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Roman Empire

Ruler: Galba
Reigned: 8th June 68 AD - 15th January 69 AD
Denomination: AR Denarius
Mint: Rome
Date of Issue: Aug-Oct 68 AD
Obverse: Bare head right "IMP. SER. GALBA AVG."
Reverse: "S. P. Q. R."
"OB"
"C. S" within oak-wreath[1]
Reference: RSC 287, RCV 721, RCVM 2109, RIC 167
Comment: [1] = "IMPERATOR SERVIUS GALBA AVGVSTVS" "OB.C.S." = OB CIVES SERVATOS = On behalf of fellow citizens; refers to the "Corona Civica" bestowed on an Emperor as the "Saviour of Society"
Weight: 3 gms
Diameter: 17.9 mm

Servius Sulpicius GALBA

  • Servius Sulpicius Galba was born on 24th December 3 BC, near Tarracina, south of Rome.
  • He was Commander of the army in Upper Germany under Caligula.
  • He was a Favourite of Claudius.
  • In 60 AD he was appointed governor of Hispania Tarraconensis.
  • In March 68 AD Julius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, revolted. He was supported by Galba.
  • In May 68 AD the armies of the Rhine defeated Vindex at Besancon. They tried to proclaim their own commander, Verginius Rufus, emperor, but he refuses. Galba waited in the wings.
  • Nero planned to flee but the praetorian commander Nymphidius Sabinus switched his allegiance to Galba.
  • While still in Spain, Galba was declared emperor by the senate on 8th June 68 AD. He arrived in Rome in October.
  • On 9th June 68 AD Nero committed suicide.
  • Galba tried to recover money spent by Nero. His appointed officials were corrupt.
  • In January 69 AD, the armies of Upper and Lower Germany declared Aulus Vitellius their new emperor.
  • Galba was 70 years old and had no heir. He decided to adopt Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus, a 30 year old man from a distinguished family (10th January).
  • Six days later, Marcus Salvius Otho, who had been governor of Lusitania under Nero and supporter of Galba, and had expected to be chosen by him, won over the praetorian guard and seized power.
  • Galba was pulled out of his carriage and killed (15th January). His last words were, 'Do your work, if this is better for the Roman people.'

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