Home Ancient Roman The civil war of 69 RC00281
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Otho denarius, 69 AD
Eighth of the 12 Caesars and second emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors.
Of noble lineage early in his life Otho was a reckless and extravagant youth attending the Emperor Nero’s court. This association was brought to an end in 58 when his beautiful wife Poppea Sabina was introduced to Nero. She divorced Otho and had the emperor send him away to the remote province of Lusitania (modern Portugal). When in 68 the governor Galba of Hispania Tarraconensis rose in revolt against Nero, Otho accompanied him to Rome. Galba was childless and far advanced in years so Otho aspired to succeed him. Galba however adopted Lucius Calpurnius Piso. Otho bribed twenty-three soldiers of the Praetorian Guard who saluted him as emperor and brutally murdered Galba and Piso. Not long after the senate confirmed Otho as Augustus he realized the extent of the revolution in Germany in favor of Vitellius, the lower Rhine commander. Vitellius’ forces prevailed over Otho's camp at the First Battle of Bedriacum. In one of the most honorable gestures throughout history after proclaiming: "It is far more just to perish one for all, than many for one", Otho committed suicide rather than see Rome fall into a civil war because of his accord. Obverse Otho, IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P. Reverse Ceres holding grain-ears and cornucopiae PONT MAX, Vesta seated left, holding patera and transverse sceptre.
Mint: Rome
Provenance: Private acquisition *

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