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Roman Empire

Ruler: Otho
Reigned: 15th Jan - 17th April 69 AD
Denomination: AR Denarius
Mint: Rome
Date of Issue: Jan-Feb 69 AD
Obverse: Bare head right. "IMP.(M.)OTHO CAESAR AVG. TR.P"[1]
Reverse: Securitas standing left, holding sceptre and wreath. "SECVRITAS P.R."
Reference: RSC 15 or 17, RCVM 2162, RIC 8
Weight: 3 gms
Diameter: 17.8 mm


  • Marcus Salvius Otho was born at Ferentium in southern Etruria on 28th April 32 AD.
  • Otho had been a companion of Nero, perhaps even his lover, until in 58 AD they fell out over Poppaea Sabina. Otho had ended up governor of Lusitania.
  • In March 68 AD Julius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, revolted against Nero. He was supported by Galba. Otho supported Galba's cause.
  • 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.
  • Galba was declared emperor by the senate on 8th June 68 AD.
  • On 9th June 68 AD Nero committed suicide.
  • In January 69 AD, the armies of Upper and Lower Germany declared Aulus Vitellius their new emperor.
  • Galba decided to adopt Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus, a 30 year old man from a distinguished family (10th January).
  • Six days later, Otho won over the praetorian guard and seized power.
  • Galba was pulled out of his carriage and killed (15th January 69 AD). Piso was also killed.
  • Otho is declared emperor but still has to defeat Vitellius.
  • He took his armies to northern Italy to meet those of Vitellius.
  • His armies were defeated at the Battle of Cremona on 14th April 69 AD.
  • Otho committed suicide on 16th April 69 AD.

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