right.
REPARATIOFELTEMP Exe: SMHΓ - Procopius standing facing, head right, holding labarum
 in right hand, left resting on shield set on the ground.

The Chi Rho is one of the earliest christograms used by Christians. It is formed by superimposing the first two letters in the Greek spelling of the word Christ ( Greek : "Χριστός" ), chi = ch and rho = r, in such a way to produce the monogram . The Chi-Rho symbol was also used by pagan Greek scribes to mark, in the margin, a particularly valuable or relevant passage; the combined letters Chi and Rho standing for chrēston, meaning "good." Although not technically a cross, the Chi Rho invokes the crucifixion of Jesus as well as symbolizing his status as the Christ. There is early evidence of the Chi Rho symbol on Christian Rings of the third century.

The labarum (Greek: λάβαρον) was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol, formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" (Greek: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, or Χριστός) — Chi (χ) and Rho (ρ). It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine I. Since the vexillum consisted of a flag suspended from the crossbar of a cross, it was ideally suited to symbolize crucifixion. The Chi-Rho symbol was also used by Greek scribes to mark, in the margin, a particularly valuable or relevant passage; the combined letters Chi and Rho standing for chrēston, meaning "good."

Procopius (326 - May 27, 366), was a Roman usurper against Valentinian I, and member of the Constantinian dynasty.

According to Ammianus Marcellinus, Procopius was a native of Cilicia. On his mother's side, Procopius was cousin of Emperor Julian.

Procopius took part in the emperor Julian's campaign against the Persian Empire in 363. He was entrusted with leading 30,000 men towards Armenia, joining King Arsaces, and later return to Julian camp. At the time of Julian's death, there were rumors that he had intended Procopius to be his successor, but when Jovian was elected emperor by the Roman army, Procopius went into hiding to preserve his life. The ancient historians differ on the exact details of Procopius' life in hiding, but agree that he returned to public knowledge at Chalcedon before the house of the senator Strategius suffering from starvation and ignorant of current affairs.

By that time, Jovian was dead, and Valentinian I shared the purple with his brother Valens. Procopius immediately moved to declare himself emperor. He bribed two legions that were resting at Constantinople to support his efforts, and took control of the imperial city. Shortly after this he proclaimed himself Emperor on September 28, 365, and quickly took control of the provinces of Thrace, and later Bithynia.

Valens was left with the task of dealing with this rebel, and over the next months struggled with both cities and units that wavered in their allegiance. Eventually their armies met at the Battle of Thyatira, and Procopius' forces were defeated. He fled the battlefield, but was betrayed to Valens by two of his remaining followers. Valens had all three executed May 27, 366.

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